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  1. #11
    Bronze Member eatenabean's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    MF 1643

    Default Re: Rules Of Thumb For Tractor Size, etc?

    You got it.

    I looked and asked question for about 2 years before I bought mine. So far I have not been disappointed with what I bought. There are alot of people on here that have a lot of knowledge. Just dig and read you will find the info you need. Now that I have the tractor I should have bought one 4 years ago.
    MF 1643 PowerShuttle
    Land Pride QH15 Quick Hitch
    Land Pride RCR1872 Rotary Cutter
    Land Pride BB1572 Box Blade

  2. #12
    Super Member timswi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Beaver County Pa
    Kubota BX23 TLB, Kubota RTV1100, Kubota Z724 & Polaris Sportsman 570 Touring

    Default Re: Rules Of Thumb For Tractor Size, etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by adamjthompson86 View Post
    I'm gathering that buying a tractor is a little less scientific than buying a vehicle. Instead of comparing MPGs, 0-60, and crash ratings, it's more like...

    "Hey Bubba! Y'reckon this here tractor'll till up that thar plot o' land?"

    Kinda like that... Not a science, just buy what you are going to need. A dealer and others experiences will converge on the right machine. Just take your time.
    BX23TLB with 54" MMM
    RTV1100 with 72" Power Angle Plow
    Z724 ZTR
    Polaris Sportsman 570 Touring

  3. #13
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Northern CA.
    none, nothing, nada

    Default Re: Rules Of Thumb For Tractor Size, etc?

    The manual also gives maximum sizes at least I know kubota does.

  4. #14
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Getting old. Sold the ranch. Sold the tractors. Moved back to the city.

    Default Re: Rules Of Thumb For Tractor Size, etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by adamjthompson86 View Post
    Thanks all for your help in this thread in helping me understand why utility tractors are more expensive than riding lawn mowers and why I can't compare their horsepower numbers. I have some follow-up questions, now:

    Are there rules of thumb for how much horsepower you need for certain tasks or attachments? (i.e. X HP for a 60" rotary cutter, X for loading dirt, X for towing a wagon.trailer with x pounds on it, X for digging up rocks with a backhoe, etc) (I realize that power is not the only factor - using a backhoe, for example, requires a heavy enough tractor to keep from being dragged around).

    Without a point of reference, HP ratings aren't very helpful. Are their accurate ways to know if a tractor has enough power to do certain jobs, or is that something you more have to learn and guess based on your experience with different tractors?

    Are horsepower ratings a reasonably accurate way to measure utility tractors and compare them to each other?

    Find good info here

  5. #15
    Elite Member dex3361's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    N. of Charleston WV
    Kubota L4400-1 HST,FEL, 3x3 remotes, TNT. BX1500 54 mmm

    Default Re: Rules Of Thumb For Tractor Size, etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by adamjthompson86 View Post
    That sounds helpful. I'm guessing that's 5 PTO HP, not total HP?

    Are there formulas for other tasks like lifting weight, towing weight, etc?
    That is correct.

    1Timothy Chapter 2:
    3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
    4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
    5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.
    From: The HOLY BIBLE

  6. #16
    Veteran Member RPW's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009

    Default Re: Rules Of Thumb For Tractor Size, etc?

    You're getting it. Determining tractor requirements is about using your assets around you, dealers, friends and forums. There isn't a one tractor fits all. A tractor is a tool just like the wrenches, screwdrivers etc in a tool box i.e. small, medium and large. When buying a tractor you need to determine what is it's purpose, to mow a lawn or plowing 1000 acres. How fast do you want to complete the task. Then on top of that you now have to compromise on what you want/need and how big your pocket book is. Then to add more confusion is what implements you need/want. Sometimes the tractor is the least expensive part of the purchase. So yes it can be very confusing and I think that most people will agree that you need to take your time before you make that purchase.

    So maybe buying a tractor is more of an art than a science.
    2008 JD 5103, FEL, 6' Frontier, 6' HD boxblade, 7' Landscape rake, More impliments to come, Bobcat (clark) 742 SS.

  7. #17
    Epic Contributor RoyJackson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Bethel, Vermont
    John Deere 4520 MFWD, Deere 855D UTV, Z920A Zero Turn Mower and assorted implements

    Default Re: Rules Of Thumb For Tractor Size, etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by adamjthompson86 View Post
    That sounds helpful. I'm guessing that's 5 PTO HP, not total HP?

    Are there formulas for other tasks like lifting weight, towing weight, etc?
    Just ignore the engine HP. As posted in your other thread, that's gross HP and not really a good indicator of usable power.
    As far as lifting and towing...well, what would you need to lift and what would you need to tow? More lift capacity and heavier towing requires a larger tractor.
    I don't tow, but for lifting I'm more interested what the loader can do a foot or so off the ground rather then at maximum height. Heaviest thing I've ever lifted was a 650 lb rotary cutter out of the bed of a Ford Ranger. That was done with a small Deere 670 with about 700 lbs maximum capacity at maximum height. I was more concerned about how high the loader could go when offloading that cutter. Breakout force is important too, if you intend to dig into piles of dirt and mulch.
    So, determine what you think you need.

    BTW, the 5 PTO HP for foot of cutter is very flexible. You can easily drop down to 3 or 4 but it's going to be slower going.
    Roy Jackson

    "There ain't no such thing as a free lunch..."

  8. #18
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005

    Default Re: Rules Of Thumb For Tractor Size, etc?

    If you are useing the tractor to tend to some crops, etc, then 1 hp per acre of land is a good rule of thumb. This is just a generalization as some types of crops and usage will require more hp than others. I like having several tractors of different sizes. This is especially nice if you enjoy your "seat time" as I do, but dont always have a lot available. The smaller the tractor, the more "seat time" you get. For example, sometimes, on a nice winter day, I will use my little 10 hp, Farmall cub for plowing snow from the driveways around my house and barns, which stretches that job out to an hour or more. When time is short, I will use my 43 hp, 4wd JD, which usually gets that job done in less than 15 minutes. Any discussion on tractor sizes has to consider both time available and type of job. The 1 hp per acre rule will put you pretty close to the most efficient tractor hp for many tasks.

  9. #19
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Pleasant View, TN
    Mahindra 3325

    Default Re: Rules Of Thumb For Tractor Size, etc?

    Most implements will have a range of HP need to operate the implement.

    I just bought a 60" rear tine tiller. It has a needed hp of between 25 and 40 hp. My tractor is a 35 hp Mahindra and it runs the tiller with no problem at all. So check with the dealer who is selling the implement and check to see what HP is needed to operate the implement.

    Country Life Beats Working.

    Less than 1 month to Retirement

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Colville, Wa.
    Kubota L3240 DT

    Default Re: Rules Of Thumb For Tractor Size, etc?

    I asked and asked prior to purchasing our first tractor. Of course I read this site and welcomed the wisdom I gleened from it. Two mistakes I made due to naivete; 1) had to sell the first tractor because I needed a front mounted snow blower to take care of the 1 1/2 mile road during the winter and the original tractor didn't have the requisite midPTO for the snow blower. (Thankfully I'm retired and could spend all day on the tractor 4 days a week when I used the rear blade and front bucket.) 2) Didn't get the rear tires filled.

    A friend told me a long time ago when buying a camera to determine what I wanted it to do, find a camera that would do that and buy the next model or two up so I wouldn't have to upgrade as my desires changed. That is what I recommend with tractors also. Our first tractor was a basic kubota L3400 that worked fine except for the lack of the mid PTO. We upgraded to the Grand L model and I discovered what a joy it is to hook up the implements because of its adjustable three point hitch. It came with filled rear tires and the stability they provide is phenominal.

    I would have liked a cab model as snow removal in single digit weather gets chilly but we couldn't afford the luxury. (Just another reason to break out the cold weather hunting gear that sits in the closet most of the year.) The filled tires take up some power and after getting used to the 3 additional HP from the previous tractor, I would have wanted one with 3 more. Do I really need it, no, but you should know men and horses.

    Look at the construction of the various models, such as welds, axel sizes, how the hydraulic lines are ran (are they protected). There is much more wisdom available on this site than what I can provide. Dream big and ask your wife for a few grand more, then have fun!

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