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Implement Alley Discussion Forum

Tractor HP requirements for balers

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jbjake

07-12-2010 07:40:01
67.98.26.252



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bought 80 acres with about 25 in hay and will be baling beginning next year. Between now and then I will be shopping for used hay equipment including a baler. Probably will go with a small square baler.

I will also need to upgrade my tractor as I now have a Ford 631 Workmaster.

Just wondering what minimum HP would you recommend? 40? 50? More?

Don't have any row crops so tractor use will be general farm use, mowing, and baling.

Thanks.

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Jason, NW Ontario

07-16-2010 19:50:38
24.109.200.24



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 Re: Tractor HP requirements for balers in reply to jbjake, 07-12-2010 07:40:01  
I'm pretty new to this hay making stuff myself, but this is my set-up: JD 1630, with about 48 pto hp, running a NH 276 baler, towing a 20 ft flat deck trailer that holds 200 bales at 40-45 lbs each. The tractor has loader and tire ballast, so he's around 7000 lbs. Very gentle slopes. Not breaking any speed records, but it pulls it all just fine. That's about what that hp and weight can do for you.
If you take a step towards the 65-75 hp area, your options are more varied.

Jay

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acfarmer89.

07-14-2010 20:28:02
74.5.138.206



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 Re: Tractor HP requirements for balers in reply to jbjake, 07-12-2010 07:40:01  
Our New Holland 565 square baler requires a minimum of 35hp. We run a Allis Chalmers 190XT Series 3 (94hp)on it.



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rbuckel

07-13-2010 18:52:51
98.93.29.188



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 Re: Tractor HP requirements for balers in reply to jbjake, 07-12-2010 07:40:01  
I have a Case 1194 that works fine with my N H 273 baler. For backup I have a 1951 Oliver 77 Row Crop.



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rbuckel

07-13-2010 18:55:41
98.93.29.188



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 Re: Tractor HP requirements for balers in reply to rbuckel, 07-13-2010 18:52:51  
Forgot to mention the Case 1194 is rated at 49 HP.



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Steve Prince

07-13-2010 08:03:30
20.132.68.146



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 Re: Tractor HP requirements for balers in reply to jbjake, 07-12-2010 07:40:01  
I have a Workmaster 641 and an Oliver 720 baler. I bale about 15 to 20 acres a year. The 641 should handle a small square baler.



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Steve Prince

07-13-2010 08:07:46
20.132.68.146



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 Re: Tractor HP requirements for balers in reply to Steve Prince, 07-13-2010 08:03:30  
One Caveat all my ground is flat here in Kansas



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Tom Bradley

07-12-2010 20:12:04
67.223.202.61



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 Re: Tractor HP requirements for balers in reply to jbjake, 07-12-2010 07:40:01  
I have used my 860 ford with live power for years on flat ground to bale with IH 46, IH 435, NH68, and NH 268. It is about 40 horse and has not had a problem with any of them. I like that the tractor is not overpowered for the baler. If a stick gets in the baler or other jam up in the baler it will just kill the tractor before it does much damage to the baler. I also use a sickle mower and NH 55 rake so the 860 handles them well too. If you go to a rotary mower or big round baler you would have to have more horsepower.

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NY 986

07-12-2010 18:46:11
166.203.208.60



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 Re: Tractor HP requirements for balers in reply to jbjake, 07-12-2010 07:40:01  
What I would call heavy hay 100 bales ( small square 14 x 18 inch) per acre weighing 70 to 80 pounds each (first cutting, maybe 25 to 50 bales or more in the supplemental cuttings) or more I think I would want 60 to 70 PTO horsepower. Next thing you have to do is figure out how much you want to spend. A tractor with live or independent PTO, diesel, wide front axle (not a tricycle), high flow hydraulics with 2 remote valves is what you should be thinking about. If you are not locked into a certain make or model and don't mind something 30, 40 years in age or more a lot is there in the 5000 dollar range give or take. Remember, the older they are, the more service issues that will tend to follow. Start talking 25 years or newer will start putting you in the 8 to 10 thousand dollar range give or take. Cab with AC add another 3000 or so. A lower houred machine will bring a premium so add a few thousand more. If I could swing it I would consider something on the order of a John Deere 2550, 2555, 2750 or 2755 with factory cab (Sound-Gard cab), dual speed PTO, and HI-LO. A non 4 wheel drive version probably could be found in the 12 to 15 thousand dollar range. I would keep the Ford for a raking and light chore tractor if finances allow. The other posters have addressed most of the issues with power requirements and possible future acquisitions.

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Shetland Sheepdog

07-12-2010 11:49:25
72.71.226.70



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 Re: Tractor HP requirements for balers in reply to MLD, 07-12-2010 07:40:01  
the 4000SU would make you a super tractor for what you're planning! I'm assuming that its a diesel? it would be 50 PTO HP, and have an independent PTO (very desirable). Just don't plan on it for a loader tractor! (front axle etc is too weak!) The rest of the tractor is pretty much "bullet proof".

JMHO, HTH, Dave



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paul

07-12-2010 11:15:32
76.77.197.242



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 Re: Tractor HP requirements for balers in reply to jbjake, 07-12-2010 07:40:01  
Live pto and many ground speeds to choose from is what you want.

40 hp is enough, as mentioned60 gives you more options round baler maybe.

---->Paul



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jimva

07-12-2010 11:10:59
74.107.161.211



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 Re: Tractor HP requirements for balers in reply to jbjake, 07-12-2010 07:40:01  
When just starting out in haying in my opinion you want to invest the money in a good tractor, preferably bigger then what you think you will need. As other have said i would go with a 60-65HP tractor, with auxillary hydralics and live pto. That way in a few years if you want to upgrade to a bigger haybine/moco or a round baler you have the tractor to run it.



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RodInNS

07-12-2010 09:10:51
216.118.158.123



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 Re: Tractor HP requirements for balers in reply to jbjake, 07-12-2010 07:40:01  
If you go looking for another tractor you should find something with at least 60-65 HP. It's not that you necessarly NEED that much but it keeps some options open for you.
A lot of older balers will work fine on 30-40 HP tractors... but if you get into some of the newer ones, or more specifically a larger baler with a bigger feed opening... often times you need to force a larger row into the baler just to make a decent bale. Then you NEED power. Also factor in that someday you may want to get a disc mower or discbine, a larger rotary rake, a round baler, etc... then you pretty well need 60-70 HP minimum to effectively handle (physically) or power those machines. Otherwise you go looking for another tractor down the road... then you often end up selling this one for less than you have in it or have another tractor sitting around.
So, those are just some things to consider.
I know there's lots of guys put 'hundreds of acres' of hay up with an 8N and Farmall C and so on.... and mabey some did... but I'm sure you also have a dayjob and a limited amount of time to spend on this.
A little more tractor is probably cheaper in the long run.
Ford 5000 or even a 4000 would do. Or newer variants of those models.

Rod

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jbjake

07-12-2010 09:28:11
67.98.26.252



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 Re: Tractor HP requirements for balers in reply to RodInNS, 07-12-2010 09:10:51  
Kind of what I thought, thanks. I have been keeping my eyes open for a nice Ford 4000. There's a 4000 SU for sale locally, what's the difference between an SU and a regular 4000?



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KEH

07-12-2010 09:50:10
67.231.172.228



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 Re: Tractor HP requirements for balers in reply to jbjake, 07-12-2010 09:28:11  

The SU is lower, more compact that a regular 4000. The SU's size is more like a 3000, but with the bigger motor and drive train.

KEH



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old

07-12-2010 08:32:09
4.245.0.149



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 Re: Tractor HP requirements for balers in reply to jbjake, 07-12-2010 07:40:01  
Your 631 has just enough HP to run it but its problem is that it is a light tractor. So if it is nice flat ground it can do it but boy not having live PTO will make it a big pain in the back sides I know years ago I did baling with my 841 and it did it but it was no fun. I then switched to an Oliver 77 to pull the baler and boy what an improvement even with going down in tractor HP by around 8HP. 841 is around 45HP and the Oliver 38HP the big difference was the live PTO on the Oliver. So if your going to up grade keep the one you have and buy one with live PTO like an Oliver etc

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Mike (WA)

07-12-2010 08:29:07
69.10.196.7



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 Re: Tractor HP requirements for balers in reply to jbjake, 07-12-2010 07:40:01  
The 631 would handle it, power-wise, but I don't think its live PTO, is it? Sure handy to have a live PTO for baling. The 631 would be fine for raking and mowing, maybe think about picking up a cheap live-PTO tractor for baling- older Olivers (Super 55 or 550, Super 77 or Super 88, etc.) are great for that, and you're looking a 2 grand or less for a decent one. Sure handy to have more than one tractor for haying.

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Showcrop

07-12-2010 08:04:42
75.67.231.80



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 Re: Tractor HP requirements for balers in reply to jbjake, 07-12-2010 07:40:01  
A baler doesn't take much power, at least on level ground. Even then it's more the weight than power. When I first started nearly 25 years ago, for the first 2-3 years I used a 19 horse Kubota.



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flying belgian

07-12-2010 08:03:21
98.132.233.132



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 Re: Tractor HP requirements for balers in reply to jbjake, 07-12-2010 07:40:01  
If it is pretty flat your 631 should be just fine. If you have big hills then it might push you around going down them. That being said, it is sure handy having more than one tractor for haying so I might look for a second tractor of 60-80 horse. I sure like my cx-100 CaseIH. It is 85 horse fwa.



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tjdub

07-12-2010 08:11:19
208.28.88.253



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 Re: Tractor HP requirements for balers in reply to flying belgian, 07-12-2010 08:03:21  
> If you have big hills then it might push you around going down them.

This is the most important thing to consider. That little Ford will not hold back a load of hay. I had a very close call once pulling a load of square bales down a hill behind a WD-45. Never again. Once you start to lose traction all you can do is ride it out, and it's not the kind of ride you want.



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Zachary Hoyt

07-12-2010 07:48:43
184.8.238.106



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 Re: Tractor HP requirements for balers in reply to jbjake, 07-12-2010 07:40:01  
We have baled for years with a NH 67 pulled by an MF 35, and this year we baled part of the time with a Farmall H. We pull a wagon behind the baler with a long tray rather than a kicker, so I don't know how much power a kicker would need. Zach



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Leroy

07-13-2010 05:02:43
209.143.52.17



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 Re: Tractor HP requirements for balers in reply to Zachary Hoyt, 07-12-2010 07:48:43  
Power with a kicker is not notesible, baled with a IHC 46 with kicker behind a 49 John Deere B of 28 max pto hp with know problems, Pulled a 9' haybine behind the 41 Farmall H with 27 max pto hp with no problems. The Ford NAA did not want to handle the haybine but engine was wore out, instead of the 32 HP it should have been making was probably doing about 20, doing less that the 44 Ford 2N with 23 max pto hp. Your Ford should be capable of doing 37 max pto hp if in good condition. So a 7' bar mower would work good with your tractor and should even handle a 7' haybine and a smaller baler even without live pto. And that 4000, if a 4 cylinder model they are good at keeping a set pto speed, now a 3 cylinder 4000 is not due to a different type of govener. But you do need more power for the non hay ground but keep the tractor you now have as you need at least 2 tractors in haymaking.

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