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  1. #1
    Member BroBro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    40
    Location
    West Virginia
    Tractor
    John Deere 3203

    Default Need Advice Brush Hogging

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I have a new JD 3203 Compact 32 HP 4WD With FEL weight of Tractor with empty tire's without FEL is 2700 lb's. ( Now 4000 lb's)
    JD has ROPP'S and Seat Belt Hydro. Transmission with Power Steering and Brake's
    Just sold my MF 245 2 WD no FEL.
    Just wondering Which is Safer Brush Hogging with FEL on Tractor or with FEL off.
    I live in West Virginia Own 174 acres lot's of mowing with lot's of pertty steep hill's.
    All 4 wheel's are loaded and stretched out to the Max.
    Also I have added 6 inch spacer's on the rear wheels makeing the rear wheel's measure from outside to outside 68 inche"s.
    Stock measurement for rear wheel's is 56 inche's.
    The reason I purchased the JD 4 WD with FEL is to mow steeper hill's thus the reason for wideing the front and rear wheel's.
    I am useing a New 5 foot King Cutter Brush Hog.
    Any advice or warning's from experienced hillside farmer's would be apperciated .
    Mowed for years with the old MF 245 but there was alot of place's I could not go.
    Long post I know but need ADVICE !!!!
    THANK'S !!!

  2. #2
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    74
    Location
    West Virginia
    Tractor
    ls u-5030

    Default Re: Need Advice Brush Hogging

    I also live in WV and my ground has some steep places.
    I mow our pasture twice a year as it seems to keep the
    weeds down better in my opinion.
    I remove the loader for the mowing and leave it off till I am
    finished. Others may disagree and that's fine, we have to do
    what we all think works best.
    My loader weights over 1000 pounds and even with the bucket set
    low that weight makes for a top heavy feeling. Some say with the loader
    on you can go up much steeper ground and you can. But is it worth
    the risk and you are putting much more strain on your machine.
    If I must have the loader to keep the front down on a grade, it is
    to steep for me. Wish you to best with new tractor.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Need Advice Brush Hogging-back-field-26-jpg   Need Advice Brush Hogging-back-field-19-jpg  

  3. #3
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    3,998
    Location
    NE USA
    Tractor
    JD LA115, WH 244, Troy Built Horse 8 HP

    Default Re: Need Advice Brush Hogging

    Quote Originally Posted by BroBro View Post
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I have a new JD 3203 Compact 32 HP 4WD With FEL weight of Tractor with empty tire's without FEL is 2700 lb's. ( Now 4000 lb's)
    JD has ROPP'S and Seat Belt Hydro. Transmission with Power Steering and Brake's
    Just sold my MF 245 2 WD no FEL.
    Just wondering Which is Safer Brush Hogging with FEL on Tractor or with FEL off.
    I live in West Virginia Own 174 acres lot's of mowing with lot's of pertty steep hill's.
    All 4 wheel's are loaded and stretched out to the Max.
    Also I have added 6 inch spacer's on the rear wheels makeing the rear wheel's measure from outside to outside 68 inche"s.
    Stock measurement for rear wheel's is 56 inche's.
    The reason I purchased the JD 4 WD with FEL is to mow steeper hill's thus the reason for wideing the front and rear wheel's.
    I am useing a New 5 foot King Cutter Brush Hog.
    Any advice or warning's from experienced hillside farmer's would be apperciated .
    Mowed for years with the old MF 245 but there was alot of place's I could not go.
    Long post I know but need ADVICE !!!!
    THANK'S !!!


    If anything I would add rear duals if at all possible and add ballast to the outer duals The problem is traction and adhesion.

    If your mowing side hills greater than 15 degrees in slope its a practice you better stop period if you intend on living a long time.

    You MUST mow up and then MOW down hill in a straight line period because
    your tractors centerline is the ruling factor and if the center line of the tractor is too high it wil;l be prone to tipping.

    You can buy smaller wider tires and rims(grain combine) and lower the center line and center of gravity of the tractor and be a lot safer.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    708
    Location
    nc PA.
    Tractor
    kubota rtv900: kubota mx5200

    Default Re: Need Advice Brush Hogging

    i have spent a lot of time mowing on steep hills in north central pa. i have mowed at a golf course for 6 years with steep hills and my grandpa's farm had just about all its hay fields and pastures on the side hills. we mowed hay with a farmal h narrow front end with sickel mower. i don't know the exact degree of the slope, but if you weren't paying attention, you WOULD be going over one way or another. also bush hogged with international 444. nice tractor= real wide wheel base. (don't have these tractors any more after my grandparents passed away) put the 444 ACROSS hills so steep, i now with my kubota b7800 (simular to your john deere in size=width=57" b7800 weighs a little less then your john deere rig) have to go UP & DOWN and it will just about pick up the front of the tractor with fel going up this steep hill. there are also a lot of hills i mow across too. i leave the loader on when mowing on these hills. i actually use the loader bucket as a stabilizer to not let the tractor tip. i curl it back slightly and just let it skim the ground. the width of the bucket so close to the ground won't let it tip easy (bucket width is 59" tractor wheel width is 57"). think of it as like down riggers on a backhoe sort of. the bucket holds the tractor from tipping to the side on its front axel pivot by forcing it to stay with the hill slope. the hydrostat transmission makes this easier because i can "feel" my way easy across the slope. sometimes i take a slightly up hill angle because the hills are so steep the bucket will cause the front end of the tractor to slide down hill a bit. i know without the loader on and bucket down like this, i would tip over in some places i mow. i would feel lost with out that loader on them hills. it would also be handy to have out there if you had to use it to emergency stop or something. better then nothing at all. this is a skill i have learned and i took my time at doing this to start out. i do not recommend you go outside your comfort zone at all. i am just saying my opinion is that having a loader on side hills can be handy. there was a thread on here that gave mathmatically how to caculate the degree of slope with the center of gravity of your tractor that you can safely mow. i think it was titled "concerned about the angle." with what ever you do be careful and STAY SAFE. up and down is better then side to side, but keep it in 4 wd. at least with my b7800, it will go out from under itself going down hill in 2 wd. Stay safe and good luck.

  5. #5
    Member BroBro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    40
    Location
    West Virginia
    Tractor
    John Deere 3203

    Default Re: Need Advice Brush Hogging

    Fenix -- Great looking farm !!!!
    Lots of fertilizer and lime on that grass.
    That pic of the slope look's just like my farm.
    Thank's for the pic's.

  6. #6
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    74
    Location
    West Virginia
    Tractor
    ls u-5030

    Default Re: Need Advice Brush Hogging

    Thanks BroBro, we try to keep it looking nice but it's hard to stay
    ahead of. You are right on the lime and fertilize. The lime was spread by
    truck and those guys are very confident on steep ground.
    It is amazing were they can go.

  7. #7
    Elite Member GPintheMitten's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    3,318
    Location
    Flushing, Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota B2620 with BH65 backhoe, Ford 2N

    Default Re: Need Advice Brush Hogging

    At the risk of stating the obvious, always use your seat belt, use 4wd, and if your rops is foldable, keep it up.

    I came very close to killing myself brush hogging with a Ford 2N with no rops and no seatbelt on FLAT land. I was brush hogging newly purchased land with 4 foot tall weeds/grass and didn't know there was a ditch on one end of the pasture.

  8. #8
    Elite Member rekees4300's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    4,338
    Location
    Indiana
    Tractor
    JD 4300, JD X500

    Default Re: Need Advice Brush Hogging

    Quote Originally Posted by BroBro View Post
    Just wondering Which is Safer Brush Hogging with FEL on Tractor or with FEL off.
    Off. Especially on hills.

  9. #9
    Gold Member Hollow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    496
    Location
    Tuscumbia, Al
    Tractor
    New Holland TT45A

    Default Re: Need Advice Brush Hogging

    If your mowing with the bucket close to the ground a FEL can easily raise your tractor's center of gravity 20% to 30% of it's total height. Much worse if you keep the bucket raised 2' or 3' off the ground. But if you've got a little tractor like that and it's 68" wide that thing is going to be hard to turn over if your driving slow and being careful.

  10. #10
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    141
    Location
    southwestern pa
    Tractor
    john deere 5115M MFD w/ FEL

    Default Re: Need Advice Brush Hogging

    Hi I live in southwestern Pa next to WVa approx 20 miles out , the ground here is steep. My farm is made up of all hiilside and ridge hay field with steep sides. I grew up on Hillsides with tractors , both track ,and tire. Ive owned several dozers and 4x4 tractors ,with FEL and without.I mow ground steep and rough full of slips and etc........... this ground is steep to the point a 4x4 will not climb all of it forceing me if I want it mowed to go up around (we call it dog legging) then come back down. It takes an extra 15min on some passes. I mow with tractors in the 60hp range, with FEL ON and OFF.The FEL saves the tractor against trees etc and heavy brush. As far as helping hold the tractor on the hill, I cant say it doesnt nor can I say it does. It all depends on the operator etc............ I use mine more on then in the past simplely because I dont want to remove it and I always have ajob waiting for the FEL it seems like.I mow side ways some but I preferr up and down with seat belt on to hold you in the seat, not only that but you can rest your legs more and pay attention to the ground etc.....and tractor. just my 0.02 cts good luck ,stay safe

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