Whether you own five acres or 500, some type of tractor is a vital piece of barn equipment. Its uses include moving snow, mowing fields, moving dirt, mulch or manure, transporting hay bales, dragging arenas and pulling out stuck vehicles.
There are also many non-traditional uses. Have you ever considered using a front end loader on your tractor to pull up the lid to your septic tank? Or parked your tractor on one side of a building, thrown a rope tied to the tractor over the roof, and attached said rope to a safety harness for someone working on the roof?
The possibilities really are endless, so a good working tractor with necessary attachments is a must-have for any farm owner. If you are in the market for a new tractor and want to help stimulate the economy, check out what the major equipment manufacturers have to offer.
For those with smaller acreage, consider a smaller machine such as the Kubota BX25, which features a 23 HP diesel engine. The backhoe and front-end loader come standard and have an easy attach/detach system. A front blade, snow blower, sweeper and grass catcher are all optional additional implements.
John Deere is coming out with a new 1 Series Sub-Compact Utility Tractor, but it’s so new that it’s not available yet. Years of working with actual customers allowed them to get direct feedback on what works and what doesn’t. It fills the niche between running lawn equipment and an ag tractor, and it will be easy to switch between jobs.
Massey Ferguson recently spent years and millions of dollars redesigning its most popular line of compact tractors. The result is a tractor that has many choices and options so that it can be completely customized to your needs. The HP ranges from 35 to 60 and compacts have an optional enclosed cab. Easy entry, easy exit, an uncluttered environment and easy shifting between 8 forward and 8 reverse gears make this an uncomplicated tractor to operate.
From John Deere comes the 2000 series at 24 to 31 HP with 4-wheel drive standard to make loader work that much easier. And speaking of easy loader work, John Deere claims that attaching the loader can be done in a mere three minutes or less.
If you need more power, consider the 3000 series from John Deere (28 to 43 HP) or the 4000 series (41 to 66 HP). They may be bigger, but are still comfortable with a familiar car-like control layout and an optional enclosed cab. These tractors also feature the iMatch, AutoHitch, Quik-Park loaders and AutoConnect decks that help save time changing implements.
Kubota offers several different features on its B-Series compact tractor. With 17 to 25 PTO horsepower diesel engine, it is designed to operate and maneuver around tight, confined spaces. It has a 3-point hitch, which allows for a variety of rear implements to be attached. Some models also feature an all-weather cab with air conditioning and heat.
The Kubota M-series is step up in size and power. It is an economical standard utility ag tractor featuring a 4-cylinder diesel engine, numerous forward and reverse speeds, quick attach loaders and an optional enclosed cab.
Mid-Size Ag Tractors
These tractors are ideal for large farms with hay production. John Deere tractors in this size range with have HP from 45 to 101, enough to tackle most any job from mowing fields to grading driveways. The Deere 6 series (99-138 HP) will serve for hay production and bale moving.
Kubota tractors offer 84 to 96 PTO Horsepower, a standard 3-point hitch for simple attachments and extendible lower links and a comfortable enclosed cab. When you have a big farm, these types of tractors can handle the load.
What you can attach to your tractor has become very extensive and sophisticated. If there is a job you can think of, there is an implement designed to handle it.
Some companies have literally hundreds of optional implements designed to suit their tractors. The basics include such items as a front-end loader, mowing decks, post hole digger and snow plow. Need to level gravel? Try a box scraper or landscape rake. You can also get a pasture aerator and seed spreader. You might also have need for a backhoe, pallet forks, drag harrow or rear blade.
Most farm owners have one tractor and it has to serve a multitude of purposes. The resounding message from them is that they need a machine that allows switching out implements easily. How many times have you struggled to get your mowing deck off and your loader on? Manufacturers have listened and have created easier, less manual methods (think less pulling and pushing yourself) for changing out equipment.
Your choices in tractor brands, sizes, options and additional equipment is quite extensive. Those listed in this article are just the beginning. Before you buy, think about what you will be using the equipment for as well as how much you can spend, and then start doing your research. Many websites have custom features where you can “build” your own tractor. Go talk to your local dealer to get all your questions answered and then decide what’s best for you. Get as much machine as you can afford. You’ll thank yourself later when you are out working away on your tractor.