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What is needed to bushhog 6 acres

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Carps09
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3 Alabama
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2009-01-31          159973


We need a tractor / bushhog for about 6 acres. The land is relatively flat and was cut for hay last fall, so it's in pretty good shape. There are a couple of wet areas, but I figure we'll just skip them until they dry out. Some questions I thought of:
- Is a 4 foot bushhog enough, or is a 5 foot a must?
- How much horsepower (engine vs PTO) is really required?
- What about 4WD?
- Is something like a Yanmar going to be adequate, or do we need something more?

This is our first tractor purchase, and we've got a lot of other expenses to complete things around our new house, so any suggestions / advice are appreciated!

Thanks, Mark

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What is needed to bushhog 6 acres

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candoarms
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1932 North Dakota
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2009-01-31          159980


Carps09,

It's always a lot easier for someone else to spend your money.

If it was up to me, I'd suggest that you purchase a machine somewhere in the 30 horsepower range. That would be about the right size for managing 6 acres.

Definitely go with the 4x4 model. You'll need it a lot more often than you might think.

As for mowing 6 acres.........the little 4 foot rotary cutter is going be at it for a LONG time. I'd look for a bush hog no smaller than 5 feet, but a 6 footer would be better, if the price is right.

There are hundreds of different machines available in the 30 horsepower range. Take a look at the Kubota B7800. It's a fine machine, with an excellent service record. It really can't be beat.....it's that good.

Joel ....

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What is needed to bushhog 6 acres

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2009-01-31          159981


We need more details like:
- Will you keep the tractor long-term or is this a one- time shot?
- What are the other duties down the road, if any?
- Budget? (This should be No. 1)
- Would it be wiser/cheaper to hire the work out versus buying used or new?
- A Yanmar is a brand, like Kleenex is brand of facial tissue. There are many, many brands to choose from. Which one is best is an entirely different issue--like Jerry Springer would say---"That's for another show" LOL

The size of the RC (rotary cutter), is dependant on the machine size morwe than the HP since the machine size really dictates the HP. 4x4 is nice but is it needed? (I wouldn't be without it) Cost is considerably more.

With RC's if you want a decent-looking cut, you will lose about a foot of width cutting high weeds and especially grass--it tends to windrow (gather to one side in one long row). This windrow piles cuttings on top of the material to be cut which doesn't get cut, it lays down and spring back up later. It ends up growing faster than the surrounding cut. The way around it is go slower and get a wider mower. Go too big a RC and at a certain point the tractor won't be able to lift it--and if it does lift it you may not be able to turn since the front wheels won't be on the ground enough. I have a 33-HP New Holland 4x4 with Supersteer AND 180 lbs. worth of front "suitcase weights" and I can still get the front wheels off the ground with 5' RC under some conditions.

Another option is a pull-behind finish mower that has it's own engine and can be pulled by an ATV or any size tractor.
....

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What is needed to bushhog 6 acres

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
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2009-02-01          160006


Mark, why do you want to "bushhog"? Is it to keep the land from being overgrown (consider a flail mower), or is it to give you a large lawn (for which you'd want a rotary)?

There's no formula to dictate what you need. The smaller the rig, the cheaper (will do everything a bigger one will do but slower) and the more it will need 4WD. A major variable is tire tread: the deep lugs of "ag tread" provide better traction but will indent good lawns compared with "turf tread."

As for brand, novices depend on a tractor dealer, and you won't drive it 20 miles for service, so it depends on what brand(s) the closest dealer specialises in.

Two good points have been alluded to. Tractors are highly versatile, so you might think about what else you could use it for, which will also plug into the recommendation. And while you are considering, shopping, and learning, consider hiring someone to do the first season's work for you.

As for Yanmars, most are in the 15-25HP range but some are in the 40s. Except for the new CubCadet-Yamnar, you'd be looking at a used one, unlikely to be well supported by your nearest dealer.

....

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What is needed to bushhog 6 acres

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Carps09
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 3 Alabama
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2009-02-02          160047


Thanks everyone for the input, and I'll try to provide some more information and clarification:

- We plan for this to be a long-term investment. Our real need right now is to keep the pasture cut down, but not like lawn. We're not clear on where we'll be going with this land (adding animals, barn, etc), and I'm not really in a position financially to purchase a tractor which could handle all of that. We'll need to pull stuff around on a trailer, but I'm assuming if it can pull a mower then it can handle a small trailer.
- Budget is up to $5K, including mower. I would love to go higher to get more capability, but we really need to put that money into other improvements (french drain, garden, etc). I've seen a few small tractors in the $2-3K range, so I've got that stuck in my mind, but I realize I don't know what I'm missing, so that's why I'm asking you folks for your inputs. I can't get in over my head, but I don't want to get something that won't do what we need.
- As for hiring out the work, I don't know how much it would cost to cut 6 acres, but I would expect at least $200. I assume we'll need to cut at least once a month, so that would run at least $1500 per year. I'd rather put that into something I own, but I'm open to suggestions.
- We will be cutting just the pasture with this, so we don't need a close finish. I definitely think we need ag tires. We have a riding mower to finish the lawn around the house.

Thanks,
Mark ....

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What is needed to bushhog 6 acres

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
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2009-02-02          160055


If it had a front bucket, would you still need a trailer? A loader is the most useful of attachments, but unlike rear ones, should already be on the tractor, and the tractor should then preferably be 4WD. That combo in a used rig will stretch your budget, but offer versatility.

Rear mowers are the most common attachment, and you could use a flail type or a rotary. Ag tires are common.

See what are on tractor dealers' lots but leave the dealers closest to you until you get informed and can visit the nearest ones with an idea of what you're after.

Usually we advise to get a size bigger than you need, but in this case I'd suggest the minimum -- something like a Kabota around 14 HP. It will hold its value, and when you're more secure and experienced you can sell it and get something in the 20's. ....

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What is needed to bushhog 6 acres

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5219 South Carolina
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2009-02-02          160061


Carps, if you have a good stand of grass, you might find some one who would cut it for hay. Depending of what you have they may be willing to pay you for it or not.

At $5,000 you will have to find a good deal on used rig. Or if you have an atv or such as Earthwrks suggested a self powered pull unit. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
What is needed to bushhog 6 acres

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2009-02-04          160104


On the SSB Tractor site, Yanmar group, a S. Georgia owner is asking $1200 for a Yanmar 165D that he thinks needs a new governor. ....

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What is needed to bushhog 6 acres

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2009-02-04          160105


As someone mentioned perhaps there is some feed value on your six acres that someone would be willing to cut for hay, even if you just give them the hay for keeping it mowed. This might be a good time to get better aquainted around the neighborhood, perhaps you have a service, a tallent, or just some grunt labor you could trade someone with a mower till you can buy sometning. I'm afraid that anything much less than 5K might be a maintinence pitt that maybe you could do without till you're a bit better on your feet. Frank. ....

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What is needed to bushhog 6 acres

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Cwfarms
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 5 Roe, ar
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2013-12-24          188512


You can start out with an inexpensive tractor and bush hog, and only six acres won't take too terrible long to mow. An old 8n ford should run 1500 dollars in fair shape, and you should be able to get a five foot bush hog for 300 dollars at a farm auction. I started out with a 1945 A John Deere and a five foot bush hog and progressed from there. I just bought a little 45 pto hp, 62 engine hp tractor, a little ford powermaster 801. It can pull my six foot bush hog with no problems, I gave $1800 for it, it had just been painted, and the engine had just been rebuilt. You can have six acres of yard even if you like and bush hog once a month. Unless you have people close that cut hay, you probably won't be able to get them to come for six acres. I think you can take the 5,000 budget, and get a tractor and bush hog, and maybe a 5 ft disk to help you maintain your property. You can bush hog say 1.5 an hour so tops 4 hrs once a month to keep it mowed, just maintain whatever you get, and look closely at whatever equipment you get, you don't want to have to have the expense and aggravation of it being broken all the time. I do think there are many ways you can accomplish what you want without breaking the bank. ....

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What is needed to bushhog 6 acres

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crunch
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 264 Niagara County, NY
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2013-12-26          188529


I recently mowed 7 acres with a 32hp JD4310. It took me 11 hours with a 5 foot brush chopper. This was the first time it had been mowed in a while. The grass/brush was about 3 feet high. There were a few wet spots, a couple of unexpected deep holes, some rough areas that had been previously plowed and never leveled out.

There were some mild hills that required caution and I did not mow right to the edge in a couple of places because of steepness and the narrow wheel base of my tractor. I was glad I had 4x4, especially in wet areas. I never would have made it through otherwise.

This was my first experience mowing a field. I had previously used this only for chopping up my brush pile. And I spent about an hour just cleaning up. Certainly a 6 foot mower would have made the going faster, but would also have been some more weight to tow up the hills.

I charged $50/hour ($550) for this job. Next time I am thinking of charging $100 per acre ($700). Any comments on pricing? I would like to get more jobs like this but am not real knowledgable of going rates. I have seen big debates on what people pay depending on region and equipment. But I don't think that people always factor in all the costs.
....

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What is needed to bushhog 6 acres

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7147 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2013-12-29          188546


As a general rule of thumb we charge based on a formula of 2.5 times the base labour rate, plus machine costs (capital plus consumables plus a profit margin of about 20% gross).

In our case we have a pretty good handle on both of those machine costs gained from so many years of doing it.

For a 40hp 4WD class machine we are currently running about $10/ hr. in capital costs and about the same in consumables, so roughly $20 / hr. for the machine itself plus about $8 / hr. in gross profit. This doesn't include mob. / demob. costs to get to the site and back, that's a flat-rate per job.

Then as far as labour if you're paying an operator $20 / hr. you need to bill it out at $50 / hr.

That comes out to about $78 / hr. as a baseline, but varies based on the job (easy work or hard) and the customer (public, private, long-time, one off job, etc.) and also our own workload (busy, quieter, local, long distance).

BTW, we also aim for a minimum of 1 acre per hour for that size tractor with a 5' bush hog, 2 ac. / hr. on flat level smooth ground, 1/2 ac. / hr. on the tough stuff.


Best of luck. ....

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What is needed to bushhog 6 acres

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charlieK
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 107 kentucky
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2014-06-21          190499


ya can bushog 6 acres with a 6' in about 6 hrs. ....

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What is needed to bushhog 6 acres

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crunch
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 264 Niagara County, NY
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2014-06-21          190500


Thanks Murph, sorry I missed your response a while ago. That was very detailed and excellent information!

....

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What is needed to bushhog 6 acres

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EGasoos
Join Date: Aug 2015
Posts: 6 Bremen
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2015-08-28          193451


There are hundreds of different machines available in the 30 horsepower range. Take a look at the Kubota B7800. It's a fine machine, with an excellent service record. It really can't be beat.....it's that good.






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Link:   iphone 6s h¨šlle

 
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