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Author Topic: Equipment Advice  (Read 912 times)

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Offline mfrankm

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Equipment Advice
« on: May 12, 2016, 05:52:44 PM »
Hello, posting in General because I'm not sure what would be the best forum for this question. (mods please move as you see fit). I am hoping some of you with experience could weigh in on my current conundrum.

I live on 120 acres of family land, 4th generation. Northeast Georgia, southern Appalachian mountains. Not much has been done to the land since the 1930s. Approx. 20 acres are cleared, 100 acres hardwood forest in variable health.

It is time to start cleaning up and selling some timber in the next few years. Main goals would be forest health for the long-term, and making some cash would be nice too. I also would like to get a sawmill eventually and sell small quantities of rough-cut lumber. Firewood sales, mulch, leaf compost, etc. are all on the drawing board as potential sources of modest income. Not trying to make a fortune, but breaking even on taxes and maintenance costs seems feasible withing the next 10 years or so.

For now I am looking at tractors. I need to bush hog ~15ac immediately, hilly fields. Road maintenance and minor grading projects too. Later as I mentioned there will be loader work. The large timber sales will probably be contracted out, but I would like to be able to skid some logs myself as well.

I am looking at a new Kubota MX5200 4wd (45hp pto), gear drive, with loader and 3rd function valve for just under 29k.

Meanwhile, my former employer and friend is offering me a deal that is tough to turn down. His 1997 Ford-New Holland 3930 (2wd) with 800 hrs AND his 2002 John Deere 250 skid steer with 900 hrs, plus 6' Hardee bush hog and a nice 65 gallon sprayer. Package deal, somewhere around 25k (possibly less but he drives a hard bargin).

I'm very torn. On one hand, one new machine to do it all with a warranty seems low maintenance over time. Also, the 4wd Kubota seems like it would be better for skidding logs down the road.

On the other hand, two specialized machines could be nice. The skid steer (which I have operated quite a bit working for him) is very nimble and capable for loader and grapple work, just not so great for skidding logs. And the 2wd tractor would be fine for bush hogging, just not sure about moving logs out of the woods with it either. Also maintenance over time on two used machines is a factor compared to a new Kubota.

And now a dealer told me about a used 2015 4wd gear drive L4701 with grapple, bucket, bush hog only 130 hrs for 28500 cash no tax or fees.

Since the prices are so close I am trying to decide what will be best in the long run. Any advice or opinions would be most welcome and appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Offline POSTON WIDEHEAD

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Re: Equipment Advice
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2016, 07:12:10 PM »
I've never skidded logs but have done my share of bush hogging.
My dad and I have a New Holland 75 hp.
Personally I wouldn't want anything less than the 75 hp we bush hog with.
Where's the Spoon?

Offline thecfarm

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Re: Equipment Advice
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2016, 10:09:03 PM »
Some use a 20ho tractor to get logs out. I myself am lucky,I have a 40hp 4wd to do it. I 2wd can do it alot,we use to get my firewood out with no winch and a 2WD tractor,1954 Ford NAA. Kinda of a bother and slow. But so is an all manual sawmill,which I have.  :)
Model 6020-20hp Manual Thomas bandsaw,TC40A 4wd 40 hp New Holland tractor, 450 Norse Winch, Heatmor 400 OWB,YCC 1978-79

Offline mike_belben

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Re: Equipment Advice
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2018, 07:46:09 AM »
Howd you ever make out on this huge project?
Revelation 3:20

Offline PC-Urban-Sawyer

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Re: Equipment Advice
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2018, 08:11:52 AM »
Since the original poster has not been active on the Forum since the day after posting this item, it is doubtful we'll ever learn anything else about the situation described...

Herb

Offline TKehl

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Re: Equipment Advice
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2018, 11:30:13 AM »
That's a lot of $ to tie up trying to make a profit off 120 acres...

Have you considered hiring someone to do the brush hogging?  Would be about $500 around here to get it done.

We also reserve brushhogging rough areas for an older tractor with older tires.  Nothing like sticking a stob through the sidewall of a new tire!  Have not had to foam fill any yet, but have considered it on the fronts of a 2wd tractor and our skid steer.

If you do some of your own troubleshooting and mechanic work on your vehicles, it'd make a lot more sense getting a decent used tractor instead of new from a profitability standpoint and renting when you need something more specialized.  You have a payment on new stuff if you use it or not.  Repairs can be minimized.  But if you are the type to always buy a new vehicle and can't use a screwdriver, stick to new.  The older stuff (pre electronics) is all pretty easy to work on.  

4wd is nice on a tractor, but not a necessity for most people.  Helps for soggy conditions and loader work, but we got by fine without one until 2 years ago.  Best thing is that they do provide extra engine braking if you have steep hills.

If I were going to make $ on 120 acres of mostly wooded + some pasture, I'd run meat goats or hair sheep to keep brush down and make$.  Then get a used _____  that will work in your woods (truck, tractor, skip loader) plus a band or swing mill.  Offer custom cutting in addition to your own wood.  Expand as business justifies.
Lucas 6-13+slabber, Mr. Sawmill bandmill, orange chainsaws, JD SSL, Case Backhoe, farm tractors, trailers, and 150ish acres of trees.  Fledgling woodshop with CNC router, laser engraver, Woodmaster 712, and a Berlin 108 moulder (project).  Oh, and a lovely (patient) wife and four offbearers.


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