Tractor for swampy forest

JonathanP

New member

Equipment
Kubota
Jul 22, 2021
21
10
3
Pinckney, MI
First time tractor owner planning to purchase an MX5400HST.

One of the primary uses planned for it, is to aide in harvesting trees, brush hogging overgrowth, and building a footpath in a wetland forest.

The land is mainly mushy soil, not standing water mind you.

Without an expensive trial and error, do you think it will simply be to heavy?

Would I be better off getting an L2501 with widest possible tires?

ty
 

Jchonline

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
Kubota L6060, KX040-4, M7060, RTV X1100C, M62 (sold)
Oct 28, 2018
979
321
63
Red Feather Lakes, CO
Hope you dont mind a bunch of ruts...get R1 tires for traction. Tractors arent much fun to maneuver around in wooded areas. If you have a ton of trail building consider a tracked skid loader or a mini excavator.

That said you can probably still get it done with a tractor. MX5400 is a solid machine. It will be great for brush hogging, moving logs with a grapple. Nice travel speed when you need it.

The footpath I am more concerned about...especially if it is soggy. Do you have any idea how deep it is?
 

nbryan

Well-known member

Equipment
B2650HSD ROPS BH77 LA534A 54" Martatch 42" forks B2782B WC68 BB1560 M5-4 hog
Jan 3, 2019
703
330
63
Hadashville, Manitoba, Canada
My B2650HSD (rops) does very well in our swampy forested areas. And it's something like 500lbs lighter than the L2501. There's always a tradeoff between firm ground traction being better with a heavier tractor vs how stuck how fast they can get in soft conditions. All else being equal like HP, HST, and tire size and style.
Plus I can and do add rear weight like the box scraper, chipper or backhoe, and FEL or snow blower on front. Can add weight to a tractor, can't subtract!
I've only been stuck while snow blowing when my rear wheel (R4s) slipped past the firm shoulder of our gravel road into soft sloping snow and couldn't grip enough to drive back up. Quit while ahead and tugged it out easily with a chain and my pickup's hitch ball. Again, a lighter machine is easier to yank out of trouble when the occasion arises.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

BigG

Well-known member

Equipment
l2501, FEL, BB, Rotary cutter, rake,spreader, roller, etc. New Holland TL80 A
Sep 14, 2018
1,774
587
113
West Central,FL
Depending on how many trails you want to build you might think about the L 2501 and put duallies on the back. I’m thinking of flotation depending upon your soil conditions. The larger tractor would be nice if everything was dry.

take a look at YouTube that deals with logging and look at the type of chains that those people put on their tires.

A lot depends upon your budget. You could even have the rims on your R1 tires Made wider so that you can fit oversized tires on a smaller tractor but that will take some money.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

JonathanP

New member

Equipment
Kubota
Jul 22, 2021
21
10
3
Pinckney, MI
Hope you dont mind a bunch of ruts...get R1 tires for traction. Tractors arent much fun to maneuver around in wooded areas. If you have a ton of trail building consider a tracked skid loader or a mini excavator.

That said you can probably still get it done with a tractor. MX5400 is a solid machine. It will be great for brush hogging, moving logs with a grapple. Nice travel speed when you need it.

The footpath I am more concerned about...especially if it is soggy. Do you have any idea how deep it is?
About a foot or so
 

dirtydeed

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
B2650 BH77, BX23TLBM, box blade, rear blade, flail mower, Stump Grinder
Dec 8, 2017
1,835
928
113
Wind Gap, PA
I'm with Nbryan. The large B (now LX) is approx 900 lbs lighter than the smallest L. Perhaps consider the LX3310 in the SU variant (with the large tires).

I also have very wet property (I'm actually on Swamp Road). That's the primary reason I picked the large B series. I didn't want a heavy tractor. I still have some areas that I've never ventured into (by tractor, nor on foot).
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

PoTreeBoy

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
L35 Ford 3930
Mar 24, 2020
745
255
63
WestTn/NoMs
For soft ground, large diameter front tires help keep the front end from sinking, especially with a loader. The M5660SU seems to have larger fronts. If that's too big, do any or the B's, L's, or MX's have larger front tires available?
You definitely don't want R4 tires.
Edit: I must have been typing when dirtydeed responded. Same thought.
 
Last edited:

Elliott in GA

Active member

Equipment
LX 2610SU w/535,LP RCR1860,LP FDR1660,LP SGC0554, LP FSP500, DD BBX60005
Mar 10, 2021
243
206
43
North Georgia
If I were going into soft ground, I would seriously consider Turf tires. The golf course maintenance crews around me use Kubota MX tractors with giant turf tires; they can drive over the golf course without leaving a mark (including flattened grass). These tires have a massive contact patch, and the tires are full size (the machine has normal ground clearance).

It might work - or not.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

michigander

Active member

Equipment
B2601
May 29, 2018
472
164
43
Northern Michigan
My B2601 with turfs gets around on my neighbors property where is L2501 doesn't float.

Winter time might be better time for logging a pass in the snow will freeze over night to make roads.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

JonathanP

New member

Equipment
Kubota
Jul 22, 2021
21
10
3
Pinckney, MI
Hope you dont mind a bunch of ruts...get R1 tires for traction. Tractors arent much fun to maneuver around in wooded areas. If you have a ton of trail building consider a tracked skid loader or a mini excavator.

That said you can probably still get it done with a tractor. MX5400 is a solid machine. It will be great for brush hogging, moving logs with a grapple. Nice travel speed when you need it.

The footpath I am more concerned about...especially if it is soggy. Do you have any idea how deep it is?
Found the ground is 12” down to 48” of mushy ground…
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 user

Jchonline

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
Kubota L6060, KX040-4, M7060, RTV X1100C, M62 (sold)
Oct 28, 2018
979
321
63
Red Feather Lakes, CO
Found the ground is 12” down to 48” of mushy ground…
The lighter the machine the better….no easy way to get through a lot of mud.
Found the ground is 12” down to 48” of mushy ground…
Yes that is going to make quite the ruts if you arent careful. Perhaps you can add some base to harden it up, but if drainage is an issue that might need to be solved first.
 

JimmyJazz

Well-known member

Equipment
B2601
Aug 8, 2020
675
340
63
Pittsburgh, Pa
Skid steers are available with wider low ground pressure tracks. I don't know how much land you are dealing with or your budget but you could rent a skid steer along with the mower ,bucket ,and grapple. You can get an awful lot done in a short period of time with a skid steer. Why beat up a brand new tractor. Once your masterpiece is roughed in you can reassess your needs for maintenance. You might end up spending less and have a nicer job in half the time. Those are my thoughts. Good luck.
 

jyoutz

Well-known member

Equipment
MX6000 HST open station, FEL, 6’ cutter, forks, 8’ rear blade, 7’ cultivator
Jan 14, 2019
567
255
63
Edgewood, New Mexico
I’m a forester. Wheeled equipment isn’t used for logging soft ground. Contractors who work in that terrain use tracked equipment: skidders, forwarders, skid steers, excavators. All fitted with tracks.
 

rc51stierhoff

Active member

Equipment
B2650, MX6000
Sep 13, 2021
145
68
28
Ohio
Good day….regarding swamps…I travel to Japan for work for past 20+ years. One thing you notice when riding train through the country side is kubotas driving through the patties…wheels and axles underwater. Very impressive a tally. I don’t know the difference between a swamp and a patty, but I believe kubota has a very impressive sealed axle/hub housing. If you plan to play in the muck I am not sure which maker would have a better sealed axle housing.
 

Brian H

Member

Equipment
MX5200HST, MTL RK5 Gr, Ford 850, King Kutter brush hog, rototiller, blade, disk.
Feb 8, 2019
35
10
8
Waupaca, WI
I do a lot of brush hogging in my marsh. About 4 ft of muck like yours. I almost always have to use my 2wd 3000lb Ford 850. It stays on top of the grass when reasonably dry. I buried my mx5200 once and have had to bucket myself out several others. At nearly 7000lbs with fluid, bucket, etc its just too heavy. Winter when frozen is now the only time i take it in the marsh. Whatever choice you make, R1s are a must. R4s are junk for traction. Dont be fooled by their extra width. Or maybe look into R2 paddy tires.