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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    25

    Default Best Tractor on Hills?

    OK...I have read a lot of posts about the dangers of using tractors on slopes. Since I would like to be around for a while longer...can anyone offer advise on what to look for for best stability on hills for brush hogging, snow plowing, hauling logs etc. Do I want bigger, wider tires, filled tires, more or less weight, more HP, etc...etc...I am deciding between JD 4310 and kubota 3010...The bota has larger tires but JD has an upgrade for larger r-4's

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Posts
    951
    Location
    Sierra Foothills, Northern California
    Tractor
    Kubota B7300; JD LX233

    Default Re: Best Tractor on Hills?

    I have a smaller tractor than the one you're looking at, but my hills are pretty steep (up to 30% grade - where I don't mow "side to side"). The most important thing on the hill is low center of gravity (COG). So you fill your tires, add weight (as low as possible), etc. You also want to set the wheels at the widest the tractor allows, so you might check the two models to see which has a wider track.

    4WD is very helpful - you'll get some slippage (even with ad tires, which I'd also recommend) when going up, turning, and 4WD really helps. More HP is probably not important as far as the hills are concerned (in fact, I'd guess this is the one case where more might not be better).

    So bigger, wider tires - yes. Filled - I'd say yes, but there are different schools of thought there. My next set of tires will be foam filled, for sure. And they will also definately be r-4s - every now and then I take my tractor mower out there and the turf tires will slip even when it is "dewey" (wet).

    And get a tilt meter! I actually use mine more to assure myself that the tractor isn't really tipping over, 'cause it sure feels like it wants to when the angle gets to 15% - 20%.

    As far as tractor size goes, I have a B7300 and wish it were a bit bigger. But not much - it would be too hard to get in and around trees, and I also understand that the smaller tractors are less susceptable to tipping (could be wrong there).

    Good luck...Chris


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    280
    Location
    Western N.C. from New Orleans.
    Tractor
    MF 220 - Long 2360- Kioti 3054

    Default Re: Best Tractor on Hills?

    Did you read the post,,, Best mountain tractor,,, under Buying and Pricing? Might be of some help in your decision.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member hayden's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
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    1,709
    Location
    MA/VT
    Tractor
    Kubota L5740 cab + FEL, Cat D5G dozer, Kubota KX121 excavtor

    Default Re: Best Tractor on Hills?

    Regarding bigger R4 tires on the JD, check their size and track carefully. The bigger tires will likely make the tractor stand taller which will raise your center of gravity, which is counter to your objective. If the bigger tires also have a wider stance (track), then that will counteract to some extent the higher CG.

    Bottom line is that bigger tires don't necessarily make a tractor more stable, and in fact they can make it worse.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    May 2001
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    2,385
    Location
    Michigan
    Tractor
    New Holland TC40D Supersteer

    Default Re: Best Tractor on Hills?

    I concur, try <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.tractorbynet.com/cgi-bin/compact/showflat.pl?Cat=&amp;Board=genoperating&amp;Number =134193&amp;page=0&amp;view=collapsed&amp;sb=5&amp ;o=7&amp;fpart=>Best Mountain Tractors</A>

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    1,055
    Location
    WVa
    Tractor
    Kubota L3710, Ford 5600, Case MB4/94, Kubota B6200

    Default Re: Best Tractor on Hills?

    Probably the best tractor I saw for slopes that was commonly available was a JD low profile 6000 series. I realize that's more tractor than you need but it'd be worth your while to get one of the 6000 series brochures from a JD dealer and see what they did.

    JD went with smaller diameter tires and redesigned the seat so the operator sat lower on the tractor. There were other changes that I don't recall. Look at the specs for the tractors you're interested in and see if the wheels have offset options. Tractor tire wheels can be mounted to either minimize or maximize the side to side measurement. Some wheel hubs can be mounted four ways for different spreads. I'd be interested in wheel options first and the tires second. You may find that JD/kubota doesn't offer the wheels you want but you can work with the dealer and get the wheels and tires you need included in the package.

    Ballast in the tires will help but I'd check with the dealer about foam filling the tires. The drivetrains may not have been designed for the extra stress. If they start muttering "you'll void the warranty" that tells you something about the tractor you're considering. It's my opinion you're better off buying from a dealer that carries the large ag tractors rather than a dealer that's strictly lawn and garden. In my opinion they'll be more knowledgeable about the tire, wheel and ballast options you need.

    For side slopes you definitely want ags but Michelin has a high speed ag tread that offers more depth of tread than most. Dual rear tires are another option but before you buy the tractor see if Unverferth makes a kit that will allow you to add duals on that tractor. Part of buying a tractor is to not get locked into a situation you can't buy something to fix later. Most folks buying a tractor don't have an unlimited budget for everything up front. That's why it's important to know what you can get for the tractor before you own the tractor.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member Charlie_Iliff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
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    1,896
    Location
    Arnold, MD
    Tractor
    Power Trac PT1845, John Deere 2240, John Deere 950, John Deere 755, Jacobsen Turf Cat II

    Default Re: Best Tractor on Hills?

    I researched for several years on slope mowers before settling on a Power Trac 1845. Mine has turf tires, but is still comfortable on hills that I have been very uncomfortable mowing with a Farmall 300 and a JD 950.
    A couple of people have already suggested that if you haven't yet done so, read through the mountain tractor thread. Some of it is technical, some frivolous, but there's a lot in it about slope work, particularly including warnings about safety, both for operator and tractor.
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.tractorbynet.com/cgi-bin/compact/showflat.pl?Cat=&amp;Board=genbuy&amp;Number=12387 9&amp;page=&amp;view=&amp;sb=&amp;o=&amp;vc=1>Be st Mountain Tractor?</A>

  8. #8
    Platinum Member wasabi's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
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    Location
    Cullowhee Mountain, NC
    Tractor
    PT2445 and PT1850

    Default Re: Best Tractor on Hills?

    What you mean frivolous, lawyer man? This is all serious stuff! Meandering maybe, definately verbose at times, but frivolous...not!

  9. #9
    Veteran Member Charlie_Iliff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
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    1,896
    Location
    Arnold, MD
    Tractor
    Power Trac PT1845, John Deere 2240, John Deere 950, John Deere 755, Jacobsen Turf Cat II

    Default Re: Best Tractor on Hills?

    Wasabi:
    You're right. I just misinterpreted your post in that thread:
    <font color=red>"Thought I would weigh in on the equation since I technically started this hilly talk....If you take the angle of dangle times the pucker factor, divided by the rush of adrenaline, do you still come up with 83%?" </font color=red>
    Now that I reread that statement, I see that it couldn't possibly be frivolous. Now if you had divided the pucker factor by the angle of the dangle, that would have been frivolous, and probably even attracted the ire of one of our new moderators.


  10. #10
    Platinum Member wasabi's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
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    717
    Location
    Cullowhee Mountain, NC
    Tractor
    PT2445 and PT1850

    Default Re: Best Tractor on Hills?

    Charlie,

    I knew I could count on you for a clever, cool, clarifying restatement. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/clever.gif[/img][img]/w3tcompact/icons/cool.gif[/img][img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img].

    Sabi

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