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  1. #21
    Epic Contributor
    jinman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Texas - Wise County - Sunset
    NHTC45D, NH LB75B, Ford Jubilee

    Default Re: How big of Tractor to unload round bales from Semi?

    Texvet, you said you are getting semi-trailer loads of hay. Are they delivered on the typical flatbed trailer that is 4' or more off the ground? If so, that upper stack will proably be around 11' or more to the center of the bale. I've unloaded a 2-high stacked gooseneck trailer with a 45 hp compact (just over 5000 lb). I could easily reach the top row and raise the bales enough to lift them off the trailer, but the gooseneck's bed was less than 3' off the ground. I'd back away slowly from the trailer on a flat gravel driveway about 8' and then drop that bale down to a foot high before transporting it to my ground stack. If it had been on the upper tier of a semi-trailer, my loader would not have reached that high. The earlier advice to get a tractor with a loader that can reach up to 12' high is great advice as RPW suggested. I think once you find a tractor that has a high loader reach, you'll be fine on stability and weight.

  2. #22
    Veteran Member canoetrpr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Ontario, Canada
    Kubota M7040 cab/hyd shuttle - current, Kubota L3400 - traded

    Default Re: How big of Tractor to unload round bales from Semi?

    I guess I am the only fool around here who unloads a flatbed semi with 4x5 stacked two high with my little kubota L3400.

    Since the bales are smaller rounds, it keeps the height requirement down a bit. The flat bed is about 3-4 feet off the ground.

    Getting the bales from the second level requires a bit of technique as they are too high to stab straight into. I go in with my spear tilted up and stab and curl up and drag them out a bit then basically let them slide onto my spear.

    None of this is anything I recommend! Get the biggest, heaviest tractor you can.

    Heck I was thinking a JD4x20 or Kubota GL4x40 would be adequate for what I am doing as it adds almost 2x to loader capacity and an extra 20 inches to loader height! I expect it to be better but bigger is better here. I just think a much bigger tractor than that will be too big for my current property.
    Current: Kubota M7040 cab, hydraulic shuttle, Kubota M20 loader (made by ALO), LandPride RCR1872 rotary cutter, Horst bale spears & forks, Woods HB72 box blade, Kodiak 7' rake, Walco cultivator, chain harrow, Meteor 74" pull style blower

    Traded: Kubota L3400, LA473 HST (300 hrs), and various attachments

  3. #23
    Super Member WilliamBos's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Innisfil, Ontario, Canada
    MF 1635 12x12 Powershuttle


    If the tractor you find dies not have a loader, price out an ALO. excellent loader, awesome lift height too.


    2017 Ram SXT 1500 Crew Cab 4x4 5.7 Hemi 6 speed auto.

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