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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I understand class 2 is heavier duty than class 1 but why is it a bad idea for a hobby farmer to get a tractor with a class 2 hitch?

Can class 1 implements be used on a class 2 hitch?

Do class 2 hitches cost significantly more?

I have always been of the mindset to buy the big and most rugged equipment as you can afford. This may not make sense for a hobby farmer.
 

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I think you are referring to a Category I vs a Category II three point hitch.
If you are a hobby farmer, a smaller tractor would likely be a better choice and would come with a Cat.I hitch for implements that are rated for the horse power of the tractor and it's size. Big implements on small tractors I think, would be hard on the tractor. Small implements on a big tractor would be hard on the implement.
 

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A category one setup can do quite a bit. Unless your using over 50 horsepower tractor and equipment you will probably do fine with category one. Category 2 is roughly for 50 to 150 horsepower. Now then, there can be a LOT of difference in how well some equipment is built and same for the tractors set up to use them.

Usually the heavier the implement is the better built it is. Heavier means the attachment engages into the ground better and is harder to tear up usually. Price is usually higher also. There can be exceptions like most things in life. Grapples for attaching to the front end loader to move logs and brush is a example. A well built grapple will be lighter and handle rougher treatment.

Tractors also come in different categories also. The heavier they weigh the better they do ground work, usually. A tractor used primarily for mowing does not need extra weight for the engine to have to move when it could be sending the power to the mower. Also fewer ruts with lighter tractor when mowing.

The tractor needs to fit in the areas your going to work. Make the turns at the end of the garden for instance. Most tractors will spin all 4 tires (assuming 4 wheel drive) with equipment its made to handle. Lots of horsepower does little if you do not have traction. Higher horsepower is good for PTO tools such as brush hogs, tillers and hay balers.

Be sure to buy attachments that are as wide as your rear tires and in the long run you will be happier. Box blades and tillers will cover your tracks and brush hogs will cut closer to your fence.

The higher categories usually cost more since they are built to handle heavier duty jobs. Once you sort of figure out what your going to do, and how much ground you want to cover with each pass (5 ft, 6, 7, 8ft, etc) then the attachments requirements will help answer your tractor size and thus your hitch categories question.
 

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Some implements are designed to be used by cat 1 or 2 tractors that's why this one has a double lift arm connection. Tractors in the 40-50hp range sometimes have lift arms with removable balls. My Ford 4000 came with both sets of lift arm balls. I have also seen the balls with both hole sizes just rotate it 90 degrees for other size. Sometimes seems like it's too big for small implements and too small for the big stuff.
 

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My 4000 also came with both size lift balls, 1 minute to swap. All implements are Cat 1, so question is moot.
 
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I think you are referring to a Category I vs a Category II three point hitch.
If you are a hobby farmer, a smaller tractor would likely be a better choice and would come with a Cat.I hitch for implements that are rated for the horse power of the tractor and it's size. Big implements on small tractors I think, would be hard on the tractor. Small implements on a big tractor would be hard on the implement.
Well said.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
A category one setup can do quite a bit. Unless your using over 50 horsepower tractor and equipment you will probably do fine with category one. Category 2 is roughly for 50 to 150 horsepower. Now then, there can be a LOT of difference in how well some equipment is built and same for the tractors set up to use them.

Usually the heavier the implement is the better built it is. Heavier means the attachment engages into the ground better and is harder to tear up usually. Price is usually higher also. There can be exceptions like most things in life. Grapples for attaching to the front end loader to move logs and brush is a example. A well built grapple will be lighter and handle rougher treatment.

Tractors also come in different categories also. The heavier they weigh the better they do ground work, usually. A tractor used primarily for mowing does not need extra weight for the engine to have to move when it could be sending the power to the mower. Also fewer ruts with lighter tractor when mowing.

The tractor needs to fit in the areas your going to work. Make the turns at the end of the garden for instance. Most tractors will spin all 4 tires (assuming 4 wheel drive) with equipment its made to handle. Lots of horsepower does little if you do not have traction. Higher horsepower is good for PTO tools such as brush hogs, tillers and hay balers.

Be sure to buy attachments that are as wide as your rear tires and in the long run you will be happier. Box blades and tillers will cover your tracks and brush hogs will cut closer to your fence.

The higher categories usually cost more since they are built to handle heavier duty jobs. Once you sort of figure out what your going to do, and how much ground you want to cover with each pass (5 ft, 6, 7, 8ft, etc) then the attachments requirements will help answer your tractor size and thus your hitch categories question.
Thanks for such a detailed reply. Will cat 1 implements fit on a cat 2 hitch? I understand it might not be a good idea and they may get torn up more quickly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well said.
I have always gone with the concept of more HP is better. You cannot make 42 hp at the pto work if 60 is needed. If you have 60 and only need 42, you can apply less power. What is your take on this idea? I would have to buy a smaller tractor to save $6-8k and then learn I need more hp later. Weight, transport, storage are other things to consider.
 

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I understand class 2 is heavier duty than class 1 but why is it a bad idea for a hobby farmer to get a tractor with a class 2 hitch?

Can class 1 implements be used on a class 2 hitch?

Do class 2 hitches cost significantly more?

I have always been of the mindset to buy the big and most rugged equipment as you can afford. This may not make sense for a hobby farmer.
Eron, Besides the Cat 1 and Cat 2 there are other categories larger and smaller.
https://www.tractordata.com/articles/technical/threepoint.html

Smaller categories are for smaller tractors and implements. As mentioned in previous replies, there are some tractors (and implements) that can cross over from one category to another and this is primarily for operations that have multiple sizes of tractors and want to use some implements on multiple different tractors. To a degree this is possible and practical.

Keep in mind, however, that Cat 2 implements are not only stronger, they are heavier and in many cases will be too heavy for a smallish tractor with a Cat 1 hitch system. That was not nearly as much of a problem many years ago when lower horsepower (Cat 1 equipped) tractors were still pretty heavy compared to most "estate" tractors sold to hobby farmers that may be used mostly for small vegetable gardens, light landscaping, and mowing chores.

You did not mention the make, model, or size tractor you have, but if it is a Japanese based small tractor (Kubota, Yanmar, Satoh, Mitsubishi, or Ford/New Holland "1000" series, Deere yanmar based, etc.) you will notice that their power to weight ratio compared to older American or European brands is quite different. Tractor weight is far more important to your tractor-to-implement matchup than horsepower.

If you shop around you will likely find Cat 1 implements that for the same width are heavier and stronger.

Can class 1 implements be used on a class 2 hitch?

Answer: Yes, but beware of the weight. As some responders have noted some Cat 2 lower arms have replaceable balls on the implement ends of the arms. They also make Cat 1 to Cat 2 bushings that allow you to use Cat 1 pins (note: sometimes you will need to get longer pins because the spacing on the implement hitch brackets is typically wider on Cat 2 than on Cat 1.

Do class 2 hitches cost significantly more?

Answer: Everything Cat 2 will be more - the lower links, the top link, the pins, and the implements. Cat 2 is designed to handle higher horsepower and there is more steel in virtually everything.

I have always been of the mindset to buy the big and most rugged equipment as you can afford. This may not make sense for a hobby farmer.[/QUOTE]
 

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I would not use a Cat 1 implement with a Cat 2 hitch. The attachment pins for Cat 2 are significantly larger in dia than a Cat 1. Result, Cat 2 implements cannot be used with Cat 1. The attachment hole is too small. Cat 1 implements can be used in a Cat 2 hitch, but it is not recommended. The larger Cat 2 hole with let the implement flop around, even with stabilizer bars. This will wear out the Cat 1 attachment pins very quickly, or break off the Cat 1 pins on implements that go into the ground. My 4000 came with quick change balls so you can use either. OEM would not supply both balls unless there was a reason to match the correct pin with the correct hitch. some crossover HP implements come with dual pins built into a single pin holder, specifically rotary tillers.

I really cannot see a hobby farmer needing more than a 50 HP tractor, ie,Cat 1. I spent 45 yrs with a 31 HP NAA and it did very well with standard implements. The problem came with a rotary tiller and a 12" auger. The lowest gear was too fast for the tiller, requiring multiple passes to get full depth, and the governor cycling produced wash boarding with the wheel speed varrying. The auger was a different problem. The NAA turner the auger fine, but the weak 800 lb lift would not pick it out of the ground, even taking small bites. The 55 HP 4000 cured these problems with the 8 speed transmission for the tiller and the 3500 pound rear lift. I bought it because we are reposting the line fence and I am tilling 3 acres of garden for me and the neighbors. I plan on keeping both as each works well on certain jobs and it is nice to swap tractors on a project instead of changing implements. FYI, the 4000 is more fuel efficient than the older NAA despite the difference in fuel cost. The NAA burns 3.5 gph and has to be run at 1500-1800 rpm for most jobs and the 4000 burns 2 gph and runs at 1200-1400 rpm. Food for thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Eron, Besides the Cat 1 and Cat 2 there are other categories larger and smaller.
https://www.tractordata.com/articles/technical/threepoint.html

Smaller categories are for smaller tractors and implements. As mentioned in previous replies, there are some tractors (and implements) that can cross over from one category to another and this is primarily for operations that have multiple sizes of tractors and want to use some implements on multiple different tractors. To a degree this is possible and practical.

Keep in mind, however, that Cat 2 implements are not only stronger, they are heavier and in many cases will be too heavy for a smallish tractor with a Cat 1 hitch system. That was not nearly as much of a problem many years ago when lower horsepower (Cat 1 equipped) tractors were still pretty heavy compared to most "estate" tractors sold to hobby farmers that may be used mostly for small vegetable gardens, light landscaping, and mowing chores.

You did not mention the make, model, or size tractor you have, but if it is a Japanese based small tractor (Kubota, Yanmar, Satoh, Mitsubishi, or Ford/New Holland "1000" series, Deere yanmar based, etc.) you will notice that their power to weight ratio compared to older American or European brands is quite different. Tractor weight is far more important to your tractor-to-implement matchup than horsepower.

If you shop around you will likely find Cat 1 implements that for the same width are heavier and stronger.

Can class 1 implements be used on a class 2 hitch?

Answer: Yes, but beware of the weight. As some responders have noted some Cat 2 lower arms have replaceable balls on the implement ends of the arms. They also make Cat 1 to Cat 2 bushings that allow you to use Cat 1 pins (note: sometimes you will need to get longer pins because the spacing on the implement hitch brackets is typically wider on Cat 2 than on Cat 1.

Do class 2 hitches cost significantly more?

Answer: Everything Cat 2 will be more - the lower links, the top link, the pins, and the implements. Cat 2 is designed to handle higher horsepower and there is more steel in virtually everything.

I have always been of the mindset to buy the big and most rugged equipment as you can afford. This may not make sense for a hobby farmer.
[/QUOTE]
Great info, thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yesterday I made a handshake deal for a 2018 RK 55 with 280 hrs. It comes with a brush hog, bucket, brush grapple, box grader and harrow rake. It has 5 months left on the bumper-to-bumper warranty and 5+ yrs left on the power train. It has an enclosed cab with tinted windows, front PTO, two additional rear PTOs and a hydrostatic transmission. The implements are RK hobby farmer quality. What should I have paid for the complete setup?
 

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I would not use a Cat 1 implement with a Cat 2 hitch. The attachment pins for Cat 2 are significantly larger in dia than a Cat 1. Result, Cat 2 implements cannot be used with Cat 1. The attachment hole is too small. Cat 1 implements can be used in a Cat 2 hitch, but it is not recommended. The larger Cat 2 hole with let the implement flop around, even with stabilizer bars. This will wear out the Cat 1 attachment pins very quickly, or break off the Cat 1 pins on implements that go into the ground. My 4000 came with quick change balls so you can use either. OEM would not supply both balls unless there was a reason to match the correct pin with the correct hitch. some crossover HP implements come with dual pins built into a single pin holder, specifically rotary tillers.

I really cannot see a hobby farmer needing more than a 50 HP tractor, ie,Cat 1. I spent 45 yrs with a 31 HP NAA and it did very well with standard implements. The problem came with a rotary tiller and a 12" auger. The lowest gear was too fast for the tiller, requiring multiple passes to get full depth, and the governor cycling produced wash boarding with the wheel speed varrying. The auger was a different problem. The NAA turner the auger fine, but the weak 800 lb lift would not pick it out of the ground, even taking small bites. The 55 HP 4000 cured these problems with the 8 speed transmission for the tiller and the 3500 pound rear lift. I bought it because we are reposting the line fence and I am tilling 3 acres of garden for me and the neighbors. I plan on keeping both as each works well on certain jobs and it is nice to swap tractors on a project instead of changing implements. FYI, the 4000 is more fuel efficient than the older NAA despite the difference in fuel cost. The NAA burns 3.5 gph and has to be run at 1500-1800 rpm for most jobs and the 4000 burns 2 gph and runs at 1200-1400 rpm. Food for thought.
I was in Tractor Supply this week and noticed they had inserts for the Cat 2 that would reduce and allow Cat 1 to be used without the play. Inexpensive and effective.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thank you. The RK 55 has proven to be sufficient. I have been primarily moving dirt and box grading roads. I have yet to try the bush hog but that is next.
 

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I have type 1 and type 2 implements.
I have type 1 on tractor but arms are set up to swap out Type 1 boot with type Two boot. Mines a MF 255 w/loader.
 

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Cat 1 has grown a bit, ansin both machines and implement that might have been cat 0 or 2 arenow cat 1. This is partially due to machines getting more hp for their size than they used to have.and just that cat 1 is more popular.
Now often you can change the ends on the tractor from 1 to the other, but you can usually also change the stuff on the implement.

I say use whatever size has you adapting less, but I'd learn towards cat 1.

One thing i might test to insure cat1 is adequate would be to get the heaviest implement, and work it hard, then check the pins for damage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks for the input. The RK55 has been worked hard and performed most of what I have asked of her. I have found the issue to RK service. I'm likely going to upgrade to get a much bigger tractor and buy from a local tractor dealer to get better support. I don't want to run out of power as I look to do more and possibly do brush hogging in retirement.
 

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Thanks for the input. The RK55 has been worked hard and performed most of what I have asked of her. I have found the issue to RK service. I'm likely going to upgrade to get a much bigger tractor and buy from a local tractor dealer to get better support. I don't want to run out of power as I look to do more and possibly do brush hogging in retirement.
bigger brush hog than a 55hp could spin?
https://www.landpride.com/products/191/rc3620-rotary-cutters ?
 

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Thanks for such a detailed reply. Will cat 1 implements fit on a cat 2 hitch? I understand it might not be a good idea and they may get torn up more quickly.
A cat 2 tractor hitch can use a cat1 implement,
You will need cat 1 to 2 bushings for the lift arms and the toplink,
also your stabilizers or chains will have to be adjusted in narrower for the cat 1 implement.
It is done frequently.
you will need the bushings and if the implement uses thru pins the lift arm pins and the toplink pin and bushing. If it does not use the thru pins and has the bolted pins for the lower arms you can find bushing that slid over the implement pin with a hole in them for you snap ring to go thru after you line up the bushing with the hole in the pin.
 
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