Purchasing a new tractor is a big investment, so naturally you want to purchase a tractor that meets all of your needs. One of the most frequently asked questions from first time tractor buyers is, “What kind of tractor should I buy for my property?” With so many options on the market, buying a new tractor can be overwhelming.
The most important thing to do as a first time tractor buyer is spend time researching the type of tractor that will best meet your needs. Buying a tractor that doesn’t have enough power can lead to costly repairs, excessive field time, and (ultimately) a necessary upgrade. On the other hand, buying a tractor that is too big can result in expensive operation costs and overhead. Here are some things to consider when buying a new tractor for your property.
How will you use the tractor?
This question may seem obvious, but we want you to take it a step further. Grab a piece of paper and write down everything you think you’ll use the tractor for (big and small) including projects that you anticipate to add to your list in 3, 5, and even 10 years down the road. You don’t want to purchase a tractor that you outgrow in just 3 short years. Think about your future plans for your property so you can anticipate future needs.
How much power do you need?
The answer to this question is going to depend on what you plan to do with your property. If you’re working with less than 10 acres of slashing fields and moving objects, you can very likely use a 24 horse power machine to get everything done effectively. If you have more than 10 acres that need to be cut for hay or tilled, you should consider a larger machine closer to 30 horse power.
To determine exactly how much tractor you need, check out these useful equations from the University of Georgia Agriculture Department. These equations show you how to determine exactly how much power you need.
Two or Four Wheel Drive?
Depending on how you’ll use your tractor and your terrain, you’ll need to decide if you need a 4WD or 2WD machine. You’ll definitely want a 4WD if you plan to operate the machine in mud, snow, or steep terrain. You should also consider 4WD if you anticipate having to tow or transport other equipment.
Which implements will you need?
When you purchase a tractor, you’ll also need to purchase the attachments (also known as implements) necessary to get the work done. Most applications require a front end loader to scrape, scoop, and haul. This is a fairly standard implement that most people purchase. You can find great deals on parts at Tractor-Part.com. Other common implements include:
• Bush hog to slash grass and weeks.
• Underbelly mower or rear pulling finishing mower to mow lawns
• Post hold digger with auger to install fencing
• Snow blower to clear snow
• Rear tiller to till gardens
• Manure spreader to spread manure
There are hundreds of implements for just about any job. When budgeting for your tractor, be sure to include the cost of implements in your purchase price.
How comfortable should your tractor be?
Many people don’t consider comfort when purchasing tractors, but you’ll definitely be happy that you did! If you will be out in the hot, direct sun all day long, be sure your tractor is equipped at least with a canopy to block the sun. If you’re operating your tractor in the snow, you’ll likely want to invest in a closed cabin. Some tractors even come with climate control for the ultimate comfort.