Tractorless! Help!

Shanester

Member

Equipment
B7500HST MX5100HST
Sep 21, 2021
59
32
18
Ohio
Just kidding. I still have my trusty B7500 that I mow my lawn with but sold the little John Deere to get a larger tractor. The property that I need to take care of is a family owned place and about 32 acres. It is about 6 miles from my house and there is a barn to store a tractor there. Maybe about half is woods and maybe a little less than half is pasture/hay field. (there is some marshland) My dad used to have donkeys there but they are gone now so there is more to mow now. For our part of Ohio it would be considered pretty hilly. There is a rifle range (we could go up to about 500 yards) and a pistol range. There is a creek and the fields are chopped up and separated from sections of woods. There are also some gravel (crushed limestone) roads to maintain. It is kind of a mess but because of all that it is also beautiful. For years my dad had several different people cutting and baling hay there but most hated the property because of trying to get the baler in and out of there plus they could not load up the wagons very high because of fear of tipping over. (at least the story was something like that) My dad passed away last year and I have been taking care of it. My mom does not care about it so she is really just keeping it for me and some family friends that use it. I'll inherit it someday. My dad used to have a Massey Ferguson 231 (2WD no loader) which was awesome to bush hog with. He sold it and bought a nice smaller 4WD Yanmar (27HP maybe?) with loader some years ago. Then about 2 years ago he sold that and bought a brand new John Deere 1025R with loader, belly mower, backhoe and 4' bush hog. It was a really inappropriate tractor for that property and I have been struggling with it until today when it sold. With a bigger tractor I want to be able to pull a 6' bush hog, big box grader, and do some meaningful loader work. It would be nice to drive it home every once in a while and do some work on my home's 4 acres that has a fair amount of woods. I'm thinking 40ish HP, HST trans and open ROPS. Now that you know the background lets get to tractor selection! Here is what I have looked at in person and a few I have operated:

L4701: I looked at a new one and a barely used one (2020 with 106 hrs) with third function. I operated the used one and it worked fine but the power steering seemed to howl a bit and the loader joystick seemed to have more slop than I thought it should. $29,500+tx and they won't budge on price. I should have asked to operate the new one but didn't think about it. The dealer is supposed to get me an equine discount price on the new one but I have not heard from him yet. This model is not common among private sellers but it is at the top of my list right now for a lot of reasons.

MX5200: I did not operate this one (the key was not in it) and it seems pretty big because of the massive front tires and the huge loader. I really like this tractor and would get a lot of work done but I'm concerned it might be heavy and tear up my yard if I want to work at my house. Maybe any of these tractors I'm looking at would do that? This tractor is at the same dealer and it is a 2020 with 86 hours. They won't budge on the price at $31,500+tx. After buying a cutter and box grader this one is really getting up there possibly past what I am willing to spend. The main reason I looked at it is because I see a few used MX series (4800, 5100, 5200, 5400) that are for sale at reasonable asking prices from private sellers.

L3901: At first I though this is what I wanted and was the first one I looked at. It would probably work but I feel the weight is just not there and the loader capacity might not be what I would like. Probably the biggest issue is that it is narrow and would probably feel tippy on our hills. The dealer looked up ordering some Kubota wheel spacers and they are only 1". WTH? Different dealer than the first two and he was selling this new one for $25,850=tx cash price.

That's all that I have seen in person so far.

I would really like to look at a Grand L4060 (or an LE version) but can't find one that is within two hours drive. What I like about that model is that awesome transmission that it has. It is also the reason I don't like it because it is way more complicated and could see it having issues in its later life. There is also the older Grand 40 series that I like also.

Please comment on these so far for what I want to do with it. Also tell me of some models that I'm missing. (I know I am)
 

jimh406

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Lifetime Member

Equipment
Kubota L2501 with R4 tires
Jan 29, 2021
799
510
93
Western MT
If you think a L3901 has too small of a loader, go with the MX. Around here, used MXs are gone about as fast as they are listed for sale.
 
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PaulL

Well-known member

Equipment
B2601
Jul 17, 2017
1,217
399
83
NZ
L4701 and L3901 are mostly the same tractor. I think L4701 has a bigger loader and obviously bigger motor, but I think same frame? (Or is the L4701 the oddball slightly bigger L model?) If you think the L3901 is tippy and too narrow, then the L4701 must be the same.

General thinking is that the MX is about the same price as the L4701, that's why the L4701 only sells in very specialist situations - largely people who need the HP but can't trailer/store/fit an MX. Otherwise the MX is pretty much just better.

L3901 is a good tractor too though. Quite a bit cheaper than an MX. Depends whether it's enough tractor for your jobs. I'd say it's probably enough, but the MX would be better. The L4701 would be more money but maybe not feel that much different than the L3901 - might not be a great spend of money. You might be better with that money in your pocket or in additional implements.
 
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NCL4701

Well-known member

Equipment
L4701, WC68 chipper, grapple, BB1572 box scrape, Howes 500, 16kW IMD gen
Apr 27, 2020
733
611
93
Central Piedmont, NC
While I agree the MX is more tractor for not much more money, the L4701 is the oddball on the L01 series with a larger frame than the L3901, larger loader, and width adjustable rear wheels (even with R4’s). I went with the L4701 because of some space restricted areas on our 60 acres where the L4701 was the absolute biggest thing that would fit and because mowing is one of it’s absolutely necessary long term chores, for which I preferred a bit less weight. I have not regretted the L4701 at all. Yes, there have been times when I’m doing something and thinking it would be nice to have the extra drawbar pull I’m sure the MX has, but then I get it in some tight spot working down in the woods or mowing the field with 3 dozen @$&# trees spaced about 10’ apart and I remember why I went with the 4701. I needed the HP to run a chipper so the smaller L’s were never a serious consideration for me.

I’d suggest taking a hard look at the MX but don’t assume the L3901 and L4701 are on the same frame, same width, same loader, etc.; they’re not.
 

PaulL

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Equipment
B2601
Jul 17, 2017
1,217
399
83
NZ
... the L4701 is the oddball on the L01 series with a larger frame than the L3901, larger loader, and width adjustable rear wheels (even with R4’s). ...

I’d suggest taking a hard look at the MX but don’t assume the L3901 and L4701 are on the same frame, same width, same loader, etc.; they’re not.
Ah, I had a vague memory of it being different. I knew it had a larger loader. Had a vague memory it might have had a larger frame. Makes you wonder why they called it an L at all, it's not the same tractor. I think they're moving towards a different designation for tractors that aren't on the same frame - which we see with the "large B" becoming the LX. I wonder whether the L4701 will get a new name, but I guess MX is already used.

Is it much larger? Obviously not as much larger as the MX is, but is it closer to the L in size, or closer to the MX? I think the MX has a cat 2 back end - I'd heard it described as an L front end with an M back end. But I'm sure it's not that simple.
 

PoTreeBoy

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Lifetime Member

Equipment
L35 Ford 3930
Mar 24, 2020
618
195
43
WestTn/NoMs
My 2¢, based on what you've said. I'd be checking out that MX5100.
According to Tractordata, the HST has cruise control standard. The larger front tires will run smoother and tear up your yard less, depending on the tread, of course. No DPF regens, I think. Heavy enough to carry a 6' cutter with the loader off, probably.
Based on my experience with our Ford 3930 it's the perfect size and HP with a 6' cutter. But I'd sure like to have synchronized shuttle or HST with cruise control. And 4WD with a loader. The MX5100 would be real close, I think.
 
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Shanester

Member

Equipment
B7500HST MX5100HST
Sep 21, 2021
59
32
18
Ohio
My 2¢, based on what you've said. I'd be checking out that MX5100.
According to Tractordata, the HST has cruise control standard. The larger front tires will run smoother and tear up your yard less, depending on the tread, of course. No DPF regens, I think. Heavy enough to carry a 6' cutter with the loader off, probably.
Based on my experience with our Ford 3930 it's the perfect size and HP with a 6' cutter. But I'd sure like to have synchronized shuttle or HST with cruise control. And 4WD with a loader. The MX5100 would be real close, I think.

I found one of those for sale with only 200 something hours on it for $27K but it is a 4.5 hour drive from me.
 

Shanester

Member

Equipment
B7500HST MX5100HST
Sep 21, 2021
59
32
18
Ohio
Nobody has talked about the L4060-LE yet. According to the specs it is actually very slightly heavier than the MX5400. It has the HST-Plus trans and some other things. Plus the MSRP is less than the L4701 which is hard to believe. It is only 42 HP but is the same sized engine as the other two. The loader is bigger than the L4701 also. The only thing that confuses me is the top speed for the ROPS version. It states that it is only 10.1 MPH vs the cab version is 16.8 which is very in line with the other models. Misprint?
 
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NCL4701

Well-known member

Equipment
L4701, WC68 chipper, grapple, BB1572 box scrape, Howes 500, 16kW IMD gen
Apr 27, 2020
733
611
93
Central Piedmont, NC
Ah, I had a vague memory of it being different. I knew it had a larger loader. Had a vague memory it might have had a larger frame. Makes you wonder why they called it an L at all, it's not the same tractor. I think they're moving towards a different designation for tractors that aren't on the same frame - which we see with the "large B" becoming the LX. I wonder whether the L4701 will get a new name, but I guess MX is already used.

Is it much larger? Obviously not as much larger as the MX is, but is it closer to the L in size, or closer to the MX? I think the MX has a cat 2 back end - I'd heard it described as an L front end with an M back end. But I'm sure it's not that simple.
The MX does have a Cat 2 3 point. The loader on the MX is also significantly more capable at (IIRC) about 600lb more rated capacity. Just looking at the rear end of the MX v the L4701, the MX is a stouter machine. The front tires of the MX are notably larger. Sitting in the operator station, there’s very little difference. PTO HP, the smallest MX is a modicum more than the L4701 but not much. To me, and I’m aware it’s a subjective opinion, the MX loader capacity is the most glaring practical advantage of the MX. Sometimes it would be nice to have that greater capacity but I’m not stacking round bales or putting 2000lb pallets on a rack or anything else that truly necessitates the larger loader.

I bought mine pre-COVID so I had the luxury of looking at the MX and smaller L’s side by side. The L4701 isn’t exactly comparable to either but it’s probably closer to the MX than it is to the smaller L’s in capability and features.

One thing that played into my decision aside from the factors mentioned above, which isn’t an issue for many, was we already had a rather significant stable of 3 point implements we used with our smaller Ford and International. Sure, we could have used bushings to hook Cat 1 implements to the Cat 2 MX but if I went too big, I would have had to upgrade all the 3 point implements to handle the drawbar capacity of a larger machine. The L4701 is too much for a couple of the lighter duty implements we have. Upgrading all the old implements would have been a very substantial cost which would have given us a nicer stable of implements but was unnecessary for what we needed it to do.

Of course the L4701 is a bit less costly as well, which is a factor for some. If I was starting from zero with no implements and didn’t have size limitations on the property, I’d probably have the MX, although I haven’t ever regretted the L4701.
 
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Shanester

Member

Equipment
B7500HST MX5100HST
Sep 21, 2021
59
32
18
Ohio
Here is another strange thing. The newer MX series has the 1065 loader but the older models have the 844. That is a pretty big difference.
 

Shanester

Member

Equipment
B7500HST MX5100HST
Sep 21, 2021
59
32
18
Ohio
One thing that played into my decision aside from the factors mentioned above, which isn’t an issue for many, was we already had a rather significant stable of 3 point implements we used with our smaller Ford and International. Sure, we could have used bushings to hook Cat 1 implements to the Cat 2 MX but if I went too big, I would have had to upgrade all the 3 point implements to handle the drawbar capacity of a larger machine.
It is listed as a category 1 or 2 and did not realize that issue. I assumed it took both the way it sat.
 
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PoTreeBoy

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Equipment
L35 Ford 3930
Mar 24, 2020
618
195
43
WestTn/NoMs
I found one of those for sale with only 200 something hours on it for $27K but it is a 4.5 hour drive from me.
Ouch! But, I think I'd take it over the MX5200 at $31,500 you mentioned if it's in good condition.
 
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PoTreeBoy

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Equipment
L35 Ford 3930
Mar 24, 2020
618
195
43
WestTn/NoMs
It is listed as a category 1 or 2 and did not realize that issue. I assumed it took both the way it sat.
The MX5100 shows (in Tractordata) cat I/II. Our 3930, also II/I, came with 2 sets of ball ends. We've never had the larger ones on. A couple of attachments are cat II width but have cat I pins. The arms barely spread wide enough for cat II.
Which brings up something to think about - extendable links and stabilizers (vs turnbuckles) are nice to have.
 
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PoTreeBoy

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Equipment
L35 Ford 3930
Mar 24, 2020
618
195
43
WestTn/NoMs
Another thing, bearing in mind I've never been on a tractor with hydrostat. I personally like to use a little brake to help turn to prevent skidding the front tires. My BIL locks the pedals together, I separate them. Many of the earlier HST's kept the brakes on the right, which means you can't brake steer (unless you have cruise control?). Some of the newer tractors have moved them to the left, so you can steer left-footed.
That's just something to think about.
 

Shanester

Member

Equipment
B7500HST MX5100HST
Sep 21, 2021
59
32
18
Ohio
Another thing, bearing in mind I've never been on a tractor with hydrostat. I personally like to use a little brake to help turn to prevent skidding the front tires. My BIL locks the pedals together, I separate them. Many of the earlier HST's kept the brakes on the right, which means you can't brake steer (unless you have cruise control?). Some of the newer tractors have moved them to the left, so you can steer left-footed.
That's just something to think about.

Brakes are on the left now. My B7500 HST has them on the right and of course you can't brake steer. Stupid design but probably just a carryover from gear tractors.
 

hedgerow

Member
Jan 2, 2015
54
33
18
Malcolm NE
I would give the MX's a good look. I started out looking at a L2501 and then a L4701 and ended up buying a MX-6000 back in June. I use my Cat one equipment on the MX all the time. I am glad I spent a little more and got the MX. I think with all your hills you will like the MX a lot better.
 

RCW

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Lifetime Member

Equipment
BX2360, FEL, MMM, BX2750D snowblower. 1953 Minneapolis Moline ZAU
Apr 28, 2013
5,779
1,016
113
Chenango County, NY
No experience, but a lot of folks here seem very pleased with the MX tractors.
 

NCL4701

Well-known member

Equipment
L4701, WC68 chipper, grapple, BB1572 box scrape, Howes 500, 16kW IMD gen
Apr 27, 2020
733
611
93
Central Piedmont, NC
Another thing, bearing in mind I've never been on a tractor with hydrostat. I personally like to use a little brake to help turn to prevent skidding the front tires. My BIL locks the pedals together, I separate them. Many of the earlier HST's kept the brakes on the right, which means you can't brake steer (unless you have cruise control?). Some of the newer tractors have moved them to the left, so you can steer left-footed.
That's just something to think about.
Definitely agree on ability to brake steer. I had been brake steering tractors for 45 years before getting the Kubota and would be quite hesitant to get a tractor without that capability. In sloppy mud and/or slopes, it’s an important function to have.
 
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PaulL

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Equipment
B2601
Jul 17, 2017
1,217
399
83
NZ
Definitely agree on ability to brake steer. I had been brake steering tractors for 45 years before getting the Kubota and would be quite hesitant to get a tractor without that capability. In sloppy mud and/or slopes, it’s an important function to have.
Strictly speaking all the Kubota's other than the BX have brake steering - they all have split brakes. The problem with many of the HST models is the HST and the brakes are on the same side, and unlike a gear drive the machine won't trundle along in gear without your foot on the pedal - you need your foot on the HST pedal or you stop, and so you can't use your right foot on the brakes. But you can swing your left foot over and use that on the pedals. Annoying, but not impossible.
 
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