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  1. #21
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    4,316
    Location
    Murray, KY
    Tractor
    265 MF / JD 310B Backhoe

    Default Re: How many horses is enough?

    40-60 HP and used that will cost $5K-$10K. Two tractors would be nice. Buy the used one that will pull a 6-7' box blade full of gravel up hill. Buy the cute toy tractor second.

    HP as noted is not your main concern in the hills but the weight to be stable is important. The 20 HP tractors as noted also could weight 2x of some 40 HP tractors on the market today.

    Sell the larger tractor if/when the needs goes away. It will bring the purchase price 5 years from now if not more. The same is not true for a new purchase. The odds of by the "right" tractor as your first tractor is about 1 chance in a million.

  2. #22
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    8,806
    Location
    VA
    Tractor
    JD2010, Kubota3450,2550, Mahindra 7520 w FEL w Skid Steer QC w/Tilt Tatch, & BH, BX1500

    Default Re: How many horses is enough?

    30 or 40 HP 4wd should do you well for any of the tasks including baling if you do not use a high capacity baler. I too have hilly land.
    Regarding baling:
    .. To start with the seemingly ridiculous - I use my IH 37 pto driven baler on my BX1500. Slow on hills, but still Ok for reasonably tight bales. We dont like them too tight so that excess moisture is not trapped. Amazingly, the main problem with doing reasonably efficient work with this setup is that the baler knotter wont work at 540 pto rpm so I have to idle the BX back to get the RPM around 400-450. On level ground its still ok, but uphill the HST wont pull in high and low range is too slow. At 10 PTOHP a big windrow must be done very slowly. Full rpm gives decent thruput speed, but leaves a long row of nice wafers and twine with maybe a good bale mixed in. I was really ecstatic the 1st time I used it with the BX wide open - - til I looked back!
    The kubota L2550 24ptoHP is a totally different story. It has plenty of power to do anything the baler is capable of on any terrain. The balers limitation of around 450 rpm just limits how fast we can pull it without it choking. When that happens it stalls the baler - the big flywheel stops and the tractor keeps driving the input at the flywheel slip clutch. You notice this instantly and disenage PTO and go unchoke the baler and slow groundspeed down a little. Even with this the baler will put out a firm bale about every 10 seconds. With regard to surging due to the oscillating ram - this is a balanced mechanism. The surge is caused by the resistance to compression of the hay and the force needed to drive the bales along the chute. This makes the pto harder to drive during the compression stroke. Nicely dried hay goes thru the baler smoothly producing firm bales without huge ram force. The induced surge is gentle and kinda neat really. Going even harder with dry hay is no problem either, but the strings are too tight for pleasant bale handling. Then if you really want max stress try some wet hay. The baler surges much more and jams out rock hard bales unless you loosen the friction shoe in the chute nearly all the way. The bales mold unless they are very loose packed.-- Its a time not to be baling.
    I also use the L2550 to run the 7' Hesston Haybine and the 16' Tedder. The 70HP Mahindra is total overkill and I only ever use it for the weight when pulling the hay wagon behind the baler. Based on what Im hearing about other balers requiring lots of power and tractor weight I would recommend the IH if you can find one in good condition. To tell the truth I cant see why it would be better than any other, but my experience with it is so different from the group story on baler/tractor requirements that I can only recommend IT.
    larry
    This side of 40
    JD2010, Kubota L3450/FEL w SK QC, L2550 w FEL
    Mahindra 7520 [Pinky] /FEL w Skid Steer QC/w Tilt Tatch & BH, BX1500 [Mighty Mouse]
    IH37 Baler, CCM165 Drum Mower, JD Rake
    JD 127 bushog, Flail, SK Tilt Tatch , KK tiller, Rhino rear blade, Post driver, post auger, chipper, pallet fork, Grapple/Loader Buddy, Homemade Splitter/DC Welder

  3. #23
    Elite Member Ken45101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    3,319
    Location
    southern Ohio
    Tractor
    Kubota M5040, M9540, B21 TLB, B2710, RTV900, JD 325 Skid steer, KX-121-3 mini excavator

    Default Re: How many horses is enough?

    Regarding HP for a post hole digger, although I have a bigger tractor (40-50 pto hp) I always run my tractor at idle when digging post holes. Power isn't needed. But make sure you can hitch up a PHD to a smaller tractor.

    Ken

  4. #24
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    8,098
    Location
    Shingle Springs California
    Tractor
    New Holland TC40D

    Default Re: How many horses is enough?

    Most all CUTS and Utilities that I know of do not have down pressure. I moved up to a New Holland TC40D, 40hp tractor; it does not have down pressure.

    A neighbor down the street has an auger with it's own hydraulic ram, to give down pressure(uses tractor hydraulics). His is a little 20hp Massey; he can lift the back of the tractor up with it... It was about $500 more than a standard auger.

    I have never used it, but guessing that it would not lift my TC40, since it is heavier and has about 1200lbs ballast with the loaded rear tires.

    You mention Top/Tilt. I would get it if you can. I find it useful all the time. I am missing it right now; the TC40 does not have it, and I can not afford it right now. Had it on my previous tractor. Am saving up for it!

    TnT will not give you down pressure though...

    I have never done hay, but would not even look at smaller than something similar to my TC40.

    Although, a lot of old AC WD45's and Farmall C's ran a lot of equipment; many 60 year old tractors still do...

    Quote Originally Posted by atlkep1 View Post
    Also, RobertN mentioned "down pressure" on the auger, so I'm assuming that the 3PH, by default, does NOT have any down pressure on it. Is this correct?

    Is this part of what a TNT (top and tilt, is that right?) would give me? Does that create "down pressure"? Or is that a property of a much more expensive auger?

    We have 60 acres here. Approx 15 - 20 will be cleared and converted to pasture. It's somewhat hilly, sitting mainly on the top of the ridge and running off the south side. The pasture will be oddly shaped to take advantage of the flattest land that is available, a couple of "arms" running off of our ridge.
    RobertN in Shingle Springs Calif

  5. #25
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    31
    Location
    Western Virginia

    Default Re: How many horses is enough?

    Keith, Where is the Kioti dealer you referred to located? I live in Fincastle too, have just started researching tractors, and would like to see a Kioti tractor. I've got four acres of pasture that have gone to seed the past ten years or so, and now have small cedars and bramblebushes needing to be bush-hogged and turned under along with the rest of the weeds and undergrowth, before reseeding with grass. I wonder how many HP you need to turn over (disc?) our Virginia clay soil. Enjoying your post.

    Mike

  6. #26
    Elite Member Ken45101's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    3,319
    Location
    southern Ohio
    Tractor
    Kubota M5040, M9540, B21 TLB, B2710, RTV900, JD 325 Skid steer, KX-121-3 mini excavator

    Default Re: How many horses is enough?

    Quote Originally Posted by oneillmj View Post
    Keith, Where is the Kioti dealer you referred to located? I live in Fincastle too, have just started researching tractors, and would like to see a Kioti tractor. I've got four acres of pasture that have gone to seed the past ten years or so, and now have small cedars and bramblebushes needing to be bush-hogged and turned under along with the rest of the weeds and undergrowth, before reseeding with grass. I wonder how many HP you need to turn over (disc?) our Virginia clay soil. Enjoying your post.

    Mike
    If the cedars are small enough, you probably don't need to turn it over, just bush hog it! Keep it bush hogged and the grass will take over. If the cedars are too big to bush hog, then they are too big to "turn over".

    Ken

  7. #27
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    38
    Location
    Fincastle, VA
    Tractor
    Kioti DK40SE HST

    Default Re: How many horses is enough?

    Mike,

    I went over to Wolfe Tractor to look @ Kioti. I have multiple recommendations for them as a dealer.

    Tim there, spent almost over 1.5 hours w/me answering all of my questions, including the ones where I just point and say "What's that and what does it do?"

    He was very patient and very helpful and I could understand his explanations of things.

    Their address is 4907 Rich Patch Rd, Covington.

    To get there, go to Roaring Run Furnace, but don't turn into the park, just keep going. That road becomes Rich Patch Road. It's about 10 miles or so past Roaring Run furnace. When you hit the stop sign, just keep going straight.

    He had not gotten in his new tractors yet, so he was answering my questions using tractors that were in for service. That was about 3 weeks ago, so he might have new stuff in by now.

    Keith

  8. #28
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    55
    Location
    Downeast Maine
    Tractor
    kubota L3240 dt

    Default Re: How many horses is enough?

    Weight weight weight! Look for the machine that has the pto hp for the attachment you need to run then find the one that weights the most that you can budget in. Then everything else will we fine.

  9. #29
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    963
    Location
    West Central Idaho
    Tractor
    Kubota L5740HSTC3; B3000HSDCC

    Default Re: How many horses is enough?

    I am one of those who happened (after a lot of research on this forum) to get the right one the first time.

    I think that a Kubota L5030 HST(C for comfort) or its newer equivalent will do everything you want to do.

    As for downpressure on the PHD, this McMillen X975 Skid Steer, Skidsteer, Planetary Auger Drive Unit, 2 9/16" Round, 6-15 GPM, 24" Max diameter Auger mounted on a QA FEL will do nicely.

  10. #30
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    31
    Location
    Western Virginia

    Default Re: How many horses is enough?

    Thanks Keith, I'll pay Wolfe Tractor a visit.

    Mike

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