Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions

   / Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions
  • Thread Starter
People on here are really sensitive about thier tractors. But don't sweat it. Tractors are cheap compared to the alternatives like skid steers or ,gasp, telehandlers.. That is why they are so popular. Tractors are ok at doing many things but they are not really great at doing anything but pulling implements. Loader work is a perfect example as tractors work but lack visibility compared to something like a skid steer. Anything with 4 wheel steering will blow a tractor away as far as maneuverability as will a skid steer. Mowing with a tractor works but for most homeowner applications a dedicated mower is much faster. Running an auger a skid steer or telehandler will run circles around a tractor as well as give you reverse on the auger which a PTO drive won't do. Nor does the tractor's 3 point have down pressure which is a must in tough soil. Low flow tractor hydraulics won't drive most skid steer attachments or compact skid steer attachments either. They also typically lack protection for things like the engine, undercarriage, and operator. Quality on things like hydraulic valves and hoses is what you would expect for something made in Korea, China, or Japan. I've owned several smaller tractors and I doubt I would buy another one as I like the features in other equipment better. The tractor I ahve now has many of the features (better hydraulics, 3 point downforce, better loader capacity, 4 wheel steer, etc) that I was after but couldn't' find in a "some young son" foreign job.

The sub-compact segment needs a significant overhaul. The old "mini rowcropper" architecture and componentry is a far cry from anything near optimal for their typical range of operator demands/applications.

Attempts have been made before... but they were all compromised.

For instance, John Deere rebranded a range of Italian articulated compacts on two separate occasions... once in the 70s and again in '08-'10. The latter example was the 20A. It had awesome maneuverability for manual trans unit, well mannered and capable on the slopes, and was fairly priced at $15k. That was about $2-3k above a comparably equipped conventional 4wd of the same horsepower. The problem was, they marketed them as "specialty" tractors, and didn't support them very well. They didn't offer any attachments suited to the low CG hitch height. They didn't offer forward hydraulics/mounts/attachments suited to the vineyard/orchard/tree farm industry they marketed to. They also failed to offer a hydrostac version... which is a horrible omission in a segment that thrives on maneuverability. It was a stillborn venture from the word go, thanks to poor support/marketing.

If you were to build a unit like that with a reversible operator's station, hydro trans, and proper attachments/implements... anyone who demo'd the thing would buy it.... especially once they realized it would save them the additional cost of a lawn mower, separate front/rear mount attachments and hydraulic provisions, etc. .
   / Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions
  • Thread Starter
You ever hear of the GOOD, FAST, CHEAP triangle?

You can only pick two.

From everything you describe you want it to do, you may be able to make it yourself for that price with scavenged parts, but only if you don't put a value on your time.
"GOOD, FAST, CHEAP triangle"

Elaborate, please...
   / Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions #23  
"GOOD, FAST, CHEAP triangle"

Elaborate, please...

If its good and fast it won't be cheap.
If its fast and cheap it won't be good.
If its cheap and good it won't be fast.

We use this in computer systems design, but it applies to about anything else I've seen over the years.
   / Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions #24  
Yes. Good graphic. Thanks.

   / Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions #25  
This has turned into pure entertainment. Some folks just aren't fond of new innovative ideas or the concept that someone else may have different needs or wants than they do. More than one way to skin a cat as they say and no need to troll for an argument. LAffin

I love seeing designs from around the world for neat equipment. I saw these down in Grand Island the other day and thought they were interesting.

   / Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions #26  
Settle down there fellas....

Some of you may not know that TBN started out as a KUBOTA forum, hence, the abundance of Kubota owners.

So, I'd expect some nerves to be struck when calling a BX antiquated, even though I know what you meant. The machine itself isn't antiquated. The entire concept of a tractor (big rears, little fronts and a 3pt hitch) for most home owners is antiquated.

Let's try to get back to the original discussion. :)
   / Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions #27  
MultiMow, I am interested in your machine. I sold my Utility tractor soon after I bought my first compact telehandler, a Bobcat V518, seven years ago.

I recommend a non pivoting axle under the loader, like my put together machine:


P7240003 16 20.JPG
   / Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions #28  
   / Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions #29  
Hello MultiMow, have a look at Antonio Carrera tractors. They have several reversible control tractors, however the smallest was around the 60hp mark.
Another alternative is Ventrac, it is pivot steer, with power outputs in your range and has the operator facing to equipment. BUT the operator station is not reverseable. There are ventrac threads on this site , so there are people with real world experience of the machines who can help you.
Good luck in your hunt.
   / Alternative "sub-compact" tractor solutions #30  
I could see some benefits to making the front axle solid. If you decided to go the articulated route you might consider starting with a articulated compactor and simply redo the drive wheels to suit you needs for a prototype so you can focus on the QA system. Something like this might be a good starting point.