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  1. #1
    Elite Member jimmyj's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,809
    Location
    Ontario Canada
    Tractor
    Allis Chalmers 616 (Two) and a Kioti CK30 HST with loader and backhoe

    Default how big for round bales

    Hi all. Long time lurker, this is my first post.

    I am trying to decide which tractor (with FEL) to get, I'm going to buy in March. My uses are moving manure, moving snow (long drive) and moving 4x5 round bales (weight up to about 700lbs, sometimes more, sometimes less - I use 2 each week).

    I'm very close to two reputable kubota dealers but I'm getting confused by all of the model numbers and some conflicting advice on what is big enough. There also are Kioti, New Holland and Massey dealers close to me. My biggest fear is buying a tractor that is too small to be safe when moving a bale (have some moderate slopes to cross).

    I don't mind buying new or used, but I think my budget will keep me in the used market as I want to keep the cost below $15k.

    Are the L series tractors large enough to be safe for bales? Is there anyone who could explain to me how to decipher what all of the L series model number mean? There are so very many!!!

    Anyhow, always enjoy reading posts on this site and thanks in advance for any advice you may offer.


  2. #2

    Default Re: how big for round bales

    I have a kubota L3130 that I use for utility work around the farm. I can move 2 4x5 bales at a time, One on the back, one on the front. Have to load the back first for ballast

  3. #3
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    149
    Location
    Maine
    Tractor
    Sold theKubota L2250DT and now have a Kubota M4900DT

    Default Re: how big for round bales

    I consider the small M series minimum for this task although "it all depends".
    I have a M4900(LA1002 loader) and move both 700#+ round bales and 1200# wrapped haylage bales. I feel safe with this tractor even in mud, snow, ice, and all the hills and dips I seem to find. The rear tires are loaded and I usally have a 500 lb. logging winch on the 3pt. for a counter weight(not really required for the dry hay). I have unloaded hay from a large straight truck stacked 2 high with no problem. I know that lots of people do it with less but the safety factor should be considered. I know some people who think you need a much larger tractor to do these operation safely.
    Good Luck
    Dave

  4. #4
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    261
    Location
    Chatt Hills, Georgia
    Tractor
    Kubota B7800

    Default Re: how big for round bales

    Jimmy,

    First welcome to TBN. Hope you find as much good info here as most others do.

    I know I'll get some flak on this, but I've been moving 4x5's with my B series for years now. A few things. I don't travel very far. From storage to feeding area is maybe 300 feet. I also don't have slopes to cross or rough terrain to deal with. That said the B7800 can handle the weight and the size without a problem. I wouldn't put that much weight on the FEL, but on the 3pt. hitch it's not an issue. Also, if I was buying today and I knew I'd be handling rounds, I definitely buy bigger. L3400 at least.

    I'm proof though, that anything bigger than my B7800 will carry a 4x5 with no problems. If you're looking to carry on the FEL though, I'd look at the L4400 or the mid-range Grand L series.

    Good luck and let us know what you end up with.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  5. #5
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    149
    Location
    Maine
    Tractor
    Sold theKubota L2250DT and now have a Kubota M4900DT

    Default Re: how big for round bales

    Yes a round bale on the fel does take a bit more tractor. But it amazing what you can do with ANY size kubota!!!!
    Kubota's MTach pin on bale spear is a very strong unit.
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  6. #6
    Veteran Member canoetrpr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    2,382
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Tractor
    Kubota M7040 cab/hyd shuttle - current, Kubota L3400 - traded

    Default Re: how big for round bales

    I've been moving 5x6s no problem with my L3400 on the 3PT. Mahana, another user with a L3400 posted photos of his L3400 with a bale on the front and the back.

    Now I move maybe 2 rounds per week. If I was moving a lot of bales I would get a much bigger tractor but for my use the L3400 can handle anything I have thrown at it, including the rounds.
    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

  7. #7
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    261
    Location
    Chatt Hills, Georgia
    Tractor
    Kubota B7800

    Default Re: how big for round bales

    Nice setup Dave! That is definitely a substantial looking rig. Never having been in the market for anything as large as the M series, I'm curious. Could JimmyJ reasonably expect to find a rig like yours, used, in the 15K range? I was thinking used L series only because of the price point he mentioned. As we all know, if you can afford it, GO LARGE!

  8. #8
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    149
    Location
    Maine
    Tractor
    Sold theKubota L2250DT and now have a Kubota M4900DT

    Default Re: how big for round bales

    MFL,
    Jimmyj does not say what part of the country he is from but he could get a 2wd M4700 or M4800 w/fel for that. He says moving snow so probably MFWD is required and you may be a little over 15K for that. He does want to know how to SAFELY move round bales and to me that means size,weight and hp.
    Check Tractorhouse.com or equipmentlocator.com for prices. I even saw some M4800 and M4900 new (call for price) with 0% finacing. These are older models so you might get a deal.
    If you are in the east call Barlow Farm Equipment, great dealer, great people great customer support and service.
    Dave

  9. #9
    Super Member texasjohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    5,474
    Location
    Central Texas, Jarrell
    Tractor
    Kubota 5030HSTC

    Default Re: how big for round bales

    I regularly put out 2 bales at a time with my rig (see below). I find that hay bales vary significantly depending on what they are made of and moisture content. I consider a 6 foot round bale to be about 1500 lbs ... typically they are less...

    I have a bale spike on the front, a hay fork on the rear.

    Very, very important to load rear bale first, then spike the front bale.

    Very very important to have loaded tires and extra weight on rear fork... because, inevitably, there will be times when you want must lift with no bale on the rear... and then the whole rig gets nose tippy...

    Beware of lifting FEL bale high and swinging hard left or right at ANY notable speed at all.... you can easily lift rear tire off ground because of the rotational forces on entire tractor...

    You will LOVE being able to raise a bale with the FEL over the edge of a round bale feeder and drop it in. No more rolling the bale feeder over the hay bale..... but..as noted above, this REQUIRES attention to proper weighting, very slow operation, lifting no higher than required, no chug holes to fall into.

    My net after several years experience... I wouldn't want anything less than a 50ish HP tractor for the task of carrying my kind of hay bales.

    My L5030 is exactly right for the job... I feel very safe using it for the task, but recognize that my skill is REQUIRED to remain safe... proper height, speed, weighting as indicated. I can tell that a much larger tractor would provide me a wide margin for error... and that a smaller one would become very dicy very fast.
    Joy is having the tools you need and needing the tools you have!

    Kubota 5030 HSTC, BB, Danueser PHD, LA853 QA HD FEL w JD toothbar, 3pt chisel, 3 pt disk, 6' shredder, Kubota FEL hay spike, 3pt hay fork w carryall, Kubota RTV 1140

  10. #10
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    1,556
    Location
    Central Lower Michigan
    Tractor
    Kioti DK40SE

    Default Re: how big for round bales

    I move 4x5 round bales of Alfalfa (guess 800-900lbs) with a 50hp utility frame tractor. I find that I can move bales safely and easily with this size tractor. I'm sure it can be done with smaller, but bigger will provide safety and easy. If you want kubota an M model would be ideal. In the L series I would say the L4400 or the L39xx and up would be big enough.

    I would not hesitate to look used, but would look at all major brands if you do, not just Kubota. If you do look used I would look at both CUT size and utility frame tractors.

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