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How many of you have used an Ag tractor/ pusher/blower on your lots and like it.

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by DeereGuy, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. DeereGuy

    DeereGuy Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    Looking at a purchase. I'm at a limit as to what I can do right now. A 100HP tractor can do a lot of work. PowerReverser no clutch trans. Not Hydro.

    Tractors retain value and in theory it should pay for itself. I have a small tractor for loading salt. It's a toy compared to what I need. Less Labor expense, more machine expense. More capable than a new truck me thinks. Need to finance so new at 0 percent is probably my only option.

    Still $85k or so is a lot of dough to finance. Has to pay for itself in 5 to 7 yrs. What do you say. Looking at 5 series JD with a front 3ph/ pusher or blade like a Horst wing blade and a blower on the back; Normand or Pronovost. Could see side work in firewood business. But that is not really a failsafe.

    Yes or no way.
  2. potskie

    potskie Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 768

    What are you doing with it in the summer? That's the big issue for us. We have no summer work for AG tractors. So instead theres a fleet of Horst and Metal Pless blades in my yard that go on AG tractors we lease for the winter. Our operators, Our insurance but we just lease for the winter.
  3. rob_cook2001

    rob_cook2001 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,171

    I would look just at a little bigger deere, a 6130d or 6140d.. a few thousand lbs heavier for better traction.

    MIDTOWNPC PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,424

    What about the Deere e series. 5083 or 5101e
    Horst 9-13 blade. Buy a used blower. Not much goes wrong with a blower.
  5. DeereGuy

    DeereGuy Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    Summer I used to do Light construction related, and woodshop work. No work out here that I'd get out of bed for in that industry right now. Folks are so used to Walmart and Ikea they have no clue what good is.. At least that's my take.

    I have a 40 ac wood lot an hr north from home and thought about some firewood related. Neighbors all have 40 acre lots as well. Have a sawmill but tough to make money with it. If I had nice flat farm land I'd grow barley for all the micro breweries popping up everywhere lately around here. Alcohol is good when things are bad...They all want homegrown stuff to make beer with.

    Ya looked at the 6 series. Too big for me to truck around though. I agree they make a better platform for not much more $.
  6. DeereGuy

    DeereGuy Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    Midtown, thats what I'm looking at 5101E or 5105M $10K dif but the M has much more capacity for 3ph. I am always at or beyond my 1070 JD cap back there so that is one reason I would like the M. Also if something goes wrong the cylinders are exterior I think. Also the LaForge front 3ph has a better capacity for the M. The M is also heavier being built here (prob mexico) not India. I think the PowerReverser Plus would be a decent thought as well and only avail. on the M.
  7. DeereGuy

    DeereGuy Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    Oh and the Horst looks great. A lot of moving parts though. Not sure how Hydro will keep up with wing needs etc. Used to my 9'6 XV which moves slick

    MIDTOWNPC PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,424

    I bought a 5083e. Cheap and should do the job.
    Horst direct mount 9 13
  9. DeereGuy

    DeereGuy Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    Have you used it yet? If so how well did it handle 13'. Tire quest bias or Radials. And how is the power reverser. I'm used to plowing like a batouttahell. Have to take too many accts to make it these days. I am thinking your setup should double what I can do time wise with my 3/4 truck 9'6" V. Is that possible. Most of my lots are are small 1/2 acre or less. One is 1.25 acre. Not a lot of room to put snow generally so a blower will be a good edition. Lastly, are you using loader arms or front 3PH for pushing.
    thanks. Only quote so far is for what you have. E series 5101.
  10. blowerman

    blowerman PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,261

    The reality of a AG tractor is you can do (should do) the math over 10 years but will be paying off the loan in 5.... So if with no real use for the tractor in summer, prepare to pay in the range of $15 K per year to cover the cost cost over 5 years. That includes tractor, blower, plows. etc, etc, and maintenance.
    Would you like to see the fading of my M100 Kubota this summer? And I even use a 15 ft. batwing mower to give it some exercise.... Make sure you do the proper math, that's why "switching to a snow blowing service" has almowt 50k hits. Great advice to help you out. Use it, these (me to) aren't lying....
  11. DeereGuy

    DeereGuy Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    Thanks for the advice blowerman. I did do a lot of reading and utubing to see what was in use in other places. I'm going to reread your mentioned thread. I heard a large local Landscaping Co. around here just ordered what I am interested in. Breaking into the large scale resi business with a big tractor blower. Not a bad idea if you have a full staffed office to pay in the winter who are just sitting around waiting on spring.

    I was a little distraught when I received news from my Deere sales guy this week that the Pronovost bi-directional did not really work in both directions. The utube videos with the TV140 and bi-dir. Pronov. looked convincing enough for me to start getting some quotes. Guess I was not paying attention. Works backing up and scrapes when pulling. I need a forward facing unit for potential fast field work. My current comercial business could use a rear facing unit to clear large banks, entrances and piles. I am at a loss to choose one over the other now. Stymied ..

    I prob could have some work clearing fieldturf fields if I can figure out the weight and tire issue. This could be a niche that pays those summer payments after the asphalt is clear. One reason for my desire to stick with a mid frame size tractor instead of the deere 6 series or similar.

    Market is a little different here. Too far to a big city for my little business. Atlantic ocean 100 yards east digs a big hole in how much area I can cover if you know what I mean. Basically there are only so many accounts. That said. I could still have twice as many probably if I had equipment. Resi's are not my favorite because of billing / receiving and contracting time. But it is wide open. Blower service would be ideal for a few cul-de-sac neighborhoods in town. Folks here are very independent here and frugal. Most have snowblowers and all complain about a $35-45. charge for 6". Condo Assoc.'s pay. on time. I like that. Have 90 units worth now.

    Not sure how you stretch out payments to even 7 yrs. $15k a year isn't bad though. After it's paid I have something too. Looking into field renovation and a few other summer things.
  12. bob00

    bob00 Senior Member
    Messages: 143

    here ther is a guy with 20 tractor he rent them out to farmer in the summer it help cover he s payment framer have the same probleme as you they have no work in the winter

    he also rent them to a campangy how cut the grass on the side of the highway and in park
  13. nsmilligan

    nsmilligan PlowSite.com Veteran
    Messages: 704

    I just added my 4th tractor a Puma 130 CVT, electric heated front and rear windows, heated power adjustable mirrors,heated seat, but I missed the snow tires, Case is now offering Nokian snow tires on their tractors. Horst snowwing 4200 blade.
    The tractors are cheaper to lease then a truck, better on fuel, and push wayyyy more.
  14. dfd9

    dfd9 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,475

    Better be thinking about adding something to keep them from cracking in half with that much weight off the front end.

    Put a truck set up the same way next to a tractor, and the tractor will outplow the truck by 50% minimum.
  15. bcbrouwer

    bcbrouwer Member
    Messages: 45

    yeah, I agree with nsmilligan. tractor is way more efficent than a truck. in a yard that takes my f250 with a 8'2" boss v blade 2 hours to plow, my John deere 105hp with a horst 10-16' blade will plow the same amount of snow on the same lot in 30-40 minutes. I also have a back blade/pull plow for loading docks and carrying extra snow behind me. this year I bought a 7710 JD 135hp with a 12/18 snow wing. it will be even quicker, cant wait for the snow to come! I have found for me doing commercial lots where I have to move a lot of snow around to the designated snow pile areas, a blower is much slower than the tractor with the back blade. for driveways it would be the other way around.
  16. dmax08

    dmax08 Senior Member
    Messages: 183

    I switched 4 years ago to tractors. I bought a kubota M7040 , put a 10' blade on it and have been very pleased since. The unit works very well and very fuel efficient.

    Still have trucks and skid steers, but like the tractors way better.

    The last one i purchased was a repo, saved 20k.. just had to go get it in kentucky

    MIDTOWNPC PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,424

    I'll let you know but since the dealer sold it and those are the mounts Horst sells I think it will be fine. I have the 5083e and the Horst direct lift 913 snow wing.

    I don't know how you can put a truck setup te same way beside it unless you mount a Horst to a truck. The benefit of the truck is it could salt but one thing that made me go to a tractor is the maintenance factor the visibility and the insurance. I really considered another bobcat but road speed was the other thing. I did buy a two speed a300 bobcat also which I really want to try a Horst 913 on also
  18. potskie

    potskie Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 768

    What about a forward PTO?

    I just ask because I used to work for a guy who had a JD 7630 with a forward PTO. Had a Reist 6000 series and a 3 point Horst 5000 series to go on it. Also had a fendt (can't remember the model # as I ran the deere.) setup the same. Gorgeous setup I loved it, Was powerful enough that it ate a couch one night and just kept on going.

    I only mention it because it could open up some account oppourtunities. He had a contract with the local municipality to do their blow backs/ truck loading with them on the roads and hwys. Also was able to offer blow back/loading service to smaller contractors ( a huge hit around here).
  19. Plow horse

    Plow horse Senior Member
    Messages: 116

    Ag tractors

    Yes they plow better than anyting else. With the right set up. I have a JD 6200 4wd, quick tach loader, bucket and plow hook up direct to jd or on loader, pushing 10' w wings lots of weight on rear 3pt or can switch to blade or cone salt spreader. But you nead lots of weight on rear 3pt . Blowers are great in the rite app but are slow and if the wind changes direction very messy, I hated my rear 3pt hitch one, going backwards sucks. I love my JD can out plow ANYTHING else Except of course a Bigger JD. If you have a truck you can get to sites a little faster than in a tractor, BUT it really is 6 one way have a dozen the other way. Bottom line is you nead both, trucks and tractors, with lots of toys for them.
    A loader with a V plow is REALLY hard to beat!
  20. Neige

    Neige Sponsor
    Messages: 2,195

    Yes, yes, and yes go for it. We keep our equipment 15 years, and then can still get around 20% for it on a trade in. If it takes you 7 years to pay it off, you still have 8 years with no payments to look forward to. Your maintenance and fuel costs will be loads less than a truck, and you can do so much more.
    You mention its a $85 grand investment, lets look at that. I am assuming you can get 0% over 5 years for that price you got quoted. So you are looking at a payment of $1,416.00 / month lets double that since you make no money with it during the summer. So you pay your monthly finance and set aside the same amount for the summer payments. That means it is going to cost you 17 grand for the winter season for 5 seasons. (remember after 5 years it paid off, but it will still have a value of at least 45 grand) Now how much work are you looking to get with this tractor? 30, 40, 50, 60+ grand? Lets pick 40 grand and remove your 17, leaving you with 23 grand, for labour, fuel, maintenance and damage repairs. Now I know that does not seem like much, but you do retain the value of your equipment. After those 5 years, no no longer have to remove the $17 grand payments, but you will have to lower the value of your equipment around 3 grand a year. I find many people forget that they are paying off equipment over 5 years yet retaining it for 15. You are investing in your business. Now the numbers I am giving are just rough ideas, but close enough to figured things out. If you do find someone who wants to rent your tractor for the summer months, be sure they are taking good care of it, and not fudging the odometer. Personally I would never rent my tractor out to a company that does highway grass cutting, but that's just me speaking from my own experience.