Back in the day, a tractor was a tractor, but today there is a wide array of options available, and that can be overwhelming. Follow along in this blog series as we clarify a few things about today’s modern lineup, and help you decide what class of tractor will suit you best.
Additional Things To Consider
When you set out to buy your best small farm tractor, there are a few things you should consider before you spend your hard-earned cash. Here are a few abbreviated notes to think about.
- When choosing a brand or dealership, think beyond the tractor paint colors. Consider the parts , service, and maintenance availability for that brand. Getting a tractor from a brand that doesn’t have many used replacement parts available or dealerships in the area, can cause you lots of problems when it breaks. Some unknown or unestablished brands sourced from other countries may be offered at bargain prices, but even simple things like oil filters can be hard to come by. Buy from a well-established brand that’s been in business for a long time.
- Replacement parts. Tractor parts do need replacing from time to time. Take a look ahead of time at what kind of offerings there are at tractor-part.com so that when the time comes you know there will be used quality parts available for you to purchase.
- Four-wheel drive is a given these days, but if you happen across a brand that offers tractors with or without 4×4, do yourself the favor and buy 4×4. Traction is king when operating in the dirt, and I can speak from experience when I say you need 4×4. All the best small farm tractors have 4×4, and yours should too.
- Identify how you will be using your tractor, and pick the tire style that best suits your needs. For general farm use, I suggest opting for agricultural cleat style tires, or industrial style if you need a compromise that is road-friendly. Turf tires seldom serve a best small farm tractor well, unless you’re mowing your lawn with it. Also, consider services like ballast tractor tires if you need additional traction.
- Cabs are a luxury, but if you plan to operate in blowing snow, it could mean the difference between misery and relative comfort. Unless you like dressing up as the Michelin Man and being hit full force with winter weather, seriously think about adding a cab to your mid-sized tractor. Snow blowers are fantastic things to own, but a cab will make sure you don’t have a love-hate relationship with yours.
- If you intend to add a front-mounted, PTO-driven snow blower to your tractor, buy a tractor with a mid-ship PTO already installed, or at least be sure you can add one later. Likewise, if you’re looking at a compact or sub-compact tractor and intend to buy a belly mower for it.
- Tractor brands such as New Holland, Kubota, John Deere and the recently revived Massy Ferguson are well-established brands in the United States and will likely be your best small farm tractor brand, but you will find others such as Kyote, Mahindra, Yanmar, and others. Practice due diligence and research the brand you intend to buy since this will be a long-term investment and you don’t want to buy from a brand that has the potential to disappear (like Daewoo cars, remember them?).
- Pay attention to bucket attachment systems. Some brands are more compatible than others, some have proprietary attachment designs and some don’t even detach, which should be avoided. It’s just one of those things worth considering. Likewise with the loader arms themselves. Most brands allow you to quickly and easily remove the entire loader, which makes maintenance easier.
What abilities do you need in your best small farm tractor?