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  1. #1
    New Member farmerger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    14
    Location
    Chase, BC
    Tractor
    NH TC33D

    Default Bigger Tractor or Add Excavator

    Here is the scoop. Presently I have a NH TC33D, great tractor, been very happy with it. We (the wife and I) have 40 acres, little over half in pasture, the rest is treed. Mostly flat but the back of the property goes up the side of a pretty steep mountain ridge. We just have horses (to keep the wife happy, my boys and I use the property for dirt biking and snowmobiling). Been feeding the hay burners square bales but those are getting more and more expensive, and more and more of the hay farmers around here are doing round bales. So we want to go to round bales. We have a hay barn big enough to hold all the round bales we need for a year, if we could stack them two high. This is where the TC33D pipes up and announces, "Not with me you are not picking up and stacking full size round bales!" I basically have the go ahead from the boss (aka the wife) to get a bigger tractor to do this job. If I get a bigger tractor, how big is big enough for stacking say a 1200 lb round bale? I would really like to keep the HST as all of the other tractor work on the farm is always back and forth, and back and forth, etc and I won't be able to keep the little tractor if we get a big(ger) one.

    I also had a crazy idea. The TC33D could pick up a round bale with a spear on the 3PH and move the round bales to where they need to go. So, really, all I need is an implement to stack and take down the top row of round bales. We are also adding lots of fencing, clearing trees for more pasture and building trails up the mountain ridge behind us. To top it of, in a year or two we are going to build a new house on the farm. All of this sounds like excavator work to me but feel free to set me right if I'm wrong. I think I could sell the boss on an excavator if I could convince her that it could handle the round bale stacking duties.

    So what say you, am I nuts or full on BSC?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    743
    Location
    pa
    Tractor
    kubota 7040sud

    Default Re: Bigger Tractor or Add Excavator

    what brand are you looking at a TLB will digg i will be a little slower then an excavator but then you will have a PTO N A 3 PT HITCH

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,664
    Location
    Piedmont, NC
    Tractor
    Kubota L4610 & BX2230, Farmall Super M, Super A

    Default Re: Bigger Tractor or Add Excavator

    The top of the line compacts from kubota, Deere and some the other good brands (say, 40 hp and above), are big enough to do your bale handling and also have HST drivetrains. You'll lose the HST if you go to a utility style tractor instead of the compact type. Should also do fine for your other chores. A backhoe would give some good digging capability... not as fast or strong as an excavator, but respectable nonetheless.

    The problem I see with using an excavator for your bale stacking is how does an excavator pick up a bale without destroying it? You'd need some kind of bale handling attachment and I don't know if there is such a device.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member CobyRupert's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,209
    Location
    Washington County, NY
    Tractor
    JD 5075E

    Default

    Round bale clamp for excavator would be slick if it has the lift capacity
    JD5075E, Frontier RC2084 Rotary Cutter, Wallenstein FX65 Skidding Winch

  5. #5
    Member haywire cattle co's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    25
    Location
    western ny
    Tractor
    ford 5000/kubota m4800su

    Default Re: Bigger Tractor or Add Excavator

    I would go with a tractor in the 45-55 hp range.that should give you enough loader capacity to handle round bales.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    963
    Location
    West Central Idaho
    Tractor
    Kubota L5740HSTC3; B3000HSDCC

    Default

    I have no problem handling 1500lb square bales with a kubota Grand L5740HSTC-3.

    The FEL (LA854) does nto even grunt, and I could go three high if I wanted to. I have the tires loaded, wheel weights, and a sub-frame backhoe as ballast, tires set to full width. Very stable and strong.

  7. #7
    New Member farmerger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    14
    Location
    Chase, BC
    Tractor
    NH TC33D

    Default Re: Bigger Tractor or Add Excavator

    Not sounding good for my dreams of owning an excavator. I figured I could weld up some sort of bale spear to bolt to the excavator bucket and hoist the bales with that. Comments? The TLB's look interesting, do any of them come with a cab? If I'm going to get a bigger tractor I would really like one with a cab, 'cause plowing snow gets pretty (c)old pretty fast once you can't feel your fingers and toes anymore. Thanks for all the replies and suggestions, keep them coming

  8. #8
    Platinum Member JD 4520's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    834
    Location
    Brinnon, WA
    Tractor
    John Deere 4520

    Default Re: Bigger Tractor or Add Excavator

    Both, you can justify both. You need a larger tractor for long term on the property, you have too much to do with the smaller tractor that you have. Probably need a 40 -55 hp and that should take care of your needs for the future on the farm. Then you also need an excavator for property clean up and construction then sell the excavator when done, you will find you will be dollars ahead going this route. If you need a reference, you may use my name!
    Gary

    JD 4520, 400X FEL, Frontier Front Blade, Box Blade, Rotary Cutter, Landscape Rake, 48" Wildkat Grapple and PHD

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

    Default

    The kubota Grand L5740 has a very nice cab, cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It is rated:
    Engine (gross): 59 hp [44.0 kW]
    Engine (net): 57 hp [42.5 kW]

    Here's a pic of mine without the bucket or hoe mounted.

    -image-90784626-jpg

  10. #10
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    1,664
    Location
    Piedmont, NC
    Tractor
    Kubota L4610 & BX2230, Farmall Super M, Super A

    Default Re: Bigger Tractor or Add Excavator

    Quote Originally Posted by farmerger View Post
    Not sounding good for my dreams of owning an excavator. I figured I could weld up some sort of bale spear to bolt to the excavator bucket and hoist the bales with that. Comments? The TLB's look interesting, do any of them come with a cab? If I'm going to get a bigger tractor I would really like one with a cab, 'cause plowing snow gets pretty (c)old pretty fast once you can't feel your fingers and toes anymore. Thanks for all the replies and suggestions, keep them coming
    Best I can figure, while the "compact" excavators have plenty of digging power, they don't have enough lift capacity on an extended boom to handle a 1,500 lb bale on a spear. And you might need to have the blade set for stability when raising that kind of load, so actually moving around with a bale could be a hassle. For example, a large compact like the Deere 60D, will lift 1,300 lbs, including the bucket, to 10 ft. above ground level.

    60D Excavator from John*Deere

    You'd need to get into larger equipment - probably 75 hp and up - to do better than that. If your hay barn is big enough to operate a full size excavator inside, I want to see it!

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