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  1. #1
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    Default 20% grade

    My wife and I purchased a small farm that has a lot of grades. Most fields have less than 15% grade but some of the lower fields have 20% grade. The farm was plowed by a horse and plow. I am looking for suggestions on what type of tractor would be the best to buy in order to plow safely.
    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Bigfoot62's Avatar
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    Default Re: 20% grade



    Just about any "normal" farm tractor should be fine. To feel comfortable, you may have to extend the track (width between the tires) to the widest setting. If you've ever paid attention to the tractors mowing the highway right-of-way, you may have noticed that the tires are set way apart. That's what determines the stability on a slope. Typical ROW slopes are cut to a 3:1 (33% slope). Also, filling (or ballasting) the tires will help a little.
    '10 JD 5085M Cab MFWD FEL
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    JD 457 round baler; JD 265 & Kuhn GMD 600 disc mowers; Sitrex V-10 rake; Hardee 10', Rhino 7', & Modern 5' rotary mowers; JD 13' & Ford 6' tandem discs; HayKing 10' rennovator plow (sub-soiler); etc, etc.
    My other tractor is a '95 Kenworth.

    Don’t ever wrestle with a pig. You’ll both get dirty, but the pig will enjoy it.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 20% grade

    just take those hills up and down, dont cross them sideways.
    Free scrap is a good investment !!!
    “The worst enemy of life, freedom and the common decencies is total anarchy; their second worst enemy is total efficiency” · Aldous Huxley
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  4. #4
    Veteran Member Bigfoot62's Avatar
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    Default Re: 20% grade

    Quote Originally Posted by Renze View Post
    just take those hills up and down, dont cross them sideways.
    The original post said "plow." You don't plow up and down hills.
    '10 JD 5085M Cab MFWD FEL
    '07 NH TN70A MFWD FEL
    '81 Ford 2600

    JD 457 round baler; JD 265 & Kuhn GMD 600 disc mowers; Sitrex V-10 rake; Hardee 10', Rhino 7', & Modern 5' rotary mowers; JD 13' & Ford 6' tandem discs; HayKing 10' rennovator plow (sub-soiler); etc, etc.
    My other tractor is a '95 Kenworth.

    Don’t ever wrestle with a pig. You’ll both get dirty, but the pig will enjoy it.

  5. #5
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: 20% grade

    Interesting opinions on plowing:

    Why plow at all?

    Bruce

  6. #6
    Super Member texasjohn's Avatar
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    Default Re: 20% grade

    Plow that kind of slope and I don't see how you avoid extreme erosion

    You sure you need to plow it??
    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

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 20% grade

    fill the rear tires up with a liquid to add more ballast weight. and get that extra weight closer to the ground. can help reduce COG (center of gravity) for a tractor.

    going SLOW, with plowing, ya going to be in and out of the furrow made from last pass of a plow. and if you hit the furrow wrong ya going to be tipping over. the faster you go, less chance you might be able to steer to keep things going. along with faster you go more likely hitting a bump on high side or going into a hole low side and suddenly tipping over.

    many tractors, you can either swap rear wheels (one side for other side) to keep tread in correct direction. and gain a inch or 2. (it is all in the rims) and were things bolt up to the hubs. to get a wider stance.

    some tractors ya have to buy spacers. to get a wider stance for the wheels.

    they do sale "tilt meters" that mount on tractor. to help "give you an idea" of what angle you are at. it is by no means lets ya drive tractor right up to max degrees before tractor rolls over. but helps give you a better idea of things.

    having ROPS (roll over protection system) is always good. (of course wear seat belt when ROPS is up)
    do not be confused with FOPS or sunshades. they will not give you any protection in a roll over.

    =============
    and of everything, do things in your own limits. if ya do not feel safe. then stop.

    =============
    and with texasjohn, has stated do you really need to put in a field at that steep of an angle? it might be better area for a pasture for live stock. than actually growing a crop. erosion can be a killer.
    Ryan

  8. #8
    Super Member RickB's Avatar
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    Default Re: 20% grade

    Quote Originally Posted by texasjohn View Post
    Plow that kind of slope and I don't see how you avoid extreme erosion

    You sure you need to plow it??
    Never been to New England or the Pacific Northwest?
    We have too much gun control.
    What we need is more idiot control.

  9. #9
    Super Member texasjohn's Avatar
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    Default Re: 20% grade

    Been there, short visits. 20% is the outer limit of the tiltmeter I have, and my pucker factor goes sooner than that. I've had my tractor on 3 wheels numerous times...not pleasant...so I been on slopes...am here to tell you that at those kind of angles any small hole/bump you hit throwing you in the wrong direction can be a rollover. I fear that regular plowing/planting/harvesting on such a slope not only gives extreme erosion, but will end up, sooner rather than later, in an unfortunate event.

    OP seems to be new to farming and going immediately into a dicey situation..... Hope all works out for him. Land is already purchased but I advise avoiding the extreme slopes since they cannot be plowed up/down but across, at least until experience is gained. There is a whole lot to learn about how the center of gravity moves around a result of FEL weight/height, vehicle velocity, angle of front wheels, implement being pulled and how it is attached to tractor, weight in tires/on wheels/on front/on rear, etc. It happens so fast and there is very little the vehicle operator can do to stop a roll over once it is in progress.

    If there is a TBN member who has numerous years experience of safely and successfully plowing and harvesting 20+ degree slopes, I'm hoping they will post information about the implements, tractor and practices they use to do it.
    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
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: 20% grade

    he could always purchase another horse team

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