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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Mar 2007
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    Default Have a lot of brush hogging to do, need tractor

    I just bought 20+ acres and will need to do a lot of brush hogging. There are some thick briar patches, but also a lot of "honey suckle" type saplings about 8' tall, with several 2-3" diamter branches meeting at the base.

    Would like to purchase a new compact tractor right, but could only afford something in the low 20 hp range. I'm afraid this won't be large enough in the long run.

    Any suggestions on used tractors to do all the initial work? Would I be better off renting a bobcat w/ a brush hog?

  2. #2
    Super Star Member RoyJackson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    18,044
    Location
    Bethel, Vermont
    Tractor
    John Deere 4400 MFWD, Deere 855D UTV and assorted implements

    Default Re: Have a lot of brush hogging to do, need tractor

    I'd look used. An 870 or 970 deere would have quite adequate power and be fairly reasonable in cost. Old Fords or New Hollands would also be reasonably priced. Older Kubotas may not be big enough. Then there's Massey Ferguson and a host of other tough, but lesser known brands.

    Even after the first cutting, you'll still have 20 acres to maintain...and that's a lot of mowing.
    Roy Jackson

    "Any government that does not trust its citizens with firearms is either a tyranny, or planning to become one."
    -Joseph P. Martino

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
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    Aug 2007
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    1,260
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    Mid-Coast Maine

    Default Re: Have a lot of brush hogging to do, need tractor

    Roy hinted at it, what are you going to need when you are done with your brush hogging?? Once the land is 'cleared' what are you going to do with it? That may be your deciding factor on tractor size/attachments, purchase or rent decision.
    Jim

    - '01 Husqvarna W4814- 48" walk behind lawn mower.
    - '04 John Deere Z-Trac 727A- 54" ZTR
    - '13 Kioti DK40 HST - KL401 loader, DK40 72" QA bucket, LK3054 60" QA bucket, toothbar for 60" bucket, dual rear remotes, 7ft 6 way rear blade, 78" ETA Box Blade, Woods BH-90x backhoe, loaded rear tires, Kioti Canopy.

  4. #4
    Member
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    Oct 2007
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    45

    Default Re: Have a lot of brush hogging to do, need tractor

    I couple of tidbits -
    -Renting is fine if all you are ever going to do is cut the "pasture" - if not start looking to buy if you can afford it
    - When renting consider that with 20 acres and a smaller tractor it will take you around 15 hrs more than likely and probably more since it has not been mowed in some time....most places rent tractors at 8 hrs a pop
    - Most of the Rental companies literally 9 out of 10 (from my experience) will not rent bushhogs these days due to (1) insurance liability (2) people renting tractors do not know how to operate a bushog..(kinda hard to tear up a good box blade)
    -So instead of spending 2 months payments on renting just for bushhogging you can buy one and use it for ???? anything and everything everyday depending on how big of a tractor you buy...
    I have a different opinion in that I would rather go a little bit larger than smaller if I could....as far as finding a possible used one...it all depends on how much you want to spend....I say GOOD LUCK (i am looking for one also )

  5. #5
    Super Member
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    Sep 2000
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    6,514

    Default Re: Have a lot of brush hogging to do, need tractor

    Looking used is a good thing to do. Ford 4000 series (3 cyl ones) 5000 series can be had with a loader for about $8000. Newer ones in the late '80's and '90's will cost up to about double that. But there are lots of good used tractor choices, not just ford. Look in the 10-20 year old range with 1000-3000 hours and 50 hp.

    To do the 3" stuff, you will need a serious cutter. Woods Brushbull 7200 or 8400 or equivalent. Those are $$$$. You may be better cutting them with a chain saw and getting a medium duty cutter. Don't even think that a kingkutter or howes light duty cutter will survive 20 acres of 1-3" stubs. Also, get a slip clutch. Otherwise you will spend most of the time changing shear bolts.

    jb

  6. #6
    New Member
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    Sep 2007
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    21
    Location
    BullCreek, Florida
    Tractor
    Kubota L3400 DT

    Default Re: Have a lot of brush hogging to do, need tractor

    If you are going to live on the 20 acres and mow it regularly you don't need a huge tractor and heavy duty bush hog to keep it cleared.

    A 25-35 HP tractor and a light duty 5 to 6 foot bush hog can handle the job if you
    pay some one with a bigger rig to bush hog all the heavy stuff the first time.

    I had planed to go with a used tractor to replace an old ford 8N, but with the O% financing buying new made more cents for me, YMMV.

    I have a L3400 gear , R4´s, no FEL. ,a lot of tractor for the money.

    There is no one tractor that fits everyone, it depends on your land, budget and needs.

  7. #7
    New Member
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    Mar 2007
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    15

    Default Re: Have a lot of brush hogging to do, need tractor

    I have 10 acres that is just field and will need to be kept down, but the other 10 acres has the large briar patches and a ton of the large sapplings. I just bought the property and it hasn't been touchyh in a long time. We plan to build in the next 2-3 years

    How about a Ford 8N? They seem to be easy to find and inexpensive? The property has only mild rolling hills, are these tractors fairly stable. My concern is reliability and maintenance, I'm an okay weekend mechanic, but I know nothing about tractors... nothing. What should I look at when purchase an older tractor like this?

    What is a slip clutch? I understand the concept, but is that incorporated into the brush hog?

    I would like to be get something to do the initial clearing for cheap, then maybe next summer I will have the money to purchase a new(er) compact tractor that will just be able to keep it down.

    I really only need a brush hog right now. A loader would be nice, but isn't mandatory.

    Thanks for the replies

  8. #8
    Super Member Farmwithjunk's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
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    Location
    Mt Washington, Kentucky
    Tractor
    Where do I begin.....

    Default Re: Have a lot of brush hogging to do, need tractor

    Unless you buy a very heavy duty mower and a much bigger tractor, I'd recommend hiring the first cut. Maybe even the first few cuts until the heavy brush and saplings are under control. That sort of mowing will wreak havoc on a light duty, even a medium duty mower in relatively short order. It can be done, but you'll put a lot of wear on your equipment from the get-go.

    8N's were good tractors in their day. They're "capable" now, but with any piece of equipment that's 50 to 60 years old, they're generally not in the same physical condition they were when new. They can only take so much thrashing.

    Personally, 20 acres is enough to make use of a bigger tractor. I'd suggest a used larger utility tractor, somewhere in the 40 to 45 hp range, maybe even a little bigger. Get a GOOD medium to heavy duty mower and SLOWLY start cleaning out your property. A good tractor will almost always hold it's value unless you destroy it. Buy a bigger, heavier, more powerful USED tractor, clean up your ground, then sell or trade it on a smaller, newer one at a later date. You might even find yourself getting attached to the HP of that bigger model and end up keeping it.
    There are three kinds of men;
    1.) The ones that learn by reading
    2.) The few who learn by observation
    3.) The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

  9. #9
    Gold Member Slacker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    491
    Location
    Durham, NC
    Tractor
    Farmtrac 360 TLB

    Default Re: Have a lot of brush hogging to do, need tractor

    Bingo! 3 Gun wins the rabbit.

    Quote Originally Posted by 3gun
    If you are going to live on the 20 acres and mow it regularly you don't need a huge tractor and heavy duty bush hog to keep it cleared.

    A 25-35 HP tractor and a light duty 5 to 6 foot bush hog can handle the job if you
    pay some one with a bigger rig to bush hog all the heavy stuff the first time.

    I had planed to go with a used tractor to replace an old ford 8N, but with the O% financing buying new made more cents for me, YMMV.

    I have a L3400 gear , R4エs, no FEL. ,a lot of tractor for the money.

    There is no one tractor that fits everyone, it depends on your land, budget and needs.
    Farmtrac 360 TLB with lots of stuff that hooks to the back.

  10. #10
    New Member
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    Mar 2007
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    15

    Default Re: Have a lot of brush hogging to do, need tractor

    Well...

    For this year, I think my budget is only ~$5k for the tractor. From what I'm reading, it sounds like I should pay someone, or rent the bobcat w/ brush hog. I haven't gotten any quotes for someone else to do it, but I'm guessing ~$2500 in rental fees for the summer if I do it myself. I think it's going to be difficult for me to pay someone because there are some sapplings I want to keep, and maybe some areas that I don't want to touch for now, just to keep the seclusion of the property. I kinda wanted my own cheap tractor because I have the feeling that I'm going to do 15 minutes of cutting, and then 30 minutes of debating what and where I want to do next.

    So is that the concensus, go big (hp) or go home(rent)?

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