Last year I had a catastrophic failure in the framing of my old front end loader on the Ford 8N. Recognizing my requirements were for something with four wheel drive, working brakes, strong enough to run light attachments and a backhoe, I have hunted around for about a year for something I could afford. After driving a few machines and going to look at dozens of used tractors, I decided to check out a few new machines at the dealership. Once I had a chance to test a few varieties and brands I settled with a 2018 Massey Ferguson GC1710 TLB.
The 1710 is a Sub Compact Tractor with 4WD a front end loader and the easiest operating backhoe I have ever used. Small enough and capable enough of driving my entire property but still strong enough to do many of the future projects on the homestead. Most importantly it has no problems making it up the hill behind the barn with a full load in the bucket, the backhoe attached and pulling some additional weight. This now makes it possible for to finish the road down and start making the switchback road safer to drive.
Firewood processing is much more efficient with the ability to either haul and split behind the barn or split on site and haul it up finished.While the property has years worth of firewood on the ground already, getting to it was a big issue and getting it out was even more of an issue. Now, I can reach much more than I could with a larger 2WD tractor or even the Homestead Rover.
This is a diesel tractor with only 22.5 HP and maybe 19 HP at the power take off (PTO). Comes with rear 540 PTO for implements and a side mount PTO for a mower deck and snowblower. In addition it has two sets of remote hydraulics which is how the Front End Loader and Backhoe are controlled through the on board joystick controllers. The ability to hook up rear implements like scraper blades, plows and brush hogs, there is not much that this little tractor cannot accomplish.
A Skid Loader (SSL) quick attach system is installed on the loader so I can easily and quickly change the front bucket into pallet forks, a snow plow or many different kinds of buckets. Making this tractor into a forklift or a snow plow makes it the most versatile piece of machinery on the homestead to date.That being said, this is not for heavy construction or large enough to dig full foundations.
I do have quite a few plans for this tractor which includes digging draining ditches, electrical ditches, making roads and re-shaping some dangerous terrain. I am already working on the garden extension, the access road and property cleanup. I will most likely post a review at 100 hours and again in the future.