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Starting my search for a SCUT

4202 Views 79 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  MARK (LI)
Just beginning my search into subcompact tractors. I've wanted one for a few years, but struggled to justify the price, as I've been getting by with my old Wheel Horse garden tractor and my Cub Cadet lawn tractor on my property that's a little over an acre. Really, the tractor would have been useful for a couple years now as we've been hit with EAB and have been working on removing the dead ash trees from my property. We started with 86, and have about 20 left to go. We also have added a greenhouse, expanded the garden, and gotten a small flock of chickens.
In the future, we are looking into possibly getting a PTO stump grinder as opposed to paying someone to come grind stumps for us.
We are planning on extending the garden once more, adding more chickens, doing landscaping (redo the paver patio, add a gazebo, fire pit, and maybe a small koi pond), and planting a bunch more fruit trees. Right now, we have pear, apple, and peach.

Things I would like to be able to do:
Move mulch, stone,sand, etc around my property so a loader is important. I'd also like to be able to use the loader to unload or load heavier objects in the back of my truck so I don't always have to ask a neighbor for help.
Add and maintain an in ground garden
Post hole digger for fence posts and probably to use to plant trees. (We will plant probably 30-40 trees)
Move logs/help with firewood processing
Use PTO to grind stumps, 4’ tiller, and maybe a chipper in the future
I will probably use for snow removal as well. I have a 38" walk behind snow blower, soI would probably start with just a bucket.
I'll also pull my utility trailer and splitter around my property.
I probably won't use it to mow as I have a nice lawn tractor and would just assume to put the $3k for a deck towards a zero turn when I'm ready to replace the cub.

I would love a grapple and a backhoe, butI probably won't get those due to expense. I will likely rent a mini excavator when it comes time to dig the koi pond, then use the tractor for everything else. I’m thinking about starting with tractor, loader and ballast (load tires and/or ballast box). I’ll use a post hole digger soon so would probably go with that and forks right away, possibly a tiller, but I may wait until after the stumps are ground before making a larger garden.

I stopped and looked at a 1025R and then went to the Massey dealer and looked at a GC1725M. Both were nice. I felt the JD was more comfortable, but I liked how quickly the MF could move the hydraulics. I haven't really looked closely at specs, but I felt both would probably do what I want. Surprisingly the MF was only $500 less than the JD and the JD dealer is way closer.
I have primarily been looking at the 25HP models to maximize PTO power for implements like stump grinding that I imagine would benefit from as much power as I had.
I was thinking about looking at Kubota and maybe LS or TYM, but those dealers are all farther away. Is there anything I should be looking at or asking about when I'm looking? I just want to make sure I cover my bases.
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You are very much on the right track with the GC and 1025R. I would recommend a trip to the Kubota dealer to check out a BX (2380 or 2680) as well.

But do not under-value the convenience of having good dealership support nearby. The best tractor in the world will need dealer support and/or parts from time to time. If it is a logistical ordeal to trailer the machine back to the dealer, or even to drive there for parts, that is a big ownership downer.

This may be a non-issue for you since you are not planning to buy a BH. But of note on the BX machines, you cannot add an oem BH to a 2380 or 2680 later if you change your mind. You need to go all in on the 23S to get a BH upfront, or accept that you will have to trade later if your needs change and you want the oem BH. I do not know whether the same is true with the MF GC series. But JD will sell a BH for the 1025r to you later if you want to add one. (At least they used to. Worth double checking!)
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I don’t think I’d want an implement on the back all the time, and My driveway is paved… but needs to be replaced so if I just continue to let it go I might end up with a gravel drive in time. 😂 I do have some right spaces that having something hanging off the back all the time would not be ideal so maybe a ballast box is best for me?
Yeah, in my tight operating and storage areas, having a large implement hanging off the rear of the tractor all the time would be a hassle.

In addition to being very compact, a ballast box can double as a handy “trunk” for hauling tools, extra fuel, etc, even when full of ballast. The ballast (if using steel, lead, or concrete) usually only partially fills the ballast box, leaving plenty of extra space for odds and ends.
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Caution - personal opinions below!!!

I think you might be selling yourself short if you don’t at least LOOK at kubota and the aforementioned Kioti, and maybe the LS and TYM, maybe even Mahindra. Those last three brands will be cheaper than the others, and they’re usually great machines especially for the price. But I’m on this forum way more than I should be and have read many stories about chronic issues (major and minor) with all brands of machines. Those stories tend to be from a non-proportional ratio of Mahindra, LS, and TYM. Kioti seems to be a little higher quality than the other 3 (LS, TYM, Mahindra). You might find that the loader lift capacity for JD, Kubota, and Massey is within a few lbs, and the other brands are much higher. I feel those are inflated numbers and that capacity REALLY pushes the limits of the machines, whereas the Big 3 brands are a little more conservative to help preserve the life of the machines and safety of the operator. (Hint - loader lifting capacity can be increased without major upgrades to the machine).

If I were in your shoes, I’d look at all the brands but I’d really only consider Kubota, MF, JD, and maybe Kioti in that order but that’s just me. I’ve played with SCUT and CUT for a lot of years with a few different implements, but never a stump grinder. IMHO a stump grinder is only good for grinding stumps. A backhoe on a SCUT is a lot of power in a really small package and won’t have any trouble digging out even a medium to good sized ash stump since the roots just tend to rot. The backhoe will also do A LOT of other things, especially when equipped with a thumb, although the choice to rent the mini ex to dig the pond would likely be a wise one (I’ve run one and would take it over a backhoe any day except $$$).

Also if you ever deem your projects complete, a SCUT with loader and backhoe or even just a factory backhoe setup for a common machine (think Kubota and Deere in particular) is incredibly easy to sell. Not sure about the stump grinder. Someone looking for a used factory backhoe might not be picky about having the exact swivel seat or the exact roll bar or the other things a TLB is factory equipped with.

Controversially, I’m also a big advocate of the rear mounted snowblower. Cheap, simple, universal, easy to install, and you don’t need to choose between a front end loader or a snowblower… you can run both simultaneously. Also with the front mounted, you’re pretty limited to like one or two models the factory offers for your model tractor. You can easily run a 60” blower, but I think the largest unit the factory offers for front mounted is 54”… and prepare to pay several thousand for it. You can find a good used 60” rear mount for under $1k usually. But I don’t mind turning around to operate the tractor.

Again just my humble opinion but to summarize, I’d be after the TLB from one of the big 3.
“Again just my humble opinion but to summarize, I’d be after the TLB from one of the big 3.”

Sound advice here. However, I would also add Yanmar to my short list, if there is a good dealership in your vicinity.
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Absolutely makes great firewood. I put a stand out front and have been selling bags. Makes more money and seems to sell better than bulk since I don't offer delivery.
Clever! You must live on a road with decent traffic volume, then? Just price it a couple bucks less than the grocery store and bingo!
I wouldn’t get too hung up on lift capacity specs. Different manufacturers often use different rating standards, so it’s not always an apples-to-apples comparison. Pretty much any current SCUT with an FEL and 3PH will be a big help around your property with heavy lifting chores.

Even a garden tractor with an FEL is a back-saver. I can’t tell you how many times mine has turned a 2-4 person job into something I can easily manage on my own:

Plant Tire Wheel Tractor Vehicle

Car Vehicle Tire Wheel Automotive tire

Tire Plant Motor vehicle Wheel Vehicle

When lifting any heavy object, it’s every bit as important to have adequate rear ballast as it is to have lift capacity. Whatever machine you end up with, plan to make an investment in a ballasting system:

Tire Wheel Vehicle Automotive tire Plant
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That's a great idea. I actually need to find a local scrap yard anyway as I have a non-working fridge and some old brake rotors I need to dump.
Your new scut can help you load those!
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I just re-read your original post. For as much 3pt work you’ll be doing (and apologies if it’s been mentioned already and I missed it), you might want to ensure your machine has position control on the 3pt. It’s been awhile since I’ve been SCUT shopping, but I’m not sure if too many SCUTs are equipped with it. It allows for much more user friendly 3pt operation. Usually it’s a feature reserved for the next step up, which truth be known don’t have a much larger footprint than the 1025r, BX, or GC size machines, such as the Kubota B series.
JD 1025R (but not 1023E) has a position control 3PH. As does the Yanmar SCUT (I believe.)

The BX machines don’t have position control but they do have a “quarter inching valve” that permits better control over the rate of decent for the 3PH, allowing for fine tuning if not perfect repeatability.
I think those thing are all reasonable to wish for and honestly as I'm looking at tractors I'm asking about 3rd function, grapple, and rear remote. One thing I really like about the SA325 is the two rear remotes. The only thing I won't get here if I go Yanmar is SSQA... unless I pay extra to adapt it. I'm not sure if it's worth switching or not. I think for the front I will want:
pallet forks
snow pusher/plow
stump bucket

I think out of this list, a plow can be had and my dealer said they can get a stump bucket from HLA. It's more expensive than others I've looked at though. I think I'd probably either switch to SSQA right away before buying a grapple, or I'd just stick with Yanmar QA and adapt just the stump bucket. It is something to think about.

I'm also trying to determine what I would need for rear ballast. I know this will vary from tractor to tractor. I like liquid as it's out of the way, but it would also be nice to be able to remove ballast when not needed so I'm not impacting my lawn anymore than necessary.
Liquid ballast in tires would only be a minimal starting point. It’s more for traction and stability than for counterbalancing a front load. If you get an FEL, you WILL need rear ballast unless you only plan on lifting very lightweight loads. If you plan to use the full FEL lift capacity, rear ballast is a must.

A 3PH ballast box is a great way to add rear ballast. As is a weight rack such as a Heavy Hitch. Some owners prefer to purchase a rear implement and use it for rear ballast instead. However that can be awkward in tight operating areas.
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Whether you end up with a Yanmar or Kubota, either way you will have a top-notch tractor. The B2601 is a very nice machine. The 3-speed transmission is a real bonus. 👍
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