What features should I look for in a bush hog tractor?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ealbertson, Nov 21, 2004.

  1. ealbertson

    ealbertson LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    I am looking to replace my bush hog tractor. Right now I am and have been using an old Farmall C which is pretty bare bones as far as features go. I want to use a 6 foot bush hog with the new tractor. It will have to be used since I only have about six thousand to spend. What I would like to know is what specific features should I be looking for in both the bush hog and the tractor. I would also appreciate brand and model suggestions for each.
    Thanks for the help, Ed
  2. Travis Followell

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

    You could definately find a good used tractor for $6000. I would suggest a Ford or a Massey Ferguson. You could find a good JD in that price also but since JD is so popular you wouldn't get as much tractor for your money like you would with the other two I listed. Just make sure that it doesn't have any major oil leaks and make sure it runs good. The reason I say major oil leaks is because most tractors leak oil. I havn't found one that doesn't. Where I work we have new JD's and if they sit on concrete long enough you will see a small puddle under them. This goes for any of them. It is just normal I guess after they get some hours on them.

    You can get some light duty 6' bush hogs for around $600-$700 new. That is for an off brand as I call them. You can also find some good used ones that aren't beat up too bad for a resonable price. You just have to look around. Some good brands are M&W, Rhino, Bushog, and Woods to name several.
  3. MiracleMan

    MiracleMan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    We use New Holland and Kubota tractors. Both are excellent tractors. You might find a small Kubota in that price range. The Massey previously mentioned is also a good choice. Just depends how often you're going to use it. The oil leaks mentioned are also somewhat common. Mostly hydraulics tho. The hoses and gaskets tend to wear since you're using the lift , PTO and hydros so much in everyday operation. I'd be leary of a serious motor oil leak. Has it had water or used air alone in the tires. Tube or wheel? If it's had water inside the wheel for awhile, how much rust has accumulated? The question of glow plugs or fuel injection is another option. Our B2710 4X4 Compact Tractor has glow plugs where the New Holland TN65 2WD has the injectors. Both are diesel. If given a chocie, go diesel over gas. MUCH stronger motor overall. Injectors don't need the warm up time glow plugs do either. You'll probably need a min. 30hp to pull a 6' rotary cutter.

    As for the rotary cutter, we use Rhino for our municipality work. The old "oval" blade pan is far better then the new "round" blade pan. The new style doesn't cut quite as clean as the older style. Still a good cut, just not as fine. The Bushhog brand is also very good and well built. JD has a new Medium duty mower out now that has a clean no seam deck which might help keep debri and grass from building. They also have a double lined deck. While good, it is basically the same thickness as the standard 10 Ga. on other medium duty cutters.
    Actually, you may find a new Woods cutter for about $1,000. if you look deep enough.
    When looking at used cutters, make sure there are no loose or stripped bolts around the trans. It could mean a severed gear tooth or stripped clutch vibrating the trans so much that it loosens the bolts. It could have run dry at one time, or even mowed with broken blades and placed too much stress on the trans. Don't assume because it has gear oil when you check it, that it has had it full all along. Of course, bolts can be tightened before you see them also. Check your deck for holes and rust bites. For medium duty, of which you can cut through 2"-3" chinese tallows with ease, the 286 Bushhog or the TW72 Rhino are great choices. In any case, just using good ole common sense, of which you sound like you have plenty of, will be your greatest asset.
    Good luck amigo
  4. ealbertson

    ealbertson LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 256

    Thanks guys for the information.

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