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  1. #1
    Silver Member POC's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
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    196
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    Southern Indiana
    Tractor
    Mahindra 3215 4x4

    Default Help with choosing size of tractor

    I'm looking for a tractor, but don't know exactly what I need.

    I use my dad's Ford 600 tractor (34hp?) for most things around here currently. I am planning on getting another tractor, but don't know which way to go, bigger, or smaller. The old Ford has no FEL, so it is not greatly useful. I bushhog with it, and scrape the driveway, sometimes yard some logs. I'd like a tractor that I could load logs with, on a small trailer, nothing bigger than 20" with forks.
    I have big hills that are wet a lot on the place here.

    I was thinking of something in the 28-35hp 4x4 range. But that is almost exactly what I have. Albeit I understand I'll have more traction with the 4x4.
    But would the old Ford be better for baling hay than a similarly hp'd compact?

    I've seen the pic that (sorry I can't remember your name) has of a Kioti with a bunch of wood in the FEL.
    Could I yard and load logs with a 20hp tractor? I'm primarily looking at Mahindra and Kioti, but I'm open to others if someone has some good info for me.
    I appreciate any help.

    Patrick

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member dgl24087's Avatar
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    May 2004
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    1,401
    Location
    Va/WV
    Tractor
    1975 John Deere 1530

    Default Re: Help with choosing size of tractor

    If you're baling hay on hilly ground I think I'd want no less than 45 PTO HP, not to mention a bit of weight. It would be very easy to lose the Ford with a small mistake. In Kioti, nothing smaller than a DK55, in Mahindra, a 5525 (2wd only), 5500 (being discontinued), or 5530 would be the ticket. Mahindra also has a 5520, it's a bit more featured tractor than the others I mentioned. I'm assuming you will be using a small square baler. You may also want to look at the NH TT60A or the JD 5203, entry level utilities from those manufacturers, both at 47 PTO HP. I believe all of those I mentioned will price out very competitively with the "name" brand compacts. Each of the above mentioned tractors, without ballasting, also weigh nearly a ton more than the 600 Ford.
    Last edited by dgl24087; 04-05-2008 at 01:37 PM.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
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    Nov 2005
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    1,129

    Default Re: Help with choosing size of tractor

    For lifting logs and baleing hay you are going to need more than a 20 hp compact. Some tractors that are categorized as compacts (like the JD 4000 series which starts at 43 hp) are larger and heavier than your Ford 600 and these would be more capable at any task than the 600 mostly because they have 4wd. I would look at only the largest compact tractors or at small utilities. 4wd will let a smaller tractor pull like a larger 2wd because there is no energy loss associated with pushing the dead axle, which also saves a lot of fuel for tillage work. For lifting heavy weights, and baleing however, 4wd is not worth as much as additional weight and power. With wet hills and loader work you certainly will want 4wd, but look for one that weighs as much or more than your 600. Mahindra has a nice selection of heavy 4wd's so I would check them out in addition to the JD 4000 series. I have a JD 4120 and it has held up real well for 3 years of hard use including lifting a lot of heavy logs. Whichever tractor you choose, get R1 tires, and make sure you get the rears loaded. R4's are nearly useless on wet hills, and loading the rears adds a lot of stability on hills and when lifting heavy loads.

  4. #4
    Silver Member POC's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
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    196
    Location
    Southern Indiana
    Tractor
    Mahindra 3215 4x4

    Default Re: Help with choosing size of tractor

    Quote Originally Posted by dgl24087
    If you're baling hay on hilly ground ...
    I wasn't clear here. Where I'd be baling is mostly flat, but most of the property (in the woods) is hilly.

    Thanks for your input,
    Patrick
    Hoosier Heights Farm
    Southern Indiana
    Mahindra 3215, 111 FEL, 3710 BH
    JD X300 Lawnmower (I refuse to call it a "tractor")
    Ford 600/800 mix-n-match
    IHC A-160

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
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    Sep 2005
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    1,729
    Location
    Batavia, NY
    Tractor
    Mahindra -------------

    Default Re: Help with choosing size of tractor

    Handling logs and baling with a small square baler are tasks that require a heavy tractor. The heavy tractor will be far more stable than the lighter ones. I would suggest you check out the Mahindra 4530 and if you are doing more than 10 acres of hay maybe the 5530. These tractors have the weight to keep the tractor stable when lifting the loads, if your tractor is to light a unbalanced log can get the best of you and tip the tractor. I just can not stress the importance of a heavy tractor enough, as it equals safety.
    Galen LaWall
    Your Mahindra Tractor Dealer
    185 Pearl Street
    Batavia, New York 14020
    585.343.0770

  6. #6
    Silver Member POC's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    196
    Location
    Southern Indiana
    Tractor
    Mahindra 3215 4x4

    Default Re: Help with choosing size of tractor

    So it seems that baling hay is the crux of my problem here with the need for a big tractor. If I take that out of the equation, would a smaller tractor work for me?
    We really only have about, maybe 25 acres of tillable/hay field. I could hire it out for a long time for the difference in cost of a big tractor vs. a small one.

    I'm thinking now I'll look specifically at the Kioti LK30TLB and the Mahindra 2615 w/ FEL and BH.

    Any more opinions?
    Thanks,
    Patrick
    Hoosier Heights Farm
    Southern Indiana
    Mahindra 3215, 111 FEL, 3710 BH
    JD X300 Lawnmower (I refuse to call it a "tractor")
    Ford 600/800 mix-n-match
    IHC A-160

  7. #7
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
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    Central florida
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    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: Help with choosing size of tractor

    34hp from that 600 series is a bit anemic for hay bailing. I'd want higher. Aside from that, if you will be doing lots of loader work in wet slipepry areas.. deffinately get 4wd and power steering.

    Are you only looking at new.. or will you cinsider used as well.

    If used.. things like the ford 5XXX series will do all you need.

    A 4XXX may do fine as well.. but you will need a newer model.. like a 4610.. etc.. to get some of the better options..

    soundguy

  8. #8
    Super Star Member IslandTractor's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
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    Location
    Prudence Island, RI
    Tractor
    2007 Kioti DK40se HST, Woods BH

    Default Re: Help with choosing size of tractor

    Before you settle on the 30hp size, take a look at (and consider economics of) the Kioti DK40/45se and the Mahindra 4110/4530 size tractors. These are all fairly heavy 40hp range machines with pretty strong loaders that might come in handy with your intended clean up of logged land and some hay bale handling. It sounds like you are not running a large full time farming operation if you have managed with just the Ford without FEL up until this point so maybe you don't need a full size Ag machine but unless the tasks you describe are only occasional, it does sound like you need more than 26-30hp. You can move up from the 26-30hp to the 40hp class for a few thousand bucks. Most companies offer pretty good low finance rates these days and it is cheaper in the long run to stretch a bit now as insurance against needing to trade in on a bigger tractor next year.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    May 2006
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    787
    Location
    hoyt, Ks
    Tractor
    century 2535

    Default Re: Help with choosing size of tractor

    once you take the baling out of the equation, you should be fine with any 30-40 HP MFWD model from Mahindra or Kioti. One thing I'm curious about is the 20" logs. -- what kind of tree and how long of pieces are you planning on moving, because loader capacity can come into play pretty quick here as green wood is HEAVY! If you're only going 8 -10 feet long, you might be able to go as small as a Mahindra 2810 or 3215. (althought the 4110 is a very nice machine, too) I'm not as familiar with the Kiotis, but I've heard very good things about them from those who do own them.
    Erik
    Mahindra 3510, box blade, pallet forks, 6' KK mower...

  10. #10

    Default Re: Help with choosing size of tractor

    Island tractor, I'm pretty much in the same boat as POC but will not be bailing any hay. Cleanup from cut timber, haul some loga and then use the tractor for cutting pasture. Do you think the 4110 will be too big? somewhat concerned with weight causing ruts. 900 ponds heavier than the 3510 but I got what I thought was a great quote from a local dealer 4110 with ML112 $18,950 only $50 more than 3510

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