- I often receive questions from viewers asking which tractor they should buy for their given situation. The answers are usually helpful to others, so I intend to start posting them here. Let’s start with Vincent. Which Deere Should He Buy?
Here is Vincent’s question:
My family and I (wife & teen daughter) had purchased a 20 acre piece of hill side land located in the Lumsden valley (Saskatchewan, Canada) a couple of years ago. For the last couple of years I had been using a John DeereD140 riding mower to maintain it, which was fine at the time, since we were just using the property as a camp site. However, late last year we started building a house, which should be finished by late July of this year. With that, my D140 riding mower just isn’t gong to cut it. 😉
What I’m struggling with is what size of tractor to get. The hillside we built on has several large plateaus on it, which we plan on using for the house and large gardens. We are 3/4 of the way up the hill, so we have 1000’ of lane that runs down the hill to the main road. We’re currently getting the lane changed to reduce the grade, but it’s something that I’ll have to keep in mind when sizing a tractor.
I like your 1025r, but with the rougher natural grass hills I have, I’m thinking that the small tires would be a bit rough. So with that, I was looking at the small frame 2025R (saw your video) as it has the larger front tires, which I believe would make it handle better. However, I’m concerned about it being tipsy with the higher seat and narrow wheel base. The2032R/2038R are a larger frame, so they have a wider more stable wheel base, but then you loose some agility that the small frame has. The small frame can get into smaller places as well.My tractor uses would include:– Remove dead trees (we have lots of trees along the top of the property)– Use a wood chipper to clean up old trees (have a BX 42S wood chipper)– Move soil around to create our yard– Rotor-tilling to get the yard leveled in any high spots as well as for gardens– Dig holes to plant new trees– Clear snow on 1000’ of hillside gravel lane. 4-6″ per snow. Approximately 2′ per year.– Maintain the gravel lane in the summer
Any insight you can provide on small vs large frame would be greatly appreciated. My budget is $40,000 USDVincent – Lumsden valley (Saskatchewan, Canada)
First of all, Wow! What a beautiful property! The views are stunning. When can we come visit???
Reading between the lines, I believe you already know the answer to your question. The 1025R is likely not large enough for your situation. I think You would find it insufficient for managing your 20 acres. The 2025R is essentially the same tractor with larger tires. This will make it ride more smoothly, but will likely make it a bit more tipsy than the 1025R. So, I don’t think that is a good solution for you either.
The 2017 (and following) 2R large frame tractors have been redesigned, it seems, exactly to your requirements. They are both wider and longer to provide more stability. Additionally, there are spacers available to spread the rear wheels even further should you need even more stability. So, this is the place to start.
Several items on your list would benefit tremendously from the backhoe, so I would recommend adding that. Additionally, I believe you are wanting to use this tractor as your lawn mower as well, replacing the D140 for that task. This is an area where you might want to ponder further, as the mid mount 72″ deck is $3000 USD. With this $3000 used elsewhere, you might be able to have a second lawn mower along with your 2R tractor. It is always nice to have a second rig, to pull a trailer, etc. Having said that, let’s include the MMM (mid-mount mower) in your list.
Using the Deere Build Your Own tool, a 2038R, loader, backhoe, and mower deck total $40,151. I can’t tell for sure if this tool includes all of the required items for the backhoe (power beyond, etc), and mower deck (auto-connect). But this should be close. You should be able to get a 15-18% discount on this price at your local Deere dealer, so 15% off is $34,128. We’ll quickly spend the rest of this on attachments!
Sounds like a front blade is the best fit for your snow removal needs. There are two choices from Deere.
- Deere 366 Blade (mounts via front 3 point hitch). Remove the loader, add the front 3 point hitch, and attach the blade there.
- Frontier AF11F (mounts to the front end loader).
Either of these solutions are incredibly expensive. The loader mount is probably the easiest to install and remove. List Price $4276 for the 7′ version with hydraulic angle ($3630 at 15% discount). You will also need a few kits to get hydraulic control to the front. Let’s say $4500 for the front blade solution.
That doesn’t leave us much budget left, but it should be enough to buy a Tiller. I would recommend the King Kutter or County Line brands at this point. I see 6′ King Kutter II tillers for $1849 online. I’ll include link to one on Amazon here. However, I’m not suggesting that you buy it from Amazon. Rather, I would buy it from a local store. This tiller is tough, and MUCH cheaper than the Deere version. Even with the ‘bundled financing available with the deal’
With these items, and the estimates I’ve made about final pricing, we are at about $40,500 USD.
Everything but the tiller can be financed through Deere.
This will handle most of the tasks you’ve listed. However, there are two more attachments which I think you would find enormously useful.
- Pallet Forks – Artillian Pallet Forks are incredibly useful. I use the forks 90% of the time on my loader. The bucket is only used for very specific purposes.
- Grapple – Adding the Artillian Grapple brings an entirely new dimension to your tractor. Since you are wanting to clean up some dead trees, you would find this grapple to be tremendously helpful. If you haven’t seen our first grapple video, check it out here.
There are a few more small attachments that you will likely want. For example, if you are maintaining a Rock/Stone driveway, you’ll likely want a box blade or similar tool. However, you can purchase these off craigslist, or buy them as needed and as funds allow.
With unlimited budget, I might have suggested a 3R series tractor, perhaps a 3046R. However, this 2038R will be able to do amazing things. It will take some practice to be able to use it efficiently such that you are getting the most out of it, but this is the fun part.
If you find that you really enjoy the tractor, and see situations where the 2038R is not quite strong enough, you can always trade up. Or, maybe your teenage daughter will enjoy helping so much that you’ll need a second tractor for her!
Let us know what you finally decide to do, and how it works out for you!
Tim, thank you very much for taking the time to reply. Regarding a visit, you’re more than welcome to come any time (after the house is done, unless you like camping)! Although, it’s a bit of a drive from where you are.
I’ll definitely be asking our local John Deere dealership about the 2038R. The dealership participates in a spring home show in March and they always have compact utility tractors at the show (and on sale). So I’ll see what kind of deal I can work out with them. Bucket, backhoe and forks I think are my first priority. Luckily for me, my inlaws have a farm and I can borrow their mower or rotor-tiler until I get my own.
I’ll be sure to keep you posted on what I end up with.
Again, thanks to you and your family for your online contributions, they are a pleasure to watch and read.
Vincent, with 20 acres you’ll definitely want a larger machine. I’d say in the range of 45-55 hp. The prices won’t be cheap. Unless you look into a good used machine. But either way you look, might think about a 3rd function valve on the loader and rear remotes for hydraulic use on rear implements. Something to think about.
The 2038 tractor will suit you fine. But as stated its a lot of property. I don’t think you need anything like I have for a tractor though. I had a JD 990. Miss that machine a lot. Upgraded to the 5055E. I happened to see a used JD 49 backhoe on a 65 hp JD. Hammond tractor had this for close to a year. Would not seperate tractor from the hoe. Just to sell the tractor. I asked if it would fit onto the 5055 and it bolted rite up. I purchased the backhoe for $5000.. It was supposed to have a 180 day warrenty. The salesman screwed me out of that at last minute and marked paperwork (as is) and I failed to catch it. It had two Rams that leaked and the stableizer Rams would not hold tractor up as they should. So if you ever buy any implement’s used from any one or any dealerships, read everything. If there pushy on having you sign quickly, then there trying to hide something from you!
I considering a similar purchase. I curious of others thoughts of buying the ride over mower vs buying a separate machine or a pull behind finish cutter
First let me interduce myself my name is ray
And I am am in the process in purchasing a John Deere 3039R with the loader quick hitch canopy and tiller 72” box scraper and 42” pallet forks I live on a friend of minds
Property he has 3 acres and what am going to do with the unit to till the area where I
Live and with the box scraper keep the gravel driveway smooth and use the forks
For picking up heavy things and run a pro generator for my park model trailer.
The pot generator has have 30 hp at the pto on the tractor. I would like to have your
Opinion on the tractor and implements to thank you
Ray Gould from