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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    3
    Tractor
    David Brown 885

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

    Howdy Folks;

    I am in the Market for a bigger tractor. I've been buying Round Bales by the Semi load and I need a tractor big enough to unload them. My David Brown 885 is not tall enough nor is the front end loader string enough to unload the top row from a semi.
    I will be looking in the used market and not afraid of an older tractor.
    Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance.
    Texvet45
    Seguin, TX

  2. #2
    Gold Member CowwFace's Avatar
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    Jul 2009
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    367
    Location
    Conifer, Colorado
    Tractor
    Kioti DK45SE HST, 401FEL, RB40-96 pivoting Rear Blade

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

    Hey TexVet,

    I'll add my 2 cents ..

    I have a DK40se HST Kioti with loaded rear tires & a 96" rear blade hanging off the back: I unload 1 ton pallets of wood pellets (say that 5 times fast) from the back of my pickup (F250) a few times a year and it's a sphincter pucker event for me each time ... thus I would say that 1 ton 3 feet off the ground is pushing the limits of my tractor.

    With that in mind, I would say you will need something HELLA big for what you are doing. Old Case 1370 type tractor with FEL I'd say would be good place to start.

    Tractor on
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  3. #3
    Platinum Member RPW's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
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    721

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

    I would look for a tractor with a base weight of over 5000# and a loader that can reach at least 12ft. I'm basing this on my JD of course. It's base weight is somewhere around 5300 to 5400# without the loader. I've got the 512 loader that can handle over 2000# bales with ease. Sometimes I use the boxblade to ballast the tractor but I don't need it. Figure a semi-trailer height of 4ft (give or take) and 6x6 rounds you can reach the top row "if" they loaded it 2 high and 2 wide. If the top row is centered then you'll need a much larger tractor. You can probably look in Tractorhouse.com to find an apropriate sized machine.

    Good luck.
    2008 JD 5103, FEL, 6' Frontier, 6' HD boxblade, 7' Landscape rake, More impliments to come, Bobcat (clark) 742 SS.

  4. #4
    Elite Member
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    Jan 2010
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    2,535
    Location
    Northern, IL
    Tractor
    Branson 2400H

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

    This depends on bale size and weight but you need to look at the loader specs to see IF they tell you what the lift point is for there weight rating.

    example: Specs say this loader will lift 2000 lbs at the pivit pins. How far in front of the pins is the bale going to be?

    Like RPW said, what height and reach are required. The higher the load the more weight I would want on the ground to off set this.

    Roy
    Artificial Intelligence will never overcome natural stupidity.

    Branson 2400H MMM & FEL

    JD 112

    BX1850 gone but not forgotten

  5. #5
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Central florida
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    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

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

    i'd get a 70-100hp machine.. say something in the 5000 or 6600/7600/10/II series with a loader.

    good n heavy and won't be taxed.

    soundguy

  6. #6
    Veteran Member Bigfoot62's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
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    1,873
    Location
    W. Central Louisiana
    Tractor
    JD 5085M; NH TN70A; Ford 2600

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

    Quote Originally Posted by texvet45 View Post
    Howdy Folks;

    I am in the Market for a bigger tractor. I've been buying Round Bales by the Semi load and I need a tractor big enough to unload them. My David Brown 885 is not tall enough nor is the front end loader string enough to unload the top row from a semi.
    I will be looking in the used market and not afraid of an older tractor.
    Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Thanks in advance.
    Texvet45
    Seguin, TX
    First of all, to TBN.

    The tractor and loader you need will partially be determined by the size and weight of the bale. And, the tractors that will be suggested will be limited by your budget. Also, be aware that sometimes, very clean used tractors in excellent condition may not be much less expensive than new ones. Factoring in 0% financing by many of the manufacturers, and it can be very close.

    Many of the newer tractors don't weigh as much as the older ones of the same HP, so that can be deceptive. For example, my NH TN70A is an open-station, four wheel drive, 70 hp engine. My cousin has a kubota M9540 FWD, cab, 95 hp engine. My NH can handle his 5x6' rolls without ballast. He had to put water in the Kubota's tires so it could pick up the same roll of hay.

    Having said that, either of those tractors would do what you are asking. Also, the older Ford or NH 5610, 6610, or 7610 series.
    The 5M series John Deeres, like my 5085M, would easily handle it. And certainly, the larger JD tractors, such as the 6403, etc.

    Just so that you'll have some to consider, here are some NH models that will fit your need. (you'll have to decide if they fit your budget) Note: you can do the same with other brands, I'm just using NH as an example.
    These are basically arranged from newest and most expensive (current model with the most features, shuttle shift, etc) to the older and less expensive (fewer features, simpler transmission, etc)
    2008 NEW HOLLAND T4030 Tractors - 40 HP to 99 HP For Sale At TractorHouse.com (current model) also T4020, T4030, T4040, & T50xx series
    2004 NEW HOLLAND TN70A Tractors - 40 HP to 99 HP For Sale At TractorHouse.com (built 2004-2008) also TN75A, TN85A, TN90A, TN95A
    2005 NEW HOLLAND TL80A Tractors - 40 HP to 99 HP For Sale At TractorHouse.com (2004-2007) also TL90, TL100
    1997 NEW HOLLAND 5610S Tractors - 40 HP to 99 HP For Sale At TractorHouse.com (built late '90's-2000) also 6610S, 7610S
    NEW HOLLAND 3010 Tractors - 40 HP to 99 HP For Sale At TractorHouse.com (1996-2003) also 4010, 5010 (this series would be the absolute smallest NH that I would suggest, and the larger ones would be better)

    And, of course, if you want to go even older, you can look at the 5610, 5600;6740, 6710, or 6600. (also 7740, 7710, 7610, 7600)
    1992 FORD 5610 Tractors - 40 HP to 99 HP For Sale At TractorHouse.com (1982-1993) also 6610, 7610

    I hope this helps and is not just overwhelming. Point is, there are LOTS of tractors out there that are bigger than yours and would do the job.
    '10 JD 5085M Cab MFWD FEL
    '07 NH TN70A MFWD FEL
    '81 Ford 2600

    JD 457 round baler; JD 265 & Kuhn GMD 600 disc mowers; Sitrex V-10 rake; Hardee 10', Rhino 7', & Modern 5' rotary mowers; JD 13' & Ford 6' tandem discs; HayKing 10' rennovator plow (sub-soiler); etc, etc.
    My other tractor is a '95 Kenworth.

    Donít ever wrestle with a pig. Youíll both get dirty, but the pig will enjoy it.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
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    Dec 2005
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    661
    Location
    Central Maine

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

    BigFoot62 has it right as do the others. I have a TN75 which will also do what you want, no problems. That size chassis is what you need. They made the same tractor with 55-95 hp. You can use the 55hp version so you should be able to find one that is affordable. Look at wheelbase and chassis weight. Most of those tractors will have a loader that works fine. If you find one without a loader you can still get one. I put a Stoll self leveling loader on my TN and it is the bees knees. Cost $7k installed.

  8. #8
    Elite Member
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    Dec 2007
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    3,061
    Location
    texas
    Tractor
    7040 HDC 1153 fel

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

    id go with an 8540 4x4 with the highest lift fel i can get.an always keep a bale on the back.

  9. #9
    Elite Member
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    Sep 2003
    Posts
    4,144
    Location
    New Brunswick, Canada
    Tractor
    Kubota L5030 HSTC, MF 5455

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

    I've seen guys just build a loading ramp to pull the semi up next too. Jersey barrier laying on its side on a small pile of dirt then filled level to the top. Gets you up 30" or so.

  10. #10
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    202
    Location
    DFW, TX
    Tractor
    NH TN75, Kubota M7040, John Deere 650, John Deere D130

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

    Just make sure what you buy can handle more than you're currently wanting it to do. Never know what the future holds.

    I have a NH TN75 2wd and a kubota M7040 4wd. Both are the same HP but the NH sits lower and can handle more lifting weight than the Kubota. The Kubota can lift the weight but tends to want to roll over. Not a good feeling. Twice we have almost rolled the M7040 but luckily other bales were there to stop us from going all the way over. Anytime we lift heavy objects we use the NH. Nothing against the Kubota (wonderful machine) but all machines have their strengths and weaknesses.

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