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Thread: Tractor or UTV?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Saratoga, NY
    Posts
    281

    Default

    We have very nice trails here that have been well maintained by my neighbor's kid, it would be a shame to tear them apart.
    --
    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. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    1,098

    Default

    I have experienced the Kubota RTV diesel starving for power on steep slopes in High range, but if I feather the throttle it picks up and goes. I have hauled firewood stacked clear up against the cap and had plenty of power, Just go to low range. I have hauled the bed full of stone too. We did like the mule, but when we found this bargain on the Kubota we jumped. There is a big difference in the Mules from model to model, definitely look at the pro FX. The kubota has power steering and is very easy driving, get power steering in whatever you get.

    On the tractors, kubotas are good, but you pay a lot more for that orange paint. My Massie compared against the same size kubota was $3,000.00 + cheaper and still a good machine. I have not looked at Mahindras, but hear good things about them.

    Buy the new UTV now and a cheaper old used tractor, they hold good resale value to trade on a new one later. You can get a good functional two wheel drive tractor for under $6,000.00. You'll end up doing some work on it, but it will do a lot of work for you too.
    125-150 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Brockport, NY
    Posts
    251

    Default

    I can't count the times we've needed 4 wheel drive both in, and out of the woods. I'd recommend that for sure. I'd go for a compact tractor with a quick on quick off front loader. Deere has those, I have one and like it. In general, I agree with those who say to buy the most tractor you can afford, but size in the woods with narrow tracks and some sliding may be an issue with larger tractors and snow ice and mud.
    I just put most tools in the bucket, and tow a trailer, and the tractor works good. I've used an ATV (Polaris) but for me it just wasn't the right tool for sapping.
    good luck! Mark

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    10,922

    Default

    I've used an ATV and a snowmobile as well as 2 different tractors. Both tractors were 4x4, a 20 hp and a 37hp/cab. I have seen lots of work done using a good UTV. So, I guess it's just up to you. Decide what it is you want most to accomplish. Does your land have low, muddy areas, or areas too steep to climb? Do you have established trails or will you need to make some. Answering those questions will help you make a good choice. There isn't really a bad choice unless you pick something that can't navigate your woods. The UTV will likely cause less damage. A tractor can get more work done because of the attachments available, but those attachments can "tax the bank" if you know what I mean.
    Dave Klish about 400 taps, down from much more. Will hold about the same for 2021
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Wardensville, Wv
    Posts
    101

    Default

    Does anyone use a 4x4 mini truck like a honda acty? They just made them road legal in the state I live in. I like the idea of the drop side bed heat and AC at no extra cost. Interested if anyone has any experience.
    2021 - new pans, new arch, lots of new taps and tubing
    2020 - 32 Gallons
    2019 - 27 Gallons

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Lake County Ohio
    Posts
    1,302

    Default JD Gator gets my Vote

    I use both a 2006 "HPX Trail Gator" and a Skidoo Tundra for woods and syrup work.
    I can go just about anywhere in the Gator, it's fine until the snow gets >20" in depth - then it can bottom out.
    I used it to collect sap until I went to a tube system, I now use it to haul wood, set taps, maintain lines and plow 2 drives we have here.

    The SkiDoo Tundra a fairly specialized snow machine from SkiDoo...made more for work than play. It's very narrow and light with a 4 stroke 600CC engine.
    When the snow is too deep for the Gator, I use it to check lines and skid logs out and over to the sugar house for bucking and splitting.

    I have no experience with a tractor so can't help in that regard.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    John Allin

    14x18 Hemlock Timber Frame Sugar House 2009
    Leader 2x6 w/Patriot Raised Flue Pan 2009
    Leader Steam Hood 2014 - Clear Filter Press 2015
    Leader Revolution Pan and SS Pre-Heater 2016
    CDL Hobby RO & Air Tech L25 Hi Vac Pump 2019
    06' Gator HPX to collect wood & sap
    14' Ski-Doo Tundra for winter work in the woods
    Great Family 3 grown kids+spouses and 7 grand kids who like the woods
    7th Gen Born in Canada - Raised in Chardon Ohio - Maple Capital of the World..<grin>.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Lake County Ohio
    Posts
    1,302

    Default

    A pic of the Tundra pulling its weight...
    IMG_1543.jpg
    John Allin

    14x18 Hemlock Timber Frame Sugar House 2009
    Leader 2x6 w/Patriot Raised Flue Pan 2009
    Leader Steam Hood 2014 - Clear Filter Press 2015
    Leader Revolution Pan and SS Pre-Heater 2016
    CDL Hobby RO & Air Tech L25 Hi Vac Pump 2019
    06' Gator HPX to collect wood & sap
    14' Ski-Doo Tundra for winter work in the woods
    Great Family 3 grown kids+spouses and 7 grand kids who like the woods
    7th Gen Born in Canada - Raised in Chardon Ohio - Maple Capital of the World..<grin>.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Saratoga, NY
    Posts
    281

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by buckeye gold View Post
    I have experienced the Kubota RTV diesel starving for power on steep slopes in High range, but if I feather the throttle it picks up and goes. I have hauled firewood stacked clear up against the cap and had plenty of power, Just go to low range. I have hauled the bed full of stone too. We did like the mule, but when we found this bargain on the Kubota we jumped. There is a big difference in the Mules from model to model, definitely look at the pro FX. The kubota has power steering and is very easy driving, get power steering in whatever you get.

    On the tractors, kubotas are good, but you pay a lot more for that orange paint. My Massie compared against the same size kubota was $3,000.00 + cheaper and still a good machine. I have not looked at Mahindras, but hear good things about them.

    Buy the new UTV now and a cheaper old used tractor, they hold good resale value to trade on a new one later. You can get a good functional two wheel drive tractor for under $6,000.00. You'll end up doing some work on it, but it will do a lot of work for you too.
    Thanks, this makes a lot of sense to me - get the UTV now and keep an eye out for deals on a used tractor. I do feel like I should have one with 4WD.

    Back to the Kubota, do you ever find issue running diesel? Hard starting in the cold? Does it handle start and stop use well or do you leave it running for long periods of time?

    Yes, I am looking at the Mule Pro FX EPS with roof.
    --
    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. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Saratoga, NY
    Posts
    281

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by maple flats View Post
    I've used an ATV and a snowmobile as well as 2 different tractors. Both tractors were 4x4, a 20 hp and a 37hp/cab. I have seen lots of work done using a good UTV. So, I guess it's just up to you. Decide what it is you want most to accomplish. Does your land have low, muddy areas, or areas too steep to climb? Do you have established trails or will you need to make some. Answering those questions will help you make a good choice. There isn't really a bad choice unless you pick something that can't navigate your woods. The UTV will likely cause less damage. A tractor can get more work done because of the attachments available, but those attachments can "tax the bank" if you know what I mean.
    Good thoughts to consider. We do have well established trails but there are two main sections where I really wonder how a tractor would handle the slope going up or down in wet / muddy / snowy weather.

    Tractor implements are stupid expensive, IMHO. It seems like you can buy an old 2WD compact with a 6' mower on the rear for less than buying a new mower deck for one. I would definitely be getting the hairy eyeball if I bought a tractor and then started racking up $2-$3k "add-on" costs.
    --
    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. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Saratoga, NY
    Posts
    281

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by johnallin View Post
    I use both a 2006 "HPX Trail Gator" and a Skidoo Tundra for woods and syrup work.
    I can go just about anywhere in the Gator, it's fine until the snow gets >20" in depth - then it can bottom out.
    I used it to collect sap until I went to a tube system, I now use it to haul wood, set taps, maintain lines and plow 2 drives we have here.

    The SkiDoo Tundra a fairly specialized snow machine from SkiDoo...made more for work than play. It's very narrow and light with a 4 stroke 600CC engine.
    When the snow is too deep for the Gator, I use it to check lines and skid logs out and over to the sugar house for bucking and splitting.

    I have no experience with a tractor so can't help in that regard.
    Interesting that you mention the Tundra, I was reading up on those last night - I don't know if it's just a regional thing or a COVID rush but there are tons of seemingly solid Ski-Doo machines for sale around me here and I think the prices seem very reasonable (in the $2-4k range). The only thing that makes me hesitate on investing in a snow machine now is that they're so specialized and we often have our biggest sap runs with no snow on the ground around here.
    --
    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

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