Dan, from over at Tools in Action, was telling me about the Ventrac tractor last week, describing it as nothing short of amazing.
I’ve never heard of Ventrac before, but then again I haven’t looked into riding mowers, ATVs, or compact tractors.
I asked him to summarize the Ventrac 4500Z compact tractor, which he had been testing for review. Here are the 5 most important things he liked most of all about the tractor:
- Made in the USA
- It treads lightly
The Ventrac 4500Z is available with a gasoline engine, and with an optional propane kit it can run off of propane.
And here are the video reviews they put together:
This first one’s a bit shorter, showing off its mowing and grading performance.
This second one is a bit longer, showing off how the Ventrac 4500Z is the “Swiss Army Knife of tractors.”
From what I saw, this does look to be a very capable compact tractor. Those of you experienced with or in the market for an all wheel drive articulating tractor, what do you think?
More Info(via Ventrac)
I can’t say I’ve ever been in the market for an articulating tractor – specifically.
HOwever I have a John Deere now and while I love it I can see some high points for that Ventrac device. as I typically type – color me intrigued.
Maybe if you have a decent sized landscaping company.
When I owned a fairly large summer and hunting place (an old 200 acre farm with a more modern house on it) – the guy who did the maintenance for me bought me a Case tractor – that didn’t hold up too well – and then a Kubota. Both were in the 20 HP class. The Kubota performed very well – and was going strong (was something like 20 years old) when I sold the property. I say this – because the Ventrac appears to have a Kubota engine.
Kimora engine you say? Made in the USA with global materials.
I don’t know where Kubota makes their engine today – but I think my old tractor (and I assume its engine) was made in Osaka
The video says choice of Kubota, Kawasaki, or Briggs engine.
I have experience with skid steer loaders, farm tractors, and articulated loaders. For things like grounds work, the articulated will do far less damage to turf or any damagable surface for a given amount of work done. Skid steer tear up sod just driving and turning, a farm style tractor with 2wd can’t do as much work, and a MFD farm type tractor also tears up ground when the front axle is engaged. It appears to be hydrostatic drive, a good choice for grounds work. Front mount mower is a big plus,you can see better and no tire tracks from the main unit. To me it seems like it is geared towards groundskeepers or someone with an average to maintain, seems handy and maneuverable, but doesn’t seem big/stout enough to do real tractor jobs. This isn’t a dies, as they don’t seem to promote it as such.
It seems like it fills a niche with versatility of attachements that is in the middle between a BCS Tractor/Tiler with its many attachements (Kubota makes a similar style to BCS that is the workhorse on many Farms in Asia, esp rice farms) and a full blown tractor for farms that are used on 50 acre farms). I think it is far better suited for a fixed local rather that for mobile maintenance i.e. Golf courses, parks, Universities, small farms as opposed to back of a Landscape truck with a dovetail or trailer.
I like the running gear, but that engine cover and headlight combo is straight out of the 80’s. It’s what’s on the inside that counts, yes, but still, the average buyer is going to look at that boxy cover and think this thing was made in an industrial estate in Yugoslavia 25 years ago.
if the price is right I really don’t care about the looks
I am looking for something like that with a forklift attachment to fetch boxes up to 150lb weight from containers down in the yard….or the swamp as we call it in winter!
The only thing I can get new presently is a Chinese rough terrain forklift for $22k….but it’s way over spec for our needs.
We had a front loader for our old Kubota – but things were a lot cheaper in the 1980’s
The new small Kubota (1870-1) probably sells for just under $10k and they sell add-on front loader attachments:
You could consider the American-made PowerTrac which is hydraulic all wheel drive, articulated. Front-mounted attachments such as forks, but also hydraulic ones. 18HP gas starts at $6,500
These tractors are great on hills. Real steep hills.
These are really nice, but for the money I would rather have an Avant, avanttecnousa.com. I used on of those 10 years ago on a farm in Denmark. It’s still running well today. The attachments rival if not beat a bobcat, but don’t tear up the yard like a bobcat.
Hardware and fasteners, including all types of screws, nails, hinges, springs, and other devices you may find in the hardware aisle of your local retailer or supplier. All Ventrac tractors come standard with all wheel drive to handle whatever terrain your property has to throw at it. The frame is articulating and oscillating. This gives it agility and lightens the footprint compared to standard frame tractors.
Koko the Talking Ape
Just out of curiosity, are there differentials between the left and right wheels, and also between front and back? Are they limited slip? And the drive shaft has a universal joint in the middle, where the articulating joint is?
all hydraulic driven its full time awd only drive shaft is from engine to hydro pump we use one on the golf course and its the flagship of my fleet. i use this to pull out any equipment that gets stuck its pulled a tractor out of a muddy pond embankment no difference in wheels left to right or front to rear we have the dual wheels front and back and this monster will hold a steep incline and not slide
A little late with this apparently, but I just stumbled on this article. While I don’t have much personal experience with these machines, I have had the pleasure of touring the manufacturing facility in Wooster, OH and let me tell you, this is one of the most down-home family run companies I have ever seen. American manufacturing as it always should be, at it’s finest. Knowledgeable, intelligent, friendly people with a keen ear for customer feedback. If I had the need and the finances I would not hesitate to buy one.