Tim recently received this inquiry from Mick. Which Tractor Should He Buy?
I am a recent subscriber to your YouTube channel. As I mentioned in my comments on your videos, I consider myself a tractor novice. My experience with tractors in the past was limited to lawn tractors and a couple of times I have used a Kubota ‘L’ series tractor for some yard work at our old house.About two years ago, I got a part time job at a custom log furniture shop. My job involves the use of a Bobcat skid steer to move logs and materials around the shop and yard, so I am getting familiar with that. Recently, my elderly parents have moved in with us and this necessitated moving into a new (To us) house. This house sits on 6-3/4 acres, but it had sat vacant for several years, so the yard is in need of some major cleanup work. Part of this clean up would involve the removal of about 50+ small tree stumps (Backhoe time?).In addition to our property here, we have a 140 acre piece of undeveloped ranch land that I use for hunting and ATV riding. It is about an hour from the house. I have two sections of roadway on this land that I need to maintain, so a box blade would be something I would need to be able to run with whatever tractor I choose. I also want to put in about a mile+ of roadway with the box blade so I can easily get around to various sections of our property.Currently at the house, I use a Polaris Ranger with a tow behind mower to keep the grass and weeds down. I also have a snow plow for it and I use that to plow the driveway (About 100 yards). It works great for both applications. In addition, I use the Ranger to tow my wood chipper and small utility trailer when I am out working in the yard.I am the caretaker for our part time neighbor’s place, which is 8-1/2 acres. He has allowed me the unlimited use of his Kubota L4400 tractor, which is outfitted with an FEL, a set of quick attach pallet forks, a backhoe and a brush hog. Using his tractor has me wanting to get one of my own.We live in a remote area in the mountains of New Mexico and nearest town with tractor dealerships (Both a JD and Kubota) is about an hour and a half down the hill from us. So far, I have been looking at the Kubota L4701 or the MX4800. What is the equivalent tractor in the John Deere line? I would like to have an FEL with the QD bucket attachment system, so I could add pallet forks down the road.I watched the video of your interviewing the Kubota rep at the National Farm Machinery show and I was impressed with the ease of removal of the FEL and I like the QD set up for the hydraulics. Does JD have a system like that?Also, what trailer would you recommend for a tractor and box blade combo? Right now, I have a single axle 14 foot flatbed, but I know that is too short and too light to handle a tractor.
Which Tractor Should He Buy?
Sounds like you are getting a bad case of ‘Tractor Fever’. There is only one known cure, and you are getting close to finding it!
You are considering two Kubota models (L4701 and MX4800). These models look VERY similar from a specfications standpoint. Starting from the L3301 upwards, Kubota has a very complete range of tractors, with each model being slightly larger in every regard. This is the case between the L4701 and the MX4800. I doubt that you would recognize much difference between the two once you get them apart from each other. Both use the same backhoe. The MX loader will lift several inches higher.
Having said that, once above 100 inches, do you need any more lift height?
Both units would handle the same attachments, have nearly identical turning radius and other handling characteristics. Overall, I think this is personal choice. You won’t regret whichever one you choose.
You asked about the hydraulic single point connector. Yes, Deere does offer this. However, it is quite expensive. Also, for the Kubotas you are looking at, you will need to add the single point connection as an option. It is standard on the small BX tractor, but I do not believe it is standard on the larger tractors.
The closest John Deere model would be the 4044M. We could go into great detail about specification differences between these tractor. However, for your situation, I’m not sure it makes sense to spend much time investigating the Deere. You state that your friend has a Kubota L4400, and that you would like to be able to share attachments, including front loader attachments. The front loader quick connect is not compatible between the Deere and the Kubota. I think this becomes the decision maker for your situation.
Presumably your friend has had a positive experience with the Kubota dealer. Otherwise you would have been hesitant to pursue your own Kubota.
So, I would recommend that you get either of the two Kubota models you have mentioned. The backhoe will be a wonderful addition, especially if your neighbor doesn’t have one. This will give you a chance to ‘repay’ him for the kindness of allowing you to use his tractor.
As for your trailer, you’ll need a pretty heavy trailer to haul either of the tractors you are pondering. The MX4800 weighs 3700 pounds without the loader or backhoe. I would plan on a trailer which could haul at least 6000 lb payload. This will likely require a 14,000 lb GVWR rating.
As for length, I would say that 18′ is the minimum. You will be happier with 20′-22′.
You did not mention what truck you intend to use to pull this equipment. A 150,1500 1/2 ton pickup will be at its absolute max with this load. You would be much better served by a 250/2500 or even 350/3500 (3/4 or 1 ton) chassis.
You might even find that the trailer/truck requirements push you to buy a smaller (lighter) tractor. So, it is good that you are considering all of this BEFORE you purchase.
I find that there are often factors above and beyond the specifications sheet, or even the purchase price which will help us make the decision on which tractor to buy. Two of the most frequent we see are:
- Local Dealer Quality – Tractors need maintenance. Tractor owners need advice. You will spend more time at your tractor parts counter than you ever have at an auto dealer’s parts counter. Come to think of it, auto dealers don’t even usually HAVE parts counters anymore.
- Friend/Neighbor has significant experience with a particular brand/model – Nothing can help you learn about tractors faster than a friend or neighbor who is knowledgeable, and enjoys tinkering with their tractor. Lean on them for knowledge.
Hopefully we’ll get a cure to that tractor fever of yours soon, Mick!
Let us know what you decide, and how it works out for you.