Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions

   / Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions #91  
Re: Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions

No worries, LD1. I think we're all fairly certain where you stand. You've made some good points... and it's good to have honest comparisons to the status quo, regardless of your disdain for "tractor X vs. Kubota Y".

As for the comparisons, I think it's worth noting that Kubota faithful fans should be proud of their brand's significance... as it's much like the Corvette to the sports car world, in that regardless of like/dislike, everyone views Kubota as the standard for the CUT/SCUT market... and rightly so, given its sales figures and market presence.

Yes, Kubota have made quite a name for themselves. I am not what one would consider a "brand loyal" person who blindly follows along. I consider all options, from all makes.

If I need to buy a machine, attachment, whatever.....I consider all options, and select the one that "checks" the most boxes, with an important emphasis on priority.

For me it was a tractor. For you and others, it might be an alternative design. And I will say again, I have nothing wrong with alternative designs. I think they are quite cool and unique. Just didn't check enough boxes for the tasks I need done. So don't hate on me, or single me out for not getting something other than a tractor. As I am not singling anyone out for picking an alternative design.

All I am trying to do is bring in a little reality. Like I said, when you make a comparison, and the only thing listed is what makes type A better than type C....it is an unfair and biased comparison. So while you are quick to talk about all the "pros", I'll chime in with the "cons" if applicable, just to keep things level.

I don't care what brands or what type the machines are....apples to oranges comparison always makes for a very biased comparison. Try to keep it apples to apples. And let's try to have a mature discussion about the differences (pros AND cons) that different machines bring to the table. And respect the fact that I chose a tractor based on my needs, and am not trying to push a tractor "design" on anyone, nor do I feel a tractor is an all mighty superior machine at everything it does. And I will understand and respect the fact that a tractor is not the right machine for you. But you have to respect the fact that an alternative design ain't for everyone. And when you come across as thinking all us tractor owners made huge mistakes and should have bought an alternative machine, it sounds like you are being pushy and calling all of us idiots.
 
   / Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions #92  
LOL. This thread is pure entertainment. Some great info and comparisons of different drive systems as well.

I for one am really looking forward to seeing what MultiMow ends up building. It certainly sounds like it will be a once of a kind machine with some serious capability. I think I initially underestimated MM's seriousness when he started posting and it's obvious that this is going to be a cool project with no detail going unnoticed. The hydraulic drive system thread is another really interesting aspect of this project.

After reading about these little alternative machines it makes me want one.
 
   / Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions
  • Thread Starter
#93  
Re: Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions

Yes, Kubota have made quite a name for themselves. I am not what one would consider a "brand loyal" person who blindly follows along. I consider all options, from all makes.

If I need to buy a machine, attachment, whatever.....I consider all options, and select the one that "checks" the most boxes, with an important emphasis on priority.

For me it was a tractor. For you and others, it might be an alternative design. And I will say again, I have nothing wrong with alternative designs. I think they are quite cool and unique. Just didn't check enough boxes for the tasks I need done. So don't hate on me, or single me out for not getting something other than a tractor. As I am not singling anyone out for picking an alternative design.

All I am trying to do is bring in a little reality. Like I said, when you make a comparison, and the only thing listed is what makes type A better than type C....it is an unfair and biased comparison. So while you are quick to talk about all the "pros", I'll chime in with the "cons" if applicable, just to keep things level.

I don't care what brands or what type the machines are....apples to oranges comparison always makes for a very biased comparison. Try to keep it apples to apples. And let's try to have a mature discussion about the differences (pros AND cons) that different machines bring to the table. And respect the fact that I chose a tractor based on my needs, and am not trying to push a tractor "design" on anyone, nor do I feel a tractor is an all mighty superior machine at everything it does. And I will understand and respect the fact that a tractor is not the right machine for you. But you have to respect the fact that an alternative design ain't for everyone. And when you come across as thinking all us tractor owners made huge mistakes and should have bought an alternative machine, it sounds like you are being pushy and calling all of us idiots.
I tried to do that... BELIEVE ME, I tried.

The only "pros" I could come up with, when comparing the AC to Kubota's most closely equipped model were:

1- CUSTOMIZATION

Kubota's L-series has a PLETHORA of options. Honestly, I don't think there is another manufacturer out there that offers the same level of customization with regard hydraulic options... however, I will have to say that New Holland has some specialty options that are not listed on their website (I'm still considering their wide track hillsider... which I seen in Alabama a couple months ago). From what the reps told me, everything Kubota has to offer is available on the website configurator, so I configured the closest possible unit to reflect/compare pricing. I was going to give Kubota the honorable mention here for overall configurability in a single model range... but AC has them beat there as well, because they have so many lateral models (same horsepower, same class) with bi-directional AND articulating or steer axle setups.

2- GENERAL AGRICULTURE

For general agricultural use, the Kubota L-series is (for the most part) a hands-down winner when the confines of comparison are operating efficiency, cost of ownership, and serviceability/service locations. For those who require a high lifting FEL, it's also a winner there... a crucial point for many buyers/owners. Don't need all the options? Want 25-45hp and 2wd? Kubota L-series. Need more hydraulic control than an aircraft carrier, an FEL, adjustable track width, class leading ground clearance, 4wd, and a partridge in a pear tree? Kubota L-series.

3- SERVICEABILITY/ SERVICE LOCATIONS

This one is a no-brainer as well. Kubota is huge... and they're EVERYWHERE. If you can't see orange from where you're standing, lean left or right... OH, THERE IT IS!

If you can't fix it with your hammer, you need a bigger hammer.

____________

All this being said, Kubota's L-series has its merits... well earned AND established.

With regard to the debatable tire size v. traction issue... it all has much to do with purpose and application. 4 midsize tires will provide near equal traction to big rears with an unbiased load on flat ground. In rear mount ground engaging applications, or pulling applications, big rears win hands-down. In hillside work, absolute traction will remain about the same... but equal sized tires win out in stability... ESPECIALLY when working with a load, or when you can't limit your working direction to uphill. Big rears may even excel in some hillside instances... but at the expense of soil compaction/damage.

For a farmer? The answer is simple... pick your brand of conventional tractor with ample power and go.

For the guy who just wants to maintain his property on minimum investment? Take your pick from the same.

Want a tractor with the functionality that will make you more effective, more productive, and get your time back to other things (sending time with family/etc.)? Want to spend the same cash as a tricked out orange tractor and gain the flexibility of bidirectional operation AND the POSSIBLE added stability of 4 equal sized tires and 4wd (plus a few other options)? There's only one option... Antonio Carraro.

Want the hillside stability of the AC and then some? Don't require high transit speed or reversible operation... but most of your work is better suited to forward engagement/mounting? PowerTrac.

Similar needs to a PowerTrac, but don't need the power OR the weight? Looking for a lighter footprint? Need front AND rear mount versatility? Ventrac/Steiner.

Need MAXIMUM versatility without tearing your ground all to ****? Skid steer out of the question? Want more attachment options/control than you can shake a stick at? 3ph just won't cut it? Money not a problem? Avant, MultiOne, Bobcat Toolcat... take your pick.

Need the best simple stall loader, various front mount attachments, more maneuverability than your SCUT, and don't use any of it's rear mount aside from towing a cart? Gain some versatility, save some cash, and get yourself a non-telescoping Avant 200 series.

Wanna be the reddest green hippie on block, with electric drive, mechanical PTO capability, MAXIMUM maneuverability, and money isn't a problem? Go get yourself an Aebi EC 170 implement carrier, and stealth farm yourself into the carbon credit saving heaven.

Need the absolute BEST sub-100hp hillsider option with front/rear capability and MAXIMUM traction, and your pockets are deeper than a healthcare provider after ObamaCare? Buy yourself an Aebi or an AC Mach 4... you won't be sorry.

Don't have the cash for an AC Mach 4, but you reeeeaaaaallly want one? Buy a Mach 2, and don't complain about the turf damage.

It's a whole new world in compact tractors... except, it's not. Not a single model provides anything the industry hasn't seen before. As a matter of fact, with regard to mountain/hillside tractors, we're still down a couple options (BUCHER! [mini Aebi] Where are you???!). John Deere has sold both half-track and full crawler compacts before... although their track designs were far less advanced. If you squint, a Ventrac/Steiner is little more than a miniaturized wheel loader that someone shrunk in the dryer too long... and they've been around for years. Reversible tractors like the AC have been around... again, they were JD rebadged Goldini's... and NH had their initial ~60hp models, which have grown to exceed anywhere near SCUT level with their newest 96hp model... but if you look hard enough, you can still find a few of the smaller Versatile brand Ford/NH bi-dis.

These things come in cycles (usually with economic highs), and they don't last long... mostly because major manufacturers are only interested in major sales. The modular design and cheaper/universal manufacturing of the conventional tractor means one model (horsepower class) is capable of serving a whole boat load of customers. With the exception of John Deere's rebadging/importing ventures, and a few off-beat R&D models of Kubota's 80s/90s... you don't see this often.... but the persistence of manufacturers like PowerTrac, Ventrac, Steiner, Goldini, AC, etc., are showing that people are willing to drop the cash for better accommodation to their applications.

In my opinion, Kubota has an opportunity here. Why? JD couldn't sell their rebadged Goldini's, because people don't go to a JD dealer looking for a Goldini. People DO, however, look to Kubota to innovate... come to the market with new solutions..... and they're long overdue for a quirky model that will mimic/exceed the value and flexibility of an AC, or PowerTrac. You show me a 'Team Orange' AC competitor, and I'm "on the wagon".
 
   / Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions
  • Thread Starter
#94  
Re: Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions

LOL. This thread is pure entertainment. Some great info and comparisons of different drive systems as well.

I for one am really looking forward to seeing what MultiMow ends up building. It certainly sounds like it will be a once of a kind machine with some serious capability. I think I initially underestimated MM's seriousness when he started posting and it's obvious that this is going to be a cool project with no detail going unnoticed. The hydraulic drive system thread is another really interesting aspect of this project.

After reading about these little alternative machines it makes me want one.
Serious capability? Eh... depends on your definition. If by "capability" you mean "flexibility"... then you're definitely on-track.

On paper and in my head... it's just a great little light-duty solution for 99% of the applications associated with property maintenance. It'll keep the grass cut, reclaim your brush covered areas, be tractable on steep (40 degree plus) slopes, dig post holes, condition your driveway and your soil, provide better manueverability than an articulated tractor, move bucket loads of mulch or other loose material, tow your loaded garden cart, and carry a light boom mower for those roadside embankments that are always a pain in the *** string trimmer requirement.

It won't log (might pull/tow a few). It won't pull stumps (at least I don't THINK it will). It won't load your truck bed with said mulch. It won't haul standard size round bales. It won't pull a three-row turn plow.

There's a lot of things my machine won't do... but for people like me, it won't matter.

There's a lot of things it will do better than any other reasonable/comparable option out there. For those who's needs for an SCUT are limited to those applications... I'm hoping it's as irreplaceable as a PowerTrac in a greenhouse business, a Ventrac on a tree farm, an Aebi or Breilmahwer on slope mowing, or a Toro/Jacobsen on a golf course or in a municipality.

I didn't design it to everything for everybody... I just designed it to be 99% of everything, to 70% of the SCUT buyer demographic, and to perform the 99% of application time in the seat at a 40% increase in productivity.... leaving the average property owner with with 40% more time to spend throwing a football with the kids in the freshly mowed grass of their front yard... with the same machine that dug the post holes and set the posts, leveled the driveway, handled the landscaping, and saved about 3hrs worth of weedeating on that roadside embankment.

...or get you back inside a warm house 20% earlier after clearing a snow covered driveway.

I'm not calling anyone ignorant for buying a conventional tractor. I'm just looking at the unconventional applications that nearly 70% of SCUT buyers are s0ending their money on
 
   / Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions #95  
Re: Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions

...

I'm not calling anyone ignorant for buying a conventional tractor. I'm just looking at the unconventional applications that nearly 70% of SCUT buyers are s0ending their money on

That's what hooked me on the Power Trac. I don't plow fields and I don't pull stumps. I don't load pickup trucks with loose material from the side. I spread loose material that I bring home from the gravel pit or mulch recycling center. I mow my lawn. I plow my snow. I pickup my leaves in the fall. I brush cut two miles of trails on our remote property. And I pull firewood out of the woods. I used to also maintain 4 ball diamonds at a little league when our kids were young, and the ball diamond at my kids' school and church. I have no reason to purchase a pulling machine. So I started looking at the best option for my needs and budget. And I'm pretty sure I've found it. ;)
 
   / Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions #96  
Re: Alternative "sub-compact&a

Serious capability? Eh... depends on your definition. If by "capability" you mean "flexibility"... then you're definitely on-track.

On paper and in my head... it's just a great little light-duty solution for 99% of the applications associated with property maintenance. It'll keep the grass cut, reclaim your brush covered areas, be tractable on steep (40 degree plus) slopes, dig post holes, condition your driveway and your soil, provide better manueverability than an articulated tractor, move bucket loads of mulch or other loose material, tow your loaded garden cart, and carry a light boom mower for those roadside embankments that are always a pain in the *** string trimmer requirement.

It won't log (might pull/tow a few). It won't pull stumps (at least I don't THINK it will). It won't load your truck bed with said mulch. It won't haul standard size round bales. It won't pull a three-row turn plow.

There's a lot of things my machine won't do... but for people like me, it won't matter.

There's a lot of things it will do better than any other reasonable/comparable option out there. For those who's needs for an SCUT are limited to those applications... I'm hoping it's as irreplaceable as a PowerTrac in a greenhouse business, a Ventrac on a tree farm, an Aebi or Breilmahwer on slope mowing, or a Toro/Jacobsen on a golf course or in a municipality.

I didn't design it to everything for everybody... I just designed it to be 99% of everything, to 70% of the SCUT buyer demographic, and to perform the 99% of application time in the seat at a 40% increase in productivity.... leaving the average property owner with with 40% more time to spend throwing a football with the kids in the freshly mowed grass of their front yard... with the same machine that dug the post holes and set the posts, leveled the driveway, handled the landscaping, and saved about 3hrs worth of weedeating on that roadside embankment.

...or get you back inside a warm house 20% earlier after clearing a snow covered driveway.

I'm not calling anyone ignorant for buying a conventional tractor. I'm just looking at the unconventional applications that nearly 70% of SCUT buyers are s0ending their money on

I think you are on the right track. A Tractor is more like a swiss army knife. Jack of all trades, master of one, pulling. You can gut a deer with a swiss army knife but there are better choices. You can trim a turkey with a swiss army knife but there are better choices. You can cut a steak with a swiss army knife but there are better choices. Etc.....

As we have seen more of these alternative machines (PT, toolcat, etc) show up they have certainly built a following because they offer features that the average tractor doesn't.

I think most of us understand that you are not calling anyone ignorant. Sometimes people just struggle with the concept that others have different needs than they do. As you can see from other threads folks are loyal to thier toys from tractors to pickup trucks so sometimes they get thier feathers ruffled.

Keep us posted with the progress.
 
   / Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions
  • Thread Starter
#97  
Re: Alternative "sub-compact&a

I think you are on the right track. A Tractor is more like a swiss army knife. Jack of all trades, master of one, pulling. You can gut a deer with a swiss army knife but there are better choices. You can trim a turkey with a swiss army knife but there are better choices. You can cut a steak with a swiss army knife but there are better choices. Etc.....

As we have seen more of these alternative machines (PT, toolcat, etc) show up they have certainly built a following because they offer features that the average tractor doesn't.

I think most of us understand that you are not calling anyone ignorant. Sometimes people just struggle with the concept that others have different needs than they do. As you can see from other threads folks are loyal to thier toys from tractors to pickup trucks so sometimes they get thier feathers ruffled.

Keep us posted with the progress.

Will do! (keep posted)

I really wanted to make this thing a 3cyl diesel... but it doesn't look like that's going to be the case. I could build one, but it would require the use of pump/motor drive setup instead of the intended integrated drive axles.

All the integrated axles I can find are designed for vertical shaft drive. I was told that Eaton has a horizontal unit, but I can't find any info on it.

Oh well... I guess it could be a good thing. A lot of people don't care for diesel... and this application requires more than 24hp, which puts it into Tier 4 Final emissions category ($$$$).

Before so many people took interest, I had resolved to buy an Altoz TRX 660 when they hit the market next year... and use my Toro 455 as a power/traction unit for the heavier work.

I already have a Kubota L2850... but aside from the front remote hydralics and three speed PTO, I hate it. My Toro mower has more power, equal traction, is more maneuverable, more stable, and only has turf tires... not to mention, a front mount mowing deck that doesn't require looking over my shoulder all day to mow my creek banks and fence lines.

To be honest, if I would fab up a 3PH for the Toro to run my post auger and blade... I have everything I need (it has three auxiliary hydraulic lines with individual valves... can you say "light duty six-way blade"? 😁 )

I'm just glad to know I'm not the only one who could use such a machine.
 
   / Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions #98  
Re: Alternative "sub-compact&a

Will do! (keep posted)
-------------------------------------

Oh well... I guess it could be a good thing. A lot of people don't care for diesel... and this application requires more than 24hp, which puts it into Tier 4 Final emissions category ($$$$).

Before so many people took interest, I had resolved to buy an Altoz TRX 660 when they hit the market next year... ------------------------

Altoz Website: TRX | Altoz

Altoz_TRX_Zero_Turn_Mower__1_.57fbd954171fc.jpg


I'm just glad to know I'm not the only one who could use such a machine.

Wow a tracked Zero Turn!

A lot of people don't care for diesel.
Not me, I don't care for gasoline engines. All of my machines are diesel. :thumbsup:
 
   / Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions
  • Thread Starter
#99  
Re: Alternative "sub-compact&a

Wow a tracked Zero Turn!


Not me, I don't care for gasoline engines. All of my machines are diesel.
Agreed... I prefer diesel as well. It's more efficient, and more durable.

As for the tracked zero turn... thanks for adding the pic :)

You should check out their video on YouTube. This thing is a beast... and more capable than even some 4wd light tractors, when it comes to operating in areas that require high flotation.
 
   / Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions #100  
$18,500 for a lawnmower is kinda harsh. ;)
 
 
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