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  1. #1
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    Default minimum tractor for moving 1000lbs. round bales

    Hello,
    I am new to tractors and new to the forum. I have 4 acres with horses. I have a worn out 9n Ford which I use to mow the place and that is about it. We are switching from square to round bales for several reasons. I know I can't move 1000+ lb. round bales with my 9n. I know there are other options (hay dollys etc.) and I am looking at all options at this point. One option I am considering is a bigger tractor.

    My 9n is in bad shape and I have to work on it about every third time I use it. Moving the round bales is also a nice excuse to get a different tractor. I would like to get a good used tractor for around $5,000.

    What is the minimum size tractor I would need to move up to in order to safely move the big bales with a spear on the 3pt. ? What model tractors do you suggest I look at ?

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
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    6,496
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    Northern California-Tehama Co.
    Tractor
    2008 Mahindra 5525, 1964 MF-135 diesel, 1951 Farmall Super A, 1951 Minneapolis Moline BF, 1945 Oliver 60 Row Crop, 1949 JD B widefront

    Default Re: minimum tractor for moving 1000lbs. round bales

    Quote Originally Posted by Spenceripd View Post
    Hello,
    I am new to tractors and new to the forum. I have 4 acres with horses. I have a worn out 9n Ford which I use to mow the place and that is about it. We are switching from square to round bales for several reasons. I know I can't move 1000+ lb. round bales with my 9n. I know there are other options (hay dollys etc.) and I am looking at all options at this point. One option I am considering is a bigger tractor.

    My 9n is in bad shape and I have to work on it about every third time I use it. Moving the round bales is also a nice excuse to get a different tractor. I would like to get a good used tractor for around $5,000.

    What is the minimum size tractor I would need to move up to in order to safely move the big bales with a spear on the 3pt. ? What model tractors do you suggest I look at ?

    Thanks for any advice.
    My old 1964 MF-135 diesel (45 hp engine, 37 hp pto) weighs about 3500 lb and the 3pt hitch can lift 2850 lb. I paid $3600 for it in Jul06.

    DSCF0008-small.JPG

    There are numerous used tractors this size (JD, Farmall, Ford, etc) that would fit your budget. Check eBay, craigslist and local ads. You'll soon find something that will work for you.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
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    Nov 2001
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    Green Bay, WI
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    Kubota F2400, Kubota F2100, Farmtrac 360, Tool Cat

    Default Re: minimum tractor for moving 1000lbs. round bales

    I would think you would want a 2,000# lift capacity so as to not wear out or overload your loader, front axles, etc.

    I would think the 45hp range tractors would be a minimum.

    I learned you cannot have enough lift capacity, as there is always something that is heavier than you have machinery for.

    Good Luck

    Yooper Dave

  4. #4
    Platinum Member spruce Deere's Avatar
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    Northmost Idaho
    Tractor
    John Deere 790 w/ 300 loader

    Default Re: minimum tractor for moving 1000lbs. round bales

    I would opt for at least a 40 hp tractor in the 3000-4000lb. range for moving/loading 1000 lb bales. Not so much the model of tractor but what features helps you complete work quickly, comfortably and safely! Hydro-drives are nice for loader work such as stacking/moving round bales. Will you be baling with said tractor to?
    790 JD W/ 300 loader
    Lots of implements for loader and 3pt
    Can't do it burn'n diesel, is not worth do'n

  5. #5
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    115
    Location
    Smarr Georgia
    Tractor
    L5030 cab, JD 2940

    Default Re: minimum tractor for moving 1000lbs. round bales

    Just as I, everyone will have their own opinion. If I were looking for something relatively cheap and something that would be easy to work on, I would look at a JD 2150 or similar sized and age tractor. They are easier to work on than today's tractors and parts are still easy to come by. Fully capable of handling 1000lb bales and will run a 6ft bushhog with ease.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member gerard's Avatar
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    Apr 2000
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    1,681
    Location
    Syracuse NY
    Tractor
    Kubota L2500DT w/FEL

    Default Re: minimum tractor for moving 1000lbs. round bales

    I have an L2500 and just got 6 large round bales but was able to life them with my loader (barely). Loader has 800 lb rating at max extension. Think these bales were in the 700-800 lb range. I know some bales can go over 1000 but they would be beyond my ability to move. On the 3 pt I think you'd be ok with anything over 30hp, 35 to be safe. Just check the 3 pt capacity and figure the weight of the spear assembly is at least 75-100 lbs (I just ordered one!)
    Experience is something you get right after you need it!

    Kubota L2500 DT w/ 5 foot FEL and Pat's easy change system
    5ft box blade, 5ft bushhog, 6ft york rake w/ guage wheels, 7ft backblade w/skid shoes , post hole digger, 5 foot snowblower, dual axel 16 foot landscape trailer, 330 gal water tank, Ford 250 diesel, 6 wheel drive polaris ranger, bale spears for loader

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
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    Sep 2004
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    950
    Location
    Arlington, TX
    Tractor
    '51 ford 8N

    Default Re: minimum tractor for moving 1000lbs. round bales

    Spence, you mentioned the dolly and considering all options.............why not spend less that $5000 on a little overhaul/redo of the 9n and a used dolly?

    I bought my 8n for $1000 not running and then had a local guy that does a lot of old Ford OHs run it through his shop......engine, some clutch work, PTO shaft.........for less than $2000. And I've seen round bale movers on Craigslist in good shape for $500-1000. My dad moved rounds like this for years on our 1000 acres with an NAA and a dolly.

    You'd know you got a good running little tractor that can move the hay and you'll be less light in the pocket doing so.

    Just my $.02...........

  8. #8
    Platinum Member RPW's Avatar
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    Default Re: minimum tractor for moving 1000lbs. round bales

    Moving bales from storage to pasture is one thing but a dolly isn't going to unload from a trailer. For general round bale movement for all stages from unloading to pasture and all inbetween you'll need a FEL. Carefull looking and talking to some dealers you can most likely find a decent tractor. I agree with others that something >35HP would be what you need. More important is weight. The heavier the better for stability. For the amount of bales you are using you won't be moving them often. I have a JD5103 and move around 100 bales a year. That's unloading, stacking and then moving them to pasture.

    Good luck on your find.

  9. #9
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: minimum tractor for moving 1000lbs. round bales

    ditto the 45+ hp range.. a nice 3 cyl ford 4000 or a ford 5000 would be nice, and within this price range.

    probably find a nice MF utility as well..

    soundguy

    Quote Originally Posted by Spenceripd View Post
    Hello,
    I am new to tractors and new to the forum. I have 4 acres with horses. I have a worn out 9n Ford which I use to mow the place and that is about it. We are switching from square to round bales for several reasons. I know I can't move 1000+ lb. round bales with my 9n. I know there are other options (hay dollys etc.) and I am looking at all options at this point. One option I am considering is a bigger tractor.

    My 9n is in bad shape and I have to work on it about every third time I use it. Moving the round bales is also a nice excuse to get a different tractor. I would like to get a good used tractor for around $5,000.

    What is the minimum size tractor I would need to move up to in order to safely move the big bales with a spear on the 3pt. ? What model tractors do you suggest I look at ?

    Thanks for any advice.

  10. #10
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    MANSFIELD, TX

    Default Re: minimum tractor for moving 1000lbs. round bales

    Wow !!!! Thank you guys for all of the great advice. I really appreciate it. This is a great forum.

    Merry Christmas and God bless you.

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