need tractor size suggestions [Archive] - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information

: need tractor size suggestions


donimbimbo
11-18-2010, 11:22 AM
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.

ryork
11-18-2010, 12:31 PM
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.

donimbimbo
11-18-2010, 01:10 PM
Thanks for the reply ryork. Once a week ? Jeez! How long does it take you to finish mow 10 acres?

Nouveau Redneck
11-18-2010, 02:22 PM
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.

ryork
11-18-2010, 03:00 PM
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...

Ecnerwal
11-18-2010, 04:59 PM
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...

donimbimbo
11-19-2010, 05:22 AM
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.

Ecnerwal
11-19-2010, 10:12 PM
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.)

tractorman90
11-19-2010, 10:38 PM
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.

Nouveau Redneck
11-20-2010, 01:40 PM
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.

JohnW
11-20-2010, 04:48 PM
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.

Mike.ASC
11-20-2010, 07:35 PM
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

ryork
11-21-2010, 02:20 PM
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.

Nouveau Redneck
11-22-2010, 06:23 AM
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: (http://www.bushhog.com/product-line/rotary-cutters/101-rotary-cutters-single-spindle-squealer.html)
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: (http://www.bushhog.com/images/stories/documents/manuals/RDTH84Spec.pdf)
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

donimbimbo
11-22-2010, 06:43 AM
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.

ryork
11-22-2010, 09:41 AM
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.

If your ground is pretty smooth 5 mph is OK, but if it used to be a cornfield or something that had been plowed or just rough, 5 mph can bounce you right off the tractor. I'm assuming finish mowing. Bushhogging, depending on height of grass, weeds, ability to see what is in the grass, etc would probably be slower.

My 7 ft Landpride FDR2584 weighs 812 lbs and gives a pto horsepower rating of between 15 - 50 HP. I used it most of the summer with my 2N. According to tractordata.com it has 23 pto HP. I would not recommend using a "N" series tractor all the time, but my 4000 series was down at the time.

Having said all this, I need to remind you I am not an old veteran when it comes to tractors. I'm 65 and there are probably some on here that have been working these tractors since I was a kid. Their advice would probably be well heeded.

A pull type vs a lift type rotary cutter reduces the HP needed for the same width of cut. Landpride has an 8ft pull type that requires 30 -120 HP. I'm sure other manufacturers have similar units.

JohnW
11-22-2010, 11:50 AM
I assume that you meant to say "I DO NOT believe that a finish mower uses LESSHP than a bush hog."


Yeah, that is what I meant, fingers cannot keep up with what little mind I have left...:fing20: