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Thread: Tractor or UTV?

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Nashville, MI
    Posts
    352

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    I have a honda 400 quad and a JD 23hp compact tractor. I use the tractor more than the quad. When we have good run days the trailer gets heavy with 225 gallons of sap in it. The tractor has the industrial type tires on it and does not tear the woods roads up even in the soft spots. I also had the rear tires loaded with beet juice for added traction.
    2004 - 2012 2x3 flat pan 25 to 60 taps
    2012 2x3 new divided pan w/draw off 55 taps
    2018 - didn't boil surgery - bought new evaporator
    2019 new SML 2x4 raised flue high output evap. 65 taps
    made 17 gal syrup
    2020 - only put out 53 taps - made 16.25 gal syrup
    2021 - going for 50 bags and 50 on tubing

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    1,105

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pdiamond View Post
    I have a honda 400 quad and a JD 23hp compact tractor. I use the tractor more than the quad. When we have good run days the trailer gets heavy with 225 gallons of sap in it. The tractor has the industrial type tires on it and does not tear the woods roads up even in the soft spots. I also had the rear tires loaded with beet juice for added traction.
    My main collection tank is 300 gallons and I built a carrier out of a set of flat hay forks, on the 3 pt hitch. The tractor handles this quite well and I can raise and lower it by a the travel of the hitch (up to maybe 2 ft). I actually park it and run the main line right into it and in the morning just start the tractor and move the main line into a small tank and take off to the shack. It takes me about 20 minutes to off load at the shack and drive it back in place. I use the Kubota RTV for woods work
    125-150 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Frankford, Ontario
    Posts
    1,000

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    It's all about what you plan to do.
    I have a 4wd compact tractor.
    I have a Deere AMT (prior to Gator)
    I (used to) have an ATV.
    The tractor goes into the woods for firewood, for bush hogging the trails, for moving material around, for snow blowing out the trails for access. It is the only one of the 3 with a PTO to run implements. It will pull the largest load, including my larger firewood / dump trailer. It will also pull a thousand pound sap trailer easily.
    The Gator goes into the woods for trail maintenance, for firewood collection off the main trails or smaller jobs and for sap collection. It is the primary one used collecting sap. We mount a 100 gallon tank in the bed and with 2 seats it gets us both to the woods in one trip. It needs a snow cleared trail though - does not do well loaded in more than a couple of inches of snow. We can pull the tank trailer behind it too - although 2 full tanks is way over it's rated capacity.
    The ATV is faster. I took it when just nipping in to the bush for a "sap survey" or a quick fix to something. It will pull the 100 gallon sap trailer - although better to stay off the slopes when it is getting full. A full tank outweighs the ATV, even with me on board. The ATV left this summer when my son moved away. I will miss it - but not enough to replace it.

    If you envision any "hard work" including pulling logs, grading trails, digging or moving dirt, running a bush hog or a snow blower - then a tractor is the only option.
    For sap collection "tasks" - a UTV is faster and more nimble. But deep snow will stop it.
    If I could only have one - I would start with the tractor. But now I have the Gator, I would never be without both.

    2WD on either should be avoided. You WILL regret it later.
    Big_Eddy
    Eastern Ontario (Quinte)
    20+ years on a 2x3 block arch,
    Homemade 20"x64" drop flue since 2011

    Build a Block Arch
    Build a Flat Pan
    Build a Flue Pan
    Sweetening the Pans
    Build a Bending Brake
    Using a Hydrotherm
    How much Sap to Sweeten?

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Lemington, Vermont
    Posts
    500

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    I use a 8x8 Argo Frontier 650 to get around the mountain, some of the trails are too dangerous for a four wheeler. I also use the Argo to haul firewood out from blowdowns and when I'm thinning. 62084951025__C1D57663-CDD2-4816-BC09-8B0E47C87E55.jpg
    3x10 Leader Inferno Arch
    14,200 Taps
    2 - 14 HP Indiana Vacuum pump
    1800gph Lapierre RO
    10" Lapierre filter press
    2 - 25,000 tap Lapierre releasers
    3 - SS 1500 gallon tanks
    1 - SS 8,400 gallon tank
    8x8 Argo ATV
    50k John Deere generator


    24'x32' sugarhouse

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Lake County Ohio
    Posts
    1,308

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    14,200 taps and your wood fired? That’s impressive, really impressive.
    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>.

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Lemington, Vermont
    Posts
    500

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    I wouldn't recommend my set up to anyone, sugarhouse and evaporator are way too small. I'm on the side of a mountain with no ability to expand the sugarhouse until I get down to the valley.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnallin View Post
    14,200 taps and your wood fired? Thatís impressive, really impressive.
    3x10 Leader Inferno Arch
    14,200 Taps
    2 - 14 HP Indiana Vacuum pump
    1800gph Lapierre RO
    10" Lapierre filter press
    2 - 25,000 tap Lapierre releasers
    3 - SS 1500 gallon tanks
    1 - SS 8,400 gallon tank
    8x8 Argo ATV
    50k John Deere generator


    24'x32' sugarhouse

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Leeds County,Ontario,Canada
    Posts
    967

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    Just got our new Yamaha Viking this week,had a Kawasaki Mule before,sold it last year at deer hunting time. It was great for hauling out bits of firewood,whenever we cut arm size and down goes to sugar house,larger to furnace. The homemade mainline wire spinner and mainline spinner sit in the back for going right to the site,and best of all it parks right outside the sugar house door where we load the bottled syrup into and drive home to park in the garage. Only problem was with ground clearance it didnít take much snow to stop it,and my wife had a hard time steering it without power steering. Now with the new side by side weíre back to driving right to where we are installing new mainline and laterals,and it even has a heater in it! Higher clearance too hopefully means no issues in the bush should the snow get deep
    7th generation maple producer in sugarhouse built in 1892
    2x World Champion Maple Syrup Producer
    1250 taps on cv adapters
    Leader Vortex 3x14 with Max Flue and Revolution Syrup Pan,Enhanced Steam Away
    www.leggettmaplesyrup.com

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Northern Wisconsin
    Posts
    53

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    I have a tractor, a gator, and a snowmobile. If I could have only one it would be the tractor. The gator actually gets more used, but is not suitable for a lot of big jobs. The snowmobile gets used for mostly transportation. The gator works great for summer maintenance. For wood hauling equipment moving and other large activities nothing can beat the tractor
    3500 taps, vacuum.

  9. #39
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Saratoga, NY
    Posts
    288

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    I just wanted to follow up on this thread I started to say thanks to everyone - every response was helpful to me and I always enjoy hearing how others manage their setups.

    Unfortunately my conclusion is that, unless you're on a flat 5 acre field like I used to be, you ideally need a collection of vehicles to manage all the task appropriately.

    Since I have a Yamaha Kodiak ATV and my neighbor has a 500CC snowmobile, I am increasingly thinking my next major purchase will be a 25-30HP tractor. As I noted in my first post, having just bought a new (bigger) place and still having young kids, I need to invest in something that will make my jobs easier all year round.

    While I have 50 buckets I'll put up this year on a flat top in the back corner of our woods, my long term plan is to run tubing down the edge of our 30 acre parcel that follows a long drainage / slope to a gulley just behind where I want to place a 16x24 sugar shack. I think I could probably pump right from that collection spot, up a hill to the eventual site of a shack.

    I would still run a couple dozen buckets because I love the nostalgia and my kids enjoy tapping > hanging them but I could probably be choosy about where they go to make collection easier.

    If/when I make the final new purchase I'll let you all know. A local ag retailer has both a used 2019 Kubota 4x4 26hp and a fully kitted out (cab, hydraulic plow, power dump) JD 825i XUV for about the same money ($14k~).

    We shall see!
    --
    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. #40
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Wakefield,New Hampshire
    Posts
    323

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    Sounds like a good plan for tubing and the location of the future sugarhouse. Also the loaded tractor sounds like a nice investment. I just got my first tractor and can't believe i waited this long to get one. We will see how helpful it is with the sugaring process.
    6th season solo sugar maker in a young sugar bush of mostly red maples
    260 taps
    2x6 self built arch, Flat pans w/ dividers
    New 12x16 sugar house

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