Home Survival 101 Forest to Farm: Tractor Introduction

Forest to Farm: Tractor Introduction

by Survival Dispatch Staff

Hey guys Brain & Terry here! Today we are going to talk about the Kubota B2650 and why it’s the right tractor for our needs. When it comes to picking a tractor, there are a lot of things to consider and countless options out there. Prior to purchasing, we did a lot of research and talked to a lot of people that own tractors to get their thoughts on what we should look into and what’s going to be our best investment. Buying a tractor is a big investment, so you definitely want to take your time and make the best decision you can for your needs.

Quite a few people that we talked to said we should figure out what we need and go bigger. Once we had pretty much settled on the B2650, we decided to take their advice and look at the next size up, the L series. It looked like a great option with many of the same features of the B series, plus it was heavier which would mean better power for ground engaging implements or hauling. When we got to looking at the specs closely, we found that it actually carried about the same amount of weight in the loader and had about the same weight capacity on the 3-point hitch. Plus, it lost the mid-mount PTO option. The biggest “gain” with the L series was overall tractor weight. The weight could be an advantage depending on your needs.

So, we test drove the L series and the B series. It just so happens that it had rained the day before and the test area was still pretty saturated next to the dealership. We had a narrow alleyway to drive down with each. We took the L series first and found that when we went to turn around, we had to do about a three-point turn to get headed back to our starting point. We also noticed had we had left some pretty hefty tire tracks in the ground. Next up was the B series. One thing I noticed right off was that it had arm rests on the seat, a big bonus in my eyes for those long days working on the property. So, we took it down the same path, but went beyond our previous turn-around point into fresh ground. Boy, were we surprised! We turned around in a single turn, and we hardly left any marks in the ground. Ultimately, we would be using the tractor in a forest around buildings and in our yards. Keeping those things in mind, the B2650 had huge advantages over the L series. The tight turning radius and lighter weight meant we could work around the property with ease, and not leave a lot of torn up ground in our wake. Another big consideration was implements. The bigger your tractor is, the bigger the implements will be and the more they will cost. Once you start adding things up, it gets a lot more expensive having a bigger tractor, not to mention the size truck you may end up having to haul everything when you go anywhere with it.

Now, on the note of “buy a bigger tractor”. Another thing to consider is, what is the bulk of your work going to consist of? Yes, we are digging stumps up, hauling stumps, hauling heavy logs, etc., but that is only at this present time. Once we get settled, we will predominately be hauling dirt, mulch, turning large piles of compost, and hauling brush/small logs on occasion. While the B2650 can’t do the larger tasks we need right now, it can do most everything we need later and a fair amount of the lighter duty work now. So, what we decided to do was invest the “extra cost” of a larger tractor into heavy equipment rentals (skid steer and mini excavator) as needed for the rigorous work and not wear out our tractor. We can just save up the big jobs for enough to rent equipment for, and then rent that heavy equipment at a fraction of the cost of owning it. Not only is it heavier duty than a bigger tractor would be, it is also far more efficient at doing the tasks we would be doing (digging/hauling stumps and hauling logs).

Now let’s take a look at some of the features of the B2650. It’s what they call a “luxury” model. It has a few nice features that you don’t get on the bigger tractors. First off, it has those wonderful arm rests I mentioned earlier. They really are a huge benefit when you are on the tractor all day. It allows you to rest your arms and take some of the strain off your back. They also help you to balance yourself as you navigate rugged terrain.

One of the other very beneficial features it the load knob. It doesn’t sound like much, every tractor with a loader has a loader knob. What makes this one stand out is its location. Most loader controls are up in the air off the top of the load mount. This on, on the other hand, comes up through the bottom of the tractor under your seat and ends right in front of the arm rest. What this means is that instead of having to hold your arm up in the air every time you want to use the loader (just think of moving dirt/mulch all day and how often you’d have to actuate that loader), you now can rest your arm on the arm rest and control the loader with ease. This makes for a much more enjoyable and less fatiguing day. 

The next feature is simple and very effective. It’s tilt steering. A lot of tractors have had more vertical style steering because you have to have access to get on and off of the tractor. With the tilt steering, the tractor is easy to mount with it in the upright position. 

Then, I can get settled, actuate the tilt steering with my foot, tilt the wheel with my hand, and then it’s locked in place when I move my foot off of the lever. One place this really helps out is when you’re running a ground engaging implement and you have to constantly look back behind you. 

With the steering wheel in the upright position, it’s not in the best place for optimal control of the tractor, plus I’m at full extent and it’s harder on me to stay in that position and stay comfortable. 

However, with the tilt steering, I can tilt the wheel closer to me and maintain full control of the tractor with ease.

We aren’t saying that a compact tractor is what you need, but we are saying it’s perfect for us. It may a few more laps with a smaller tractor, but we enjoy the time on it. It’s relaxing. Make sure to do your research and try out whatever you want before making that investment. 

We hope you guys and gals found this post to be helpful and entertaining. Be sure to check back soon as we keep moving forward on the property and start putting some implements to work! Next up we’ll be getting set up for temporary power as well as clearing more for our driveway and houses. Thanks for stopping by!

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