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Author Topic: Tractor Horsepower  (Read 8356 times)

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Offline firefighter ontheside

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Tractor Horsepower
« on: November 08, 2017, 05:37:50 PM »
I'm thinking of getting a bigger tractor.  I want to be able to use the loader and lift a log about 9' long and about 27" diameter.  Does anyone know in general how many HP I need to do that.  I'm assuming around 40 or 45.  Thanks for any help.
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Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Tractor Horsepower
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2017, 06:10:16 PM »
This is probably one of those questions that gets asked all the time, but has no clear answer.  I did a search, but didn't ind what I was looking for, then I googled my question and found a post here that asked about the same thing.  I know a skid steer would be better, but that would mean having two machines, which is not in the cards.
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Offline thecfarm

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Re: Tractor Horsepower
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2017, 06:31:25 PM »
I suppose on level ground?
I do that with a 40hp NH with ease. 9 feet is not very long.
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Offline pineywoods

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Re: Tractor Horsepower
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2017, 06:53:17 PM »
HP really does not have much to do with lifting capability. What matters most is the tractors weight. Higher hp tractors tend to be heavier, but not necessarily so.
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Offline gspren

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Re: Tractor Horsepower
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2017, 06:59:19 PM »
  One of the reasons you won't get a clear answer as to what HP is needed is because it varies by year and model and is more a weight & sturdiness issue. My JD2355 4x4 from the late 80s weighs much more than a newer tractor of the same HP, (55). Horse power is needed for running PTO and hydraulic stuff while weight and sturdiness are needed for heavy loader work.
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Offline gspren

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Re: Tractor Horsepower
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2017, 07:00:54 PM »
Piney, you type faster than me.
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Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: Tractor Horsepower
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2017, 07:04:51 PM »
80 or 90 horse, and that will work for most logs.
How about a nice John Deere.  ;D
 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

 

With a winch too, and attachments. You can do a lot. Don't forget the cab with heat and AC.
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Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Tractor Horsepower
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2017, 07:07:39 PM »
I know weight is needed, but my 1980ish kubota L245DT will not pick up a big log and the rear end will not lift up either.  Adding more weight to the back is not gonna make any difference.  It's a great tractor, but it's only 25 HP.  Thanks for the replies.
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Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Tractor Horsepower
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2017, 07:10:41 PM »
That's a hell of a tractor.  It might be a bit out of my price range.
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Offline gspren

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Re: Tractor Horsepower
« Reply #9 on: November 08, 2017, 07:17:45 PM »
I know weight is needed, but my 1980ish kubota L245DT will not pick up a big log and the rear end will not lift up either.  Adding more weight to the back is not gonna make any difference.  It's a great tractor, but it's only 25 HP.  Thanks for the replies.
  If the loader is sized properly for the tractor it won't lift much more than it can handle.
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Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Tractor Horsepower
« Reply #10 on: November 08, 2017, 07:59:43 PM »
That makes sense. 
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Offline g_man

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Re: Tractor Horsepower
« Reply #11 on: November 08, 2017, 08:11:03 PM »
A red oak log 27" in diameter and 9' long weighs about 2300 lbs. You will need a good rugged tractor.

Offline Knute

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Re: Tractor Horsepower
« Reply #12 on: November 08, 2017, 08:40:39 PM »
If you are sort of poor like me, you could use an Allis D-17 like I have. It will lift the log you mentioned with no problem. About 60 hp.

Online mike_belben

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Re: Tractor Horsepower
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2017, 08:45:21 PM »
With lift rate not specified, the issue isnt horsepower, its diameter of the lift cyinders and the pressure setting of the relief valve.  8hp could lift that log no problem, just the same as itll make 34 tons or force to split it. 

Your issue will realistically come down to the front axle capacity (well.. And how strong the trans housing is if itsna frameless loader.)  Knuckles and balljoints or kingpins are inherently weaker than an articlated machine with two straight axles.  Its why wheel loaders never have a front steer.  Even the old houghs had a solid front and rear steer.  Look at how low the rating is on telehandlers compared to wheel loaders or forklifts of similar size.  Steer axle is why.

2300lbs is heavy for a skid steer unless its a big'n.  compact track loader territory.   

Old crawler loaders otoh... 6k no problem and theyre cheap
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Offline TKehl

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Re: Tractor Horsepower
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2017, 09:53:59 PM »
Front wheel assist is very nice for loader work. At a minimum though, you want something with power steering.  No power steering + heavy loader = Popeye arms.   :D

More details would help.  Budget?  Will this be for farm  use as well?  If you don't need 3 point and PTO, an old backhoe or industrial loader can be had pretty cheap that will have good lift capacity.
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Offline Ianab

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Re: Tractor Horsepower
« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2017, 11:45:10 PM »
Would a sturdy log arch work for moving heavy logs with your current tractor?

https://Logrite.com/store/Item/tractor-arches

Lot cheaper than a tractor that will pick up 4,000+ pounds. As long as you have reasonably flat ground your little tractor would tow that arch with a decent size log slung under it.
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Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: Tractor Horsepower
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2017, 05:29:48 AM »
That's a hell of a tractor.  It might be a bit out of my price range.




You might be surprised, Less $$$ than a new truck.
2008 LT40 super,2008 edger, Cat telahandler, JD 5410 And can cut up to 45' long
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Offline PA_Walnut

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Re: Tractor Horsepower
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2017, 06:00:54 AM »
This is some very good info!  8)

My tractor is 65HP. I regularly lift BIG stuff up to about 4,000 or so. However, I can feel the strain on the front when I do. Even though power steering, the turning feels strained, the chassis is loaded and it feels generally uneasy.

Replaced all the fluids in the front axel with heavier oil and change often, but I expect it to wear 5x faster than a casual-use machine that hauls bunny-tails and powder-puffs.  ;D :D

Always caveats and trade-offs. My machine is a GREAT general, all-around beast (Kubota M62) with powerful loader, 4WD, backhoe, ROPS and FOPS protection, 63HP, etc.

Great all-around machine, but something 1/4 the price can lift more. Skids and track-loaders tear things up. Tractors not so much.

Pick your poison and work it's strengths.

I use mine every single day: moving logs and slab wood, forking pallets and lumber stacks, digging to plant trees, brush removal, even skidding and forwarding a quite large timber job down and out to the landing: naysaying onlookers were astounded to see me coming down the hill with 32"+ oak logs in the grapple.

Thinking of shimming the hydraulics a little to coerce a little more lift outta'er!  smiley_chop
Curling that beech log made it groan.





With lift rate not specified, the issue isnt horsepower, its diameter of the lift cyinders and the pressure setting of the relief valve.  8hp could lift that log no problem, just the same as itll make 34 tons or force to split it. 

Your issue will realistically come down to the front axle capacity (well.. And how strong the trans housing is if itsna frameless loader.)  Knuckles and balljoints or kingpins are inherently weaker than an articlated machine with two straight axles.  Its why wheel loaders never have a front steer.  Even the old houghs had a solid front and rear steer.  Look at how low the rating is on telehandlers compared to wheel loaders or forklifts of similar size.  Steer axle is why.

2300lbs is heavy for a skid steer unless its a big'n.  compact track loader territory.   

Old crawler loaders otoh... 6k no problem and theyre cheap
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Offline firefighter ontheside

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Re: Tractor Horsepower
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2017, 09:30:12 AM »
Lots of great ideas here.  I want to stay with a farm type tractor so I can keep using my 3 point devices and I dont want it so big that I cant drive around in the woods between trees.  I am not gonna have an all out logging business, but I want to be able lift logs onto the mill and unload my trailer or a trailer of someone who brings me logs to saw.  I'm thinking of a budget of about 15,000.
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Re: Tractor Horsepower
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2017, 10:10:29 AM »
I have a Kubota L2800. the loader is not up to the task plain and simple. I don't think HP is what you need I think frame is more what you should be looking at. I am pretty confident my L2800 vs a comparable M series Kubota the M series is quite a bit more rugged and has more lift capacity. If you are looking at brand new tractor with loader 4 wd power steering and no real frills your starting about 23k for an M series.

My L2800 is the short wheelbase version. I don't care for it. It has nicer turning radius but longer nose which makes maneuvering in the woods a pain with the loader. It is still a good tractor but I kinda wish I kept my B8200 and bought a bigger M series.

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