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  1. #1
    Bronze Member Birch Hill Farm's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
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    89
    Location
    Kentucky
    Tractor
    International 444

    Default How big a tractor for making roll bales?

    How big of a tractor as far as engine hp and pto hp does it take to operate a roll baler? Like something making 5'x5' bales? We have a International 444 with a around 42 engine hp and 38 pto hp. It has weighted wheels and is a heavy old tractor that has no trouble making square bales with a massy 12 square baler. I would like to up grade soon to making roll bales do to the the number of square bales that we have to make and the limited availability of help. Roll bales would save me so much time and would make doing hay a one man job. Just wondering if our tractor is up to the job.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Elite Member
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    Sep 2009
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    4,213
    Location
    Murray, KY
    Tractor
    265 MF / JD 310B Backhoe

    Default Re: How big a tractor for making roll bales?

    In these parts more seem to be in the 100 HP range vs <50 HP.

    Are you flat or hilly?

  3. #3
    Advertiser sweettractors's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
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    7,150
    Location
    Central Kentucky
    Tractor
    JD 6403 CHA-JD 3130 CHA

    Default Re: How big a tractor for making roll bales?

    A smaller 4x4 baler would probably work if you don't have too many hills and hollers. Call Greg at 1-888-478-1343 and see what he says. 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.

  4. #4
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Mar 2000
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    37,444
    Location
    Texas

    Default Re: How big a tractor for making roll bales?

    Look at what the baler manufacturer recommends as minimum horsepower. I've seen some as low as 50 hp and think that would be risky. I've only used an 85 hp Oliver and 100 hp John Deere and was making 5' x 5' bales.
    Bird

  5. #5
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    Jun 2008
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    7,577
    Location
    Bismarck Arkansas
    Tractor
    2009 Kubota RTV 900, 2009 Kubota B26 TLB & 2010 model LS P7010

    Default Re: How big a tractor for making roll bales?

    I saw a guy the other day pulling one with a small CUT Kubota of maybe 50 HP. I dont know much about HP requirements for round balers but I would think an "old iron" tractor like the 444 would handle it fine. The bales are going to be around 1000-1200 lbs. so your tractor should hold that much weight in check even on a hill. I cant see it taking a whole bunch of power to roll it.
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 2013 Ferris Zero Turn, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp Miller AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member bucktaker's Avatar
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    Apr 2010
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    807
    Location
    Sw Ohio
    Tractor
    Kubota L5740

    Default Re: How big a tractor for making roll bales?

    I think a 50 hp Utility tractor should do it on semi level ground... Weight will always help .I think it takes more hp to mow hay than run any baler
    Kubota L5740 La854
    MF 35 Deluxe gas wloader...For sale

  7. #7
    Bronze Member Birch Hill Farm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    89
    Location
    Kentucky
    Tractor
    International 444

    Default Re: How big a tractor for making roll bales?

    Thanks for the replys! On these hp numbers, is this pto hp or engine hp that every one is talking about? This part of ky is rolling hills, nothing I cut is very steep but, in some of the fields there is enough of a hill that I wont pull a wagon behind the baler. I assume that the bale size is adjustable on most balers?

  8. #8
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    3,072
    Location
    texas
    Tractor
    7040 HDC 1153 fel

    Default Re: How big a tractor for making roll bales?

    a 50 hp pto tractor would pull a 4 by 5 baler.you really need a 70 pto hp tractor to pull a 4 by 6 or a 5 by 5 baler.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    736
    Tractor
    cx70,5510,4630,5005

    Default Re: How big a tractor for making roll bales?

    you can run a ih 241 6x5 baler with a 444.horsepower requirements vary greatly between balers.i would check out the vermeer rebel balers.your tractor will be heavy enough but you need a low horsepower baler.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member
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    Jun 2012
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    1,149
    Location
    Mt Crawford Va
    Tractor
    massey GC 2400 JD LA 145

    Default Re: How big a tractor for making roll bales?

    Heston also sells a baler that you can pull with your tractor, I think it is a 4x4 or 4x5 bale. I like a 4ft wide bale if you have to haul them as they load better.

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