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Kirk Engines, Inc Cub Cadet Used Parts CADET CONNECTION Cub Cadet Specialties Cub Cadet Specialties

Sub-Compact Tractor with Loader

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john.knutson

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John K
I "need" a tractor with a loader. I have 2.3 acres of property and maybe 25% of it could use various amounts of leveling, plus a bunch of brush to deal with.

I love my cub, and a Danco or LoBoy/18x with loader would be awesome, but realistically I think my money will be wiser spent on a more common and currently supported platform.

I've done a bit of googling, and spent some time on YouTube, and am pretty sure a Kubota BX is probably a pretty good choice. I know the Deere 1 series is a contender as well. Mahindra and Kioti do seem interesting, but I've read too many horror stories about breakdowns and lack of dealer support.

Budget: I'd love to get something lightly used for $7k or less with the loader, but that might be unrealistic.

Do folks here have any sage advice for me?

Budget expectations aside, I'd love to know what has worked for others. Implement interchangeability is important to me, mostly with regards to the loader and "bobcat" quick connect, but I think most current gear should work with that since the patent is up.
 

IHinIN

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Apr 27, 2020
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40
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Indiana
My Kubota BX24 is the perfect size for my 1 acre. To get the SSQA on the loader, you’ll need a BX2370 /2670 or newer. It was not an option on the older models like mine.
AE8206FC-7780-454A-9901-C29D018B9286.jpeg
 

IHinIN

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Apr 27, 2020
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Indiana
You should definitely stick with a brand that you can feel confident in getting parts and service in the future. I heard someone at work one day talking about buying a Rural King tractor because they’re cheaper than Kubota and JD. That sounds good until there’s a warranty issue and there’s no dealer to take it to since the stores have no service department.

With JD you have to watch out for their different series with the same model number. The E series is built with cheaper components than the R series.
 

john.knutson

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Minneapolis, MN
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John K
You should definitely stick with a brand that you can feel confident in getting parts and service in the future. I heard someone at work one day talking about buying a Rural King tractor because they’re cheaper than Kubota and JD. That sounds good until there’s a warranty issue and there’s no dealer to take it to since the stores have no service department.
I've read horror stories of "other" brands sitting dead in the yard waiting on parts while the homestead or yard is neglected. I'll be looking for something more widely supported for that exact reason.

New Holland and Case/IH come to mind as alternatives but realistically I don't see their dealers around, while the green and orange ones are plentiful. (and I'm not sure Case even has a current sub compact offering)
 

podenbach

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May 15, 2009
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Porter F. Odenbach
Green paint definitely costs more but the service has been great on my 5603 and the small 3039r. I‘m not sure I would consider anything less than 30hp to run implements and 4x4 is a must have for my deal. I had a 4200 with loader and hoe but I absolutely beat the snot out of it just doing typical ranch work with it. It’s not a bad idea to go a little bigger than what you think you will actually need. Small acreage you might consider renting a machine for a week to knock out your project. I have a down force 3point post hole digger and despite that I rented a skid steer last year to dig 350 6” diameter treated blunt posts in hard pan. It was worth the money to be able to rip out the stuck auger and the reverse function saved me a headache a few times. If you buy new, get a written quote from Kubota then go to Deere as they almost always match it, especially at the end of there fiscal year in October. Have fun with it!
 

john.knutson

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Minneapolis, MN
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John K
Green paint definitely costs more but the service has been great on my 5603 and the small 3039r. I‘m not sure I would consider anything less than 30hp to run implements and 4x4 is a must have for my deal. I had a 4200 with loader and hoe but I absolutely beat the snot out of it just doing typical ranch work with it. It’s not a bad idea to go a little bigger than what you think you will actually need. Small acreage you might consider renting a machine for a week to knock out your project. I have a down force 3point post hole digger and despite that I rented a skid steer last year to dig 350 6” diameter treated blunt posts in hard pan. It was worth the money to be able to rip out the stuck auger and the reverse function saved me a headache a few times. If you buy new, get a written quote from Kubota then go to Deere as they almost always match it, especially at the end of there fiscal year in October. Have fun with it!
thanks for the info!

I've been thinking about doing a rental. If the BX models available have loaders I will definitely try them for the $100/day that they are asking
 

PACub100

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Dec 8, 2019
Messages
114
Location
Woodbury, Pennsylvania
Have you considered a used Bobcat skid steer? Something like a 530?
On the farm growing up we had a 530, now my dad uses a 783. Can't imagine working without one, easily the most used machine...
 

Felton Bohannon

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Apr 19, 2020
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30820
Here in Georgia you can likely find a reconditioned Yanmar for that kind of money. I would get something no smaller than the 2210, and something nearer thirty horses is better than twenty-something. I have a Yanmar 1500, w/o loader, and it will do a lot of work, but I have run into things it can't do either, such as pull a large cedar log that weighs about eight hundred pounds. Those older models tend to be rugged machines, with parts readily available, and they are simple enough to work on, with the help of a level floor and a manual. All of the newer sub-compacts have computer boards in them, some of them quite complex to diagnose. You are not going to work on those yourself, so stick with a dealer with a long history of good service.

For loader work, I bought a Cub Cadet 1863 with a Johnny Bucket on it, and that combo has done an awesome amount of work, and seems adequate for my needs. I did order a tooth bar last week, for the bucket, and it has not arrived. An important point to remember about moving material with either the Johnny Bucket or a loader is that neither one of them is an excavator; the material must be reasonably loose first. For that process, I use a chisel plow on the little Yanmar.
 

Cub Cadet Al

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Joined
Mar 12, 2020
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6
Location
Richland, MI
I've read horror stories of "other" brands sitting dead in the yard waiting on parts while the homestead or yard is neglected. I'll be looking for something more widely supported for that exact reason.

New Holland and Case/IH come to mind as alternatives but realistically I don't see their dealers around, while the green and orange ones are plentiful. (and I'm not sure Case even has a current sub compact offering)
The Case IH and New Holland brands have very robust offerings in the Farmall and Boomer series tractors. Definitely something to research and check out.
 

john.knutson

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Minneapolis, MN
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John K
Have you considered a used Bobcat skid steer? Something like a 530?
On the farm growing up we had a 530, now my dad uses a 783. Can't imagine working without one, easily the most used machine...
I have but so far they seem considerably more expensive than a tractor with a loader, granted it's not an apples to apples comparison. I've not ruled out a skid steer but I am leaning more towards a tractor.

That said, someone in my neighborhood has an old international skid steer, saw him driving it down the road it looked kinda neat.
 

john.knutson

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Minneapolis, MN
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John K
Here in Georgia you can likely find a reconditioned Yanmar for that kind of money. I would get something no smaller than the 2210, and something nearer thirty horses is better than twenty-something. I have a Yanmar 1500, w/o loader, and it will do a lot of work, but I have run into things it can't do either, such as pull a large cedar log that weighs about eight hundred pounds. Those older models tend to be rugged machines, with parts readily available, and they are simple enough to work on, with the help of a level floor and a manual. All of the newer sub-compacts have computer boards in them, some of them quite complex to diagnose. You are not going to work on those yourself, so stick with a dealer with a long history of good service.

For loader work, I bought a Cub Cadet 1863 with a Johnny Bucket on it, and that combo has done an awesome amount of work, and seems adequate for my needs. I did order a tooth bar last week, for the bucket, and it has not arrived. An important point to remember about moving material with either the Johnny Bucket or a loader is that neither one of them is an excavator; the material must be reasonably loose first. For that process, I use a chisel plow on the little Yanmar.
I have heard good things about Yanmar, I wonder if they have a dealer nearby.

Good point on the at-home repairability of older machines. I am looking for something with a good dealer close by if I go newer for that exact reason. I have not ruled out an older machine if I can find something with a good bucket. I do enjoy working on my old Cub! So far the older buckets I've seen on Craigslist are kinda rough.
 

john.knutson

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Minneapolis, MN
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John K
The Case IH and New Holland brands have very robust offerings in the Farmall and Boomer series tractors. Definitely something to research and check out.
I'll check out those lines, I was only seeing pretty large machines when I briefly checked out those brands, maybe I wasn't looking in the right place!

I don't have a pole shed (yet) so ideally I can find something with a fold down ROPS to get it in my garage.
 

john.knutson

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Oct 27, 2019
Messages
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Location
Minneapolis, MN
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John K
Here in Georgia you can likely find a reconditioned Yanmar for that kind of money. I would get something no smaller than the 2210, and something nearer thirty horses is better than twenty-something. I have a Yanmar 1500, w/o loader, and it will do a lot of work, but I have run into things it can't do either, such as pull a large cedar log that weighs about eight hundred pounds. Those older models tend to be rugged machines, with parts readily available, and they are simple enough to work on, with the help of a level floor and a manual. All of the newer sub-compacts have computer boards in them, some of them quite complex to diagnose. You are not going to work on those yourself, so stick with a dealer with a long history of good service.

For loader work, I bought a Cub Cadet 1863 with a Johnny Bucket on it, and that combo has done an awesome amount of work, and seems adequate for my needs. I did order a tooth bar last week, for the bucket, and it has not arrived. An important point to remember about moving material with either the Johnny Bucket or a loader is that neither one of them is an excavator; the material must be reasonably loose first. For that process, I use a chisel plow on the little Yanmar.
I don't think I had heard of the Johnny Bucket until I read your post. I did a little bit of looking into them, they look pretty slick!
 

Felton Bohannon

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Apr 19, 2020
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30820
I have heard good things about Yanmar, I wonder if they have a dealer nearby.

Good point on the at-home repairability of older machines. I am looking for something with a good dealer close by if I go newer for that exact reason. I have not ruled out an older machine if I can find something with a good bucket. I do enjoy working on my old Cub! So far the older buckets I've seen on Craigslist are kinda rough.
These folks in Alabama have a facility where they rework Yanmars of the mechanical sort. If you are using a loader, you want a model that has either hydro or shuttle shift, which lets you go between low and reverse without using the clutch. I have no experience with one, but the reputation is that a shuttle-shift transmission is one of the toughest and puts power on the ground where it is needed.
 

Felton Bohannon

New member
Joined
Apr 19, 2020
Messages
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Location
30820
These folks in Alabama have a facility where they rework Yanmars of the mechanical sort. If you are using a loader, you want a model that has either hydro or shuttle shift, which lets you go between low and reverse without using the clutch. I have no experience with one, but the reputation is that a shuttle-shift transmission is one of the toughest and puts power on the ground where it is needed.
Sorry...forgot the link! All Inventory | Fredricks Outdoor
 

PACub100

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Dec 8, 2019
Messages
114
Location
Woodbury, Pennsylvania
I have but so far they seem considerably more expensive than a tractor with a loader, granted it's not an apples to apples comparison. I've not ruled out a skid steer but I am leaning more towards a tractor.

That said, someone in my neighborhood has an old international skid steer, saw him driving it down the road it looked kinda neat.
Yes, they hold their value rather well. The smaller, gas powered ones are usually reasonable, can be had for $3500-6000 depending on condition. It all depends on how much work you have as well. Those things can make an easy job out of otherwise time consuming tasks, but if it's light work, yeah I can see not justifying the expense.
 

podenbach

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May 15, 2009
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88
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Porter F. Odenbach
I had a Yanmar 336d, nice machine and easy to work on. I replaced the lower front axle gear housings two times each side because it can’t handle the FEL at all. Got sick of it and sold it for pennies. All it was used for was moving around 3x bales inside a barn with slab. John Deere 1050 is basically the same machine. Steer clear if it has these lower housings, you don’t need to be an engineer to see where it fails: LOWER FRONT GEAR CASE- (LEFT SIDE)
 

acocconi

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May 29, 2011
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Alan Cocconi
I'm a Kubota fan. They've been in the states for a very long time and there are a lot of them around, so it's not hard to find parts. I don't own one, but I've seen enough of them to know I like them, for whatever that's worth...
 

kkuhlman

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Mar 16, 2014
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Kevin Kuhlman
I have looked at the JD and the Kubota, the Kubota has a heavier frame than the comparable JD JD model. I have a bx 23 with the backhoe and loader and find it to be a good heavy duty little tractor It is also fairly easy on fuel when running hard all day. Have had it for six years and have really had no issues with it.
 

john.knutson

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Minneapolis, MN
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John K
My wife found a Cub 123 with what looks like a Johnson loader on Facebook. Tractor, loader, a small garden trailer, and a trailer to haul it all are a $3k package. It's certainly appealing given that I love Cubs, and it's a small footprint. It had a weight box and dualies to help offset the loader.

I'm definitely considering it, but also plan to rent a Kubota BX in the next couple of weeks, maybe I will fall in love with that size...
 
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