I recently purchased a Massey Ferguson GC 1720 TLB Sub Compact Tractor. Below is a video of what I've learned so far. I'm very happy with it and it's made some quick work of some job's I wouldn't even attempt by hand. I have previously owned several tractors and this model in particular has some really nice features compared to older units. Attachment swap out is very easy and I frequently remove the backhoe to swap on 3 point attachments. Power of the machine goes above and beyond what's expected from a sub-compact tractor. Pin storage is a really nice feature as well as the new high seat position. It makes seeing the loader bucket much easier. The integrated work light is also a very nice touch.
Gravel, Winter GC-1720
About 12 years ago I constructed a 285 foot gravel drive down to my shop with a Massey Ferguson 1250. It was smooth enough to get cars, trucks, and trailers down with ease. Over the years I maintained it by keeping the crown cut and compaction of the travel lanes broken up. Last year the erosion of the left track outran my maintenance and it became a 4x4 only drive. I recently aquired a GC-1720 Sub-Compact Tractor to fix an maintain the property.
The first step in the revitalization of the drive way was to use a 5 foot rotary cutter to remove all the growth next to the driveway. That also required some some backhoe work to remove some of the larger root systems of bushes and trees.
I used a 4 ft box blade at a forward angle making 2-3 trips over the same area to break up the existing gravel. This process filled many of the pot holes and some of the left track. Areas that had not been washed out, the road-bond (Gravel / Fines) looked fresh with the vegetation removed.
With a box-blade, it just requires patience to get the ground broken up especially with a sub compact tractor. I was using a new Massey Ferguson GC-1720 TLB. Lesson's learned on the GC-1720 TLB below:
- 4 Ft Box Blade is the Max.
- 5 Ft Scraper Blade is ideal.
- 4 Ft Rotary Blade is ideal.
- Backhoe Float takes getting used to but it does wonders for flat ditches/trenches and for leveling fill. I really like it.
- No 3 Pt position control. This hasn't been an issue per say but took a day or so of getting used to. The 3 points works like a normal hydro spool. There is a down valve to help with controlling flow on downward action of the 3 point.
- The seat transition is hit or miss. Sometimes it does exactly what you intend and other times its a downright PIA.
- Fuel consumption is great. About 6 gallons for two days work.
- Backhoe removal is less than 10 minutes. Surprisingly easy and fast. Just watch where you put the hydro lines.
- PTO shaft has a plastic cover with 13MM (1/2") Screws that need to be removed to use the PTO.
Once the ground was un-compacted the box can be leveled and its easy to pull a full box wherever you need it. The GC 1720 doesn't have positional control but does have control of the lower speed. You just have to be careful with bringing the blade back up as it is always full speed.
I did ditch cutting by putting the box blade at a sharp angle and "driving the ditch". After cutting ditch areas down I used the front end loader to move excess to the center and eroded areas to "level" it up. I made a few finish passes with the box at slight angle to crown the surface.
I plan on putting down an additional 4" of road bond during the spring time.
Video of horizontal milling in a Grizzly G3617 mill.