75 acres of timber with house - trails, small garden, invasive control

What size tractor do I need? What is a good model to buy? What size mower do I need?

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75 acres of timber with house - trails, small garden, invasive control

Postby nmz787 » Tue May 11, 2021 4:10 pm

I just bought 75 acres of timberland that needs about 40 acres replanted. some is reasonably flat or gently sloping, some steeper.

    Would like to pull logs to a mini sawmill (don't have yet), or onto a trailer for pulling to a neighbors for them to mill.
    Would like to make some new hiking/ATV/dirtbike trails, and keep existing trails clean
    Control invasive himalayan blackberry... some in unplanted areas, some amongst seedling trees (might need a handheld brush cutter, like a weedwacker with saw, for this)
    till small garden
    grade/flatten the gravel roads
    maybe plow some snow

Had been thinking a backhoe could be useful too, but don't have any immediately obvious need for one.

I have looked online at crawler loaders (seem expensive/time-intensive when repairs are needed), tracked skidsteers (not cheap to buy, similar repair concerns and issues trailering/moving it around). Have not thought too much about traditional tractors because of the concern over tipping on the slopes and not really planning much "ag farm" work.

Have most recently been thinking to get a pull mower (brush or flail) for cutting trails and maintaining them, and also mowing the 1/2 acre or so of grass near the main driveway that the neighbor can see. (or just pulling my push mower haha)

Today at my "city house" I was talking to the neighbor and he's got a Yanmar 165D for sale, about 700 hours on the clock, with a bucket on the front, a brush mower (needs new bearing), a drag blade, and a tiller. Wants $2500, says the bucket should normally lift 500lbs but lately it's only doing about 300... so something needs worked on with that. One of the front bucket hydraulic cylinder brackets, the upper one, is bent a little (he hit something too hard) but he said there's so little articulation with it that it doesn't affect anything, no binding, etc...

It seems like an easy buy, small enough that I can pull with my diesel Jetta or Chevy Colorado, and a small utility/automotive trailer... but also maybe too small for some jobs (and I'm concerned that it will just be too small). Definitely seems wayyy easier to work on, or get loaded and take to a mechanic by myself (i.e. no calling a lowboy to come in).

This would be my first "heavy equipment" purchase.

Would love to hear some opinions to help round out my thoughts on the matter. Thanks.

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Re: 75 acres of timber with house - trails, small garden, invasive control

Postby Aaron » Fri May 14, 2021 11:20 am

The 165D is a neat little tractor but it is small and very narrow which is good for a lot of things but slopes is not one of them. The loader certainly will not help stability. It would be very easy to get in trouble on any hilly ground I think. You would certainly want to have a ROPS and wear your seatbelt. That tractor is small but it is heavy enough that you certainly don't want it sitting on top of you.

The price is good though assuming it is in usable shape. A new loader for that tractor would cost more than that.

I've never really had any hilly land though so maybe someone else can chime in here also.

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