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brewcrew

Silage packing tractor?

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My brother in law runs a Claas chopper doing custom work. He's got the chopper, wagons and trucks, merger, but not a pack tractor. Either his customers pack their own, or he jobs it out to someone. But I know he lost a job because he couldn't get a pack tractor in a timely fashion, and nobody has a tractor actually heavy enough to get a true good pack (according to the extension office numbers at least). My cousin is trying to get rid of a 4586 that he bought on a whim. Would that be a good pack tractor? Or would the clutch wear out fast? What else would have a blade that would fit? I'd love to see a big chunk of concrete on the 3-point for extra weight, but it doesn't have a 3-point. Can they be easily bolted on? what would it cost to get one? Would that big V-8 do well with a job like that, or be a recipe for disaster?

What about newer Steiger tractors? Say a 9170 or even STX? Will the reversers hold up? How heavy can you ballast them? If a guy was just packing, not any tillage, could you run fluid in the tires, cement on the 3-point, heavy blade, and more? I'm thinking 50,000 pounds would be a minimum to get effective pack. More would be better. Would a guy wear one out doing that work? Should you be scared of one already set up to pack?

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Big guy here that chops for a dairy. Chops a lot for one guy  500 to 1000 acresThey used to push with a a couple jds 8970, 9520 and they used to push with a tracked Steiger and wheeled Steiger Stx. A JD 8450 4 wd .makes a nice pushing tractor for inexpensive 4wd. 

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A 9170 starts at 29,000 lbs. If you add fluid in all 8 tires that is about another 10,000 lbs. The blade maybe weights 7-9 ? And if you get the sought after 3pt you can pick up 15-20 I would think on it?

We have a 9170 with a blade but my brother's biggest complaint about his once you go from one direction to other it always starts out in first gear the STX series with the forward reverser would be the ultimate tractor for packing IMO. 

We used to have a JD 8960 with a blade on it. My brother liked it but I was concerned it needed brakes on it soon and the guldion pivot point was rebuilt by the welder in places .

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4586 is a good tractor for pulling all day long, but I wouldn't want to be the guy running one shifting it from forward to reverse all day! As Cliff says, an allison automatic will make the job much easier.

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I wonder how this would work tracks to help climb.... But with sheep's foot...

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We used a log skidder! But then again we logged to for 10 years!

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A skidder whould be nice. Has blade, winch, could easily weld a hitch on back and plum in remote to use for other jobs. 

You would be starting  a little over 20,000. Put fluid in tires and could build a weight to carry with winch cable if you wanted.     But not having duels will make it pack tighter 

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Packed many a bunker and pile with a 9350 steiger with a blade. Was a little clunky from forward to reverse but did a good job packing.

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A lot of what an ideal tractor would be depends on what type of silage pile you are building. I haul for a crew owned by my wife’s cousins. Here is what I can tell you.  

An STX or blue equivalent can be ballasted to upwards of 70,000#. We have a guy on our crew with a TJ480 New Holland that has a 12,000# concrete weight hanging on the 3 pt. hitch.  These tractors are the cat’s a$$ if you are packing in a bunker. 

We do a fair amount of chopping for dairies that build a pile on a flat slab of concrete—70,000 tons on one pile. A tractor like a Steiger or a 4586 would work OK on this type of pile because they RARELY use reverse, they are always driving in a circle, maintaining a bowl shape on the face of the pile. 

The biggest drawback of an older tractor (in my opinion) would be the lighter weight. Like Bitty said, a 9000 series starts around 29,000#. An older Steiger or 4586 would probably be lighter. An STX or TJ series tractor starts around 45,000# with no ballast added. Add to that the fact that you will want a tractor that can pack any type of pile, and your answer is GET AN STX!  You can get them to 65,000# by adding wheel weights, suitcase weights, and if possible, a counterweight on the 3 pt., if you add fluid you go up from there. The Challenger 4-wds. are even heavier than the STX’s/TJ’s, but most likely more expensive, too, even used. 

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Call Harmon and get a BIG BUD.

 

The lightest BIG BUD was over 40,000#, and the heaviest (that I know of), the 16V-747, weighs between 90,000# and 130,000# according to Tractor Data.  Ron's philosophy was that if the tractor was built right to start with, liquid ballast was unnecessary.

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We pack with a 5250 Maxxum and a JD 7410. Can keep up with a Krone 650 and five ten wheelers, usually. Pack seems to be good. I can see where you'd want something bigger on a bigger operation. I've gotten swamped before, and its not fun. 

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Skidder.... way too slow to move from job to job.  4386, slow, clunky, v8 not best reliable engine.

Stieger be good....few year old stx be nice with shuttle.  No 3pt is cheaper, just dill tires and still get nice pack.  If in bunkers like here 200 ti 250 hp loader tractors are 99% of us.  Can place it nicer than a blade.  But what ever works, just wt and skill

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We have 20 and thirty series deere articulated tractors packing.  The 18 speed power shift hold up really well.  Easy to go from forward to reverse.  9520 8k hours,  2-9420 10k hours,  2-9430 6-7k hours.  Had to take fluid out of fronts on the 30 series because we kept taking out pinion bearings. 20 series still has inside tires loaded plus cast iron and no axle problems.    They have all had center pins changed. They have also pulled spreaders, dragline injectors, and 40 foot discs all their lives.  Pretty durable if your open to green. 

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It isnt size that packs anything its the pounds per square inch on a tire!

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4 hours ago, Gleaner k2 said:

It isnt size that packs anything its the pounds per square inch on a tire!

I can believe that. This is what Grandpa Kline used to pack silage with, until he got out of the feedlot business. It had filled tires and once or twice they put duals on it. 

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If your packing silage from a big chopper you need a big, heavy tractor that can keep up by spreading thin layers of silage.  A 15,000lb tractor will do fine packing silage from a 2 row pull type chopper, a 700hp self propelled chopper requires a lot bigger tractor to get a good pack.

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Here is a good guideline to determine your needs.  The more weight the better. We use a minimum of 3 tractors with as much weight as we can get on them. Some years we rent a vibratory roller which works well. Could not get one this year, they were all rented.  I have heard of guys using loaders or tractors with loaders and on small scale but have never seen it around here. Blades allow you to spread a thin layer and feather it out. 

I love the IH articulates but would not want to pack bunk with one all day. Not the easiest shifting. Would be a VERY long day

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MY 4386 was 24K with no weight.  A 4586 would be significantly heavier.  Fill the tires with fluid and you would have a pretty heavy machine.   Making a rack to bolt on weights would be very easy on those machines...lots of space and holes in the rear end.   The V8---run it a 2/3 throttle and let it eat.

The downside would definitely be the shifting....clutch, full stop, shift (awkward on floor between legs), back up.   Repeat.  Give you some good leg muscles though!  

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On November 13, 2017 at 6:25 AM, Gleaner k2 said:

It isnt size that packs anything its the pounds per square inch on a tire!

You are partly correct. Pounds per square inch over a period of time packs. Drive over a soft field and you will see the ground compress then rise back up. Leave a wagon over night and you will see a hole where each tire sat.

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1 hour ago, brewcrew said:

You are partly correct. Pounds per square inch over a period of time packs. Drive over a soft field and you will see the ground compress then rise back up. Leave a wagon over night and you will see a hole where each tire sat.

Correct

If you take a 50000 lb tractor on duals and compared to a 50000 lb tractor on Singles they will both pack the same exact amount of silage per hour. It doesn't matter whether you have singles or duals on you should put your air pressure at maximum allowable pressure for the tires that will help increase the pressure a tiny bit on the pile . Other than that it goes by pounds per hour. 

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The ultimate packing tractor the 4166.

4166 bought for $3250 7-8 years ago with PTO.

10 foot dagelman blade auction sale  $500 came off a Case 2590.

Step son made the mounting brackets. Just added to what was there. It is connected to the sides of the draw bar in back.

$150 for the iron.

IMG_0042.JPG

IMG_0043.JPG

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6 hours ago, Timothy56 said:

The ultimate packing tractor the 4166.

4166 bought for $3250 7-8 years ago with PTO.

10 foot dagelman blade auction sale  $500 came off a Case 2590.

Step son made the mounting brackets. Just added to what was there. It is connected to the sides of the draw bar in back.

$150 for the iron.

IMG_0042.JPG

IMG_0043.JPG

How much does it weigh?

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9 hours ago, Timothy56 said:

The ultimate packing tractor the 4166.

4166 bought for $3250 7-8 years ago with PTO.

10 foot dagelman blade auction sale  $500 came off a Case 2590.

Step son made the mounting brackets. Just added to what was there. It is connected to the sides of the draw bar in back.

$150 for the iron.

IMG_0042.JPG

IMG_0043.JPG

I would think it would be light, not? I love our 4166 pushing snow and traction is good for pulling, but that thing will float where any of our other tractors will get stuck. I'd be curious to know what the ground pressure is with the tires loaded with fluid. Tractor data says 15300- 15900 lbs. Not much weight on 23.1 wide tires, even with a blade.

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