Feeding tractor

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mdt192

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Hello all.

Wanting to get some opinions on our idea for a new feeding tractor. These last 2 years have been rough on old IH 2wd tractors. I was burying tractors weekly.

We have plenty of 2wd hp for the hay field and what little field work we do. We bale dry grass 5x5 net wrapped out of a JD 535. We have prairie gumbo mud.

We are currently looking at a 70-80hp 4wd tractor to be used primarily for feeding. Would it handle those bales without a hitch?

Would this open up the possibility of unrolling hay where I was concerned before with cutting too many ruts?

Thanks.
 

SBMF 2015

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I just bought a JD 5425 MFWD with a 542 loader. 77hp. It has some fluid in the rear tires. I added two sets of rear wheel weights (400lbs). It seems to handle 1,500lb round bales. Can't wait to see how it does in March mud.
 

M.Magis

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Just my experience, but I was in the same boat some years back. Bought a 70ish HP mfwd Deere and started using it to feed instead of the 2wd Ford 3000. I’ve now gone back to using the old Ford. The ruts the heavier 4wd tractor makes are 10x as bad as the light 2wd. What a horrible mess it makes. It certainly gets around good, but I have a lot of fixing to do in the summer.
 

Bigfoot

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I feed 450 plus rolls a year with an 8n Ford. Mud is the most limiting factor where I live. Sold my 4wd tractor because it sat idle. Literally never leaves a track. I usually have one of my kids tag along on a 4 wheeler to open gates. The 4 wheeler causes more disruption than the tractor. $1200 investment. Gas burner of course, but starts on the coldest of days. 10 gallon tank of fuel will feed hay for several weeks. I think it’s been 5 or 6 years since I laid a wrench on it.
 

callmefence

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HP doesn't have much to do with handling bales. Many tractor series will be the exact same machine through several HP ranges.
Only difference is HP I assume created at the turbo. You going to handle bales on the three point or a fel. ? Tipping weight is what you need to really be concerned with.
 

MurraysMutts

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Bigfoot said:
I feed 450 plus rolls a year with an 8n Ford. Mud is the most limiting factor where I live. Sold my 4wd tractor because it sat idle. Literally never leaves a track. I usually have one of my kids tag along on a 4 wheeler to open gates. The 4 wheeler causes more disruption than the tractor. $1200 investment. Gas burner of course, but starts on the coldest of days. 10 gallon tank of fuel will feed hay for several weeks. I think it’s been 5 or 6 years since I laid a wrench on it.

Everyone tells me an 8N's 3 point wont lift a round bale.
Do you have a loader on yours?
 

Brute 23

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I think it's the bales on the FIL that cause all the ruts. If its wet and you just run a bale on the 3pt, no matter if its 2wd or 4wd, it will skip right across a lot of stuff.
 

Atimm693

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callmefence said:
You thought about a tracked skidsteer. I feed hay almost exclusively at home with a skidsteer. Real handy for lots of other things.
Ones on tracked float pretty good.

I don't like feeding with a skid steer. Can't get out with a bale on to open gates or cut the net, and you can't see where you're going.

Never ran a tracked one, but forget about getting in the feedlot with a tire machine. It's about the worst machine for mud.

A MFWD loader tractor with a bale unroller on the 3pt is about all we can get around with here (MO). It does track up the fields pretty bad in bad years.
 

callmefence

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Atimm693 said:
callmefence said:
You thought about a tracked skidsteer. I feed hay almost exclusively at home with a skidsteer. Real handy for lots of other things.
Ones on tracked float pretty good.

I don't like feeding with a skid steer. Can't get out with a bale on to open gates or cut the net, and you can't see where you're going.

Never ran a tracked one, but forget about getting in the feedlot with a tire machine. It's about the worst machine for mud.

A MFWD loader tractor with a bale unroller on the 3pt is about all we can get around with here (MO). It does track up the fields pretty bad in bad years.
Good points.
With a open station I can unchain and open and close gates without getting out of the machine.
I generally drop the bale on its end cut the wrap then flip it back on its side and unroll with the hay spear.
Yes tires and especially the solid tires we use are hell on the ground when wet. A tracked machine is much better. I wish we had problems with mud.
 

Bigfoot

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MurraysMutts said:
Bigfoot said:
I feed 450 plus rolls a year with an 8n Ford. Mud is the most limiting factor where I live. Sold my 4wd tractor because it sat idle. Literally never leaves a track. I usually have one of my kids tag along on a 4 wheeler to open gates. The 4 wheeler causes more disruption than the tractor. $1200 investment. Gas burner of course, but starts on the coldest of days. 10 gallon tank of fuel will feed hay for several weeks. I think it’s been 5 or 6 years since I laid a wrench on it.

Everyone tells me an 8N's 3 point wont lift a round bale.
Do you have a loader on yours?

I use this little unroller. I feed my horses in rings, and also use this to feed them. That’s just so my big tractor doesn’t fit up my horse lot.

 

M.Magis

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Brute 23 said:
I think it's the bales on the FIL that cause all the ruts. If its wet and you just run a bale on the 3pt, no matter if its 2wd or 4wd, it will skip right across a lot of stuff.

Not here, my 4wd Deere sinks 12"-15" with a bale on back. The 3000 makes tracks of course, but nothing like the bigger tractor. I don't think I started it but once last winter, and I didn't have nearly the mess to fix in the summer.
 
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mdt192

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Bigfoot said:
MurraysMutts said:
Bigfoot said:
I feed 450 plus rolls a year with an 8n Ford. Mud is the most limiting factor where I live. Sold my 4wd tractor because it sat idle. Literally never leaves a track. I usually have one of my kids tag along on a 4 wheeler to open gates. The 4 wheeler causes more disruption than the tractor. $1200 investment. Gas burner of course, but starts on the coldest of days. 10 gallon tank of fuel will feed hay for several weeks. I think it’s been 5 or 6 years since I laid a wrench on it.

Everyone tells me an 8N's 3 point wont lift a round bale.
Do you have a loader on yours?

I use this little unroller. I feed my horses in rings, and also use this to feed them. That’s just so my big tractor doesn’t fit up my horse lot.


How much room does that need to grip the bale on either side?

I leave about a foot between each bale when I put them in rows. Would I still need to move the bale to get it in that?
 

Brute 23

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M.Magis said:
Brute 23 said:
I think it's the bales on the FIL that cause all the ruts. If its wet and you just run a bale on the 3pt, no matter if its 2wd or 4wd, it will skip right across a lot of stuff.

Not here, my 4wd Deere sinks 12"-15" with a bale on back. The 3000 makes tracks of course, but nothing like the bigger tractor. I don't think I started it but once last winter, and I didn't have nearly the mess to fix in the summer.

Is that a Ford 3000?


Other thing I see that I dont understand is you go by these tractor dealers and it looks like a rap video... all wheels... no tires. You have to put real tires on them right out the gate.
 

M.Magis

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Brute 23 said:
M.Magis said:
Brute 23 said:
I think it's the bales on the FIL that cause all the ruts. If its wet and you just run a bale on the 3pt, no matter if its 2wd or 4wd, it will skip right across a lot of stuff.

Not here, my 4wd Deere sinks 12"-15" with a bale on back. The 3000 makes tracks of course, but nothing like the bigger tractor. I don't think I started it but once last winter, and I didn't have nearly the mess to fix in the summer.

Is that a Ford 3000?


Other thing I see that I dont understand is you go by these tractor dealers and it looks like a rap video... all wheels... no tires. You have to put real tires on them right out the gate.

Yeah, with a set of chains it'll go nearly as good as the 4wd. Not quite, but good enough to feed.
 

Bigfoot

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mdt192 said:
Bigfoot said:
MurraysMutts said:
Everyone tells me an 8N's 3 point wont lift a round bale.
Do you have a loader on yours?

I use this little unroller. I feed my horses in rings, and also use this to feed them. That’s just so my big tractor doesn’t fit up my horse lot.


How much room does that need to grip the bale on either side?

I leave about a foot between each bale when I put them in rows. Would I still need to move the bale to get it in that?

You really enough room to stand beside it. I set out a weeks worth on Sunday, with my loader tractor, and leave myself plenty of room.
 

JW IN VA

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This is what I use.It may or may not work for you.Been feeding round bales since 1980.
I have a 77hp 2wd Ford 6640 and loader that I use for 5X6 bales with a John Deere 535.I also use this tractor most of the time in winter to feed with since I need to get bales back down I stack in the barn.I also have a Ford 5000 with front weights and ballasted rear tires I can use to unroll with when feeding up the hay which wouldn't go in the barn.

The keys are WEIGHT and STABILITY.Yes,I stack hay 3 high with the loader but only lift to full height at the stack on a level surface.The rest of the time the bale stays as low as I can keep it.The 6640 has 18.4-34 tires with max ballast on the rear.

I prefer to carry bales on the rear unloader and,even then, I usually carry them to the feeding area endways so that part of the weight rests on the main frame and not on the ends of the arms.Having to have arm pivots rebuilt taught me that.I do not like to carry bales on the front any more than absolutely necessary.

I've seen a few times over the years a 4WD would have helped but I've fed this way since 1995 and haven't "needed" one yet.We do have our share of muddy conditions and the ground isn't flat but we make do.
Again this is what works for me.
 

cfpinz

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JW IN VA said:
I've seen a few times over the years a 4WD would have helped but I've fed this way since 1995 and haven't "needed" one yet.

I'm with you on that. I bet I don't flick the 4wd switch on the tractors that are so equipped half a dozen times per year. But when I do use it, a lot of times it keeps a 5 minute job from turning into a 2 hour mess! :lol2:

And on the other hand, that 4wd switch can make me just a little too ballsy at times...
 

Brute 23

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If you have any sand or like when we put the fire guards in... the 4wd is a must. I have been amazed what I can drag a disk thru as far as creeks and stuff. I've drug a disk up the side of a hill where I was doing my best to stay in the seat. I tried a couple times to just run in posi track and it would barely move. Both rear tires would be spinning like crazy just to get going. Click it over to 4wd and you take off not spinning a tire.

I agree on feeding hay though. We have an old Ford 5000 that has moved thousands of bales in its lifetime.
 

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