All things tractors thread


Thanks, I have a manual reprint, ordered it when I bought the tractor.

That seems too early, don’t you mean 1000hr? That’s what my manual rec’s.


That sounds like a decent price on the T4. As dutch-s suggested you might check online for rebates going on now (Shell seems to run them quite often). Also I generally find Walmart has the best prices on oil, but not always.

Not sure what tranny/hydraulic fluid your tractor would take. Those can vary quite a bit depending upon if they share the same oil/fluid or not. I’d check with JD and get a name brand of whatever they recommend.

How many hours on your fuel filter? Any bad/questionable fuel recently. If not that many hours and no bad fuel probably OK on that. My ancient tractor has a transparent bowl on the FF, lets me see how dirty it is as well as if there is gelling. If no dirt I typically only replace it every few years (2-300 hrs).


I do every 100. I have a very dirty atmosphere of work and work mine quite hard. I’m moving dirt. Tearing down trees, building a road. Mine says every 500 but it’s easy and I’m OCD…lol…


I just talked to my bro-in-law, he has a JD 2155, kinda like mine, but larger. He said he uses Chevron Delo oil, he said our local general store had it for $30 for a 5 gal bucket last time he bought any.

I did some reading about it and it appears to be maybe a synthetic oil? I don’t know if all Delo oil is synthetic, though. I’m leery about using it, considering what Steve said about it. I’ll have to run down there to check it out.


I just back from the store, they have a 5gal bucket of Rotella T3 oil for $70. They had 1gal jugs of T4 for about $18. For tran/hyd fluid that is supposed to go in JD tractors for $35 for 5gal bucket. So, not really any good deals.


Do you have a Rural King there?


Okay, my manual says use a J20A oil equivalent for the tran/hyd fluid. I found this at TSC’s site for $32/5 gal.

Looks like I’ll be taking a trip to TS soon.

Yes, we have a Rural King, but the closest one is about 45mi from here. TS is closer.


The worst part of doing your own service is getting rid of all of that used fluid/oil. Last time we had service come to the house, that way they take away fluids. Our New Holland is diesel, 36HP and we want and need more HP. The old Ford 5000 has 60 HP (when it was new anyway) but after $1500 in repairs it’s still not right. We’re still looking for something with low hours, 50-60HP and a cab for snowblowing. Good news is we’re down from 5 tractors to 4! 2 family members bought one of the “twins” so it’s still in the family but we don’t have to deal with it. We had to have the Ferguson repaired last summer too after it blew a seal and all of the engine oil drained into another part of the tractor. Luckily no permanent damage to the engine but another $1100 in repair. We work them pretty hard so the expenses are worth it.


The best advice I read before buying a tractor was that the tractors weight will determine how much/what work you can do and the reactors horsepower will determine how fast you get it done. You can easily add weight by loading the tires as well as ballast attachments but you can’t really do much with the horsepower so keep that in mind when buying.


My tractors all leaked so bad that was never a problem!



You might consider an orchard tractor. They are typically much lower profile and narrower (ideal for orchards) but still have good horse power. The disadvantage is that if you are using an implement designed for a taller tractor, they won’t lift the implement high enough on the three point.

All the major manufactures make them. They just don’t make very many. I see them on tractor house. A lot of time, they don’t have a lot of hours. Hours is what wears a tractor out, not time.

Older tractors are cheaper, but if they are too old, finding parts for them when you need them can be challenging. So I wouldn’t buy anything from a manufacturer which is out of business (i.e. Oliver, White, Minneapolis Moline, etc.) John Deere has done a good job in the past of stocking parts for their tractors. Plus if it’s a really common model, they will stock parts longer (and you can get aftermarket parts).

In terms of brands and models, there are lots of orchard tractors out there. I personally think John Deere and Massey Ferguson made the best tractors in the past (don’t know about their new stuff). Kubota is another good brand. I think New Holland makes a cheaper quality tractor, imo.

I have a Massey 4225 low profile FWD I bought used several years ago. It’s a well built tractor. It’s 65hp and will do anything I need it to do. I see them for sale from time to time on Fastline.

Here’s one for asking price of $19K. But it has 3500 hrs. Too many hours for that much money. I see them on Fastline with b/t 1000-2000 hours for about that much money. Sometimes I’ve seen them with less than 1000 hrs.

Again there are lots of lower profile tractors you can look at from reputable manufacturers, if you Google around.

Btw, notice the above tractor doesn’t have an exhaust stack sticking up (it’s run underneath). That’s a nice feature of orchard tractors, so you don’t knock it off on tree limbs. Also the ROPS folds down for using it around trees.


If I had it to do all over again. I wouldn’t buy anything but Kubota. Best tractor ever IMO…
Hard to find used but well worth it. I had a 32 horse that would easily do all the work you will and would easily fit in orchard spacing.




Well, it’s finally starting to dry out around here, so I thought I’d get the tractor out today. I hadn’t been on it since October, I think. On Sat, I changed both of the air filter elements. I was going to try out the bush hog a bit before I stopped to change the old oil in it, so that would help it flow better while it was warm.

It took a while to get it started, but eventually did. There’s a shifter interlock that keeps it from starting, so I had to fiddle with the two shifters a bit before I found the right location. I let it warm up a bit and then rolled out of the barn and up the hill. Well, just like last year, when I engaged the PTO, it popped the shear bolt on the bush hog. So, I spent the next hour looking for my bag o’ bolts and Nyloc nuts and had change the busted one out. That went without much difficulty.

I figured by then the oil had run back down into the pan and was ready to drain. I popped the drain plug out and about 7qt of dirty black oil came out. Not surprising as it had been a while since it was changed. I took the old filter off, put the plug back in, and put the new filter on. It’s supposed to take about 7-8qt of new oil (I used Rotella 15W40), so I filled it up.

I then fired it up to get the oil circulating, and then would check the dipstick after it cooled down a bit. Well, while it was running, I was checking for leaks and didn’t see any. But, while I was looking it over, a bolt that holds the lower part of the alternator was sticking out the front of it by about 2 inches, not more than an inch from the spinning fan belt. I guess it had worked itself out because the nut holding it on the other side of the altenator was gone. Either it had worked loose and fallen off, or was never there in the first place.

That was quite alarming to see, but I don’t think it would have come out any further as it was lodged up against the edge of the fan shroud. So, I had to go find a nut and some washers for it. I had to ask my nephew to help me take off the hood as I needed to get to the top of the alternator. I got the bolt through the hole, and tightened it up.

After we put the hood back on, I fired it up again and took it for a brief run around the back orchard before leaving it for the night. The oil was a bit under the low mark on the dipstick, but it needs to sit overnight to alllow the oil to drain back down, and then check it again tomorrow.

Anyways, like most things around here, it never goes as planned, but it’s good to get the rig out on a nice sunny day finally. After changing the air and oil filters, and the old oil, it seems like it’s running pretty smooth now. I love the sound of that old diesel thrumming in that low tone it has. Can’t wait to get out and do some more work out there soon. And just in time for spring.

It was a good day.


It’s never a good day for me unless I break something. Just received a box from UPS full of filters to start my annual filter changes. I’m hoping all goes well and I break a few things.



Hoping for stuff to break? Not me! Seems like I’m fixing my fair share of things lately. Yesterday I popped another shear bolt on the bush hog, still not sure how that happened. I tried to mow down a big nasty multiflora bush that had some gnarly, thick canes on it, guess it was too much for the mower to handle. Or maybe it was the poplar stump that I forgot about that was next to it.

Guess I’m getting better at this stuff, it only took me about ten minutes to replace the bolt and move on. Got a lot cleared off yesterday, it was a very productive day.

I’ve never changed the air filter elements on this rig. It cost almost $60 to change two of them. I still need to change the trans/hydraulic fluid and filter, not looking forward to that. Will need about 8 gallons.

What kind of tractor(s) do you have?


Yes those air filters are expensive. I have two diesels that require them, a Compact New Holland and a John Deere. I normally replace them every other year unless I have to sooner. Bought 4 gallons of Rotella 15-40 and hope to get my spring maintenance done this weekend… we will see…
Does your bush hog have a slip clutch or does it rely on a shear pin? I buy my filters from the price is pretty good, free shipment …over a certain price and gets here in a couple days. They are a WIX dealer.


I don’t think it has a slip clutch, but I don’t know what one is either. It’s a pretty old mower, don’t even know what brand it is. All I know is it’s red and it has been on this farm for years, it was here when we moved here five years ago. I’m down to one bolt/nut so, I’ll need to pick some up soon.

Is your JD a compact as well? Have you done any plowing or tilling yet? I haven’t, but my next door neighbor plowed one of his fields this week. Guess he’s growing field corn in that plot.

I probably will plow in about a month, still think it’s too early considering we don’t usually plant out until May.

I went to the local JD dealer last week to get my parts, for four filters it was pushing $90.

I asked them how much their hyd/tranny fluid was for a 5gal bucket, they wanted $70 for one bucket of Hygard! My BIL says just use a brand that conforms to the JD standard called for in my owner’s manual. It uses J20A fluid, and there are several brands that out there are about half the price of Hygard. The parts guys there at the dealer was really pushing their stuff, and downing anything else, unless it came from a known distributor and said it would cost more than theirs. What do you use?


I do not plow with my tractor, I used to use our old Olivers… not anymore… just use it for scraping the road and have a front-end loader on it… The front-end loader has be the best attachment ever.

I use the standard Hydro Fluid from RK… I think it is Transverse or Harvest King… I just check the specs. Most universal fluids work.


Wondering if any of the people here use a bobcat