The usual CUT suspects versus a Ventrac
Buying a little over 25 acres, stream at the bottom, beaver dams, planted in pines, previously clear cut, overgrown with brush and briars, 30' of slope over property length.
I've already ruled out SCUTs, though I could eventually get a lot of work out of a little Kubota BX25 with loader and hoe, and you can get them used for $10-$12K all day long.
Looked at CUTs, but JD is pricey and poorly designed, Kubotas are ok, but weak for the tasks at hand and forget Mahindra and these other off brands as they are too trouble prone. Additionally, one of my big tasks is brush cutting, and I want a front mounted brush cutter. You can get them, but really need to jump up to something like a 45hp utility tractor.
Big tasks are brush cutting, moving material and old brush piles, maybe a little digging later. Will do some food plot preparation.
Initial thoughts are to get a forestry mulcher out there to cut the property lines - these guys run $1,500 - $2,500 per day but there is no more cost effective option for getting some clearing done quickly. They can do 2-5 acres per day, and while expensive up front, the job is done.
So for the rest of the stuff, I'm leaning towards a Ventrac (ruled out Steiner because they don't have a dealer close enough). They seem expensive up front, but if you look at what they can do and how you would have to outfit a CUT do do the same things, they really aren't more expensive. Nor are they really limited, rather with the articulating and oscillating frame, they have some advantages over a CUT.
The questions then are:
Who has used/owned a Ventrac?
What are your experiences if so?
Am I missing anything by leaning towards a Ventrac versus a CUT (btw, Ventrac considers their tractors a CUT)?