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Tractor vs ditch witch?

Hedgelj

Senior Member
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Mohicanish
Going to have a drive way of 500-750 feet in the new house build. Looking for snow removal in the winter, general maintenance, and also path making, food plot type stuff along with basic garden stuff.

The farm has BIG tractors but when i rented a 48" tiller we had to borrow a smaller tractor to use it so thats the beef.

So.... ditch witch with attachments and rent extras like trencher and stump grinder as needed? or a tractor about the size maybe a little larger than @bowhunter1023 has, also contemplating bucket vs snowblower attachment for snow removal. Will be a gravel driveway to start, possibly blacktop in future.

Thoughts?
 
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bowhunter1023

Owner/Operator
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Appalachia
IMO, a 20-35hp tractor with a frontend loader is the best tool a man could ever own when it comes to the type of work that comes with managing a homestead. I've stewed on this for a few minutes and can't build a pros list for a DW that outweighs a good tractor. If anything, I'd look at a skid steer over a DW if I wasn't going to buy a tractor.
 

Hedgelj

Senior Member
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Mohicanish
My brother says they use their ditch witches more than the skid steers for snow removal (works for Davey tree) and it was great with the grapple to get the storm damage taken care of.

Just don't know if it can handle the other stuff id want where as a small tractor with the right attachments (not necessarily farm related we have plenty of those) would be more versatile.
 

Hedgelj

Senior Member
Supporting Member
7,392
178
Mohicanish
IMO, a 20-35hp tractor with a frontend loader is the best tool a man could ever own when it comes to the type of work that comes with managing a homestead. I've stewed on this for a few minutes and can't build a pros list for a DW that outweighs a good tractor. If anything, I'd look at a skid steer over a DW if I wasn't going to buy a tractor.
We have a skid steer. It's the primary tool for snow removal currently but that's before i add the new house and driveway.
 
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"J"

Git Off My Lawn
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57,489
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North Carolina
My brother says they use their ditch witches more than the skid steers for snow removal (works for Davey tree) and it was great with the grapple to get the storm damage taken care of.

Just don't know if it can handle the other stuff id want where as a small tractor with the right attachments (not necessarily farm related we have plenty of those) would be more versatile.
I think you’ve answered your own question, Doug. Small tractor outweighs most all other options for general purpose.
 

bowhunter1023

Owner/Operator
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Appalachia
Okay snow blower or bucket for snow removal of a long driveway, outbuildings and such?
I'd think the luxury of a snow blower would pay out in the long run by preserving the integrity of your driveway surface, but I've never used one. I just know doing it with the bucket is like using a machete to perform heart surgery. At least for this operator 😂
 

"J"

Git Off My Lawn
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57,489
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North Carolina
Look at getting a GOOD box blade, that’ll take care of your snow removal as well as straightening out your gravel driveway and parking areas.
 
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Chancegriffis

Active Member
1,470
63
Salesville ohio
Just take the kick in the nuts and buy a 60 or so hp skid steer. It can do everything you want and more. Attachments are easily rentable and you won’t have the cost of buying them all. Problem solved.
Look at getting a GOOD box blade, that’ll take care of your snow removal as well as straightening out your gravel driveway and parking areas.
 
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hickslawns

Dignitary Member
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Ohio
With a long driveway, drifting could be the issue. We have open country here. It either drifts due to trees and such or blows right across the drive. Be sure to push snow well off the driveway to avoid this. Or. . . Use a snow blower. Like Chuck said: how many times will you need to? Once a year or so? I vote skid loader. Not familiar with ditch witch attachments. The ones I have seen were trenchers with a blade to backfill.
 

jagermeister

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Ohio
A skid loader is a great tool. But IMO a compact 30-60hp tractor is more versatile. Get one with a front end loader with 3rd function hydraulics and you can operate a grapple, a snow broom/blower, a quick attach brush cutter… among other things, in addition to the typical attachments like a bucket, pallet forks, snow blade, etc.

A major consideration is how much you would plan on doing loader work. If not much, a sub compact tractor may fit your needs the best. But if you plan on using loader a lot, and lifting anything 2000 pounds or better, you better plan on a skid loader or 50+ hp tractor.
 

giles

Cull buck specialist
Supporting Member
So you have every piece of equipment but one of these. Lol

Personally, unless I had some pretty wild side hills to deal with, I'd go with the smaller tractor idea.
 
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Big Weff

Junior Member
1,088
97
Athens
I agree with Jesse on trying to clear a drive with just a bucket. You can do it but there are far better tools for the job. I tried using my box blade for a winter too, great implement for maintaining a gravel drive or washed out trails but a real bitch when trying to remove snow😂. I’d just get a standard blade for the back if it were me. If I were you I’d probably just make do with the plethora of existing equipment you already have though. 🤘🏻
 
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