Minimum HP for Tractor

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by TheOldOak, Jan 27, 2019.

  1. TheOldOak

    TheOldOak Active Member

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    Finally looking to take the plunge on a preferably low hour, gently used compact tractor, must have FEL. Leaning toward Kubota. What is the minimum HP you would recommend? Uses will be bush hogging, food plot work (2-3 acres) moving dirt with FEL occasionally, and pulling logs out of the woods on occasion. Smallest tractor I would consider in the Kubota line is the older L2800 up to the the L3600. Would the L2800 with 28-30 HP be underpowered? Also, what impact do the emission requirements have on the power of the newer models? Any models to avoid? Open to all input, thanks!
     
  2. FL Plotter

    FL Plotter Active Member

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    I had an L2800 with FEL and HST transmission to work about 10 acres on a 1200 acre lease. It pulled a 2 bottom plow, 5' and 6' disc, and 5' bushhog. I was working it at its limit most of the time, but it did the job. Moved up to an L3800 and while it has about 10 hp more than the L2800, it doesn't feel like it, but it doesn't seem to work as hard with the same implements as the L2800. For reference, I put about 100hrs per year on my tractors.

    The L3800 equivalent is the L3901. My friend bought one last year and I drive it a lot. It has about the same power as my non-regen L3800. Given the choice, I would get a L3800 over a L3901 just for the non-tier 4 engine, but it's easier to find a L3901 with low hours.
     
  3. Zeek

    Zeek Member

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    I looked at Kubota and Kioti.
    I ended up with a Kioti DK45 HST.
    The best advice I got though came from the Kubota dealer. "I never took in a trade because they bought to big of tractor".
    You are going to work it at it's max, no matter what size you get. Get the biggest you can afford, without being too big to get around your land, or haul.
     
  4. PineSapJunky

    PineSapJunky Well-Known Member

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    You seriously need to give LS Tractors a look at. A good friend of mine has one and that little thing will straight up get it. The ergonomics has been well thought out and its just a solid machine. The only reason I say this. You can get more tractor for your money. I have a Kubota MX5100. It handles about 25 acres of plots plus the subsequent bush hogging of roads, etc with ease. We went with a kubota since we could get more tractor for the money compared to a JD or so. There's my $.02
     
  5. PineSapJunky

    PineSapJunky Well-Known Member

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    I agree...Kioti is another great tractor for the price
     
  6. swat1018

    swat1018 Well-Known Member

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    I have had a JD770 since 1992. It runs a 4' bush hog, 4' disc, 5' tiller easily. Don't get me wrong the 23 hp isn't ideal, but it does a ton of work. I also have a JD5400 and an old Allis 160. You can never have too much tractor, get as much as you can afford.
     
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  7. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    I went with New Holland over John Deere because I got way more for my money.
     
  8. Elkaddict

    Elkaddict Well-Known Member

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    Get a size up from what you think you’ll need. Also, I’ve found gears vs hydro means another 20% or so. Around here, the premium for used tractors was so high, I went with a new one for the warranty/establishing a relationship with a local dealer to service it. Looked at NH, Kubota, MF and Landini. Ended up with a 54hp MF. On balance, I’ve been happy, particularly with the dealer choice. For our 17acres of plots, it is adequately sized. It sees its hardest working moving trees, rocks, dirt and snow. We ended up picking up a used 65hp Landini to help. We live 3 hrs away and all my work is done on weekends. Having a second machine with additional implements hooked up really speeds things up which matters when working alone. I share this because you might consider long term needs.
     
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  9. Hoosierhunting

    Hoosierhunting Well-Known Member

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    Here’s my two cents: as others have said, nobody ever regrets getting “too much” tractor. Absolutely get the FEL with your tractor. I bought one without because it was a steal and then found it really hard to find the FEL. Buying a bigger tractor can sometimes save you money on implements. Small implements are expensive because of food plotter demand, slightly larger implements are dirt cheap because they’re too small for real farmers and too big for small compact tractor guys. Look at the difference in price between a 6 or 8’ disk and a 10 or 12’ disk for an example of what I mean. I am not a fan of hydrostatic transmissions for hard work on a tractor. MFWD adds capability for the tractor hp size in terms of what you can pull, it also adds considerably to the cost. I find 50hp is a really good size for most everything I do, I’d love to have 75hp but $ was a consideration. Whether JD, New Holland, Kioti or LS, almost every tractor under 50hp is manufactured overseas now, usually Korea or India. Lastly, tractors are still simple machines, like working on an old car. You can get to everything and the electronics are limited and simple. So if I were trying to get the most bang for my buck I would look at non-mfwd, well maintained (stored inside) used tractors of a brand that had a dealership close by. Having a dealer close by is a big plus. Good luck with your search.


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  10. Drycreek

    Drycreek Well-Known Member

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    I'm with the bigger is better crowd up to a point. I had an M5700 Kubota from 2004 until this year. Bought it new with cab and air, but no MFWD and no FEL. I worked the snot out of that tractor bush hogging, discing, planting, spraying, etc. I already had a backhoe when I bought it, thus no bucket, etc., but I bought another place, added a deer lease and all of a sudden the backhoe was not where I was mowing or plotting. Trees fallen across roads, or in plot edges had to be delt with in other ways.

    I was ready for one with a FEL and MFWD so when I ran across a super clean M6040, I traded. I did not want a new one with all the emissions crap. The new to me one has just a few more HP than the older one, but the added bonus of the MFWD will add more pulling power should I need it. For me, 55 to 65 HP seems to be the ideal compromise between maneuverability and power, but I'm gonna have to get used to that bucket on the front when mowing. It certainly will come in handy across the three different places that I mow and food plot on.
     
  11. SwampCat

    SwampCat Well-Known Member

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    I have a jd790, 28 hp that I used to plant up to 40 acres per year. It runs five ft implements fine. I am one who claims you can buy too big - but probably not in a compact tractor. Identify what size implements you think you will run. If you arent running going to run 8 ft implements, you dont need 65 hp. Be realistic - everything with tractors that is bigger costs more, takes a bigger trail, leaves a bigger tire rut, is harder to haul. I had two good friends who own tractors who told me to get the biggest I could afford. Glad the tractor salesman had some sense about him and I didnt do it. I would say anything upper 30’s ro 40 hp and you are fine
     
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  12. Scatterlandsfarms

    Scatterlandsfarms Member

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    2 years ago I bought a LS xg3025 brand new 51 hrs engine bllew and after consulting with dealer and LS they bought it back something about frame was to weak and caused the crank shaft to twist under loader work and was a factory issue with that particular model , so I would shy away from that model , Brand is probally good just not that model .

    Replaced it with a Branson 3015 R it has 86 hrs now and is doing great its a little known brand in America but they make a lot of the compact john deeres in Europe .They are trying to really expand in America and adding to their Warehouses and dealers . I really love mine and have worked it side by side with a case and Kubota similar size and it held its own but not near as pricey .It has a true cummins diesel engine and has awesome power . It does weigh in on the heavy side because its all steal and no plastic hoods or fenders and such . I have leaned one thing most compacts are made in Korea but assembled here You cant go wrong with about any of them some will cost more or less but the market has a lot of good tractors being made now days ,, Google Tractor Mike he kows a lot about such things and also watch some you tube videos like https://www.youtube.com/user/Kapitany7
     
  13. Chainsaw

    Chainsaw Well-Known Member

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    When hauling out trees it is not just horsepower that makes for a safe maneuver but also heavier weight that a larger tractor carries. I have 39 and 44 horse JD tractors and my next one will likely be about sixty. I have used tractors up to 90 horse but for my needs about 60 is big enough to do what I want safely and not so bad on fuel use. I definitely will look at Kubota when I buy my next one. And of course four wheel drive is a necessity.
     
  14. OkieKubota

    OkieKubota Moderator Staff Member

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    If you have to haul it make sure you have a trailer that is heavy duty enough and you have enough truck...I haul mine all over the county every summer brushhogging commercially...I have a Kubota Grand L 3830 and it is a heavier duty tractor than the old L3800 you see a lot of out there. It has a heavier duty frame, heavier duty loader, etc... I pull 6” equipment and it is the perfect size for everything I do...
     
  15. Hoosierhunting

    Hoosierhunting Well-Known Member

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    I’ve always had mfwd but always thought I could pretty easily live without it. For you guys who’ve had both, what’re your thoughts? Is it a nice to have or a necessity. Type of work and soil conditions I’m sure will affect answers but interested to hear your thoughts. I know where Chainsaw stands.


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  16. PineSapJunky

    PineSapJunky Well-Known Member

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    I think a lot of it depends on your tires. Obviously Ag tires have more traction then the industrial tires that seem to come on a lot of tractors these days. My 2wd JD deere pulls the disk better in 2wd than my kubota in 2wd. But the kubota pulls the disk better than the JD in 4wd. It's nice to have but most of the time it isn't needed, especially if you're good with FEL. If you know how to use it correctly it can get you unstuck most of the time
     
  17. j-bird

    j-bird Well-Known Member

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    HP is one thing...WEIGHT is another! you have to be able to get the power to the ground. So weight of the machine and weight you can and are willing to add needs to be considered. ESPECIALLY if your breaking the soil. Also keep in mind you have engine ho and PTO hp... I use a small 790 Deere....it works great for what I use it for, but at times it is under powered when I try to do something with it and I know I am asking more of it than I should. I would say the absolute minimum would be 30hp... And going a size bigger wouldn't hurt. 30hp does fine for 5' implements and light soil ground work....but if you have a lot of clay or you want 6 foot implements and the like....I would be looking in the 50hp range...just to make sure you got enough machine. Don't get an overgrown lawn mower...get a TRACTOR! Also use ag/bar or R4/industrial tires....I feel 4WD is also a requirement (especially with an FEL).
     
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  18. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    4WD is a must to get your power to the ground with a lighter machine, and all the difference when you get stuck in snow or wet spots, the 4WD pulls you in the direction you want to go rather than shoving your front end straight ahead, esp. with FEL. If you have a mowing tractor, and never get in snow or wet spots then 2WD is ok, but that's not most of us.
     
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  19. Double L

    Double L Well-Known Member

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    we use 25,36,85,and 105 hp tractors. They all have their purpose and pros and cons. You should look at what your planning on doing with it now and in the future. Look at implements you would like and there cost per size tractors. Some good advice I was once told was a tractor is only as useful as your attachments. Also look at dealer support because if your going to use it, your gonna break it and need parts, It is hard to put a value on dealer support until you need it.. Suggesting what size tractor you should buy would be like telling you what kind of car to buy your wife. I personally like the bigger the better idea but that's just me. It may take me a chainsaw to get my big tractor into a small plot the first time, but I can never get my 25 hp tractor to pull my no-till drill... Also my opinion is the bigger tractors seem to be more safer on the hills than the little ones. Lesser experinced operators will get scared well befor the limits of a larger framed tractor will be reached.
     
  20. Zeek

    Zeek Member

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    In Vt. Not only 4WD but chains on all 4 are a must for me, this time of year. I do use it quite a bit the rest of the year as well. I have R4 tires.
     

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