Originally Posted by queen of spades
I've been looking for a full size tractor to do bush hogging with. My little Yanmar is great for small fields, but I need a bigger machine for bigger areas.
My budget is around 2000-2500, old is fine.. want something with enough power to pull a 5' hog at a pretty good pace. (I have to creep in tall grass with my 19hp yanmar w/ 4' hog). Also need something with a diesel engine.
What do you guys recommend I look for?
If you area requires frequent stopping, backing, three-point turns, etc. - you're going to want a tractor with a live PTO. Without it, brushhogging can get miserable. If all wide open and all you do is go forward with any turning or stopping, then it won't matter much.
Tractor prices can depend a lot on what was popular in your area and what's still around. IH B-275 or IH B-414 tractors have always been the bargain tractors in my area (New York an Michigan). Hi-low trans, live PTO, live hydraulics, and either a 144 or a 154 cube diesel. In average shape, good running, half-bald tires, etc. they often sell for $1500. These tractors have great parts support from Case-IH, Mahindra and aftermarket.
Obviously many other good diesel tractors, but they tend to be more pricey. A Ferguson or Massey Ferguson TO-35, or MF35 has a great engine and great parts support. Some have live PTOs. I would't want one with the Standard diesel, but the Perkin diesels are great.
If you want a Ford? Parts not so common or cheap for the 172 diesels. Later Ford diesels after 1965 are totally different but usually pricey.
If I were to buy the cheapest tractor possible just for straight bush-hogging with no stops or turns involved? In my area, plenty of Case VACs around for less then $1000. VAC has live hydraulics (no diesel and no live PTO) and runs a 5 foot brush-cutter fine.