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best tractor for 6' rotary cutter

Discussion in 'Tractors' started by Gruneich Lawn Care Inc., Feb 27, 2005.

  1. Gruneich Lawn Care Inc.

    Gruneich Lawn Care Inc. LawnSite Senior Member
    from SD
    Messages: 295

    I am looking some advice on a tractor to drive a 6' rotary cutter. I will be using it for heavy brush cutting, and some light landscaping. Most dealers recomend only a 5' cutter on most compact unless you start getting to about 50hp. I have been looking at John Deere and Kubota compact 4ed tractors. Anyone have any input on this?
  2. Smalltimer1

    Smalltimer1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,223

    We use a JD 5205 with a MX-7 rotary cutter and it does just fine, just have to add some weight to the front end.
  3. Travis Followell

    Travis Followell LawnSite Silver Member
    from KY
    Messages: 2,206

    Any tractor with 30+ pto horsepower will run a 6' cutter just fine. If its a light tractor it may need some front weights to keep the front end on the ground.
  4. Indydirtfarmer

    Indydirtfarmer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    Depends on how fast you want to mow. Also, how heavy of brush do you plan on mowing? :D

    I run a Woods BB840 on a 60 HP John Deere 2440. I can mow heavy weeds (above the hood) at 5 MPH plus. It's a heavy duty mower, that'll cut 2"(+) diameter trees/brush. I used to use a 6' Woods MD172 on a 2240 Deere (50HP) It would perform at about the same level. :)

    You can use a 6' mower on as little as 30 HP, just don't plan on going very fast. :rolleyes:

    My 60HP/7' mower combo will mow 4 to 4-1/2 acres an hour under ideal conditions. payup

    Commercial bush hogging is about as tough on a tractor/mower as anything you can do with one. :D
  5. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,702

    I know a lot of guys are using the compact tractors, but they sure are expensive. If you are just doing mowing, look at old , used farm tractors. They will run forever, and you can still easily get parts for tractors built clear back in the early 50's.
    I just bought a 1958, Allis Chalmers, D17 tractor for $2100.00. It runs great, and is ready to put to work. Got it from a tractor dealer who took it in on a trade from original owner I believe. It has 53HP, and I plan on running a 6' mower behind it. Sure, it is gas, not diesel, but I can buy "farm use" gas, cheaper than I can buy diesel.
    Look at some tractor sales websites and find yourself a nice old Allis Chalmers, Oliver, MM, Case, or Farmall tractor. Avoid the Ford, JD, and Massey Fergusons. They sell too high just because of the name.
  6. jd270

    jd270 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    id try to find and old jd 3010 or 3020 we have 1 3020 and 1 3010 gas and 2 3010 diesel the gas one was on a bush hog all its life but it only had 2800 hrs but runs great the rest are diesel and one has a loader and it is turend up and it has 8000 hrs and the ather ones we have on 12 foot kuhn mower conditioners and they have over 10000 hrs on them and have never been apart you just cant kill them
  7. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    My 1963 Ford 2000 could handle the 6' bushhog, but it wouldn't be nearly as effecient in taller stuff as the 5'. Some of the older fords are much heavier in the front end so 5' and 6' cutters are not to much for them to handle.
    Link to thread with pics of the tractor, cutter and high grass.
  8. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    Dad has a 1520 Ford compact tractor that he occasionally uses to bushhog with. The mower is an old 6' Allis mower that he and my uncle drug out of the weeds. Had to put a 3 point on it, it had the old Allis quick coupler set-up when they drug it out. It's a heavy SOB, but the little Ford does fine (23 hp, and it's almost 15 years old).

    The secret? It's a hydrostat. He can go as fast or as slow as the mower will allow. Get a hydrostat, it's well worth it, no matter what you are doing!

  9. Gruneich Lawn Care Inc.

    Gruneich Lawn Care Inc. LawnSite Senior Member
    from SD
    Messages: 295

    Thanks for the help. Im trying to break down some costs here alittle bit. Alot of the dealers I have been talking to have been saying that 28-35hp would be enough to run a 6ft rotary cutter threw stuff that has to be done once a month. While some say I would need 50hp to run the 6' threw stuff like that. Would I be safe to say while cutting ditches and roadways, I could do about 2-2.5 acres per hour while brush cutting. Some of the stuff is done weekly while some is every other, and the rest is once per month. Any help is appreciated

  10. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    If you get a 50 hp, you should be able to do much more than 2.5 acres/hour...

    I've got an old Allis WD with a pull behind 5' rotary (DON'T ever go that route if you can avoid it, pull behinds are a PITA!!!), and I can probably mow 1.5 acres/hour and I'm not pushing too hard...

    The 28-35 hp is probably what you want to be looking at. You should look pretty hard at a hydrostat, unless you aren't going to be the one driving it. If you've got a lot of backing up and turning around to do, a hydrostat is the only way to go on a tractor that size!


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