Want versus Need - L47 or L4701 or MX5400

mofaster

New member
Jan 12, 2022
4
1
3
Arizona
Thanks all in advance. This is my first foray into the tractor community. I own 8 acres of desert property in the Southwest. It is flat, no grade really, but about 3-4' down is rock (common for area).

We are building a new home, guest home, and RV garage on this site and I feel a tractor will help tremendously for years to come, and for doing some of the house site prep work. Here are the things I feel will be on the list:

Digging utility and water lines
Digging Septic
Moving Saguaros and brush
Preparing a garden
Planting trees
Creating and maintaining an ingress/egress road
General property maintenance

I definitely want a TLB configuration and am willing to pay a little more for a more capable unit that will fill any future need and provide good resale value on the back end if need to sell. I'm 6'4" tall and love the overall capabilities and functionality of the L47, especially the crawl, single swivel seat, etc. Comes at a premium understood and that is a lot of machine. But, also feel the the L4701 (probably even the L3901) and MX5400 are more than adequate for what our needs will be.

The little boy in me just wants to get the L47 that will fulfill any possible need for the foreseeable future, but is that the "adult" choice given my criteria? :)

I know this question gets asked all the time I'm sure, but I truly appreciate all the advice from you very knowledgeable group of folks.

thank you!
 
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jimh406

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Lifetime Member

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Kubota L2501 with R4 tires
Jan 29, 2021
1,062
706
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Western MT
If your area is like mine, a smaller machine is going to have issues with rock. I think that means the backhoe will be almost useless. You can dig holes for planting trees with a post hole digger. I would consider the MX for the cab. The cab is useful for not only weather but also dust when digging and of course, insects.
 

mofaster

New member
Jan 12, 2022
4
1
3
Arizona
If your area is like mine, a smaller machine is going to have issues with rock. I think that means the backhoe will be almost useless. You can dig holes for planting trees with a post hole digger. I would consider the MX for the cab. The cab is useful for not only weather but also dust when digging and of course, insects.
Jim, thank you for the response. There was a mini-excavator that came out to do a percolation test and he had difficulties with getting below 4'. Do you think even the very capable L47 BH configuration would be useless?
 

jyoutz

Well-known member

Equipment
MX6000 HST open station, FEL, 6’ cutter, forks, 8’ rear blade, 7’ cultivator
Jan 14, 2019
999
490
63
Edgewood, New Mexico
Jim, thank you for the response. There was a mini-excavator that came out to do a percolation test and he had difficulties with getting below 4'. Do you think even the very capable L47 BH configuration would be useless?
I would buy a tractor to handle everything except digging and go rent a full sized backhoe for serious excavation.
 
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MapleLeafFarmer

Active member

Equipment
Lots incl. B and L kubotas
Dec 2, 2019
186
102
43
E.
I would recommend you pencil out what each of your choices will cost you.

You may be surprised how for not much more $'s your dream machine maybe within your reach.

Especially since these machines hold their value so well. I sold a 8 year old TLB for almost what I paid for it!! and had a hoot and enjoyed it every hour / every time I turned the key to the right.
 

rc51stierhoff

Well-known member

Equipment
B2650, MX6000
Sep 13, 2021
418
251
63
Ohio
Lots of good advice. Sounds like a great problem to have. I’d also add if you are not an equipment operator and or don’t have way to grade the property correctly for your weather, think long and hard not to have a pro do it. I have no experience out west other than I have have been in some dust storms and also very severe flash floods…honestly flash flood scared me pretty good. Flash floods is different from what most people deal with in terms of erosion. That being said if there is potential for that I am not sure that you don’t want to contact a pro about what materials to use and the proper grade. Last thing you want in water coming in the dream home or washing away base/upsetting foundation. I am not suggesting don’t get trsctor, absolutely get what you want…I am back in sandbox like a little kid on mine. It’s stress relief…just be realistic about what is your limitations and if you need a pro pay for the pro. A pro will do those tasks in short order and do them properly…may be worth while to get an estimate to see what it is compared to the upgrade price? Either way buy more tractor that You need today…from what you described I doubt you will wish you bought smaller. I hope I helped.
 

JimmyJazz

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Equipment
B2601
Aug 8, 2020
786
417
63
Pittsburgh, Pa
I have renovated many houses for my personal use and my observation is that hiring a professional equipment operator with his own backhoe or excavator is worth every penny. First off, The Kubota backhoe unit costs $10,000. After you plant some trees and maybe dig some water lines and maybe dig a septic system you will be tripping over it in your garage and wondering what to do with it (don't ask me how I know all this). There is risk and skill involved in digging lines and holes. A pro will have that done in short order and assume the liability associated with hitting unknown underground hazards. 8 acres is not a lot of land. If its desert as you stated there is perhaps even less need for a tractor. I suggest a smaller tractor with no backhoe. Hire the rest done. I think you will be just as happy and further ahead financially. Good luck.
 
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mofaster

New member
Jan 12, 2022
4
1
3
Arizona
All great advice and perspective, much appreciated.

I do agree, that there is no compromise to having a professional perform the high tier work that you can't afford to not have done right. 100% agree with many of you on that point.

Yes, in southern Arizona we get monsoon rains and flash floods, but my land is not in a flood plain and that is not of concern.

Looks like I need to do some more homework, but I do appreciate all the great advice and responses from everyone.
 

mikester

Well-known member

Equipment
M59 TLB
Oct 21, 2017
1,542
565
113
Canada
www.divergentstuff.ca
Do yourself a favour - buy a used full sized construction TLB, finish building your house, then sell it for what you paid for it and and buy yourself a nice new cabbed Ag CUT. BTDT

If you start with a CUT you are 1. going to be disappointed, and 2. likely to break it.

Read this thread
 

Cranblue

Member
Feb 23, 2019
60
10
8
Lincolnton NC
Thanks all in advance. This is my first foray into the tractor community. I own 8 acres of desert property in the Southwest. It is flat, no grade really, but about 3-4' down is rock (common for area).

We are building a new home, guest home, and RV garage on this site and I feel a tractor will help tremendously for years to come, and for doing some of the house site prep work. Here are the things I feel will be on the list:

Digging utility and water lines
Digging Septic
Moving Saguaros and brush
Preparing a garden
Planting trees
Creating and maintaining an ingress/egress road
General property maintenance

I definitely want a TLB configuration and am willing to pay a little more for a more capable unit that will fill any future need and provide good resale value on the back end if need to sell. I'm 6'4" tall and love the overall capabilities and functionality of the L47, especially the crawl, single swivel seat, etc. Comes at a premium understood and that is a lot of machine. But, also feel the the L4701 (probably even the L3901) and MX5400 are more than adequate for what our needs will be.

The little boy in me just wants to get the L47 that will fulfill any possible need for the foreseeable future, but is that the "adult" choice given my criteria? :)

I know this question gets asked all the time I'm sure, but I truly appreciate all the advice from you very knowledgeable group of folks.

thank you!
Have been very impressed with BH 92 on my L4701 ran full size BH and Excavator for years.When I purchased my BH it was like 6,200 two half years ago. Your not going to set world on fire but it’s very capable attachment Kubota builds it very well heavy duty no doubt.I have know regrets buying it…
 

fried1765

Well-known member

Equipment
Kubota L48 TLB, Ford 1920 FEL, Ford 8N, SCAG Liberty Z, Gravely Pro.
Nov 14, 2019
1,141
799
113
Eastham, Ma
Thanks all in advance. This is my first foray into the tractor community. I own 8 acres of desert property in the Southwest. It is flat, no grade really, but about 3-4' down is rock (common for area).

We are building a new home, guest home, and RV garage on this site and I feel a tractor will help tremendously for years to come, and for doing some of the house site prep work. Here are the things I feel will be on the list:

Digging utility and water lines
Digging Septic
Moving Saguaros and brush
Preparing a garden
Planting trees
Creating and maintaining an ingress/egress road
General property maintenance

I definitely want a TLB configuration and am willing to pay a little more for a more capable unit that will fill any future need and provide good resale value on the back end if need to sell. I'm 6'4" tall and love the overall capabilities and functionality of the L47, especially the crawl, single swivel seat, etc. Comes at a premium understood and that is a lot of machine. But, also feel the the L4701 (probably even the L3901) and MX5400 are more than adequate for what our needs will be.

The little boy in me just wants to get the L47 that will fulfill any possible need for the foreseeable future, but is that the "adult" choice given my criteria? :)

I know this question gets asked all the time I'm sure, but I truly appreciate all the advice from you very knowledgeable group of folks.

thank you!
3 years ago I upgraded to a 251 hour 2006 L48 TLB (48hp-11'dig).
I had owned a Ford 3400 TLB (47hp-10' dig) for the 33 years prior.
I am a (now very) old homeowner with just 12 acres.
Both machines were/are more than I needed (except for two septic systems).
I did not want a full size TLB due to restricted maneuverability in the woods.

The bottom line: I would not even consider a less capable (smaller) machine.
The older I get the more I enjoy ALL the capabilities of my L48 TLB .
It has: 3rd function, hyd. thumb, BH quick connect, 3 rear remotes, hyd. diverter, hydraulic SSQA locking (no dismount required, for forks or bucket latch-unlatch).

Am now shopping for a smaller second BH quick connect bucket (original is 24").
Best price I can find on a new 16" quick connect bucket is $1,100+ delivered...OUCH!
Used seems to fall into the unobtainable category on CL, or from a dealer.
Either new or used, shipping is significant cost for me, since I am in the North Eastern reaches of the US.
 
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