So, I've been pining over what to get to fit my property needs...keep going back and forth between ATV/UTV and a tractor, which leads me to believe each probably has a good role and maybe there isn't an "all in one" solution for my situation...but I figured I'd run it by you guys who have far more experience with these things.
Anyway, I moved out into the woods from a condo a couple years ago and have been adding tools as I need them to manage my property (chainsaw, ax, leaf blower, weed wacker, shovels, rakes, etc)...but am now trying to figure out what to get for bigger tasks (i.e. tractor, ATV/UTV, plow, etc). For the record, I've never owned an ATV/UTV or tractor...hell not even a lawnmower.
Basic rundown of the property is I'm on a flat (south NJ) 5 acres that is probably 4 acres of wooded property and under an acre of lawn. I have a concrete driveway pad and walkway but about 100+ yards of gravel drive to maintain.
Property maintenance items:
- Grading the gravel (will require some type of implement to do this)
- Plowing snow
- Lot of deadwood/firewood that I'd like to be able to cut down, drag out, split, and stack for use. (will require getting in and out of the wooded areas)
- Lawn cutting/aerating/etc
- Mulching landscaping (lot of mulch, around perimeter of property and along house)
- Brush hogging
- Manage a small garden at some point (I can do this by hand really, but something that helps til the ground would be a benefit)
- I live off a private 1/2 mile dirt/sand road. One neighbor grades it with a tractor and the other plows it when it snows. Both have helped me out when I needed it letting me borrow the tractor or plowing me out when the snow was more than I could just drive over. Ideally I'd like to get something I can help give back as well with, thinking along the lines of a better road groomer so all the neighbors have a better maintained road while also being able to maintain my gravel driveway (and maybe theirs). On the sand road way, the tractor blading does a decent job but it doesn't really crown well and the potholes come right back. This may be too much of an "ask", and require better equipment than makes sense to buy vs rent/contract but I was thinking along the lines of a specialized grader implement on a UTV/SUV/tractor for both sand and gravel. Even plowing wise, I'm thinking about getting a plow mounted on my Tahoe and keeping it just for that. I don't like to rely on my neighbors, yet I don't mind helping them out if they need it or my neighbors plow breaks down...so I'd like to have something I can prepare for that too.
Now...the question is, what do I get to best manage these things? Ideally I'd prefer to get re-use out of a tool versus buying something specialized in each but it may make sense to start with what I need the most and get something else later. Anyone have a similar list of maintenance items and found one type of utility vehicle to be better than the other?
Tractor feels like it may be overkill? No idea on how to even size it properly for what I need and they're all expensive as hell. Yet a number of homeowners in the area have them on 3-8 acre properties with similar situations as mine.
UTV is also up there in cost, main advantage is the two person seating, the dump cart in the back, and the increased "fun" factor for recreational riding.
ATV is the least expensive, but also probably the least powerful of the options with the most limitations (although it may be moot for my purposes and plenty of power for what I need?).
What say you?