+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 7 1234567 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 61

Thread: Tractor or UTV?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Saratoga, NY
    Posts
    288

    Default Tractor or UTV?

    We moved to a bigger property this year and I'm contemplating an upgrade from my trusty but underpowered 400CC ATV to either a compact tractor or a "mid-size" UTV like the Kawasaki Mule. Obviously, to justify this kind of purchase I need to be able to do a lot of things with the vehicle but maple'ing is sort of a nice cross-section of tasks. Any thoughts on the better investment for a 30 acre sugar bush with some decent grade in the woods?

    I do have a line on an older, 2WD tractor but I'm wondering if that would have the traction needed for work hauling heavy loads in the woods.
    --
    2015: 8 bucket taps (7 red, 1 sugar) on DIY barrel evaporator
    2016: 13 taps (bucket and tube) on bock arch and hotel pans
    2017: 25 taps...same setup
    2018: 25 taps on 2x3 flat pan and resurrected barrel arch
    2019: 25 taps...same setup plus DIY 3x150gpd RO filter
    2020: 50 taps, all buckets...same setup with 50
    2021: Planning for 100 taps (50/50) on 2x4 divided pan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    258

    Default

    Either an utv or as big of 4wd tractor as you can afford. I have a full functioning farm with little tractors, big tractors. And a utv. I use the utv daily. Most helpful tool on the farm for getting around. But, a tractor has amazing versatility to get the job done. It really comes down to what you need most.
    2016- 50 buckets. Made 4 gallons
    2017- 100 buckets, 50 taps on 3/4 mainline and 3/16th tubing + shurflo vacuum. Made 30 gallons.
    2018- 1000 taps on 3/16 + vacuum, 60 buckets - made 378 gallons of syrup.
    2019- 1713 taps on 3/16 + vacuum, NO buckets. Made 500 gallons.
    2020- 2793 taps made 1118 gallons.
    2021- adding 500?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Northern Michigan
    Posts
    431

    Default

    We use a Kubota UTV with tracks for all our work in the woods during the winter. This includes hauling all of the sap we collect. With up to 4' of snow on the level when syrup season starts for us, it is the only practical way for us to transport sap. We have used it for 10 years and it is still going strong, hauling an average of 3500+ gallons of sap each year.
    Gary
    16' X 24' Sugarhouse
    2' X 6' Leader Inferno Arch with Revolution Raised-Flue Pans, Smoky Lake preheater and hood
    Deer Run Maple gas-powered 250 RO
    WesFab 7" filter press
    Kubota 1100 RTV with tracks and 125 gallon tank for transporting sap
    600+ taps on gravity and vacuum
    Very supportive wife who is the best coworker
    http://mapletrader.com/community/sho...ing-Sugarhouse

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    1,105

    Default

    It depends on your use needs. I have both a 4wd tractor and a UTV and use both a lot. If you have farm type work like mowing, bush hogging and soil work then get a tractor, but if your mostly just tooling around and tasking then a UTV is the choice. If I could only get one at a time I would go with the UTV for versatility.

    I have a 2018 Massie Ferguson 1735 ((39 hp) with a front end loader and love it. A front end loader is very important, you will be surprised how much work you will do with it. I went with the massie because it was heavier built and competitively priced at $23,000.00. You can go smaller, but you'll be happier with bigger. Usually a tractor in the 30+ HP will do a nice job for your size property, but up to 60 will do fine.

    We have a Kubota RTV 900 UTV. We looked at every brand we could find and settled on the Kubota for driveability and good reviews. The Mule was our second choice. Kubota often has zero % financing. We found a holdover demo model just like we wanted and bought it for $2,500.00 off sticker. We had to drive 1.5 hrs to the dealer, but it was worth it. They usually have these after model years change, which should be about now. Don't be afraid to ask. Ours still carried full warranty and had less than 10 hrs.
    125-150 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Ashtabula County, Ohio
    Posts
    1,711

    Default

    I have both a Kawasaki Mule MX (2019) and a 50 hp Long tractor. One thing to keep in kind, is that when things get muddy the tractor will tear up your woods a lot more than a utv.
    1000 taps on vac down to 3 buckets, 140 taps on gravity tubing, 75 on 4008 Shurflo
    2x7 A&A Raised Flue
    CDL 18" vacuum filter
    NGMP 100 HPRO RO
    2019 Kawasaki Mule Pro MX, Long 510 sap haulers
    Past evaporators: Phaneuf 2x6, A&A 2.5x10, Smoky Lake 2x8 (oil then wood fired)
    Syrup made 2010:36 gal 2011:126 gal 2012:81 gal 2013:248 gal 2014: 329.5 gal 2015:305 gal 2016:316 gal 2017:258 gal 2018:147 gal 2019:91 gal 2020: 30 gal
    Tapping the same trees my great, great and great grandfathers tapped.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    1,105

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by heus View Post
    One thing to keep in kind, is that when things get muddy the tractor will tear up your woods a lot more than a utv.
    Very good point heus, back when I worked my woods on buckets and had a two wheel drive tractor, I destroyed my woods roads and field. Every summer meant hours on the tractor with a blade trying to smooth things out. I even had to do some dozer work a couple times. That was the great thing about tubing, I don't even go in the woods with the tractor now, when it's soft. The UTV will not leave much of a footprint unless you get crazy with it.
    125-150 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Saratoga, NY
    Posts
    288

    Default

    Thanks for the input - yes, I can see where a tractor has more versatility when needed but my growing bunch is that the UTV would get more use throughout the year.
    --
    2015: 8 bucket taps (7 red, 1 sugar) on DIY barrel evaporator
    2016: 13 taps (bucket and tube) on bock arch and hotel pans
    2017: 25 taps...same setup
    2018: 25 taps on 2x3 flat pan and resurrected barrel arch
    2019: 25 taps...same setup plus DIY 3x150gpd RO filter
    2020: 50 taps, all buckets...same setup with 50
    2021: Planning for 100 taps (50/50) on 2x4 divided pan

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Saratoga, NY
    Posts
    288

    Default

    Interesting, I seem to run across the recommendation of either kubota or kawasaki for a UTV. Have you ever found the diesel Kubota to be underpowered or tough to maneuver on hills? What did the tracks setup set you back $-wise?
    --
    2015: 8 bucket taps (7 red, 1 sugar) on DIY barrel evaporator
    2016: 13 taps (bucket and tube) on bock arch and hotel pans
    2017: 25 taps...same setup
    2018: 25 taps on 2x3 flat pan and resurrected barrel arch
    2019: 25 taps...same setup plus DIY 3x150gpd RO filter
    2020: 50 taps, all buckets...same setup with 50
    2021: Planning for 100 taps (50/50) on 2x4 divided pan

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Saratoga, NY
    Posts
    288

    Default

    Another vote for Kubota, eh? Yeah, I can only justify one expense right now even though I have a feeling I will someday need a tractor as well. It will be tough to convince my wife to go for two financed purchases, we just bought this place but then also are done paying off both cars. Sort of an offset.

    I have heard that Massey and Mahindra are good options for compact tractors. The one I have been looking at is a Kubota but it's older, 2WD and has no loader (right now).
    --
    2015: 8 bucket taps (7 red, 1 sugar) on DIY barrel evaporator
    2016: 13 taps (bucket and tube) on bock arch and hotel pans
    2017: 25 taps...same setup
    2018: 25 taps on 2x3 flat pan and resurrected barrel arch
    2019: 25 taps...same setup plus DIY 3x150gpd RO filter
    2020: 50 taps, all buckets...same setup with 50
    2021: Planning for 100 taps (50/50) on 2x4 divided pan

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Saratoga, NY
    Posts
    288

    Default

    I've been looking closely at the Mule...I see many folks around here with their newer Pro FX line and here they are similarly built for work as the Kubota. The Mule FX has a model that is more bare bones than the 6 person transport models and instead it has a very large cargo bed that would be good for my other hobby, firewood.
    --
    2015: 8 bucket taps (7 red, 1 sugar) on DIY barrel evaporator
    2016: 13 taps (bucket and tube) on bock arch and hotel pans
    2017: 25 taps...same setup
    2018: 25 taps on 2x3 flat pan and resurrected barrel arch
    2019: 25 taps...same setup plus DIY 3x150gpd RO filter
    2020: 50 taps, all buckets...same setup with 50
    2021: Planning for 100 taps (50/50) on 2x4 divided pan

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 7 1234567 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts