I’m new here but have been reading the forums for some time now. I’m finally ready to purchase my first tractor and could use some outside opinions! Sorry in advance for the long post! Looking forward to hearing your responses!
My wife and I recently purchased a new house out in the country. The previous owners renovated the house but completely neglected the outside property. As it is, we’ve got a lot of work to do. We have about 4.5 acres, 1.5 acre of which we mow, and the other 3 acres are wild, overgrown fenced pasture. We have a good sized 4 stall animal barn and a 500’ partially paved driveway. Not many trees but the land has gentle rolling hills. The ground is very rough in spots from a combination of left-over tree root systems, large semi-buried rocks (boulders), old post holes, oddly placed ridges and dips, trenching runs for utilities, ruts, etc. Currently we mow it with my father’s old JD 145 garden tractor. It takes forever and because the ground is so rough it really sucks to mow with it.
Plans for the property and tractor use:
• Retain the ability to mow with a belly mower.
• Re-grade the land in the yard to level out all the rough spots. Pretty much the entire yard will have some sort of surface grading done at some point. It really is that bad lol.
• Re-grade the land right next to the house to fix some water runoff issues we have (This is a big project. Not big enough for a backhoe or dozer, but we will be moving A LOT of dirt around.)
• Dig out and redo the 250’ section of gravel driveway.
• Dig out, level, and regrade the perimeter and interior dirt floor of the barn to fix water runoff issues.
• Pull out old fence posts and dig new post holes. Likely the whole perimeter of the property.
• Bush hogging of the pasture.
• Tilling out and maintaining a large garden.
• We plan to have some livestock in a few years once our projects are done. Likely a small collection (herd, flock?) of goats and a meat cow or two. 4-H projects for the kids, etc.
• And of course, whatever else one can imagine might pop up on a small hobby farm lol.
Additionally, there is an adjacent 7-acre plot of land behind our house that we plan on buying as soon as we can talk the owners into selling it. It is also a wild, overgrown pasture with lots of small to medium shrubs and briars. That would bring our total land to just over 10-11 acres. No woods, so no logging or creating trails and stuff to worry about for now. When we get the additional land, we will expand the yard to about 3 acres or so, giving us more to finish mow.
Now to the fun part, spend my money! I’ve researched as much as my eyes would let me and have pretty much decided on JD. Good brand recognition, good local dealer support, great parts availability, best mower deck mounting, good ergonomics, etc. All the real farmers in my area use JD or Case and Case doesn’t make a CUT so… My second choice would probably be Kioti but the dealer is about 50 miles away and I don’t care for the manual labor deck mounting and the front exposed steering gear.
• + Good size, maneuverable.
• + Cheapest of my 3 choices, most money left over for attachments. Still have money left over after purchase.
• + Small enough to trailer with my current truck if I REALLY need to (I have a Ford Ranger, so even the 1025R is probably pushing it. No way will I be able to trailer the larger tractors.)
• + Popular. Depends on who you ask, but the 1025R and the similar Kubota SCUT are the top selling tractors in the class.
• - Small tires and lower ground clearance. Rough ride on rough ground.
• - Looks like a garden tractor on steroids.
• - Lacks the power and weight to run 5’ implements safely and effectively.
• - Limited CAT-1 hitch. Might have issues running a hole auger that I need.
• - Low(er) lifting capacity on both loader and 3-pt.
• -Might not be “enough” tractor once we have the full 11 acres and are using it for more farm-type stuff than just cutting grass.
• + Larger tires and more ground height.
• + Better operator visibility.
• + More weight for more stability. Might be able to run certain 5’ implements.
• + Slightly more 3pt lift capacity
• + Looks more like a real tractor vs. 1025R
• - Same powertrain as 1025R with same limitations.
• - Same loader as 1025R
• - Costs about $2500 more than the 1025R but not much more capability other than bigger tires.
• -Most people seem to just skip the 2025R and get the 2032 or 2038. I’ve read this on the internet forums and have been told the same thing by two different dealers.
• - Won’t be able to trailer it currently.
• + Even larger tires and ride height. Smoothest ride.
• + Enough power to run whatever implement I would need.
• + Looks like a real tractor. (We all know looks mean everything!)
• + Command Cut feature for the MMM.
• + More standard features that cost extra on the smaller tractors.
• + Much better hydraulics and lifting capacity vs the smaller tractors.
• + Won’t outgrow the tractor nearly as soon as I might a 1025R.
• - Cost. Either of these tractors blow my budget out of the water. I’ll be able to get the MMM and the FEL and that’s about it until later.
• - Size. Will be rather large and probably overkill for mowing the 1.5 acres of grass.
• - I won’t be trailering this bad boy until I can get a HD pickup. Which will be a while.
• - More potential maintenance issues in the future due to DPF and turbo (2038R).
The finance committee has approved up to $30K for this purchase. We can pay cash for it but will likely take advantage of the zero financing for the tractor and attachments so we can keep the money in the bank for emergencies.
I’d like to eventually have the following attachments (in order of importance):
• FEL (will purchase with tractor)
• MMM (purchase with tractor)
• Box blade
• PTO Tiller
• Bush hog (either rent or buy used)
• Land rake
• Post hole digger (probably just rent it)
• PTO generator
My thought process started at the 1025. But I really want a bigger tractor for the weight, height, stability, and loader capacity. So I went to the 2025. Realized it was basically the same thing as the 1025 without any more power or capability. Started looking at the 2032. Has everything I’m looking for as far as a tractor goes. Then saw that the 2038 has even more power and PTO HP for ONLY ~$1500 more. Thought to myself this is what I need. Then I saw in person how big it was compared to the 1025 and started second guessing myself, especially after seeing the difference in price. I thought man this thing is really big for a mower. Have to keep reminding myself this is more than a mower; it’s a tractor and we have lots of projects for it other than mowing. If I get the most tractor I can afford, this is it. But is it money well spent?
I thought about getting a ZTR for the mowing but I'd rather not deal with storing and maintaining two machines. Besides, I'm spending big money on a tractor, I want to use it was much as I can to justify it lol.
Sorry again for the long post! Please, share your opinions and help me make up my mind. I probably missed something but I can answer any questions you might have.