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Old 11-18-2010, 11:22 AM   post #1 of 17
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Question need tractor size suggestions

I need to start shopping for a tractor and brush mower to maintain a field at our place. The field is about 11 acres. Right now it's full of Queen Anns Lace and other woody garbage. I thought I would try to mow it 2 or 3 times a year to cut down on the weed seeds. Hopefully this would be frequent enough to get it back in shape. The field is slighly sloped but not steep.

I was thinking of a 6 foot brush mower and enough ground speed to get the job done in less than 6 hours.

My preference is an older Ford Diesel, but which model? Would a 4000 be too large?

Comments from you guys on the mower and tractor that that do this kind of stuff would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-18-2010, 12:31 PM   post #2 of 17
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Default Re: need tractor size suggestions

4000 gas 4 cyl works great on my 10 acres, but is mostly just rough grass. I use it with a 7 ft finish mower about once a week during the summer. The grass looks great for what it is. Used to be an overgrown field. Ground speed has to be kept down some or else would be bounced off the tractor.
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46 2n - waitin on me to do something to it.
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64 4000 - w/7 ft finish mower, scoop and bushhog.
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Old 11-18-2010, 01:10 PM   post #3 of 17
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Default Re: need tractor size suggestions

Thanks for the reply ryork. Once a week ? Jeez! How long does it take you to finish mow 10 acres?
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:22 PM   post #4 of 17
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Default Re: need tractor size suggestions

A 3 cylinder 4000 would be about the smallest I would recommend for a 7 foot brush hog. I have a 5 foot brush hog on my '73 4000 and it seems like it is overpowered for that and would easily handle a 6 foot, but a 7 footer would probably be pushing its limits. The power requirements probably go up with the square of the cutting width increase because of the angular momentum of the rotary cutter increasing geometrically, plus the weight of the mower is increasing at least the square of the width increase, probably more because the housing metal probably gets thicker with the size increase to keep it from flexing. An older 4 cylinder 4000 might only be able to handle a 6 foot brush hog, but I don't have any experience with those so I'll let someone else chip in. Brush mowing usually requires more pto hp than a finish mower. The best rule of thumb is to buy more hp than you think you'll need.
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Old 11-18-2010, 03:00 PM   post #5 of 17
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Default Re: need tractor size suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by donimbimbo View Post
Thanks for the reply ryork. Once a week ? Jeez! How long does it take you to finish mow 10 acres?
The biggest part of it takes about 3 hours. I have some around the house I have to use the rider to finish. I over lap about a foot so it is still 6 ft each pass. Most of the summer I used the 2n to pull the mower, but the bigger tractor pulls it easier. The 2n used less gas and for me was more comfortable. I've got some hills that are easier with the 4000.

If you look close at the picture I am about halfway down toward the left on the 2n...
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Bob
Old 'n Cheap
Bad part of being older...you can remember when things that now cost $10 were only 50 cents
46 2n - waitin on me to do something to it.
47 2n - my relaxin tractor.
64 4000 - w/7 ft finish mower, scoop and bushhog.
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Old 11-18-2010, 04:59 PM   post #6 of 17
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Default Re: need tractor size suggestions

If you're just looking to have 11 acres of lawn to mow, that will probably do it. Slowly. And some of the weeds will hang on for years, just waiting for a break in the mowing schedule to set seed. Simply mowing tips the balance a bit in favor of grass-like things, but many weedy things are very resilient and will keep at it for a long time even with regular mowing.

If you actually want to make it useful (and/or of possible income for you directly or by making it worth someone else's while to pay you) I think you'd do better to kill it off, sow a lot of buckwheat, plow it under when it flowers, harrow it after a couple of weeks, and sow a decent hay mix (or alfalfa if you have the pH for it or buy enough lime to have the pH for it) so you (or someone else) can make hay off it that's worth something. Which seems (to me) a more desirable thing than 11 acres of lawn...
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Old 11-19-2010, 05:22 AM   post #7 of 17
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Default Re: need tractor size suggestions

I was surprised to hear that a finish mower will take less Hp than a brush mower. But it's not my intent to have 11 acres of "lawn". I just want to control the weeds.

Planting a crop that I can sell sounds interesting but I would also have to get more equipment (rake and bale).

Anyway, I now have a few months to keep my eye open for a tractor.
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:12 PM   post #8 of 17
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Default Re: need tractor size suggestions

Check around for neighbors who are still (or starting, brave souls) farming - if any are looking for extra hay land (or, for that matter, pasturage) you might not have to buy any new equipment.

I'm not sure of the pricing or hp requirements, but I've noticed that the town roadside tractor has switched to a flail mower - I think they are less prone to savage events when run into rocks, etc. (but I have no direct experience.)
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:38 PM   post #9 of 17
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Default Re: need tractor size suggestions

we use to have 7 footer three point hitch that we pull behind a ford 4600 it pull it find like said before the large blade turning take alot of the pull of the tractor once turning at full speed. But the problem with it was it was to heavy to carry around on a slop causing the front of the tractor to raise up it had no loader though. So to solve the problem we solid it and bout a even bigger one a 9 footer but it was a drag type taken the weight off the tractor and it pull it find and cover more area saving fuel.
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Old 11-20-2010, 01:40 PM   post #10 of 17
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Default Re: need tractor size suggestions

Quote:
I was surprised to hear that a finish mower will take less Hp than a brush mower.
From the Bush hog brand web site (www.bushhog.com), their 7 foot rotary mower (brush hog) requires 50 to 70 pto hp. Their 7 foot finish mower requires only 30 to 50 pto hp.

A finish mower has multiple thin blades. A brush hog has a large heavy disk with short heavy blades attached to the edges, and all of the metal used in them, including the disk, the blades and the housing and frame made of thicker gauge metal to be sturdier, as brush hogs are made to cut through brush, so you are lifting and spinning a much higher mass.
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1973 Ford 4000 3-cyl gas w/S-O-S & 60 inch Woods rotary mower
2008 John Deere X500
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2014 Kubota BX25D w/50" snow blower

You know you might be a Nouveau Redneck if...
1. You use the cup holder on your tractor to hold your cosmopolitan instead of a beer
2. Your "Santa on a tractor" Christmas yard decoration is actually a high tech digital hologram.
3. Your deer camp cuisine is better than most 3 star restaurants.
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Old 11-20-2010, 04:48 PM   post #11 of 17
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Default Re: need tractor size suggestions

I DO NOT believe that a finish mower uses HP than a bush hog. My 6' finish mower pulls the engine a LOT more than the brush cutter in the same grass that I have used both on. That single heavy blade is one heck of a flywheel compared to the smaller blades a finish mower.
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Old 11-20-2010, 07:35 PM   post #12 of 17
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Default Re: need tractor size suggestions

I have a Yanmar 186d with a Bush hog brand finishing mower for sale .3 cyl diesel , 4 wheel drive , diff lock , powershift trans . All fluids just serviced , new battery , new mowing blades . This tractor is originally from Pennsylvania . Mike

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Old 11-21-2010, 02:20 PM   post #13 of 17
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Default Re: need tractor size suggestions

Quote:
Originally Posted by donimbimbo View Post
I need to start shopping for a tractor and brush mower to maintain a field at our place. The field is about 11 acres. Right now it's full of Queen Anns Lace and other woody garbage. I thought I would try to mow it 2 or 3 times a year to cut down on the weed seeds. Hopefully this would be frequent enough to get it back in shape. The field is slighly sloped but not steep.

I was thinking of a 6 foot brush mower and enough ground speed to get the job done in less than 6 hours.
10 acres is the same as 1/4th mile X 1/16th mile. If you condense this down to a 6 ft path it is 27.5 miles long or 30.25 miles for 11 acres. To mow it in 6 hours you would have to mow at 5.04 MPH. Plus overlap and time to make the turns.
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Bob
Old 'n Cheap
Bad part of being older...you can remember when things that now cost $10 were only 50 cents
46 2n - waitin on me to do something to it.
47 2n - my relaxin tractor.
64 4000 - w/7 ft finish mower, scoop and bushhog.
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:23 AM   post #14 of 17
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Default Re: need tractor size suggestions

Quote:
I DO NOT believe that a finish mower uses HP than a bush hog.
I assume that you meant to say "I DO NOT believe that a finish mower uses LESSHP than a bush hog."

I'm not making this stuff up. I looked it up on Bush Hog's web site before I posted it.

Bush hogs web page for their Squealer series rotary cutters:
Models Width Tractor HP Approx. Weight
SQ142 3 ft 6 inches 10 - 25 PTO 397 lbs
SQ148 4 ft 15 - 30 PTO 455 lbs
SQ160 5 ft 25 - 40 PTO 636 lbs
SQ172 6 ft 30 - 45 PTO 764 lbs
SQ184 7 ft 50 - 70 PTO 1,024 lbs

Bush Hogs web page (pdf) for their RDTH84 Finishing mower:
Model RDTH84
Cutting Width 84 inches
Cutting Height (1/2 inch increments) 11/2 to 51/2 inches
Tractor HP Range 30 - 55 PTO
.
.
.
Approximate Weight 874 lbs
__________________
Nouveau Redneck
Sean in PA
1973 Ford 4000 3-cyl gas w/S-O-S & 60 inch Woods rotary mower
2008 John Deere X500
2015 John Deere X530
2014 Kubota BX25D w/50" snow blower

You know you might be a Nouveau Redneck if...
1. You use the cup holder on your tractor to hold your cosmopolitan instead of a beer
2. Your "Santa on a tractor" Christmas yard decoration is actually a high tech digital hologram.
3. Your deer camp cuisine is better than most 3 star restaurants.
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:43 AM   post #15 of 17
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Default Re: need tractor size suggestions

ryork - After I posted my first message I did some pencil pushing and also came up with 5mph. This seems like a reasonable number doesn't it?

Redneck - so a 6ft rotary seems to be the biggest you could hang onto a 4000, 45 PTO Hp.
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