Selecting the right tractor is one of the most important equipment decisions you will need to make in order to run your farm’s operations. As a significant investment, there are a few things to consider so that you can make an informed purchase decision. Below are some tips to help you choose the most suitable tractor for your needs while limiting unnecessary expenses.
The Size of Your Land:
Generally speaking, the size of your land or property will help determine the type of tractor and accessories needed. While a smaller piece of land may only require a small to medium sized tractor to do simple and small-scale agricultural tasks, a larger acreage will likely require more work to be done, including hauling, heavy lifting, or hail baling. For the latter, you may need a more efficient tractor with substantial Horsepower.
The Type of Work Required:
Before deciding on a type of tractor, make a list of all the jobs that will be required at your farm. Ultimately, this should be your guide to deciding the type of tractor to buy. It is usually recommended to invest in a tractor that can slightly outperform your requirements and farm needs. Buying a tractor with horsepower that is just sufficient to complete your list of required jobs may put strain on the machine if it is constantly utilized and can lead to higher maintenance cost. Conversely, choosing a tractor that can perform slightly above your task requirements will help avoid spending more money on an upgrade later on and minimize any lost time.
Tractors are not cheap, and their maintenance cost is not negligible, therefore having a specific budget in mind is an important consideration. One of the questions you may be asking yourself is whether you should buy a new or used tractor. While an older or secondhand tractor may be cheaper, it may require more maintenance and or/repair. A new tractor will likely be more fuel efficient and have a better safety standard, performance, and reliability. You may also want to consider the resale value of your tractor, should you need to sell or exchange it a few years down the line. For specific jobs that need to be done a couple of times a year, consider renting or borrowing a tractor for those specific occasions.
The Horsepower (hp) You Need:
Horsepower is the measure of power that an engine produces and determines the type of work a tractor can perform. Different implements can be attached to a tractor in order to complete different jobs. Bigger tractors with more horsepower will be able to have larger attachments and can carry out bigger tasks.
- As a rule of thumb, light chores will require a tractor with around 30 hp. This will allow users to add light implements and complete easier types of chores, such as mowing, manure removal, and ploughing on a flat terrain.
- For moderate chores and slightly larger acreage, a tractor with 30-75 hp will be ideal for tasks like hay management, mowing and landscaping larger areas, as well as hauling materials.
- For farms requiring heavier chores and larger fields to cultivate, a bigger utility tractor with 100-250 Horsepower may be needed. However, most barns and hobby farm owners usually do not require large scale agricultural and heavy-duty tasks, therefore a large utility tractor with such high hp would likely not be necessary.
There are many manufacturers, levels of horsepower and engine options available on the market, with a plethora of implements that can suit your specific needs. Taking into consideration the size of your land, your budget, and task requirements will help you make an informed purchase decision in picking the right tractor for your farm.