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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, all. I discovered this forum by accident today, and I suspect that I will probably be spending a lot of time here, looking and learning.

I have been looking into buying my first tractor for about a month, and I find myself getting more and more confused.

Here's my situation - I have a small ranch in west Texas, and I am planning on putting some acreage - somewhere between 5 and 20 acres - into cultivation. Initially, I am probably going to just plant wheat for cattle, but may evolve into planting row crops. I want a front end loader for moving feed when necessary, as well as that all important task of loading corn sacks into deer feeders.

I had pretty well decided on a Kubota L3400, but stopped at the John Deere dealer in Lubbock last week to look at a 3038E. It didn't impress me, but the 3520 next to it sure did. The 3520 looks to be a higher end tractor than the L3400, but I'm not too sure it's $4K nicer. It's at the extreme outer limit of my price range. Also, the local John Deere dealer appears to cater more to the cotton farmers and their big rigs, as opposed to the Kubota dealer, who caters more to the compact market.

Given the work that I have planned, I would appreciate any advice as to whether these 2 tractors are appropriate and any comparisons between the two. I would rather get something a little too big than something that's a little too small. In that same vein, the Kubota dealer had two L series tractors taken from its rental fleet, one a 43-hp and the other a 46hp, both in 4WD. They are out of warranty, and I am a little leery of buying a rental tractor, but the price seemed pretty good, about 11K and 14K, respectively - cerrtainly cheaper than either the L3400 or the 3520.

Any thoughts would be most appreciated, including other brands I might have overlooked. Right now I feel that I am suffering from Paralysis by Analysis.


:thanku:
 

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I gotta ask.... Planting wheat for cattle???? How are you going to harvest it?


anyhow... The bigger the better. Not sure if you broke land before, I would get in the 60hp area for that.I would stay away from the hydro drive for that work. Maybe power reverser transmission so you can do loader work easy also.
 

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Jim,

Welcome to the forum! :Welcome1: As you found out, the 3x20 series are deluxe all the way -- though that doesn't come for free. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I gotta ask.... Planting wheat for cattle???? How are you going to harvest it?


anyhow... The bigger the better. Not sure if you broke land before, I would get in the 60hp area for that.I would stay away from the hydro drive for that work. Maybe power reverser transmission so you can do loader work easy also.
Here in west Texas, the wheat is not usually harvested. It is used for grazing. As to the breaking out question, we plan to rent a dozer to do the clearing, as the acreage is currently grown up in mesquite and prickly pear.
 

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Hi Jim,
The usual dilemna everyone goes through, but the trying out part is fun testing out all the different tractors. Besides being fun, it is very important to get the feel of each machine and how it suits you. The dealer as always is very important with how they treat you to start with, but more importantly, how they will take care of you afterwords with warranty, service, etc.
I have always been a JD guy and still am, but I recently bought a new 35 HP Kubota. Up here in Canada, Kubota is offering 18% off their tractors if you own horses and belong to various equine associations. Saved me $7000.00 off my purchase. I would not put down any manufacturer, just do your research. You mentioned the JD 3038E compared to the JD 3520, the 3038E is more of a "standard- no frills- tractor, nothing wrong with it, just without the Bells and Whistles that the 3520 offers.
Happy hunting,
Jake
 

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Plainsman

Plenty of good advice already given. I agree with the "butt in seat" and "dealer" as being more important than the color of the tractor. It is a big decision so good luck. :Welcome1: We are glad to have you. There are many friendly and knowledgeable folks here at MTF, so enjoy all the different forums. Click on ”Active Topics” near the top left of the page for all the latest activity. You can also register with other members from your state by clicking here:
 

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Like was previously said, your personal feelings for the tractor and the dealer should be the deciding factor. Either tractor will do the job. I believe I would shy away from the rentals. They have usually been beat to death.
 

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Like was previously said, your personal feelings for the tractor and the dealer should be the deciding factor. Either tractor will do the job. I believe I would shy away from the rentals. They have usually been beat to death.
:ditto:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the good insight and advice, guys. I bought a tractor yesterday, entirely different from what I had been thinking originally. Briefly, I began to worry over the last week or more on whether I was buying enough horsepower. In order to do that, I would have to buy used.

I happened to find an intenet listing on a 2008 John Deere 5203 FWD, with FEL and 7 hours on it at a dealer in a nearby town. After haggling with the dealer, the price difference from the deal offered me on a L3400 FWD w/FEL was $3300. I couldn't pass it up - I pulled the trigger last Saturday and picked it up yesterday.

It may turn out to be more tractor than I'll ever need, but by the same token, I don't think I'll outgrow it.

Now to start looking for some implements......
 

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Glad to hear that you found a tractor..:fing32:

Now we need pictures!!! :wwp: :wwp:

Thanks for all the good insight and advice, guys. I bought a tractor yesterday, entirely different from what I had been thinking originally. Briefly, I began to worry over the last week or more on whether I was buying enough horsepower. In order to do that, I would have to buy used.

I happened to find an intenet listing on a 2008 John Deere 5203 FWD, with FEL and 7 hours on it at a dealer in a nearby town. After haggling with the dealer, the price difference from the deal offered me on a L3400 FWD w/FEL was $3300. I couldn't pass it up - I pulled the trigger last Saturday and picked it up yesterday.

It may turn out to be more tractor than I'll ever need, but by the same token, I don't think I'll outgrow it.

Now to start looking for some implements......
 

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:congrats: and please post some pics of it and a review after you've had a chance to use it. slkpk
 

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Congrats on your purchase. I think you'll be happier with the larger size/hp tractor. :)
 

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Plainsman, Congrats on your new tractor! IMO you scored a home run.:trink39: :wwp::wwp:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've been offline the last couple of days - working on the roof for my tractor shed!!! I have a couple of pictures on my work computer. I'll post them tomorrow.:thThumbsU
 

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Sweeeeet! :thThumbsU
 

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Thanks for the pics! Like I said you scored a home run. It looks like
it came off the showroom floor!:thThumbsU
 
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