Skip to comments.Vanity:Advice on farm utility vehicle/tools for pasture and livestock (Wardaddy the uninformed)
Posted on 11/12/2012 4:16:38 PM PST by wardaddy
Sorry for the vanity in a time of the utter collapse of our way of life but I do have a practical issue I need help with.
I have plank fenced in 10 acres of my homeplace and built a barn and acquiring horses...have a few already and will end up with 5-6..maybe some other critters too.
I need a good FUV...farm utility vehicle...those bench seat style 4 wheelers that can tow rakes and harrows and seeders etc or maybe timothy bales and whatnot
and take to deer camp...
yep...I know they aren't cheap but seems most are offering low rates
I have no experience at all..my last deer camp vehicle was a Suzuki 250 ATV and a EZ-Go electric cart with knobbies and camo paint
I have looked at Polaris rangers...Kubota and Yamaha too..as well as Bobcat online
I know some will even carry a bushog in front or back..depends
and so forth
right now manure dispersal is my main thing but winter grass planting maybe too..and of course hay bale moving
there is always something..i was foolish to think my old dodge would do it all
I know a small conventional tractor is a possibility but it has limited use...so I'm checking
also...any advice for best manure tool...harrow rake?
any brands folks like?
will big electrics like Bad Boys work? ..sounds crazy right?
I like JD but it's high....so far probably Kawasaki Mule and Polaris are my favorites but I'm open
thanks for any advice and God bless us all ...I know you guys like me are walking around still in a fog shellshocked
I recommend an all-terrain Segway
Get an old diesel Unimog
My and the lads are off to get some hay from our local honor system hay barn in Triune now but will answer later anyone who replies
*imagine an honor system hay barn...great place I’m lucky enough to live eh?
A belt high fastball for FR's comedians.
We have had three of these things, they are great.
First a 1991 MULE by Kawasaki. A family member still has it.
Second a Kubota RTV with one bench seat.
Third and finally a Kubota RTV 1140 with two bench seats.
Neighbors have many different brands, we prefer diesel to gas and don’t want to go sixty miles per hour in any of them.
Look around see which dealer will treat you right then get one of them. The MULE could easily transport a pallet of fertilizer or a large round bale of hay. The Kubotas are way beyond that. Hydraulics are not a luxury, well worth paying for.
Caddis the Elder
You need a tractor. Something in the neighborhood of 25-35 HP. We have a little 25 HP Kubota that does pretty much what we need. But if you have a tractor, you must also have implements for it.
That lot will let you perform most of the basic farm chores and save you a world of manual labor.
Nice to have:
Ignore these only if you like digging holes by hand. Not cheap, especially the backhoe, but there youhave it.
Also - a nice complement of various length chains, hooks and come-alongs. Get savvy on your chain-ology. Have your rear tires filled with calcium-and-water. Improves your traction. Do as much of your own maintenance as you’re willing to learn and buy tools for. And hit those zerks after every heavy use. Keep spare hydraulic hose, fittings and fluid on hand. You’ll need ‘em at some point.
A Clinton or an MSM ass hauler should suffice...
I have a small herd of alpacas (17) and have used a JD gator for the last 6 years for manure management. The gator has a bed with hydrolic dump feature and is easy to manuever inside and out of the barn. I have a snow plow that goes on in winter and is sufficient to plow my half mile drive in two passes if the snow is 6” or less. I go down one side and up the other and the whole thing is plowed in less than a half hour. The bed is fine for carrying a few bales of hay, but no more than a half dozen will fit easily. It’s a tough little vehicle with more power than you would imagine and it has run very reliably for the past 6 years. I would imagine that a similar vehicle by Kubota or Polaris would perform well, also.
You might want to consider adding alpacas to your farm. They are sweet and gentle and easy to keep and their fiber makes yummy garments, similar to cashmere.
I don’t know anything about utility vehicles because I always either walked or drove a regular tractor, or sometimes ran around in a golf cart depending on the errand and the size of the land. But there is one thing I do feel comfortable commenting on: Respectfully, with other uses of your land—other critters, house, well, barn, garden, driveway and parking, possible riding ring, and other et ceteras requiring space—good sustained pasture management doesn’t really allow for your planned five or six horses on such a small acreage. Sorry, I know you didn’t ask.
Not much beats a Ford 8N or NAA Jubilee utility tractor. Sixty-plus years old, but they have been rebuilt what seems to be an infinite number of times. Aftermarket repair still seems to be available, they are sturdy, reliable, and they have what is one of the original 3-point hitches. Relatively low center of gravity (important if you get into steep country), yet narrow enough to get into cramped places that would confound larger tractors. Still plenty of attachments available, such as moldboard plows, disk harrows, rotary PTO mowers, even loader scoops, but the latter is really hard on the drive line and hydraulics - tends to be the primary reason old Fords end up getting rebuilt. With a light 2-wheel trailer, great for small hauling jobs, like hauling tools out to the back to build fences.
If one has the old Sherman step-up auxilary gearbox (installed right in the drive line, with external engagement lever between direct and overdrive), capable of 25+ miles per hour over the road, and effectively doubles the number of ground speed ratios available.
These are definitely ONE-PASSENGER vehicles, there is room for the operator only, no hauling kids around without a safely fixed seat. Handy as a team of horses for skidding logs or pulling out fence posts, even have used one as a way to round up cows and bring them to the barn.
For one in decent condition, you could spend upwards of $5,000, probably competitive in price with the latest models of a John Deere Gator of comparable power.
You might as well get a dune buggy. It would be a lot more economical than a large UTV.
I use a 420cc Honda ATV with a trailer for the vast majority of my farm chores. It's not perfect due to the light weight, but it does a good job.
I worked with everything you listed and will always stand by John Deere. I know they are expensive but they are worth it.
Everything else is just a JD wannabe.
I know I don’t need to remind you that you get what you pay for.
Gas or Diesel?
Diesel because gas goes bad swiftly.
Tough to beat the Ranger for power/value, IMO.
We also have a Yamaha Grizzly 600 4x4. I use it to pull the little 25bu manure spreader, a 44 inch powered rough cut mower, and a push blade to clear the driveway in the snow months. And, it’s great for deer hunting, coyote hunting, etc.
With eight horses, we clean stalls every day, and the small Pequea 25 bushel, ground engaged manure spreader has been great. It is stout, solid, and has rot-proof floor boards, good paint, and beefy parts. We spread manure on the pastures during the summer, and on the hay grass through the winter months (saves on fertilizer). The manure breaks down quickly enough that we don’t have accumulation issues, and no flies in the summer.
We do our own hay, and the Grizzly or the Ranger will pull the tedder or the rake, if needed, but I usually use the old Ford Jubilee (1953) for that kind of stuff, and for heavy mowing.
Sounds to me like you need a tractor first and think about a UTV later. I bought a Jeep Cherokee instead of a UTV; IT WAS $3300 INSTEAD OF $10,000 PLUS! It pulls a bigger trailer and you can take it to town...
Bobcat (UTV) is built by Polaris. Their tractors are Koyti.
Tractor or UTV, diesel is best...
Acquire 2 to 4 - 55 gal metal drums, a hand pump for extra diesel to keep on hand.
Add a PTO powered generator to the list and you’re all set when the power outages hit.
I live on it with all you mentioned already...not raw land
And here that is plenty of grass in season...Bermuda..fesque ....blue grass. Hay in winter as needed
600 acres access adjoined my backside of which I have free use trails etc
Non-ethanol gas treated with PRI-G can last 10 years if re-treated every 12 months. Bad gas can be restored using PRI-G.
I’ve got a small farm. I don’t have an ATV or a “mule”. What I do have are two tractors, both diesel. A 1972 MF 135 and a Ford 1961 841. Both can do the farming and logging chores and they are easy to maintain. Parts are plentiful and easy to obtain. I have a diesel storage tank with 300 gallons of fuel. Gasoline won’t store as long and gets water easily. Farm implements for these are fairly cheap and also easy to obtain. I have one tractor hitched to a small wagon that I use to carry my chainsaws, axes, and lubricants. I can use the wagon to transport firewood and limbs and to carry riders also. I thought about draft horses but the tractors are easier to maintain (and I am a veterinarian). Old tractors like these are easily found in and around the Nashville area...the MF 35, 135, and Ford 801/841 diesels can be purchased in good shape for $2500 to $5000. I didn’t care if the metal was rough if the engine, transmission and PTO was in good shape.
“I worked with everything you listed and will always stand by John Deere. I know they are expensive but they are worth it.”
Yes, JD makes good equipment. Lord help you, however, if you ever need a part. I have had the same experience at every JD dealership I have ever been to. If you are not there to buy a NEW JD they would prefer you not bother them.
Case/IH, on the other hand, are always a pleasure to deal with. Unfortunately, I find I need IH parts on a very regular basis so maybe that’s why!
Yep - that works, too.
yes..i know...i am a glutton for punishment
yep..Gators are nice..no question
I went to a church dove hunt this year and the gators were ferrying hunters back up the hill like nobody’s business
I would probably..like I said...take it to deer camp..where walking into 5-10,000 acres of hunting lease is kind of hard...especially with young kids and gear in tow
Kubotas look very solid...there is a dealer on Columbia Pike near me
I think they make the Bobcat diesel no?
I know logically you are correct...a tractor is better for farm app
but you see I am cheating/sneaking this into deer camp vehicle segway with the real lord of the manor...
the split tail who writes the checks with money I make (prolly not a foreign concept to men here..lol)
my Dodge Ram is old too..I have to sneak this and a newer used truck past her hawkish gaze...not an easy feat you know
we had an old thumper 3 cylinder Ford...1960s model at my warehouse a few years back...they are handy..i think the RPM was like 500 or something...like an old ship’s main engine...
newer tractors are not like that are they?
i may break down and buy an old tractor...just cause I like them
I have a generator to run my CPAP first and foremost..in that case
man...i can’t sleep without it and will wake up feeling like I’m breathing thru a coffee straw..sux
last time power went out...I drove 20 miles to a La Quinta..swear to God
left wifey who was asleep already a note..lol
me and oldest boy
don’t anybody laugh but couldn’t I simply drag a decent TSC chain harrow behind my RAM 1500 for now just to spread the horse manure?
it’s dry here in Middle Tn for now?
I ain’t gonna lie...I’ve found my calling
if I didn’t have to work to pay for all these kids and extended family stuff
I would like to just deal with horses...just like my TWH breeder grandpa was
better late than never
I really do enjoy it and so do my boys
just going out tonight and getting a load of hay on a frosty clear nite and betting which one would run up to start eating outta the back of the truck before we could even get it unloaded was just plain fun..Old America fun
and we were right...the abused Thoroughbred we’re nursing up...first in line buddy,,at least you can’t see his ribs now
i do appreciate all the help
Yes. Except that the gentleman doesn't actually have two acres of pasture available for each horse. Barn, house, garden, driveway, parking, equipment shed, well, manure pile, chicken coop and/or goat-shed, and so forth have a surprisingly large footprint and take up a lot of that ten acres. You end up having only five or so acres left. It's very easy for five or six horses to turn five or six acres into an over-grazed dustbowl in summer and a mudpit in winter. Oh, and he's planning to spread manure on his fields, which means that they're not going to be continuously available, no matter what the worming schedule is. That's not the best pasture management.
Just a suggestion, it's not really any of my business. I concede that he knows his own property and his part of the US as I do not, and my knowledge of pasture maintenance is limited to the four areas of the US where I've owned property.
I’m so glad you didn’t have to count on me for advice. lol
The only thing I know about horses is that it requires a lot of work to move them from one barn to another, and that it’s very expensive to have a granddaughter who rides English, and competes in dressage, equitation, jumping, and what ever else they do. I love it, though. Picasso is a sweet boy. ;o)
Dealing with animals is soothing. Did you know it would bring your blood pressure down?
Dealing with kids, otoh, is quite the opposite.
I’d say you’ve found a great mixture of kids and animals, and you, and your health, are all going to thrive beautifully because of it.
Glad to see you all. ;o)
That's cool, but could quickly turn into a nightmare in a SHTF situation if you aren't set up for it, or don't have the land and equipment you're going to need.
In the winter, horses consume a lot of grain and hay (twice as much as cattle). Grain may become impossible to get even if you could afford it. In my location, the cheapest feed now is about $10 per 50 lbs. One medium size horse not being worked can go through two bags a week in winter.
A single horse might be advantageous on a farm in a SHTF situation, if it will ride, pull a plow and wagon. It's going to get skinny in the winter though. Otherwise, raising horses is strictly for fun and profit during good times or for large ranches with the ability to grow and put away grain and hay, IMO.
If you have a need for electrically powered medical equipment, you need grid, solar, and wind charging a battery bank with an inverter. Also a diesel gen with extra fuel on hand for backup.
I see having a mule or ATV with a small wagon for use around your place after a tractor that is much more useful. Just have to be more convincing while convincing the wife. IF the SHTF, trips to the deer camp might be a thing of the past, unless the deer camp becomes your new home. ;)
It sounds to me like youve made a great start. First things first though, considering the hell we're all about to go through. Figure what you can't do without: electricity, food, water, heat, transportation, communication and etc. I hate to say it, but I just dont see how our standard of living is not going to decline drastically in the coming months and years.
A loader bucket is great for collecting.
I have used a old bare bed spring chained to a lawn tractor as a spreader...
Still, mowing, hauling, collecting, speading seed, moving bales (except small square) and most other tasks, you need a 30 to 50 HP tractor...
Chain harrow will work fine for breaking up large manure chunks and wet bedding, etc. Use what works...
And, I second the notion on just stayin’ home and playing around the farm. Making a living just gets in the way, IMO, but it’s a necessary evil.