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I'll throw a huge wrench in the mix.

IF my budget was cut off at a 3E, I'd buy a 2038R instead. You get more tractor in the large 2R and the basically the same capacities.
You said it.

That was exactly what I was going to recommend he look at as well.
I would much rather have one of the new large Frame 2Rs then any of the 3Es.

If you really like the slight size increase of the 3 series I would look for a low hour 3039R or 3046R used vs the 25hp E. Even a slightly used 3033R would be ok. I have had both a 3033 and 3039 and the 39 has Turbo and at times that seems or maybe just me, that the turbo really seems to be giving me more then the 6hp the specs claim the differences are. 3033 Was a good machine, I just traded it up to 4066R because I was getting large bat wing mower and needed a min of 45 PTO hp to run it, I really liked my 3039 a little better mainly due to the power advantages it had, so I traded the newer lower hour 3033.

You don't really see major gains in loader lift capacity and overall capability till you hit the 4M and 4R series where the lift capacity nearly triples.
 
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Discussion Starter #42
Fantastic insight gentlemen! Thanks.

I called a different Ag-Pro dealer (Gadsden AL) and spent 50 minutes on the phone with a sales rep who gave me a TON of info and two separate quotes.

So in order to have hydraulic top link and tilt + a backhoe I have to get a Power Beyond Kit, Electric Diverter Kit, EH Third SCV? I'm still a little unclear on the EH Third SCV (BLV10500) vs Dual Selective Control Valve. (I'm giving myself a crash course on Tractor hydraulics right now.)

The first is for a 3033R with hose kit (metal line to the front for the grapple?), 385A Backhoe (Big one with better angles from what I see), rotary cutter, box blade, and Top and Tilt (John Deere offers this from the factory, which I didn't know).


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The 2nd here is for a 3032E with the same setup less Backhoe. He added that he did include the 4th and 5th rear SCV in the event I wanted to run an aftermarket top & tilt. Deere does not currently offer a 3rd function kit to run the grapple but he included the WR Long Kit 3rd function ($1500) to give me the line, I assume (I am clarifying via email).

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So basically I'm looking at 20k more to get a 3033R and a Backhoe. I could buy a used mini-ex for that price.

Most of the included implements are a little lower than I've found aftermarket.

I'll compare a 3032E to a 2038R.

I had wondered if getting a slightly smaller more powerful tractor would work too. The bottom line is there are too many freaking options and models. I've been reading and researching for months and every day I learn something that makes me feel like I know nothing.

I really appreciate all the advice and recommendations that have been provided. I've learned more since I started this thread than I did on my own previously, it's really helping me figure out what I need, what I can afford, and what is available. I do have to say that for a new-to-tractors guy I feel John Deere really obfuscates what they offer and clerarly makes a lot of money on the "Trade-in and Trade-up" game.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
From what I am seeing most of this is going to be exponentially more expensive if I order it from JD and I'd be better off either buying after-market and installing myself or even paying a 3rd party to fabricate lines for me.
 

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I was not 100% sure what your plans were for the box blade.
Before you invest in a new box blade for road work, I would highly recommend you look at a land plane for road maintenance. I got a land plane earlier this year and later sold my box blade. The land plane is so much nicer at maintaining my gravel drives and gravel parking areas. I also use it for leveling out dirt in low spots in the yard where I had dirt hauled into help fill in areas where I had issues with water standing. The land plane is an awesome implement IMO.

If you need a box blade there is really not much to them, a good used one for half the money would likely serve you well.
 
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Discussion Starter #45
@cc1999 Yep! I have been looking at them (land planes). The scarifies on the box blade though seems like it would help to dig into / break up tough compacted soil / gravel. But yes, absolutely can get it with a used one as well.
 

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Just FYI.
I rarely use them but , mine and I am sure many other land planes come with scarifies on them, or are at least an option if you want them.
 
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I had wondered if getting a slightly smaller more powerful tractor would work too. The bottom line is there are too many freaking options
The 2038r is heavier, longer, lifts more, lifts higher than the 3038e. Crazy right?

 

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Discussion Starter #49
So from the factory It'll run me 15k to get a backhoe. I think I'd rather just rent one when I need it for that.

I've got them writing up a quote for a 2038r too so I can compare it.
 

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You might search TTWT 2038R on YouTube, Tim is well respected member here on the forum and has several real world usage videos including several featuring his 2038R, among a lot of other tractor models and implements as well.
Probably one of he best Youtube channels there is for small tractor owners and implement info.
Tractor Time with Tim
 
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This was in my email the other day.

Screenshot_20200630-202457.png
 

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Discussion Starter #52
You might search TTWT 2038R on YouTube, Tim is well respected member here on the forum and has several real world usage videos including several featuring his 2038R, among a lot of other tractor models and implements as well.
Probably one of he best Youtube channels there is for small tractor owners and implement info.
Tractor Time with Tim
I've been a fan of and watching TTWT for years now. :) I just thought the 2 series was too small. Did not know the redesigned 2038R is as big as the 3E series.
 

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My limited 2 cents, after reading this thread twice....

I think you need to nail down exactly what you want in your initial package. Your posted quotes are about as apples and oranges as you can get. If you want a third function make sure its in every quote. If you want a backhoe make sure its in every quote.

If I was buying a "forever" machine an E series would not even be a thought. To me it comes down to 2r vs 3r and frankly if building a forever machine I would buy a 3r with less kit and build over time vs buying a smaller machine. You can always add a grapple down the road or get that box blade later.

For 10k I would just pass on the backhoe, that is a lot of day rentals of a mini ex.

The dealer quotes show the AV20F grapple, I have that grapple on my 2025r and I think you would quickly destroy it on a 3r or similar. Its not junk but its certainly not HD. A better choice would be either an Everything Attachments grapple or the AV20H from frontier.
 

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I have similar uses as you do for my tractor plus plowing snow. I have a 3033R with a mower (I rarely use because the neighbor kid is way faster with his zero turn), regular bucket and a I built a snow bucket (probably not needed in your zip code), backhoe with 9" and 16" buckets, grapple, forks and box blade.

I absolutely love the machine. I use it almost daily. As for the backhoe, yes, it is a very expensive option and is a bit of a pain to put on an remove, and yes, for the price you could do a lot of day rentals. But with my own I use it a lot of times when going and renting one would not make sense. Dig out one tree, dig a test hole, dig a few post holes, plant a tree, move about a yard of clay that you can only reach with the hoe, and so on. I use it a lot, but if I needed rent one every time I would have done a lot of hand shoveling. I just would not take the time and spend the money to go get a small excavator for a 1-2 hour job. Also, with my own, if I need to dig a trench, whatever, and the weather turns, schedule gets upended, no big deal. I don't think you can buy a stand alone excavator for the cost of the hoe as an option. If you can, than do that because the excavator will be the better machine for backhoe use., but I don't think much is available for $10K.

However, the grapple is the real work saver. Life changing is an understatement. Pull up fences, haul and place boulders, haul logs, move brush piles, grading/raking, load dumpsters, pulling out landscape fabric. To remove smaller trees I just push and back and forth until the roots start to break and grab the now horizontal trunk with the grapple and pull it out. Take the whole tree in one shot to the pile where I cut it up for the chipper.

I did buy used, and that more than made up the difference of a new smaller or lessor machine. I have had it about a year now. Use it a lot, and have not had any real problems.
 

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My two cents, yes $10K buys a lot of excavator rental. But factor in scheduling, delivery, and frustration factor dealing with unknown rental equipment issues (oh snap, needs hydraulic fluid, etc). Plus now you are under the gun to complete the task and return.

I'd rather do my digging on my own time and if I have to pause or abort because of some issue, I'm not tossing benjamins in the wind.

I've had my JD4500/460 loader for 20 years now. It's paid for itself many times over during that time. Getting a backhoe for it now. I should have gotten one years ago, it would have been less expensive. :) There have been many times where a backhoe attachment would have made some task trivial instead of a days long endeavor.

Keep in mind, this type of purchase is an investment that will pay for itself over the long term.
 
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