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View Full Version : Is lifting something that weighs a ton (literally) unusual for farm machinery?



JoZ
Mar. 29, 2011, 02:22 AM
I am posting from my phone so for once I will be brief. I'm tractor shopping. Lifting a pallet of bedding pellets off my truck is one of the tasks I had in mind for tractor. I am finding tractors that otherwise fit my needs have max lifting capacity much less than a ton. (Fave pellets are 2450 lbs per pallet, even worse.)

How huge a tractor would I need to be able to lift 1.0-1.25 tons? Conversely, how is scooping scraping and shoveling with a skid steer, in case I have to go that route for lifting capability? Thx.

2bee
Mar. 29, 2011, 07:32 AM
Stop looking at lawn mowers. ;)

TrueColours
Mar. 29, 2011, 07:33 AM
Its not necessarily the LIFTING capacity but how far UP you can lift that weight ...

Our tractor is a 35HP and it can supposedly lift up to 2000 lbs WITH ballast on the back, but not that high. So - it could ostensibly take a 2000 lb skid, lift it up off the ground 6 inches and move it somewhere else. COuld it lift that same 2000 lb skid off the back of a flatbed truck and then lift it up and stack it on top of another? Not on your life ... :no:

We had some honking huge round bales that came off our fields last year and they probably weighed 1700-1900 lbs each. The fellow that helps us has a 65 HP tractor. Moving them around the field was a breeze for him. Lifting them on to the hay wagon - no problem at all. Stacking them 3 high in his storage shed? HUGE problem as once the arm got up higher, that weight was causing the tractor to flip forward and getting them down off that 3rd row was even more precarious and dangerous.

Obviously 100-125HP would be great but who has the $$$ or the need for something that big on a regular basis???

Mudroom
Mar. 29, 2011, 08:18 AM
I know one more piece of machinery can be a pain, but you can probably go to an industrial auction and get an old, beat up, but usable fork lift for a whole lot less than than the difference in tractor $'s that you are considering. Just be careful to determine whether you need one that can go on rough uneven ground or not. It doesn't sound like you need it for a lot of hours per month.

p.s.-I do not see a {mini} skid steer as a solution for farm work. Had some friends that got one and it was parked after one week.

update: I was confused on terminology, my comments above were about what is apparently called a "mini" skid steer, not a full fledged "bobcat"

eponacelt
Mar. 29, 2011, 08:22 AM
Well, I have a 30HP Kubota, and its great for all kinds of things. We have 10 acres and have yet to find something its not big enough for...

Except for lifting something that heavy. The tractor itself just isn't really heavy enough to balance that kind of weight, and I'd say that my tractor is not a tiny backyard job. So, best guess is that to get something that'll handle over a ton of lifting, you'll need 40HP or more.

baytraks
Mar. 29, 2011, 08:25 AM
We went through this same issue years ago, and ended up with an old forklift for unloading trucks. But you need one with pneumatic tires if you are not working on a smooth, paved surface.

Once when our old forklift would not start, we rented a skid steer with forks, and it did OK. At least there would be other uses for that kind of machine around a farm.

Good Luck!

Tamara in TN
Mar. 29, 2011, 08:26 AM
How huge a tractor would I need to be able to lift 1.0-1.25 tons? Conversely, how is scooping scraping and shoveling with a skid steer, in case I have to go that route for lifting capability? Thx.

our CAT 236 regularly moves 2000 pounds of hay from a good height...out big sqs are stacked 6 high after all....the 236 is better for small areas tight turns and all around usefulness versus the 6400's

I'd vote 236 type for buck bang and more interest in resale (contractors,yard guys,landscapers) over a tractor whose resale market is more limited

Tamara

secretariat
Mar. 29, 2011, 08:41 AM
We buy pelleted bedding on pallets by the semi, and unload it with 3930 4wd Ford tractor with loader (forks). It's actually a little small for that, but bigger 4wd wheels/tires give it adequate capacity. Weight of tractor and frame size are as important as lift capacity.

Bluey
Mar. 29, 2011, 09:25 AM
My JD5420 4x4 is rated to lift 3000 lbs but doesn't at the end of the pallet forks, will barely lift a concrete mix sacks pallet.

You need to realize that lbs of lift on the front is not what they measure when they rate tractors, but at the back, where you carry the load low.
I would say you get 2/3rds only in front, so our 3000 is only barely 2000.

Our A300 Bobcat skidloader is built differently, much more weight behind so it lifts incredibly much more than the tractor, walks easily off with a concrete pallet.

For most you do in a farm, either machine will work, but in general, a tractor will be best for bush hogging/shredding with the bigger mowers.
For most everything else, either machine will do, pick whatever you like best.

I prefer the tractor, because I can see around much better, being short.
I can't see behind me on the skidloader, even with a backup mirror, too well, so have to go easy in tight spots.

I just sold the skidloader to a neighbor, that was using it more than I did and already had two of them and I kept the tractor, that I use more.:yes:

Most dealerships have demo machines you can take for a few days to try out.
Then you will have more to go by.:)

SmartAlex
Mar. 29, 2011, 09:43 AM
Keep in mind counter weight. Our tractor can left more safely with the backhoe attachment on it. Otherwise, you've got the a$$ end up off the ground. You might have an implement on the back that will help you, or you might need to buy some suitcase weights to put on the back.

Cloverbarley
Mar. 29, 2011, 09:44 AM
Obviously 100-125HP would be great but who has the $$$ or the need for something that big on a regular basis???
Me! :D And every time I need my tractor for any job I am so thankful I bought one of this size :)

Having said that, I have a Quickie loader on my tractor and it is really too powerful for even my big tractor, but then I'd rather have it that way round than being too wimpy to lift anything.

TrueColours
Mar. 29, 2011, 09:46 AM
Me! And every time I need my tractor for any job I am so thankful I bought one of this size



Oh you bum!!! :D I would KILL to have a tractor this big! Then I could buy the large square baler that I covet as well ...

JoZ
Mar. 29, 2011, 11:12 AM
Oh you bum!!! :D I would KILL to have a tractor this big! Then I could buy the large square baler that I covet as well ...

Well I'm hoping that I can deal with the large square bales (another cost-cutting thing we do here besides buying pellets in bulk). Ours are only 750-800 lbs. so I think I can pick them up and move them even if I give up on moving the pallets o'pellets.

Wish I could have a 100+HP tractor, OR a tractor and a forklift, but right now I'm happy I'm able to consider machinery at all! :yes:

SmartAlex
Mar. 29, 2011, 11:15 AM
If you get a tractor with a front end loader, you can get a fork attachment for it. I've even seen forks modified to bolt onto the bucket itself without removing it.

deckchick
Mar. 29, 2011, 11:23 AM
...p.s.-I do not see a skid steer as a solution for farm work. Had some friends that got one and it was parked after one week.

I have a small Ford 3000 tractor that is really not good for much, but my bestest neighbour lends me his skid steer all the time!

I covet the skidsteer. I move 1200-1400lb bales with it, clean my barn out, push snow, all sorts of jobs. If I could only have 1 piece of machinery here, I would pick the skid steer with forks and a bucket of the tractor any day!

It's small, maneuverable, cheap on gas, and one heck of a workhorse!

deckchick
Mar. 29, 2011, 11:28 AM
our CAT 236 regularly moves 2000 pounds of hay from a good height...out big sqs are stacked 6 high after all....the 236 is better for small areas tight turns and all around usefulness versus the 6400's

I'd vote 236 type for buck bang and more interest in resale (contractors,yard guys,landscapers) over a tractor whose resale market is more limited

Tamara

I just looked up what a Cat 236 is, That is very similar to my nieghbours, I am jealous!

Bluey
Mar. 29, 2011, 11:29 AM
I have a small Ford 3000 tractor that is really not good for much, but my bestest neighbour lends me his skid steer all the time!

I covet the skidsteer. I move 1200-1400lb bales with it, clean my barn out, push snow, all sorts of jobs. If I could only have 1 piece of machinery here, I would pick the skid steer with forks and a bucket of the tractor any day!

It's small, maneuverable, cheap on gas, and one heck of a workhorse!

That is true, unless you count that I can't see behind me.

On snow, the skidster is way above any tractor, that is true, I never even got mine close to stuck and we had some large snowdrifts to move.

Now, as far as working on them, they both are about the same cost on fuel and getting someone to work on them.

You can get in more small places with a larger power skidsters, where the larger tractors won't fit in.

You can do most everything with either, hard to choose, really.
I too prefer the skidster for most but mowing big areas.

Cloverbarley
Mar. 29, 2011, 12:07 PM
Oh you bum!!! :D I would KILL to have a tractor this big! Then I could buy the large square baler that I covet as well ...

:lol:

The reality is, tractors the size of mine are probably overkill for most smaller farms. We need ours as we make a large amount of hay and we live up in the hills so a smaller engined tractor would not be able to do the job.

If it makes you feel better, my neighbour has a Case 535 Stieger and boy! that makes my tractor look like a piddly little Fisher Price toy :D:lol:

katarine
Mar. 29, 2011, 12:18 PM
Often times you just need ballast on the other end. Stab a round bale and then see if you can lift that pallet with the other end :)

ReSomething
Mar. 29, 2011, 01:32 PM
DH modified a set of forks from off a forklift to fit on the FEL and they are ever so handy but they are no way taking a ton off the back of the truck, the tractor is just too small and not balanced to do it (it's a Kubota L2900, pretty small). There's also the issue that the FEL bucket doesn't maintain the same relationship to level as it goes down the way a forklift does so you have to watch that and tilt your FEL bucket as the arms lower to compensate or your load might just fall forward and off.

katarine
Mar. 29, 2011, 01:36 PM
you're right, reSomething - there are some loads that just are too much to handle. When our tractor dies I'll have to think about a skid steer, sure would be nice to have both but dang the money adds up :)

ReSomething
Mar. 29, 2011, 01:55 PM
you're right, reSomething - there are some loads that just are too much to handle. When our tractor dies I'll have to think about a skid steer, sure would be nice to have both but dang the money adds up :)

Eh, if we had a bale spear + round bale to counterbalance and unloaded on a nice flat surface it might be worth trying just to get the stuff out and down, getting it off the truck is half the battle.
I personally want my very own home fork truck, but then I'd want a big spacious paved work area and a double height shop with high roll up doors and, and . . .

SmartAlex
Mar. 29, 2011, 02:48 PM
My husband first modified forks for the bucket edge, then constructed a whole fork attachment. He's really really adept at handling it, but let me tell you, removing the bucket from a large Kubota and installing the fork attachment is easily grounds for divorce. After 3 or 4 times I figured out the best order of removing pins and it only takes me about 5 minutes but the first two attempts... not pretty. not pretty at all.

Bluey
Mar. 29, 2011, 02:59 PM
Bobcat skidsters come with automatic attachment changer.
You push a button and whatever you have will come loose, you back off, pull up to the next and push the button and it will close, don't even have to get out of the machine to change from a bucket to pallet forks to post hole digger, to mower, etc.:cool: