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Author Topic: ATV vs Tractor  (Read 3329 times)

Offline davejakes

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ATV vs Tractor
« on: July 06, 2008, 04:20:53 PM »
Hi. 

I have some hunting land and I'm interested in starting some food plots.  I have investigated having someone plant for me and the price makes me think that purchasing some of my own equipment might be more cost effective, not to mention more fun!

I'd like some opinions about using an ATV vs. a mid sized tractor to plant and maintain food plots.  Also, what kind of equipment should I be looking for.  Also, rent or buy. 

All experience and recommendations are welcome!

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ATV vs Tractor
« on: July 06, 2008, 04:20:53 PM »
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Offline Hunt Master

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Re: ATV vs Tractor
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2008, 03:06:34 PM »
I have done both and found it easier (and a bit cheaper) to use a small tractor. The equipment for the tractor is cheaper to get (used) but if you already have a good, strong 4-wheeler, it may be cheaper to go that route. A lot of it will depend on how big your plots will be and how accessable they are.
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Offline huntstat

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Re: ATV vs Tractor
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2008, 10:06:53 PM »
My experience has been with both and I can tell you for sure I can get so much more done with my 30HP 4WD tractor than I could ever do with the ATV. You can get a used grey market tractor with front end loader, brush hog, box blade, and disk very reasonably and then look out world. I still use my ATV for spraying plots and boundaries and hauling tree stands, deer, hogs, people,and etc. However, I would not be without my tractor. The tractor is also good for getting the boogeries out of your system :-).

Offline DEERSLAYER

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Re: ATV vs Tractor
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2008, 08:52:31 AM »
huntstat, I must plead ignorance about farm equipment prices and such. What is "grey market"? Also, a tractor with all those attachments sounds expensive. What kind of price range are you talking when you say "very reasonably"?

Offline BubbaBrown

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Re: ATV vs Tractor
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2008, 10:59:23 PM »
We've used both on our lease, but the tractor is far better for getting the work done in a timely manner. My brother and I have a Ford 3000, 5' bush hog, 5' disc, and a 5' box scraper. We tried a small disc behind our 300 Artic cats, makes 'em run hot every time. Unless you have one of those ATVs as big as a tractor, I'd go with a good used tractor with at lest 30 HP.
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Offline Zos41

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Re: ATV vs Tractor
« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2008, 06:55:11 AM »
I use my John Deer 990 40 horse tractor with brush hog and tiller for planting and maintaining my deer plots. But sometimes wish I had a tiller and brush hog that could cook behind the ATV for a few of the areas that I can not get into with the tractor.

The bucket on the tractor is also handy for building rough woods roads for getting out firewood and clearing downed timber.

The ATV are very useful for hauling out the deer and for getting into some of the rougher or wetter areas where I cannot take the tractor
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Offline Possum

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Re: ATV vs Tractor
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2008, 08:00:30 AM »
Where I hunt in Alabama we depend on both Tractor and ATV's.... We have lined up a person who just plows the main food Plots (The ones you can get a Tractor to)
This person Plows free in exchange to have the right to Ride his Horses during the Off season on Club land... We also have another Tractor guy who does noting but Bush Hog and Scrapes Club Roads in exchange for Club Membership... The rest is used by ATV's pulling King Kutter ATV Disc and Tulfline Biologic ATVD Disc... And a Drag Hallow....  We also find it Better to spread Seed by hand....  The ATV Disc also handles plant small Food Plots in areas you can not get a tractor.

This works out very well for us...

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Offline roscoe dog

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Re: ATV vs Tractor
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2008, 09:27:17 AM »
All I have is an ATV to use with a small disc that works ok. If I lived on the property I would get a small tractor for sure. 8)

Offline jimmy

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Re: ATV vs Tractor
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2008, 10:06:34 PM »
If you have a strong enuff 4 wheeler you could do alot with it.  Cabela's has some implements you can buy, that would work great with a good 4 wheeler.  I planted a 1 acre food plot last weekend using both a small tractor and 4 wheeler.  It would have been alot easier loading and unloading just the 4 wheeler.  We used a seed spreader that hooked to the 4 wheeler battery and to the back of the wheeler and it worked great.  I plan on using the spreader again in a couple weeks to put fertilizer down. I also used a pull behind roller after i seeded to push the seed in the ground, that fit perfectly behind the 4 wheeler.  This was on flat terrain and is normally used for farm ground.  So you should consider the layout of the terrain as well in your decision.  The 4 wheeler would definitely fit into some tighter areas that a tractor wouldn't. 

Offline mossy oak

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Re: ATV vs Tractor
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2008, 02:39:38 AM »
I have both but you cant beat a small 4x4 tractor for tilling or discing, however there was a time i only had an ATV to plant with and it worked well if you have all the right implements!

Offline hiredgun

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Re: ATV vs Tractor
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2008, 12:07:38 PM »
I am not sure where you are located but it might be in your best interest to visit some of the locals in your area.  You will be surprised to find that they may be able to help you with your plots at a very reasonable rate.  They may also have food plots of their own and would be willing to share what works best in your area.


It would be well worth it to invest some time in this option than to spend a lot of money on a tractor plus the attachments. 

Offline randyman38901

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Re: ATV vs Tractor
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2008, 12:50:23 PM »
I would have to vote in favor of a small tractor for most of the work,,,,tilling,discing,bushhog-mowing etc. I do like to use my atv for spraying, and harrowing...

Offline Wasp

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Re: ATV vs Tractor
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2008, 08:39:34 PM »
Your choice realy depends on the atv you have, everything I've ever pulled needed a big atv or 4x4 atv to pull it. In my opion the tractor will do a lot more work.

Offline The Yeti

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Re: ATV vs Tractor
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2008, 10:08:12 AM »
Hi, Guys.  First post here.  I use an ATV for almost all my plot work so I hope the following will be of interest.

Having planted plots for a lot o' years, the issue of whether you should use a tractor or an ATV pretty much depends on how much money you have to spend, and how many acres you have to do.  It's basically the ol' cost/benefit thing.  For example, if you have, say, 50 acres and are gonna put in just a couple of acres of plots, the cost of buying a tractor may not be outweighed by its benefit over an ATV, given that it won't take you that much longer to prepare your seedbed or to maintain your forage with an ATV. 

In fact, I only use an ATV for my own plots.  I only plant about 5 acres a year, and I already have an ATV (one of the first-generation Honda Forman 400s), so I can't justify the cost of a tractor.

For folks who want to use an ATV for food-plot work, remember that you'll need to access your plots with equipment at least once, but maybe twice.  The first will be when you're preparing your seedbed to plant (assuming you're planting a forage that is not a no-till type forage, and that the site is not so remote that you can't get to it with equipment).  The second is if you plant a perennial forage.  Grass-control is the number-one priority in maintaining perennial forages.  That generally requires the use of selective grass herbicides.  It also generally requires mowing to (1) keep annual weeds from re-seeding, and (2) to keep the forage as lush and attractive as possible (that's why you mow to keep any weeds and also the forage from flowering - to keep energy and nutrients in the forage plants). 

One problem often cited about using ATV equipment is that it's comparatively light.  Ground tillage equipment for ATVs come in various sizes (weights), and my 400 Honda will easily pull one of the little flip-type disks, but it overheats when I try to pull one of the larger, frame-mounted ATV disk implements.  But guess what - THE LIGHT WEIGHT IS GENERALLY NOT A PROBLEM . . .

. . . at least, if you understand one things:  how useful a high-concentration glyphosate herbicide is to folks preparing a seedbed, ESPECIALLY with light ATV equipment.  That's because glyphosate kills the roots of the weeds that are already growing in the site.  When the roots die, they turn loose of the soil, and that allows light ATV equipment to cut down through the ground a TON better.

I use glyphosate, or "gly" at least twice when I'm preparing a seedbed.  The first time I use it is at the very start of seedbed prep.  I usually go out for my first trip to the site with my ATV sprayer, a rubber bucket and a shovel.  I pull plugs for my soil test, and then I spray the plot with gly.  Be sure to use a high-concentration of gly (say, 40-50%).  Roundup's patent is trying to expire, and they keep changing the blend of gly in their products, I guess to extend it as long as possible.  Right now, the appropriate Roundup product is "RoundUp Weed and Grass Killer Super Concentrate," which is 50.2% gly.  Don't mess up and get the product of the same name, but with out the word "Super" in it - "Roundup Weed and Grass Killer Concentrate is only about 18% gly!

So, here' s what I do before a fall planting.  This will work for most kinds of weeds, but not all . . .

1.  Spray Roundup
2.  Wait ten days.  By then your soil test report will be back.
3.  Go back to the plot, add whatever lime you need, and then disk it in about 3-4 inches deep.
4.  Optional: Till the site every two weeks throughout the spring and summer to reduce the amount of dormant weed seed in the soil.
5.  IF I tilled every two weeks, I till once more about a month before I intend to plant, and then immediately smooth the plot
6.  If, however, I have not tilled since spring, then about 6 weeks before I intend to plant in the fall, I spray Roundup again to kill of the grass and weeds that have returned, and then I till and smooth the plot again 1 month before I intend to plant.  The difference is that by tilling every two weeks, the soil will be soft enough when I till again a month before planting that I don't need to spray Roundup first.
7.  After tilling a month before fall planting, I wait two weeks for any grass and weeds to return, and then I spray as needed (spot spray, spray the whole plot, or whatever) to kill of any weeds remaining on the surface.  THIS IS THE LAST TIME I'LL TILL THE SOIL before planting (tilling again would only bring up more weed seeds.

Point is that using high-concentration gly before trying to use light ATV tillage equipment can make a WORLD of difference in getting those light implements down into the ground. 

Here's my equipment list. I can do just about anything I need with these items:

Honda Foreman 400 4X4
Little Summitt Flip Disk
ATV sprayer - 20 gallon capacity
Spring Harrow
ATV Spreader
Shoulder Spreader
Mower

Now, as for the mower, you probably won't want to mow your plot lower than about 8 inches.  Unfortunately, most riding mowers don't cut that high.  So, instead of dropping bucks on a dedicated plot mower, I got an old riding mower, cut the fenders out of it, and put taller tires on is so that, with the deck all the way up, it will cut to 8 inches.

Best,
The Yeti
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Offline DEERSLAYER

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Re: ATV vs Tractor
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2008, 12:30:39 PM »
Hey Yeti, I like that mower trick! I don't know why didn't I think of that.

 

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