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  1. #1
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    Default How many HP

    I've bought a vineyard and am trying to figure out what tractor is right. I have 8 acres of grapes and about one acre is pretty steep. Most of the work the tractor will do is pulling a sprayer around but there will be some mowing, etc.

    The tractor dealers (I've talked with John Deere and kubota) say I need something in the 35 HP range. The local guys think that's too small and want me to go to 40 to 70 hp.

    How do I figure out who is right?

  2. #2
    Advertiser sweettractors's Avatar
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    JD 6403 CHA-JD 3130 CHA

    Default Re: How many HP

    How much space do you have between rows? Ken Sweet
    http://www.sweetfarms.com/

    Sweet Farm Equipment LLC (Internet Sales, Shipping All States)
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    1815 Defries Rd., Canmer, Ky 42722 Toll Free 1-866-528-3323
    Ken Sweet sweet@scrtc.com

    Shipping Example: Can ship 800 lbs from Ky. to Dallas for $165
    The Northeast shipping corridor is a little more expensive.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: How many HP

    10 feet, but the trellis system carries two lines of grapes on a single broad Y-shaped post (sorry, still learning the jargon) with a spread of around four feet. So effectively, there's about six feet for the tractor to move around. No trouble with compacting roots . . . but a wide tractor will knock the vines about. Soil is heavy. I'm in Santa Cruz CA . . . moderate weather . . . main pest worry in fungus . . . biggest task is spraying.

  4. #4
    Advertiser sweettractors's Avatar
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    Central Kentucky
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    JD 6403 CHA-JD 3130 CHA

    Default Re: How many HP

    Just guessing, it looks like about a 35 HP Compact Utility Tractor with 4 X4 would work well in that 6 ft area. You may be able to spread those smaller (low profile) tires for stability on the hills and still stay under the grape vines at the top. You may want a neighbor that is doing the same type project to come in and advise. Ken Sweet
    http://www.sweetfarms.com/

    Sweet Farm Equipment LLC (Internet Sales, Shipping All States)
    Shipping Facility
    1815 Defries Rd., Canmer, Ky 42722 Toll Free 1-866-528-3323
    Ken Sweet sweet@scrtc.com

    Shipping Example: Can ship 800 lbs from Ky. to Dallas for $165
    The Northeast shipping corridor is a little more expensive.

  5. #5
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
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    Getting old. Sold the ranch. Sold the tractors. Moved back to the city.

    Default Re: How many HP

    Quote Originally Posted by sandgrubber View Post
    I've bought a vineyard and am trying to figure out what tractor is right. I have 8 acres of grapes and about one acre is pretty steep. Most of the work the tractor will do is pulling a sprayer around but there will be some mowing, etc.

    The tractor dealers (I've talked with John Deere and kubota) say I need something in the 35 HP range. The local guys think that's too small and want me to go to 40 to 70 hp.

    How do I figure out who is right?
    Mowing in vineyards and orchards is usually done with a flail mower to cut clean to ground level. Six ft wide flails need around 30 pto hp. And you have a constraint on tractor width because of the way your trellises are designed. And ground clearance can cause problems in handling implements on the 3pt.

    Read this thread--I think it'll point you in the right direction or at least give you some ideas to consider

    Wine Berserkers • View topic - Vyd Tractoreere 20A Vineyard tractor (aka Goldoni Base 20)

  6. #6
    Super Member crazyal's Avatar
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    Northern Vermont

    Default Re: How many HP

    How heavy is the spraying equipment you will be using and the hill you talked about, will you need to be going up that with the sprayer? From what I read I think an 'L' sized kubota would fit you. A 'B' may work but it could be a little light. I'm not sure what JD models are the equals to the Kubota.

    Personally I think too much HP will just burn extra fuel for no reason. Would an 8' foot mower give you one pass mowing between the vines? If so I think that would be what determines how my HP you need.
    Kubota L4240,Case 580K backhoe, Case 450 Dozer

  7. #7
    New Member
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    Santa Cruz County, California
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    Kubota L3830 GST

    Default Re: How many HP

    I would agree that you will probably end up with a flail and a FEL. With your size constraints I think that an L series kubota would work well in the 30 to 40 HP range. I am most familiar with Kubota but a simular Deere, NH etc would work well as long as it met the 6' constraint between rows.

  8. #8
    Super Member mjncad's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many HP

    I suggest you get a three-point-hitch mounted sprayer as I think you'll get quickly frustrated with a tow-behind needing more room in tight places to maneuver. At 8.3-pounds per gallon of water, make sure the three-point-hitch can lift a fully loaded sprayer.
    Paraphrasing Douglas Adams - So long and thanks for all the bacon.

  9. #9
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    central New York
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    all makes and models

    Default Re: How many HP

    Don't they use blast sprayers for grapes? I'd be looking at the horsepower required for that as well as the flail mower you need to mow with.

    To spray with a blast sprayer you would also want a cab.

    I'm not aware of but you might find a neighbor to spray them for you when he is doing his!

    kubota does have the 8540 narrow for vineyard use which is narrow and with cab.

  10. #10
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
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    Getting old. Sold the ranch. Sold the tractors. Moved back to the city.

    Default Re: How many HP

    Quote Originally Posted by sandgrubber View Post
    I've bought a vineyard and am trying to figure out what tractor is right. I have 8 acres of grapes and about one acre is pretty steep. Most of the work the tractor will do is pulling a sprayer around but there will be some mowing, etc.

    The tractor dealers (I've talked with John Deere and kubota) say I need something in the 35 HP range. The local guys think that's too small and want me to go to 40 to 70 hp.

    How do I figure out who is right?
    You didn't mention whether you're leaning toward a new or a pre-owned tractor.
    If used, then I'd look for something that's set up for orchard and/or vineyard use. I bought this 1964 Massey Ferguson 135 diesel in 2006 for $3600. It has 16" dia rear rims instead of the usual 28" dia rims that you usually find on field tractors. The short front wheel spindles are used to lower the front end and keep the tractor level.

    How many HP-dscf0023-small-jpg How many HP-dscf0016-small-jpg How many HP-dscf0017-small-jpg

    Those 18" wide rears increase the wheel track to about 83 inches to produce a tractor with a very low center of gravity for safety when working on hills.

    The previous owner used it to mow and spray his olive orchard.
    I cleaned it up, repainted, rewired and rotated the exhaust system to the vertical orientation for use in my hayfield.

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