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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I am planning on upgrading my 870 to something newer with a cab, loader, and hydrostatic transmission. I stopped by a local JD dealer, and tried to get some info on both a 3 series and a 4 series. The only fella that I could find to speak with was a person from the parts counter.

I know the 3 is considered a medium size, and the 4 is a large size frame. I also understand that the loader on a 4 series will lift more than the 3.

What I don’t really know, is how the cabs may be different....he thought they were close to the same size and feature, but wasn’t positive. He also couldn’t tell me much of what HP to look at....only that we both knew these won’t pull a plow like a comparable HP two cylinder.

I consider myself in a decent spot attachment wise, as I don’t have many. If I went with the 3 series, I am guessing I could use everything I have. If I go with a 4 series, I would have to upgrade a couple pieces.

So, I could use either size tractor at our place. My wonder is, has anyone bought a 3 series, and wished they had gotten the bigger 4 series, or has anyone bought a 4 series and found they would have rather had a 3?

I am appreciative of any help from you all....feel it is better than trying to get info from the dealer.
 
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I had a 2007 JD 790. I believe it’s a similar size of your 870. I upgraded to a 4044R open station so I can’t answer your cab question. Our weather isn’t that extreme to make me want a cab. I bought the R series for the removable loader as my 790 had that and I removed it a lot. The R includes other useful options too. A friend of mine bought a 3025E and the 3 series is just slightly larger than my 790 was. Of course you can get more HP, up to 39, but the size and weight of the tractor remains the same. For me a 3 series seemed more like a lateral move. I believe the 3 series has an aluminum rear housing, where the 4 series is cast iron. Someone will correct me if I’m wrong.

The 4 series is considerably larger than the 3 series. But I’ve found that my 4044R is nearly as maneuverable as my old 790 was. With loaded R4 tires, it weighs nearly 6000 lbs. A cabbed unit is going to weigh more. I worked up an acre of a hayfield last summer and I had no problems pulling an old chisel plow sunk in a foot. R1’s would pull a lot better, but the R4’s had pretty good traction. As far as loader lifting ability, I can pick things up with the 4044R that I couldn’t even budge with the 790. You just want to have proper rear ballast. The 4 series has 3 HP choices, a 44, 52 and 66.

You don’t say what your intended use is, the size of your property etc. Are you going to park it inside? A cabbed 4 series is 10 ft high. I have 8 acres of which 5 acres is a hayfield and 3 acres have the house and shop with 200 mature oak trees scattered around.

Good luck with your search. There are a several members here that should be able to help you with your cab questions.
 
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I have had both series, the cabs seem to be the same size. I should have bought the 4 series the first time. The 4 has the right amount of power, weight and maneuverability, individual rear service controls and is not tippy at all.


John Deere 4066R
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys! We have 14 acres here, some trees, but mostly open fields, so loader work, snowblower work, and cutting down grass will be this tractors duty.

JDLTG, you do bring up a good point, I have been unable to find the height of the cabs, I plan to keep it inside, but have a 10‘ high door. If a 4 series is truly 10‘ high, you may have picked which one I will be looking at.
 

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I have been unable to find the height of the cabs, I plan to keep it inside, but have a 10‘ high door. If a 4 series is truly 10‘ high, you may have picked which one I will be looking at.
I saw it somewhere, maybe someone posted the height dimension on here. It might have been a thread asking about height differences with R1’s versus R4’s. My shop doors are 10’ high and my ROPS has about 6” clearance. Theres quite a few members with cabbed 4 series, so maybe they’ll give you an accurate height.
 

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The 3 and 4 series cabs are identical, you have to get a 5 series or larger for a bigger cab.
 

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The 4 series does have a cast iron rear axle vs aluminum on the 3 series. The cab height is only 8ft, not 10ft. Cabs are the same between the 3 and 4 series. There are several members on here who have upgraded to a 4 series from something smaller and seem to go with a cab when they do. The lifting power is amazing on the 4 series, in fact, enough so that you will need a decent amount of rear ballast, at least 1000# to lift it's maximum. Most of the summer, my 110 inch RFM is on my 4066R and it weighs 1500#. With it on the rear, I run out of lifting power before I run out of ballast.

When I have the 10ft brush hog on the rear that weighs 1750#, I need the bucket on the loader for front ballast. I normally drop the bucket or forks and run with just the loader arms to not have that excess hanging out in front of the tractor. Two levers and drop them as I have the optional SSQA (skid steer) connections on the loader and highly recommend them as it allows you to have many more options for loader attachments and at cheaper prices. Plus nearly every other manufacturer is already using SSQA and you can swap attachments with your neighbor. I have a smooth bucket and a neighbor has a skid steer with a bucket that has teeth. He has had occasion to need a smooth bucket for back dragging and I have had occasion to need a bucket with teeth to dig better, so we have a swap agreement. I can't swap with a neighbor that has a 3 series Kubota as I would tear up his bucket. Too light duty.

With a 4066R, pretty much if you can hook up to it, you can do it. I hooked up to my neighbors 25ft gooseneck trailer recentlly and pulled it 6 miles over hills to his place. Probably weighed around 6000#. I have ball mounts on front and rear so I can move trailers as necessary. As you can see, it can handle some pretty heavy/big stuff. In my opinion, the 4 series no longer belongs in the compact tractor class. I went to a tractor plow day recently with my 3pt 2 bottom plow and it did not even work it hard. I am looking to upgrade to a 3 bottom plow. The problem is the R4 tires. In some tough soil, I won't be able to use more than the 2 bottom plow due to lack of traction. Normal plowing is done in A range, but I was able to plow in B range when I wanted to. The dirt really went flying when I did that. It was pretty soft soil.

I have had my 4066R cab 6 years and 750 hours. I have pretty much done anything with it that you can do and am still trying to find it's limit. I would have had several breakdowns with a 3 series. The price difference between a 3046R and a 4066R is not that much, but the tractor difference is substantial. You know the old saying "Go big or go home". If you go with a 3 series, you will always wish you went with a 4 series. 4066R cab with loader and 220# of wheel weights is about 6000#. That cast iron rear axle is heavy. 6ft wide and 8ft tall.

Dave
 

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Ok, you made me curious so I went out and measured my overall height. It didn’t make sense that a cab would be higher or lower than an open station with the ROPS in the up position. From the top of the ROPS to the ground is 8’ 7”. So I have 17” clearance under my shop doors.
 

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I have had both as well. Now I have a pair of 4Rs .
Simply said 4Rs are just night and day more capable then the 3R .
Increased loader lift capacity alone is a huge difference.
770229
 

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I got my cabbed 3039R 2 years ago.

Here is why I bought a 3R instead of a 4R:
  1. Price. I could have afforded a 4R, but I am also mindful of my money, and have used the price difference to cover part of the cost of the attachments that I have gotten (snowblower, front blade, back blade, loader, pallet forks, wood chipper) and am still planning to get.
  2. Size & weight. My 3039R fits on the tandem axle trailer that I currently have, but a 4R would have required me to get a new trailer.
  3. Future needs. Like most people, I subscribe to the "bigger is better" idea. But in my specific case, I cannot foresee any future need which would be better satisfied by a 4R compared to my 3R.
  4. Ability to use a front snowblower. This was an absolute requirement for me. The 3R has the option of a front PTO, while I don't believe you can get one on a 4R (someone please correct me if I am wrong).
The only thing I would do differently is to have gotten more HP, i.e. the 3046R, because you can never have enough power when blowing snow. Heck, a 3099R would sound pretty good to me at the moment. :LOL:
 

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I absolutely love my 3046r 1st year with cab blowing snow and it’s a game changer. Had a 2520 open station for 15 years loved that tractor as well.
E17C3FD5-0BA3-4B7C-A1DC-538411E5DCDF.jpeg
 

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Went from 770 to 4044R about a year ago. Checked out the three series and didn't like the feel, seemed choppy (Fore and Aft) and less stable than the 4 series, could just be me. Got it with cab and air seat, both recommended. Of course the down side on 4 series, no mid pto, but I don't miss it, the 770 had it. Bought a Woods 3 point finish mower, worked out well. Only regret, should of went with the 4066R, the 4044R doesn't seem to have that much more power then the old 770. Anyways, I could be barely afford to get into the 4 series, so I went with the 4044R. Anyways, that's my two cents. Oh, one more thing don't get those R4 tires if possible, they have better options now that I didn't have back then.
 

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I got my cabbed 3039R 2 years ago.

Here is why I bought a 3R instead of a 4R:
  1. Price. I could have afforded a 4R, but I am also mindful of my money, and have used the price difference to cover part of the cost of the attachments that I have gotten (snowblower, front blade, back blade, loader, pallet forks, wood chipper) and am still planning to get.
  2. Size & weight. My 3039R fits on the tandem axle trailer that I currently have, but a 4R would have required me to get a new trailer.
  3. Future needs. Like most people, I subscribe to the "bigger is better" idea. But in my specific case, I cannot foresee any future need which would be better satisfied by a 4R compared to my 3R.
  4. Ability to use a front snowblower. This was an absolute requirement for me. The 3R has the option of a front PTO, while I don't believe you can get one on a 4R (someone please correct me if I am wrong).
The only thing I would do differently is to have gotten more HP, i.e. the 3046R, because you can never have enough power when blowing snow. Heck, a 3099R would sound pretty good to me at the moment. :LOL:
You are mostly correct. The only way to run a front mounted snow blower is mounting the blower to the loader and running a 3PH hydropack that runs off the PTO, which then requires hoses run up to the front. Extremely expensive as well. Hard to justify unless you're doing commercial work. My 5 series with a cab and R1 tires is just shy of 9' BTW.
 
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I went with a 4052r cab. I wanted comparatively the same specs as my last tractor yanmar lx4100. Tractor doesn't disappoint but the cab around you takes some time to get used to if you had an open station tractor. Its nice just different to operate.

If you do any loader work your probably going to want larger. Just have to match what you need to do.
 

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I have a 3046R with the deluxe cab/air ride seat. Love it! I rarely use the heat in South Carolina, but I love the A/C and Sirius in the summer time. I would have stepped up to the 4066R, but no mid-PTO was offered and the belly mower was a must have. I sometimes wonder how a rear finish mower would have worked on the 4R, but I am quite happy.

Jeff
 

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I have a 3046R with the deluxe cab/air ride seat. Love it! I rarely use the heat in South Carolina, but I love the A/C and Sirius in the summer time. I would have stepped up to the 4066R, but no mid-PTO was offered and the belly mower was a must have. I sometimes wonder how a rear finish mower would have worked on the 4R, but I am quite happy.

Jeff
I will give you something to think about regarding the mid PTO. You are limited to a 72 inch mid mount mower. With the rear mower, you are unlimited. I bought the biggest one I could get, a Befco 110 inch, so every pass, I take about a 3 ft wider swath. I have no issues with a rear mount mower. All my other implements are rear mount anyway.

Dave
 
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