We recently purchased a tractor, and I thought it was time for me to do a post about it. The tractor that we purchased was a Kubota L3200 4wd with gear shift transmission. We bought the tractor new, from the same dealer we bought the RTV from last year.
I've been toying with the idea of buying a tractor for a while. Until fairly recently, however, I didn't think that we could actually justify the expense. We finally decided, though, that in addition to being helpful with day to day tasks, the tractor would be a big help when we were ready to build a house. Because we plan to use an alternative building method there is a good chance that we'll be moving large quantities or materials such as sand, clay, gravel, straw, etc. Having a tractor with a front end loader will definitely make that process easier.
After looking at used tractors, both online and at dealerships, I decided that it made the most sense for us to buy new, rather than used. I normally prefer buying used, but I just don't know enough about tractors to be comfortable buying a used one. Since tractors seem to hold their value very well, anything I found that was just a few years old was going to cost closer to a new one that I'd like, and older ones were just going to be too hard for me to evaluate.
I did look at a few different tractor brands, but Kubota was always my preference. I've been extremely pleased with the RTV, as well as with the dealership it was purchased from. I was initially looking at the BX series tractors, as they were the smallest and cheapest option. After talking to the salesman, however, he convinced me to consider the L series tractors instead. The primary issue with the BX series is that since they are a sub-compact, the implements they can use are limited. I decided that it made more sense to go with something that could handle full size implements, which would mean I could more easily buy used implements rather than having to buy everything new. Another option was the B series, but to get something comparable to the L3200, was going to actually cost a bit more.
The retail price for the 4wd L3200 with gear shift transmission and front end loader is $19,000. This was beyond our price range, so we weren't seriously considering the L3200. Andrea wanted to see the tractor in person, however, so we dropped by the dealer one day to look at it together. When I asked the salesman for the price, I was surprise at how much under the retail price it was. When you add in the fact that Kubota was offering a $750 rebate with $0 down and 0% interest, it started looking much more practical.
After looking at our monthly budget, and considering the tax implications of the purchase, we finally decided to go ahead and buy the tractor. We revisited the dealership with the intention of buying it, but I wanted to take a test drive first. Having never driven a tractor before, I found it a bit awkward, but the tractor seemed a good fit for me. After having the salesman demonstrate the features of the tractor, and looking at the front end loader we decided to go in and start the paperwork. In addition to the the base tractor and loader the dealer threw in liquid ballast in the rear tires and delivery.
So far I am very pleased with the tractor. I'm still trying to get use to it, so haven't done a great deal with it. I can already tell that the loader is going to be very useful. I also suspect that the pulling power of the tractor will be very helpful. The tractor is 32hp, which is double the hp of the RTV. With the added weight of the tractor, and the better traction the tires will provide, I should be able to pull up some decent sized trees.
I'll most likely do another post at some point in the future, once I've put more hours on the tractor. Based on my limited experience so far, however, I am confident that the tractor was a good purchase. It seems to be a very good fit for us. I'm already happy that we went with the larger tractor, rather than the smallest one we thought would meet our needs. I sometimes think that when we bought the RTV, we should have gone with the 900 instead of 500. Hopefully we won't have this concern with the tractor.