Tractor: how many hp needed?

Discussion in 'The Wood Pile' started by Yawner, Jan 16, 2020.

  1. Yawner

    Yawner

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    How big a tractor does one need for working a woodlot? Have looked at several but now, this caught my eye, a 2011 John Deere 4105. I think it's 41hp. Is 4wd, want that! Has 300CX front end loader, 6' Modern Super Sunshine galvanized bush hog, heavy duty fork lift forks, 1434 hours, Hydrostat transmission, heavy duty aluminum canopy, LED light bar front and back, R4 Industrial tires that look to be in real good shape. Asking $14k.

    I have watched quite a few videos and read quite a bit on tractors; I recall people saying that with forks, you can do quite a bit. As opposed to buying a grapple. And this has the front end loader.

    About all I can say I would really like to have beyond the above is a box blade and I could buy a used one for probably $1000. It has a bush hog, I gotta have that.

    This guy would also deliver to me, that helps.

    What do you think about hp?

    EDIT: The woodlot is a tract of 40 acres + a tract 2000 ft away of 18 acres, 7 acres of which is pasture. So, 51 acres of woods. I harvest windblown trees and trees I have to take out for trails, dying trees, trees to allow others to prosper, etc. Size is everything up to big oaks exceeding 30 inches. (I don't cut those, but big ones sometimes fall.) My land is sandy. Has a spring running through it but it's not a problem, I stay out of that area. Topography is gently rolling. No bad hills.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
  2. Canadian border VT

    Canadian border VT

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    40 would do it no problem, but you’re really asking the wrong question. It is not horsepower that you need but traction.. Also really depends on the size the wood lot. I have a 50 hp which is more than enough for the 50 acres I take care of. My uncle has a 24 hp three cylinder diesel that does his 12 acres just fine. Biggest difference between the two really is the size of the implements they can manage and the overall weight of the tractor which can make a big difference on traction
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020
  3. Jon_E

    Jon_E

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    That's a nice machine. For $14k that's a pretty good deal as well. I bought my tractor used, had a local dealer do a complete comprehensive service on it, changed every fluid, checked seals, etc. Bought tire chains and good to go. 1400+ hours is not too bad.
     
  4. Stinny

    Stinny

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    A friend of mine just bought this JD, and it's impressive. It's a step smaller than the one you're looking at. He decided to go new, because of 0 percent financing and the warrantee coverage. He's going to use it down in the woods too, along with the million other things he'll discover. Love me some hydraulics... :dex:... and the color green... :whistle:
     
  5. sirbuildalot

    sirbuildalot

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    Depends...

    How big is the woodlot?

    How big are the logs you'll be handling?

    How often do you plan to use it?

    Unless the lot is tiny (1-2 acres) or very tight between trees, I think a 30-40 hp tractor would be fine. More important than the engine size would be the type and size of tires you have and the machines overall weight. Obviously if its a muddy lot, then 4wd and ag/R1 tires would work best. I'd be looking for a machine with 24" rear rims, 4wd, ags all around and a weight of at least 3500 lbs w/out the loader, tire juice, or rear counterweight. Also a decent cat 1 three point hitch. Aside from those essentials, I'd look for a QA front implement machine.
     
  6. Flamestead

    Flamestead

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    As noted above, traction is a function of weight. I have a 50hp and skid downhill. I’m thinking of getting a forwarding trailer but think I’d like to be sitting on a heavier tractor as I come downhill with all that weight behind me.
    Both HP and traction to consider if you are hauling uphill. Fewer worries if your land is flat.
     
  7. farmer steve

    farmer steve

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    Yawner . Bigger is always better.:whistle: The 40 hp should be gooder for what you want to do. I looked at tractor house and the price range is about ballpark. Questions? Dealer or private sale? If private,why is he selling. Tire condition? Service records? Hydraulics lift and HOLD? I may think if more.
     
  8. Mag Craft

    Mag Craft

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    I believe that the HP will work fine and also the 4105 comes with 4 wheel drive which will also be a big help in your terrain.
    Two of my tractors are much older and less horse power and only two wheel drive and I am always amazed at what can be done with them..
     
  9. farmer rob

    farmer rob

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    The hp sounds good make sure it has 4 wheel drive and also be sure the Loader is well built as that will get the biggest amount of abuse.I have a White 6065(90s model) 63 hp no cab and that is my work horse it loads hay hauls logs loads them also.I put up approx 1300 4x5 round bales of hay per year and that tractor has been doing so since new along with other chores. I honestly do not know much about the Hydr trans but they seems to be more & more being built.
    Again make sure the Loader will handle the weight and also the front Axle nothing worse than picking up big log and axle breaks..Also if your using it for 3pth stuff make sure it is easy to set height.
     
  10. lukem

    lukem

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    That is more than enough tractor for firewood duty.
     
  11. Screwloose

    Screwloose

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    I have a 3000 series and it's plenty for wood lot use. I think that you would be pleased with that one.
     
  12. Yawner

    Yawner

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    It's always something trying to buy used. Now the seller says "I'm selling it for a friend." Now, that may be so but geez, as I said, "It's always something." Not always, but often (when buying used). This guy isn't the owner, so, he does not know much at all about the history/condition of the tractor other than "Everything works far as I know." I found this out after I asked several questions about it. I will continue... but dang it! I get so tired of shopping for stuff like this, it's why people just go buy a new one, lol.
     
  13. sirbuildalot

    sirbuildalot

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    Used equipment is tough. Maintenance is key, and a lot of people don’t do it. Unless you are mechanically inclined and quite familiar with that model, I’d have someone look it over and do a lengthy test drive using its functions.
     
  14. Mag Craft

    Mag Craft

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    Get the phone number for the Friend and ask what you need to know. It is kind of dumb to be selling something that is not cheap and then not know anything about it.
     
  15. Screwloose

    Screwloose

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    Local dealer can tell you where the serial number was sold and if it's not reasonably close be wary. And if the dealer is friendly he might offer up any other notes he sees.
     
  16. Sandhillbilly

    Sandhillbilly

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    The old boy I used to work for always said :BrianK: “ there is no substitute for horsepower”
     
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  17. lukem

    lukem

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    No replacement for displacement when you need torque. Tractors need torque more than HP unless you are doing field work.
     
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  18. yamadog

    yamadog

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    skidding wintch that size tractor will do fine . guy i help he has 45 hp jd 4 wd he drag pull just fine . i got a 55 hp tym that wider then his more stable picking heavy stuff across un even ground. we use ibc totes for wood his pick them just little light on rear end . he cant move without weight on rear his does have a cab . i think his is to narrow to be that stable mind a foot and a half wider and its on break edge to light with ibc tote full of wood my tire a filled .i got a skidding wintch on back not bad with out wintch for extra weight i got to watch out pick back right off ground
     
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  19. mike bayerl

    mike bayerl

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    ~40 h.p. is perfectly good for firewooding. If you start to want to do "in the ground" work, like tillage, planting, etc. then you might start to need more h.p.
     
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  20. Spencer

    Spencer

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    I used to skid logs out with a 24hp tractor that weighed 1500#. Just had to cut the big logs down to 4' in length. With tractors, you can usually make even a small one work, it just takes longer.

    If you have a lot of bush hogging to do, that would factor into HP much more than woods work.