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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    38
    Location
    Fincastle, VA
    Tractor
    Kioti DK40SE HST

    Default How many horses is enough?

    I know nothing about tractors and even less about the HP required to run the multitude of implements that can be attached to them

    I live on pretty hilly property, so I know that 4WD is a given.

    So, on a 4WD tractor, how much HP is enough to

    1. maintain driveway, 3/4 mile brick-like-clay dirt road up a mountain (that took a severe beating this winter)
    2. install fencing for newly created pasture (have access to neighbors PHD)
    3. general field work, remove small (4 -5") stumps, rocks, grade for seeding
    4. possible hay making going on (square baler to help neighbor), some bushhogging fields
    5. NO round bale handling, will deal w/square bales as needed
    6. removing snow from driveway as needed
    7. haul firewood out of the woods, maybe split firewood (have reasonably good woods roads to work from, as we had the land timbered about 16 years ago)
    8. maintain woods roads for wood gathering and horse riding
    9. maintain riding ring, mostly smoothing surface

    I have dealers, nearby (in order of proximity), for Kioti, JD, BobCat, MF, NH.

    I want to stay w/a CUT as I would like for my wife and kids (18,16) to be able to use the tractor as needed. I'm figuring that this requirement is going to have an effect on the type of transmission that I go looking for (shuttle, HST, etc?) and I think that also can have an impact on usable HP.

    Any and all suggestions would be sincerely appreciated

    Keith

  2. #2
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    12,484
    Location
    Upper Midwest USA
    Tractor
    JD 4300, JD X485 JD 4x2 Gator, JD 425, JD455

    Default Re: How many horses is enough?

    Welcome to the forum

    I do quite well with a 32 hp, HST with FEL, bucket/forks, ('99 Deere 4300)

    Would suggest looking close at the Deere 3720 w/cab if wanting to be warm when plowing snow, and have room to get around in the woods with a cab.

    Similar size tractors in the other brands, picking them for the dealer support mainly.

    Good luck with your search.

  3. #3
    Super Star Member RoyJackson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Posts
    19,342
    Location
    Bethel, Vermont
    Tractor
    John Deere 4520 MFWD, Deere 855D UTV, Z920A Zero Turn Mower and assorted implements

    Default Re: How many horses is enough?

    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Welcome to the forum

    I do quite well with a 32 hp, HST with FEL, bucket/forks, ('99 Deere 4300)

    Would suggest looking close at the Deere 3720 w/cab if wanting to be warm when plowing snow, and have room to get around in the woods with a cab.

    Similar size tractors in the other brands, picking them for the dealer support mainly.

    Good luck with your search.
    Sounds about right...

    As much as I'm a gear guy, since atlkep1's wife and kids are going to operate the equipment, reckon I'd suggest the hydro (shudder!)
    Roy Jackson

    "Any government that does not trust its citizens with firearms is either a tyranny, or planning to become one."
    -Joseph P. Martino

  4. #4
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    4,540
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    Branson 3510H, Simplicity SunStar (for sale this Spring), John Deere X750

    Default Re: How many horses is enough?

    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Welcome to the forum

    I do quite well with a 32 hp, HST with FEL, bucket/forks, ('99 Deere 4300)

    Would suggest looking close at the Deere 3720 w/cab if wanting to be warm when plowing snow, and have room to get around in the woods with a cab.

    Similar size tractors in the other brands, picking them for the dealer support mainly.

    Good luck with your search.

    Would that tractor run that square baler he was talking about? I thought balers needed a bit more umph. (asking out of ignorance)

    Mark

  5. #5
    Gold Member R_Walter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    297
    Location
    Lindrith, NM
    Tractor
    Kubota L4240

    Default Re: How many horses is enough?

    Quote Originally Posted by polo1665 View Post
    Would that tractor run that square baler he was talking about? I thought balers needed a bit more umph. (asking out of ignorance)

    Mark
    If you've never hayed before, there's a considerable learning curve. You're not just operating some equipment, but you're getting into agriculture, which is a fairly discliplined affair.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member pitt_md's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    1,030
    Location
    Pine Island, MN
    Tractor
    Kubota MX5000

    Default Re: How many horses is enough?

    Quote Originally Posted by polo1665 View Post
    Would that tractor run that square baler he was talking about? I thought balers needed a bit more umph. (asking out of ignorance)

    Mark
    I see a guy bailing with a NH 35 - 40 hp tractor so I know it can be done.

  7. #7
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    6,692
    Location
    Sacramento
    Tractor
    Sold the farm, sold the tractors, moved back to the city

    Default Re: How many horses is enough?

    Quick answer: 35 to 50 pto hp. Lotsa choices in that hp range.
    If you're serious about baling hay, be aware that 35 pto hp is about the minimum I'd recommend--my MF 124 baler (small squares) requires 35.

    Have at it.

  8. #8
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    8,108
    Location
    Shingle Springs California
    Tractor
    New Holland TC40D

    Default Re: How many horses is enough?

    I would be concerned with the hay equipment and having PTO power to drive it. I would look at the implements you need, and see how much HP they need.

    I got bit by this. The general rule is 5hp per foot of rotary mower. I had 15 pto HP, but a 4' mower. Definitel had a hard time in thick heavy stuff. My kubota B series was a great tractor for everything else but mowing.

    For the auger, remember unless you have down pressure(more expensive auger), you will not dig holes in that clay except right now... Gravity pressure does not help. In a few weeks, my auger will be useless on my property. Because it becomes brick like clay.

    Now I have a 40hp tractor, that can easily drive a 6' rotary mower. And the loader bucket is much larger.

    I like HST for my applications. The wife and son drive the tractor. It works well for my hilly treed property. I would note, my wife can drive anything with an engine. She would be fine with a shuttle or gear, but on our property like the HST.

    Find out the info on the hay baling; that PTO power requirement may really define the tractor you look for.

    Also, how much property?

    Quote Originally Posted by atlkep1 View Post
    I know nothing about tractors and even less about the HP required to run the multitude of implements that can be attached to them

    I live on pretty hilly property, so I know that 4WD is a given.

    So, on a 4WD tractor, how much HP is enough to

    1. maintain driveway, 3/4 mile brick-like-clay dirt road up a mountain (that took a severe beating this winter)
    2. install fencing for newly created pasture (have access to neighbors PHD)
    3. general field work, remove small (4 -5") stumps, rocks, grade for seeding
    4. possible hay making going on (square baler to help neighbor), some bushhogging fields
    5. NO round bale handling, will deal w/square bales as needed
    6. removing snow from driveway as needed
    7. haul firewood out of the woods, maybe split firewood (have reasonably good woods roads to work from, as we had the land timbered about 16 years ago)
    8. maintain woods roads for wood gathering and horse riding
    9. maintain riding ring, mostly smoothing surface

    I have dealers, nearby (in order of proximity), for Kioti, JD, BobCat, MF, NH.

    I want to stay w/a CUT as I would like for my wife and kids (18,16) to be able to use the tractor as needed. I'm figuring that this requirement is going to have an effect on the type of transmission that I go looking for (shuttle, HST, etc?) and I think that also can have an impact on usable HP.

    Any and all suggestions would be sincerely appreciated

    Keith
    RobertN in Shingle Springs Calif

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Mickey_Fx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,132
    Location
    Vancouver Wa.
    Tractor
    Yanmar Fx24D, Cub 3204

    Default Re: How many horses is enough?

    Hard to disagree with advise so far. My initial thoughts were baling and ground engagement work are going to be the power hogs. Will need 35-50 HP for the bailing depending upon how fast you intend to push the hay through the baler. Might get by with 35HP if not pushing it. As for ground engagement work and doing so in the spring when the ground is still damp and somewhat soft will cut back on power needs. And as mentioned unless you get a model with down pressure on the 3pt, you're going to be hard pressed using a post hole digger other than early in the spring.

    Presently my Yanmar (24 PTO HP) handles all my needs but I don't have the need for a baler. Yrs back when I was haying, I had a MF 165D ~55HP and due to the load placed on it from the M/C and the baler, there were times when the tractor was grunting. We do have HEAVY yields of grass in the spring.

    You know best whether the wife of kids can handle a std gear transmission.
    Yanmar Fx24D,
    Koyker 155 loader,
    RSB-1300 tiller
    Cub 3204, 48" mower
    Bolen 1257 GT with tiller

  10. #10
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    7,144
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Tractor
    Kubota's, John Deere's

    Default Re: How many horses is enough?

    Sounds like you may need two machines.

    One for around the house and maintenance work, as you describe.

    One to help the neighbor out.

    Or, one close to 50hp for the field work and ground engagments, and hope it is small and light weight to manuver around your house and fences.

    How much land? Hills? Woods? Trails?

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