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  1. #1
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    Default Rules Of Thumb For Tractor Size, etc?

    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?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Bronze Member eatenabean's Avatar
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    Alabama
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    MF 1643

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

    For me, I picked the HP for what I wanted to do. Pull a Six foot bush hog without a problem. So that put me in the 40HP range. Now I can cut my 6 acre field in 2 hours instead of about 8 hours with a Craftman 26 hp 54in cut lawnmower.
    MF 1643 PowerShuttle
    Land Pride QH15 Quick Hitch
    Land Pride RCR1872 Rotary Cutter
    Land Pride BB1572 Box Blade

  3. #3
    Super Member timswi's Avatar
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    Kubota BX23 TLB, Kubota RTV1100, Kubota Z724 & Polaris Sportsman 570 Touring

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

    Honestly, I believe that you must pair the tractor to intended use. If you have a 1 acre lot, then a Grand L kubota probably isn't a good idea.

    Most of the compact and sub-compacts are very well designed in terms of horsepower and weight to impliments available for them. I've heard that rear mount mowers should be 5 hp per foot of width.

    Tillers etc are going to be limited by 3pt lift capacity and HP. Although a sub-compact tiller will be weight and power matched given it's size, unless you try to push it.

    Loaders and BH's have specs like break out force, digging depth, and overall weight and capacity..Those are good for comparison.

    I wouldn't get too attached to horsepower. Worry more about what you intend to use it for. Do you need 4x4? What kind of trans is going to work best for your work..Etc.

    Don't buy too big, and don't buy too small...

    Let us know what you're going to be doing....I'm sure you'll get more opinions than you can digest.
    BX23TLB with 54" MMM
    RTV1100 with 72" Power Angle Plow
    Z724 ZTR
    Polaris Sportsman 570 Touring

  4. #4
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    none, nothing, nada

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

    "Do you need 4x4?"

    Of course you need 4WD, even if you don't you do!
    No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!

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

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

    I would say weight and HP and whether a tractor is 2 or 4wd sometimes referred to as MFWD (Mechanical Front Wheel Drive).

    The number you will hear quoted a lot is 5(PTO)HP per foot of mower and that is a little flexible.

    When it comes to a Box Blade (BB) you should get it by the width of the tractor wide enough to cover the tire tracks.

    Scraper Blade is usually get it about 1 foot wider than the tire width so you can angle the blade and still cover the tire track.

    I am sure others can throw in more.
    Last edited by dex3361; 04-13-2010 at 04:52 PM.
    Randall



    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. #6
    Super Member timswi's Avatar
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    Kubota BX23 TLB, Kubota RTV1100, Kubota Z724 & Polaris Sportsman 570 Touring

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

    Quote Originally Posted by _RaT_ View Post
    "Do you need 4x4?"

    Of course you need 4WD, even if you don't you do!
    Can't argue with that
    BX23TLB with 54" MMM
    RTV1100 with 72" Power Angle Plow
    Z724 ZTR
    Polaris Sportsman 570 Touring

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Rules Of Thumb For Tractor Size, etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by eatenabean View Post
    For me, I picked the HP for what I wanted to do. Pull a Six foot bush hog without a problem. So that put me in the 40HP range.
    How did you know that you need 40HP to pull a 6' rotary cutter? Is there a chart or formula or something?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Rules Of Thumb For Tractor Size, etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by dex3361 View Post
    The number you will hear quoted a lot is 5hp per foot of mower and that is a little flexible.
    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?

  9. #9
    Bronze Member eatenabean's Avatar
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    Alabama
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    MF 1643

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

    I have friends who have tractors, and I asked the dealers what they would recommend for a 6 foot bush hog. Everyone I talked to come up with around 40HP. Oh and from reading on here. No charts, just other peoples experience.
    MF 1643 PowerShuttle
    Land Pride QH15 Quick Hitch
    Land Pride RCR1872 Rotary Cutter
    Land Pride BB1572 Box Blade

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Rules Of Thumb For Tractor Size, etc?

    Quote Originally Posted by eatenabean View Post
    No charts, just other peoples experience.
    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?"


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