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  1. #1
    Veteran Member hayden's Avatar
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    Default Weight ratio between tractor and towed implement

    In all the discussion about haying, much of the argument for using larger tractors is around the relative weights of the tractor versus the implement in tow. This is a very important safety concern.

    Can those of you with larger compacts and utility tractors respond with what your operator's manuals say is a safe max weight for a towed implement?

    I'll look it up for my B2910 (manual is at home), but I seem to recall around 1500 lbs, maybe as much as 2000 lbs was the limit for a towed trailer or implement. That's about equal to the tractor's weight WITHOUT loader or loaded tires.

    It would be nice to have some rule of thumb around how heavy a load can be safely towed.

  2. #2
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weight ratio between tractor and towed implement

    Hayden, I may be wrong, but I think you're going to find about 3,000 pounds in your manual. And I'm not sure there's any kind of "rule of thumb" that would actually be usable; too many things to take into consideration. The weight of a trailer is just one consideration, distribution of that weight is another, tongue weight another, type of terrain you'll be pulling over another, and perhaps one of the most important is stopping ability. I wouldn't worry at all about pulling a 5,000 pound trailer in my pasture with a B2910 (or almost anything I could move without spinning my wheels). It's relatively flat ground, dirt and grass, and lots of open space. On the other hand, I'd be very cautious about pulling a 2,000 pound trailer down the road south of my house. It's downhill, narrow gravel road, and I wouldn't want anything back there pushing me.

    And in the discussions of haying equipment, you not only have to consider the weight of the implement, but the fact that the PTO is turning some things back there, and a 1,000 plus round bale of hay rolling around in that baler can even shake a 100 hp tractor a bit at times.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
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    TC35D/16LA

    Default Re: Weight ratio between tractor and towed implement

    Towing the load isn't the problem...its stopping it at the end of the journey !!!

    I think its mostly a function of the limited braking efficiency in the smaller tractors compounded by their light weight. A large load will simply push the tractor...even with the rear brakes locked... can you see the R-4 skid marks heading to the ditch on the side of the road !!!!

    In the auto world we use electric trailer brakes for this reason.

    For my money, if the trailer will weigh more than me on my tractor...I don't want it pushing up my butt !!!!

    I'll be curious to see what the manuals have to say !!

    ::Bird, you type faster than I think !! We both were on the same thought ...you just got yours up first !!!::

  4. #4
    Veteran Member hayden's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weight ratio between tractor and towed implement

    Yes, I agree that it's the down-hills, maintaining control, braking etc. that are the problem, and I agree with Bird that there's a big difference between what's reasonable on flat ground versus hilly ground.

    It's the hilly, down-hill, maintian control situation I'm thinking about, and I suspect that's the case tractor manufacturers spec for in their literature to be conservative and to cover their rears on liability.

    Bird, you recall 3000 lbs for the 2710/2910? Wow, that's a lot.

  5. #5
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    Kubota L3710 HST and a Kubota ZD21 60Pro

    Default Re: Weight ratio between tractor and towed implement

    The manual for my 3710 says 5,500#'s. I frequently pull loaded hay wagons in the 10,000# range. My neighbor's 70 hp 2wd tractor will not pull these trailors up the gravel road to the barn, my kubota doesn't spin a wheel. As for stopping, I keep it in mid range on the road and low 4wd in the fields and gravel roads and have not had a problem stopping, (actually cannot remember having to use the brakes, I have HST).

  6. #6

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    tc-35 fwd 16la fel,hd bucket, folding ROPS, Deluxe hitch

    Default Re: Weight ratio between tractor and towed implement

    <font color=blue>It would be nice to have some rule of thumb around how heavy a load can be safely towed<font color=black>

    My tc 35 owners manual says "any towed vehicle with a total weight exceding that of towing tractor should be equipped with brakes for safe operation"


    I know none of us ever exceed this. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  7. #7
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weight ratio between tractor and towed implement

    Chuck, there's not doubt that's very good advice, even if we seldom follow it.[img]/w3tcompact/icons/blush.gif[/img] There used to be (don't know whether it still exists or not) a NTSA "warrant" or recommendation that states enact laws to require brakes on any trailer that weighed more than (or was it equal to?) 40% of the weight of the towing vehicle on the roads. And I still think that's good advice, too.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member hayden's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weight ratio between tractor and towed implement

    Interesting, that's about the weight of a 3710 with FEL and loaded tires, and I don't think the manual's recommendation is predicated on having those options. That means towing more than the tractor's weight (around 50% more if my estimate is correct) is OK by kubota based on whatever their criteria is.

    I still haven't check my 2910 manual to see what it says, but it sounds like Birds recollection will result in a similar spec over the weight of the tractor itself.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member hayden's Avatar
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    Default Re: Weight ratio between tractor and towed implement

    You are of course correct in your recollection - it's 3300 lbs to be exact. Much more than I would have guessed.

    Given all this, it's sounding to me like a towed implement can easily be the same weight as the tractor, with reasonable expectations of going as much as 50% to 100% over the tractor's weight on the implement, depending on how much safety margin you want.

    Looking at a larger grand L with an FEL and loaded tires that weighs around 5000lbs, I don't think towing a 5000 lb baler containing a 2000 lb bale is all that unreasonable unless on very unfriendly terrain. Would a bigger tractor be able to tow the load more easily - sure, but it is necessary or unsafe? I'm not seeing that.

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