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  1. #1
    Silver Member moloss's Avatar
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    Default Minimum horsepower needed

    what is the minimum horsepower needed to 1.) 7-8 foot bush hog 2.) have a loader large enough to lift round bail of hay (for cows)? thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Minimum horsepower needed

    for the bush hog, plan on 5 hp per foot of width. (6 is better, but 5 works)

    For the loader, you need to determine the weight of the bales. Then get the loader that will lift it, then determine the tractors it fits. Many bales are in the 1400# range, some more some less. You need to do some work around your area to see what is being put up.

    On the bright side, typically a tractor that can haul round bales can easily do a 7 or 8' cutter. Are you looking for used or new?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Minimum horsepower needed

    There are many posts on essentially the same topic. I was looking for running a 6' cutter and moving round bales. I wound up with a JD 5105, which will run the cutter with ease, and while I haven't tried yet should also move round bales with ease. In hindsight I didn't need quite as big a tractor for these tasks, though it gives me a big margin of safety and ease of use.

    Based on my experience so far, I think 5hp per foot of cutter is a good estimate of what you need, but if you can afford a 5-15hp margin above that, you will probably be happy to have it. I believe that Deere indicates 40hp minimum for a 8' pull type cutter and 60 for a lift type cutter. There is no reason lifting the cutter actually takes more hp, I believe the number is just to preclude people from hooking up a 4720 to an 8' lift cutter and expecting to have a useable setup.

    For these tasks you would probably be ok with the largest CUTs, at least for a 7' cutter, or you would be in comfortable territory with most utility type tractors (JD5105 or 5225, kubota M5040, New Holland TC55 and TN60, etc.). If you want the 8' cutter you will probably be happier with a utility tractor, though a large CUT may work ok with a pull-type 8' cutter.

  4. #4
    Silver Member moloss's Avatar
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    Default Re: Minimum horsepower needed

    thanks for the replies guys......new or used (probably used due to price) I don't need alot of frills just the best bang for my buck....I've seen several larger tractors that could easily fit the bill but they all have 2000 hours or more and have seen many tractors with over 5000 hours.....at what point does a tractor start becoming less reliable? I can afford a tractor (barely) but I don't want to turn around a drop more money into one.......again thanks for y'alls replies.....Chris
    Last edited by moloss; 04-29-2007 at 09:19 AM.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Glowplug's Avatar
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    Default Re: Minimum horsepower needed

    If I had to give a "guesstimate" I'd say about 50hp should be about right. But there probably wouldn't be a big margin of "breathing room" there. I pull a 10-foot rotary cutter with my kubota M7040. It has 68hp at the engine and 62hp at the PTO. It is not a lift type mower so that helps. It does well with no problems, but when I start up the PTO with that thing on there the engine really bogs down for a few seconds to get the inertia moving in the blades on that cutter. I have a total lifting capacity on my FEL of about 2,000#. So if you count on lifting a 1400# round bale plus the weight of the loader arms and either a bucket or bale spear you may need a lifting capacity of 1600-1700# minimum. Good luck!

    By the way, WELCOME TO TBN!!
    Chuck

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Minimum horsepower needed

    Chris - tractor life depends a lot on brand and whether it's a CUT or utility type tractor. If you get a utility type from a major maker, 2000 hours is just a little past break-in, and you should have many years remaining. A CUT from a good brand will last more than 2000 hours but will definitely be farther along in wear than a utility from the same brand. If you get a CUT from an off-brand, 2000 hours may be close to the end of its life. A utility from an off-brand is anyone's guess.

    Chuck - I'm not certain, but I think rated FEL lift capacities normally include the weight of the loader arms and whatever the standard bucket is. So your LA1153 loader should lift 2500lbs inside the standard bucket; if you get a bale spear that weighs the same or less than the bucket, you should theoretically be able to lift a 2500lb bale (realistically a 2500lb bale is going to be so large in dimensions that you can't control it or safely lift it on that tractor/loader combination). I don't think the weight of the attachment on the loader matters much until you start looking at 4-in-1 buckets or heavy duty construction and foundry buckets that weigh a lot more than our standard material buckets.

  7. #7
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Minimum horsepower needed

    Minimum hp tractor to lift the round bales may not be the minimum hp needed to run a 7-8' rotary mower.

    My 33hp 1955 ford 660 with a 1-arm loader lifts round bales.. but would be at it's max running a 6' mower. My 1955 850 would spin a 7' mower and perhaps an 8' if just topping pasture grasses.

    If I were you.. I'd look above minimum.

    I think the aforementioned 50hp number is good to look at. should let you spin a 7' mower with ease.. and 8' if you aren't doing landclearing. if you can hit mid 50's.. then 8' is even more doable. ( I've seen a ford 5610 run a 10' mower.. it was straining a bit.. but did it.. ).. On the flip.. an oldy but goody like a late ford 5000 would fix you up.. 67 pto hp, and 71 eng. runs a 10' mower just fine.. and will take a heavy duty loader or bale spear in the rear.

    ( if ya get a cat 2 tractor you are probably on the right track )

    Drag vs 3pt will make a small difference in 'sugested hp'

    Soundguy

  8. #8
    Veteran Member BTDT's Avatar
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    Default Re: Minimum horsepower needed

    Quote Originally Posted by moloss
    what is the minimum horsepower needed to 1.) 7-8 foot bush hog 2.) have a loader large enough to lift round bail of hay (for cows)? thanks

    Are you wanting both on the tractor at the same time? I see guys moving bales with a 3pt spear (no loader), then you could switch spear for mower and mow. Might get by with a smaller tractor this way. Now if your loading bales on a trailer, and actually need a front loader with bale spear, might need the bigger tractor and the mower on rear for ballast.
    Praise is not something you do to get closer to God, praise is a response to God being close to you.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Minimum horsepower needed

    I used a pull-type 7 foot mower with my 45 hp tractor with no problems, but I'd say it is a little light and loader capacity a little low for round bales (particularly if wet). I think it would do it, but again, you'd be at max capacity.

    I think the JD 5105 or the kubota M5040 would be ideal.
    George
    South Carolina

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  10. #10
    Veteran Member RollingsFarms's Avatar
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    Default Re: Minimum horsepower needed

    I agree with George. OR, you could take it a step further and move up to a 55-56hp model and have that extra 5 or 6 horses. not sure what models for kubota these would be but it would be in comparison to a JD 5205 or JD 5203.

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