Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22
  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    6

    Default Newbie needs help matching tractor HP with implements

    I moved to 5 acres of heaven in western NC this year and am getting ready to buy a tractor and implements for the first time. You guys are great -- this is my first posting, but reading the forum has already helped me avoid several mistakes in tractor selection. Now I really need help in finalizing my selection of tractors. I was all set to buy a John deere 4520 compact with PowrReverser transmission for both landscaping and farming, but I am now concerned that it may have too much horsepower for most available Category I plows. Most of the plow ads I have read don't specify a max. hp rating and all the plows I have found with hp ratings above 50 are for a cat. 2 or 3 hitch . The plows I have found for a Cat 1 hitch with a rating given are for 50 hp or less . I am about to conclude that in order to match available Cat. 1 hitch plows I have to drop back to a JD 4320, but I would like to have the additional hp of a 4520 for landscaping work. Any ideas out there on how I can resolve the problem, or is it really not a problem?

  2. #2
    Super Member Farmwithjunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    7,514
    Location
    Mt Washington, Kentucky
    Tractor
    Where do I begin.....

    Default Re: Newbie needs help matching tractor HP with implements

    Not an issue. I used a CAT I 3-bottom plow behind a 60(+)hp/7500lb tractor for years. At one point, I was even using 3X16" Ford 101, CAT I behind 67 hp/8000lbs. Never had the first problem. Plow hp rating is more of a minimum required or recommended, than a maximum allowable number.
    There are three kinds of men;
    1.) The ones that learn by reading
    2.) The few who learn by observation
    3.) The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

  3. #3
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    17,308
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Newbie needs help matching tractor HP with implements

    Shouldn't the plow have a shear pin or spring type Trip system to protect it? If so it really does not matter what is pulling it.
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  4. #4
    Super Member Farmwithjunk's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    7,514
    Location
    Mt Washington, Kentucky
    Tractor
    Where do I begin.....

    Default Re: Newbie needs help matching tractor HP with implements

    Quote Originally Posted by Egon
    Shouldn't the plow have a shear pin or spring type Trip system to protect it? If so it really does not matter what is pulling it.
    If it is a trip beam plow, yes. A plow has a maximum "workable" speed. Usually that's between 3 and 5 mph. At those speeds, even a plow that's "rated" for (as an example) 40 hp will still plow with an 80 hp tractor ahead of it. If you had enough hp, theoretically, you could go 10, 12, maybe even 15mph, which could destroy a plow, but the shape of the plow would throw dirt in a manner not appropriate to good plowing. A normal plow bottom in normal soil conditions, at normal speeds, will only offer up so much resistance, no matter what's pulling it. If we're talking about an old "solid beam plow" though, all bets are off. It's entirely possible to bend the frame of a solid beam plow, even with relatively low HP and weight/traction.

    Long story short, any tractor that comes equipped with a CAT I hitch can use a CAT I plow, even if the tractor is at (or slightly above) CAT I hp standards. BTDT, plowed many an acre with too small of a plow behind too big of a tractor.
    There are three kinds of men;
    1.) The ones that learn by reading
    2.) The few who learn by observation
    3.) The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.

  5. #5
    New Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Newbie needs help matching tractor HP with implements

    Thanks. Sounds like good information. The thing that got me concerned was that the JD web site matchs JD and Frontier attachments with its various compact tractors, and some implements that will go with a 4120 or 4320 are not recommended for use with a 4520 or 4720, even though the 4x20 tractors appear to differ only in horsepower. Of course, JD and Frontier don't offer cat 1 plows, and many of their attachments don't have shear pins or other damage limiting features. I will be doing some plowing on new, rocky soil so am concerned about plow damage. I have not yet been able to find a cat 1 plow or sub-soiler that has a spring type trip, so I guess I will have to plow slow and replace shear bolts when necessary.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member jbrumberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2,073
    Location
    Western MA
    Tractor
    New Holland TC29DA, John Deere 455D

    Default Re: Newbie needs help matching tractor HP with implements

    Farmer Ken:

    Welcome to TBN ! I am curious as to what you intend to do with a JD 4520/4320 on your 5 A's . Jay
    NH TC29DA with 14LA and HD QA 60" bucket, weighted R-1's, FOPS, CCM M-160 (58") Tiller, Tebben MD 60" Rotary Cutter, Woods LR 108 (96") Landscape Rake, FEL cutting edge and tooth bar, Woods GB60 (60") Box Blade, Wallenstein BXM32

    1995 John Deere 455 Diesel with 48" mower, MC 519 Cart with PowerVac

  7. #7
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    6,514

    Default Re: Newbie needs help matching tractor HP with implements

    Ken,

    Bottom plows are not recommeded in some areas as they promote soil loss. Chissel plows and disc harrows are more appropriate for "farming". However, on 5 acres, why not just get the KK 72" gear drive tiller ? You can easily till your property from edge to edge with your choice of tractor in a morning.

    Then again, we don't know what you are attempting to grow.....

    jb

  8. #8
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    5,657
    Location
    Cedartown, Ga and N. Ga mountains
    Tractor
    1998 Kubota B21, 2005 Kubota L39

    Default Re: Newbie needs help matching tractor HP with implements

    Quote Originally Posted by john_bud
    Ken,

    Bottom plows are not recommeded in some areas as they promote soil loss. Chissel plows and disc harrows are more appropriate for "farming". However, on 5 acres, why not just get the KK 72" gear drive tiller ? You can easily till your property from edge to edge with your choice of tractor in a morning.

    Then again, we don't know what you are attempting to grow.....

    jb
    Ken, welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new place. Like John said, it sounds like a tiller would do the job for you. That is a lot of tractor for 5 acres. Do you plan on working more land besides the home place?

    MarkV

  9. #9
    New Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: Newbie needs help matching tractor HP with implements

    [/QUOTE]Welcome to TBN ! I am curious as to what you intend to do with a JD 4520/4320 on your 5 A's . Jay[/QUOTE]


    [/QUOTE]Bottom plows are not recommeded in some areas as they promote soil loss. Chissel plows and disc harrows are more appropriate for "farming". However, on 5 acres, why not just get the KK 72" gear drive tiller ? You can easily till your property from edge to edge with your choice of tractor in a morning.

    Then again, we don't know what you are attempting to grow.....

    jb[/QUOTE]


    [/QUOTE]Ken, welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new place. Like John said, it sounds like a tiller would do the job for you. That is a lot of tractor for 5 acres. Do you plan on working more land besides the home place?

    MarkV[/QUOTE]

    Thanks, I am really glad that I found this forum before I bought my tractor!

    I plan to use the tractor to garden about an acre of previously farmed bottom land; plant and manage about 1/2 acre of black berries, raspberries and blue berries; plant and manage a 1/2 acre apple/cherry/pear orchard; and to farm (don't know what crop yet) another 1/2 acre of bottom land now in pasture. Landscaping uses include terracing the acre that will have the berry and fruit orchard; moving soil from the terraced area to make a pad for a barn; putting in posts for new fences; developing an old trout pond (full of sediment); and developing a spring that I have started uncovering by hand. I really enjoy this type of outdoor work, but I am almost 60, so I don't know yet whether my mind can learn the art of making a profit farming or if the old body can take farming on a larger scale. If they can, I may attempt to buy or lease additional land from a neighbor for commercial crops or pasture.

    Now when it comes to tillers, discs and the various types of plows, I am so green that I don't think I even know how many different types of plows there are , so forgive any stupid statements I may make here. I was considering a tiller, but I have seen very few used here in the mountains (because of rocky soil?) and a local farmer told me that his experience with a tiller up was that the soil was very fine immediately after the tilling but soon settled and became very hard to work. He recommended a disk, and I am planning to buy one. As for why I am looking at plows, the practice up here is to turn fields with a plow in the fall and in mid-winter so that the freeze-thaw cycles in the winter will break up compacted soil. I figure that a plow might help in loosening soil when I do the terracing and berry/orchard planting. Also, I may experiment with "no-till" farming at some point, and I understand that requires use of a sub-soiler.

    I don't anticipate buying another tractor in my lifetime and I don't want to find myself with a tractor that can't even meet all my present needs. The reason for John deere is that they appear to not only hold up extremely well, but their resale value seems to be really good -- can't hardly find a used one on the market here. The reason for picking a JD 4x20 series tractor is that it appears to have enough weight when using wheel weights and/or filled tires to do the tasks I want to do. And going to the 4520 rather than the 4120 not only makes more implements available, but a 23% increase in hp (30% in PTO hp) for a 15% increase in price seems like good investment. But I may be wrong.

    I hope this additional information clarifies things. Any new or additional thoughts/advice?

    Ken

  10. #10
    Veteran Member jbrumberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Posts
    2,073
    Location
    Western MA
    Tractor
    New Holland TC29DA, John Deere 455D

    Default Re: Newbie needs help matching tractor HP with implements

    Farmer Ken:

    A 4X20 tractor is a lot of tractor for your acreage and your stated uses. I hear what you are saying about getting the only tractor that you will ever need and wanting to get it right the first time. A 4X20 will definitely meet your stated needs, but it could be overkill. Have you seriously looked at the 3X20 line of tractors and talked to the dealers about your intended uses and/or used the tractor selctor software program available on the JD website? These programs which are available on the major brands' websites make tractor recommendations based on what the prospective buyer inputs. I also caution you about comparing "statistics" although intrabrand comparisons are probably more valid than the the "statistical" comparisons with competitor tractors. Another consideraton is tractor manuverability- a smaller frame tractor would be more manuverable around those planned berry rows, fruit trees, and the terrace work. From what you have indicated it appears that you will need a FEL (with toothbar), backhoe, post hole digger, tiller and/or some type of plow and harrow combination, a rotary cutter to maintain your fields, and a box blade (just for starters ). The larger the tractor frame the more expensive the attachments . You should look at other attachment manufacturers and their attachment models in addition to Frontier's. You will find attachment models that are compatible with just about any size tractor. I have rambled on a lot in response to your initial question , but I am just trying to look at your situation from my perspective and am sharing my opinions for better or worse with you. Having stated all the above the 4X20's will definitely work for you especially if you buy/lease neighboring property for production purposes. Good luck on your tractor research and acquisition and keep the posts coming . Jay

    PS: The TBN membership loves to spend everyone else's money
    NH TC29DA with 14LA and HD QA 60" bucket, weighted R-1's, FOPS, CCM M-160 (58") Tiller, Tebben MD 60" Rotary Cutter, Woods LR 108 (96") Landscape Rake, FEL cutting edge and tooth bar, Woods GB60 (60") Box Blade, Wallenstein BXM32

    1995 John Deere 455 Diesel with 48" mower, MC 519 Cart with PowerVac

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
© 2013 TractorByNet.com. TractorByNet is a registered trademark of IMC Digital Universe, Inc. Other trademarks on this page are the property of their respective owners.