Rough cutting advice

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Ned5485, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. Ned5485

    Ned5485 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 130

    I posted this in the tractor forum, but I have not had any response. I need to get some advice soon, so I am going to try posting it here.

    I am putting a bid in for a large property. These fields are completely flat with a few trees lining the edges. I have never estimated how long this might take. I have a small (20HP) New Holland Tractor, but I am not sure it will be big enough for me to get these done in a reasonable amount of time.

    This is 1 of 5 fields that will be included in my bid.
     
  2. Ned5485

    Ned5485 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 130

    I guess I can not post the same photo twice. But you can see it here.
     
  3. corbster

    corbster LawnSite Fanatic
    from OHIO
    Posts: 29,511

    How many arce is a large field?
     
  4. Ned5485

    Ned5485 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 130

    That did not seem to work either, but it is just a photo of a 3 acre field. You can see it in the tractor forum, or by searching my posts.

    Anyway, here is my situation:

    There are a total of 5 fields, and they are all rectangular like this one(photo). All together they total just under 20 acres. The fields are only supposed to be cut once a month, so I assume I will have to cut them with a rotary cutter(Bush Hog) My tractor is small and I think it could only handle a 48" rotary cutter, but I am not sure how fast I would be able to cut with only 20hp total.(I think 13-14hp at PTO) I have a 60" belly mower on it, but my understanding is that it takes a lot more HP to run a bush hog. So I can not really compare speed to the finish mower, right? And since a bush hog uses so
    much HP to turn it, it must take away away from potential travel speed? So if
    my tractor is capable of running a 48" rotary cutter, is the diversion of HP going to be so much that I can only mow at 3-4 MPH?


    1.) Is my tractor way undersized for a 48" cutter?
    2.) Is a 48" cutter undersized for 20 acres?
    3.) Can anybody guess on how many acres/hr (or hrs/acre) can be cut with my
    tractor and a 48" bush hog?
    4.) What size tractor would you guys recommend?
    5.) What width of rotary cutter?
    6.) What kind of time/acre could I expect with the an ideally sized set up?
    7.) If I upgrade to a tractor in the 30HP+/- range, what kind of trailer set-up
    will I need? (Is a 1/2 ton truck enough? Or should I be pulling with a 3/4
    ton? How big of a trailer will I need? Have to be Deck over? Are trailer
    brakes vital? Required by law?)

    Thanks for anyone who takes the time to help me with any or all of these questions. I would really like to be able to pick up this account, but need to know a lot of stuff before I can go much farther with my estimate. Time is pretty important as the owner is waiting.

    Thanks again,
    Ned
    Reply With Quote
     
  5. Ned5485

    Ned5485 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 130

    I figured since I am asking how much the tractor can handle, I should add that it is a diesel. Is there a difference in performance/capability between 20HP gas 20 HP diesel? In case there is, this is a diesel. Also, 20HP, to me, makes it sound like my grandpaw's old school riding lawn mower. I guess it is not a whole lot more than that, but it can handle a loader, and it has a cat 1 three point hitch.

    If anyone is interested in a small 4x4 loader, this one might be for sale soon?

    profile.jpg

    back.jpg
     
  6. NC Greenscaper

    NC Greenscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 446

    Ned,
    I have a similiar tractor 17 horse (1210) ford. I just bought a rotary cutter (48). The cutter mfg recommended 17 horse so you should be fine. Your cutting speed is going to be depended on the thickness of the material and type of material being cut. If you go to fast it will not cut good. I would probadly want a bigger tractor for those size lots but can't also get what i want.
     
  7. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,846

    I mow a 6 acre area and a 3 acre area once a month with my 595 JD tractor and it is turning 4 spindles of double blades and 78" of width, and it does fine. I do raise it to 4 1/2 inch cutting height. I also have a 42" extra deck on the right with its own 18hp kohler, and it does fine in month tall stuff. Believe me - it does not take long to do an acre even if you have to go a bit slower than normal mowing stuff as tall as the hood.

    New Wide Deck-Front View.jpg
     
  8. Ned5485

    Ned5485 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 130

    Sorry, I am not familiar with model numbers. Is that the 595 in the photo? So you mow once a month, and get it cut with a finish mower? That is impressive. How many horse does the 595 produce? Does it really get up to the hood in a month? How long does it take you to mow the 6 acre field with it?

    Thanks,
    Ned
     
  9. Ned5485

    Ned5485 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 130

    I think mine is a 1215, but I think they are pretty much the same tractor. I guess you have not had much of a chance to cut with it yet? So, you can not give me a ballpark on times? Based on knowledge I have collected so far, I am thinking somewhere around .75 acres/hr. But a guy in the tractor forum and a JD salesman said with a 30-40 HP tractor and a 6' bushhog said 2+ acres/hr. That is a big difference on 20 acres!

    What is your trailering set-up like?
     
  10. Ned5485

    Ned5485 LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 130

    I know there are some more "field mowers" that hang out in these forums. I could really use some more feedback. Would anyone care to give me an idea what they charge/acre? Or what the going rate is in your area?

    Thanks,
    Ned
     

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