Tractor Talk -round II

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Mike in Ohio, Aug 16, 2004.

  1. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    A little while back there was a long thread about what someone might need as far as a tractor. At the time I was happy with my 8n for my size property (47 acres) and said so.

    I went out and bought a new 5 foot rotary bar cutter (commonly called a Brush Hog)

    After spending the weekend brush hogging the hay fields I've decided my 8n just isn't big enough. I only got 4 acres or so done and I still have 23 or so to go. I'm having to do 2 passes on each row. The part that I've been doing is too steep to do across the hill so what I've been doing is the first pass on the down slope and the second pass on the upslope. Fortunately I own both sides of the hill <G>

    Seems like a lot of people in my area are having problems getting rid of their hay.

    I didn't wait on getting an overriding clutch. The inertia from the mower will push you forward some but it really isn't that bad. I wouldn't be heading at a building or tree with the mower engaged and me planning on stopping in a tight spot <G>.

    Anyways, I got several miles of trail (back in the woods) cut down as well. That seemed a lot easier than cutting down the hay.

    My opinion now is that a smaller tractor such as an 8n is more suitable as a primary for a place of up to 10-15 acres and as a secondary tractor for a larger place.

    I'm thinking I'll want a larger tractor a couple years out.....maybe around 45-60hp.

    Mike
     
  2. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hi Mike, you didn't say but I doubt if you have a loader on the 8n. A 50 hp or larger tractor with a loader is the handiest thing on the farm since John invented the Deere. A tractor that has a good loader will be used for the loader about 3/4 of the time. With hills as you discribe, be sure to get a utility type tractor because they arw low and wide which will prevent hillside upsets that could easily happen to a taller tractor. If you are thinking about a newer tractor, these small outfits with front wheel drive can handle a loader, hills, and plow snow as well as a larger 2 wheel drive. Don't trade the Ford. Sell it for cash and buy your next tractor outright. You can get it for close to the same amount as you would pay if they took your Ford.
     

  3. What can help - for next year anyhow:

    You are doing two passes, because the N does not have a slow enough forward gear, and not enough hp to cut up this heavy, thick, tall, stemmy grass you are going through.

    Would be better to brush hog the area every 3-4 weeks, you can drive faster, the grass will be finer, and will just generally work better.

    --->Paul
     
  4. Mike
    Widen the 8n axles up front and move the rear rims to get a wide stance then you can go back and forth on the hillside. Order the over running clutch now before you get caught in a desperate situation and get pushed where you do not intend to go. It is most dangerous not having this $40 safety feature. Headstones are $1200 for a nice one!
    Agmantoo
     
  5. Zuiko

    Zuiko Well-Known Member

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    We have a John Deere 2010, havent used it for working much, but its a lot better of a driver then our Farmall H. Theres no loader, but we have a skid steer also. Then 2010 is 46 HP, I plan to use it with a mower/conditioner, and a baler. They aren't nearly as low as an N-series, but they are pretty wide and have an optional wide front (most are wide, very few are row crop). If you can afford it, keep the 8N. Its a nice small tractor with a 3 point. With anything you probably want to go across the grade, like you are. Not only could you roll it easily, its not good for the engine. A loader on the front would be good to have, if for nothing else, for ballast. There are many tractors from that age (1960-1974) availible. 2010 is fairly small compared to many. I have found that 4020's are most common. They aren't physically too much bigger, but they are about 95 hp, I think they make a turbo too. http://www.machinerylink.com/resources/uevg/sbm/default.asp is a good site for looking up tractor specs. uncle makes a good point about selling/buying in 2 transactions, if your not keeping the 8n. The odds that somebody has the perfect tractor for you, and you have the perfect tractor for them is unlikely. Most dealers wouldnt pay much, they are just going to resell it. If you get one with a loader, I would reccomend full hydrolic. It is hard to fill one that isnt. The H came with a one way lift, and manual dump. Most of the newer tractors (post 1960) seem to have at least one hydrolic port on the back, which makes it easier to use many implements. I know International made quite a few, from this age/size, however that wasnt what I was looking for.
     
  6. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Mike, I neglected to ask previously. You do have the blades rather sharp don't you? If not, dull blades take a lot of horsepower in grass!
     
  7. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    I use a JD4430 and a 15 foot batwing. It goes through anything, but I do have problems getting the grass cut right on hills. It seems like I either have the mower too high and the grass doesn't get cut enough, or I have it too low and I gouge out trails with the corners of the mower. I go straight up and down the hills, never across them (I want to live).

    I admit that I am far from a mowing expert. I manage to get the job done, more or less, but it takes me longer and it doesn't look as nice as when hubby does it. I don't know that much about different equipment, but I thought I would add that I have trouble on hills as maybe you have the same problem. If it's a technique problem (which I know mine is), than a new tractor won't solve it!

    With all that...I love my 4020! I just wish it had a cab.

    Jena
     
  8. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    Agmantoo, the blades are sharp. It's just that the hay is really thick. There's a second growth coming up through the early stuff and there is some really fine grasses as well.

    Mike
     
  9. Mike, one last suggestion. Lower the front of the rotary cutter to where the front side is about 3 inches below level. The finish cut will not look as nice but with only the leading edge cutting and the rear portion above the cut grass it will take less horsepower. Good luck
    Agman