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quad bikes and compact tractors..

chapel gate

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sorry, was in full flow and the thread went into lock down.. heres what i was one finger typing for what its worth. :)

other than the speed at which it can cover ground, i still think a compact tractor would serve your needs better. i know there not as "cool" as a quad, not a bad thing as less desirable to the thieving community.

i dont know if you have ever seen one in the metal, but they are not all that much bigger than a quad.
ours has a hydraulic system so you can run a log splitter, mount a front loader etc. PTO so you can use a whole host of implements, flail mower and hedge cutter spring to mind for your needs. will tow a trailer or a back box on the three point linkage.

selectable 4wd. diff lock, 16 speed shuttle shift transmission. the lowest gear is that low ive left it moving on its own whilst i fill the trailer up when stone picking on my own.

nearly 30 years old with 600 hrs on the clock;

IMG_20210128_104504.jpg
 

Paddler Ed

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I'd also agree with a small tractor - the other thing is they are often available with a ROPS.

I'm not a fan of quad bikes; I spent a few years working with them as an activity guide, so saw the roll overs there when we had people crash them; they were lucky we were nearby.

A mate from Uni lost his Dad in this incident:

I pitched trying to find a solution for that at a hackathon, in front of a room of 80 people - some I knew, some I didn't - and broke down in tears part way through the 3 minute pitch; even now it brings tears to my eyes. The most spectacular thing was the support that you got for pitching such a meaningful problem. Quad bikes in Australia are the most dangerous tool on the farm by far:

In Australia, quad bikes now have to be sold with a stabilty rating on them, and there is a big push for ROPS on them as well - most deaths are caused by crush injuries, not the impact with the ground (which the manufacturers struggle with, and hence push helmets as the solution)

Some friends have a 170cc Polaris RZR side by side for their kids - they're better than a quad but the 10 yo still rolled it after hitting a tussock on a corner. Admittedly, the tyres were a bit hard (should be 3psi, were nearer 20 or 30 at a guess), but they're not the panacea.
 

Grimbo

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Compact tractor is the answer if you want to have a log splitter and a topper and a tipper trailer but I think the ground in question is more wood like and steep....

A quad is far more nimble ( the reason all the hill farmers use them or UTVs not compact tractors ) around woods etc and when you get stuck you can lift the front and rear around onto new ground .

I'm old enough to have used and ridden Trikes ....they were unstable ;-) we used to race MX alongside the Trike guys ( 250cc 2 stroke trike anyone ) and they would literally spit the rider off for no discernible reason .

Quads can be dangerous but in 25 + years of using for work and tearing around for fun I've not had or seen an accident that didn't happen because we were either riding across ground that was too steep to walk on or we were playing silly buggers seeing who could ride into the biggest hole or probably the most dangerous... do the biggest 4 wheel drift .... this if it suddenly grips inevitably high sides the rider.... but that said I would never not buy a quad on safety grounds .

Do however always wear a helmet..... and a decent full face MX one at that
 

chapel gate

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yes, but you cant really work the land with a quad.
farmers use a quad for covering a lot of ground fast. checking fencing and livestock. putting out some feed. chucking a dead sheep on the back.
 

Grimbo

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I've gotten in enough trouble already ....;-) but I think the OP wanted something just to do a bit of mowing and for use on his steep land ( I know his area but not exact location ) and a quad and Logic/ Wessex towed topper would probably be a lighter more nimble option ...
Totally agree a compact tractor is far more suitable for estate use and with a loader and rear digger a brilliant piece of kit with much more adaptability ....
Hino ...not a make you see much round here .
I remember when the first Hino 8 wheel tippers were introduced round here .... tough and reliable trucks ideal with the muckaway boys .
 

nick_the_fish

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other than the speed at which it can cover ground, i still think a compact tractor would serve your needs better.

Thanks Mike, its a really good point which I hadn't really thought about because I assumed it would be overkill. I'll have a look at prices. I'm very fosuced on safety and there seems to be a lot of concern about rolling quads which I wasn't aware of, and I note @Grimbo point about wearing a helmet. The main thing I need is to be able to get it up through the tracks in the woods (which cut across the gradient so aren't that steep) to mow them and keep them clear, and I need to be able to drag a mower around the garden areas. Having a hedge trimmer would be usefull for the track which could go on a tractor unit.

What sort of brands/ models should I be looking at?

Also, how serviceable are they? I'm assuming a quad bike is easy to service, but not sure how much more complicated tractors are?

Thanks for the all the advice guys. Very much appreciated as always.

N
 
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Bob

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I run an old ferguson 20 tractor on my holding as an all round job. It mows, ploughs, moves pallets etc.. and its great. It is however nearly 70 years old, and although I've fully rebuilt it, the technology is old and basic. You would want your wits about you doing work with it. The newer ones will have faster hydraulics and 2 way spools which is much more user friendly, and more operator friendly and safe. They will still be basic, probably 3cyl diesel with little required bar basic maintenance. Gets my vote over a quad any day.
 

Chris

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Quads are easy to service. They're agricultural. But as you will be unlikely to clock up that many hours or miles compared to a car, servicing is not quite so frequent. Oil, filters and the odd adjustment of things.
 

Rob Cowell

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I agree quads are more manouverable, but if you're mowing, or weed wiping you're only going to be going straight up and down slopes, and it's "exciting" coming down a steep slope with a petrol driven flail mower whirring away behind you on a bike. You'll also find that a lack of PTO makes implements a lot more expensive. Full sized flail for our 90hp tractor was about £3500 new. Petrol flail for the quad closer to £6000. I think a compact PTO flail is closer to £2000. Plenty of areas I can't get the tractor though, mostly due to wet ground. Even big tractors are pretty good on slopes as long as your'e slow. They tend to slide well before they roll.

If you roll a tractor or a quad you were driving it like an idiot. The only time I've done mine was from power sliding in the snow.

Quad servicing is pretty easy, but parts can be silly expensive. But that's true of tractors too. Oil change every 100 hours. Quads are pretty dead with 2500 hours on them. Tractors you've heard of (not made of Chinesium) will likely be ok with 3 or 4 times that.
 

Grimbo

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Also, how serviceable are they? I'm assuming a quad bike is easy to service, but not sure how much more complicated tractors are?
Compact tractors are as easy as your landcruiser to service....well probably easier as you can get to all the filters easily ....

Avoid as has been said Chinese ones .... Kubota are the Rolls Royce in many ways but Newholland , John Deere , Iseki are all proper little tractors that if serviced can last for ever . Most have a 3 cylinder diesel engine that sips fuel .

Beware of buying from online auction sites as many sold on there can be imports or Chinese copy's of Kubota's ....and have dubious history's ;-)
You want a 540 pto and double acting external hydraulic tipping pipe as a minimum and also 4WD ..... if you want a hedge cutter you need to have a 25-35 hp tractor so that physically it is heavy enough to handle the hedge cutter otherwise at full reach it will lift the rear wheel or tip over (even more likely on slopes if the cutter head is downhill of you )

If you get a compact tractor it can end up a bit like power tool collecting as you will find loads of implement's you never knew you needed .... but must have ;-)
 

chapel gate

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im no expert nick, but the usual japanese suspects are high up there, kubota are a favourite. they are basically a scaled down version of the bigger tractors so very well built. dont forget they are designed for working 10hrs a day, you wont come anywhere near to that, so you shouldnt need much more than basic servicing. tyres will probable die of old age before wearing out..

we bought an old twose flail mower off ebay, 40"cutting width iirc. cost us £350, sold it a couple of years later for a £150 profit. i dont know if you remember that field i showed you, but it was 3 foot high. you can cut any length with a flail mower on a tractor as you can lift it up on the three point. they will cut through brambles and small branches. once brought under control it can be brought down to its working height thats normally adjustable from about 3" to 1" height of grass. at this height they will give a lawn quality finish and mulch the clippings.

if you are still in gods country you are welcome to have a go on the tractor.
 

chapel gate

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Compact tractors are as easy as your landcruiser to service....well probably easier as you can get to all the filters easily ....

Avoid as has been said Chinese ones .... Kubota are the Rolls Royce in many ways but Newholland , John Deere , Iseki are all proper little tractors that if serviced can last for ever . Most have a 3 cylinder diesel engine that sips fuel .

Beware of buying from online auction sites as many sold on there can be imports or Chinese copy's of Kubota's ....and have dubious history's ;-)
You want a 540 pto and double acting external hydraulic tipping pipe as a minimum and also 4WD ..... if you want a hedge cutter you need to have a 25-35 hp tractor so that physically it is heavy enough to handle the hedge cutter otherwise at full reach it will lift the rear wheel or tip over (even more likely on slopes if the cutter head is downhill of you )

If you get a compact tractor it can end up a bit like power tool collecting as you will find loads of implement's you never knew you needed .... but must have ;-)
lol, you are right about all the implements. only your wallet and imagination are the limits..
 

nick_the_fish

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Hi Guys,

Just wondered if anyone has any experience of Solis tractors?

There doesn't seem to be a huge market for second hand compact tractors and the small number of second hand tractors that are for sale seem to retain their value very well. A lot of the second hand Kubotas and John Deeres are out of our price range, however we have a Solis dealer near us and can probably buy a new tractor and verge trimmer for about the budget (£10k ish).

They are an Indian company apperantly. Seem to do well in India. The reviews here seem to be mixed. Some people say they are great value, others say they are sh*t. As has been noted we are only going to be using it for only a few hours a week, so will probably use it as much in a year as it is designed to be used in a few weeks, therefore we can probably get away with the Ford Focus of tractors, rather than the Rolls Royce.

Thoughts anyone.

Mike - Thanks for the offer but we're in Devon now so a bit too far to come over for a test drive.
 

flint

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No experience of Solis other than looking one over, but personally I think, if you are going to go for a compact, you'd be better off with a decent used Japanese one. Just to put a fly in the ointment and not knowing what sort of land or area you'll be working with, rather than tying up that much capital have you considered using a contractor ? Compacts are fine, but it gets a bit boring topping a field with a 4 foot mower and limited power, and they do have their limitations / dangers on slopes unless you go for something like an Aebi or Reform which are not cheap, either to buy or maintain. I know the joys of working the land with your own gear is attractive, but the cheap stuff does tend to have a limited lifespan and ready availability of parts can be a problem. A quad with a trailer would be handy for collecting firewood etc., for the places you can't reach with the Cruiser, but for the bigger jobs, larger and heavier duty machinery is a better choice. On a cost basis, using a contractor can be another route, and it's down to them if something breaks or they get stuck.
 

Shayne

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Must question the logic of buying new when it will do little work but depreciate in value year on year , i've not followed the thread but does this fit what your looking for ?

 

nick_the_fish

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Thanks @flint I did look into a contractor, but over the next 20 years of living here it's better to buy a compact tractor. We also want the lifestyle of doing our own work, and being able to put the kids and BBQ stuff into a trailer and drive up to the top of the field on a summers evening. The details were on a different thread, but basically we have 21 acres, which is a 7 acre field, 8 acra sloping woodland, 2 sloping plantation and the rest sloping and boggy garden etc...

@Shayne The questionable logic is what's is stopping us from pushing the button. Basically if we go for a John Deere/ Kubota we'll have to pay £10-12k second hand, but we can get a new Solis from the dealer in Barnstaple for £8000 (although he has yet to confirm that in writing!) so going by that alone we figured by the time we get a 3 year warranty, and we don't have to guess at the condition of the vehicle or its past history it might be worth buying new. Correct me if i'm wrong but it seems like compact tractors hold their value incredibly well?? JD/ Kubota seem too anyway.

Great find on the Yanmar. I haven't found that website so i'll have a look.

If i'm totally honest i'm also slightly nervous about buying a tractor that isn't used a lot in this country. If Solis suddenly decide to pull out the the UK market we could be left unable to get parts easily and have to import them at great expense.... a bit like owning a 105 series I guess!!..........

Your thoughts much appreciated chaps and taken on board.
 

chapel gate

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you will be able to get one second hand for a lot less than 10-12k. payed about 4500 for ours its 25 hp.

wheres the thread nick? must of missed it.

a lot of dealers do advertise on ebay.
 
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