If you have a small farm, get an all-purpose tractor. It should allow you to complete as many tasks as possible. You may buy a specialized model afterward, but the first machine must be versatile. Follow our guide to pick the best model.
1. Optimal Size
For a farm smaller than 15 acres, the best tractors are small to medium-sized. Check tractor specifications for different manufacturers and brands. Compact multi-purpose machines can be used all year round, both in the yard and in the fields.
2. Amount of Horsepower (HP)
A tractor for a small farm should have 45-75 HP. Your choice should depend on the type of implements you will be using. Each requires a particular amount. For instance, to grade a yard, you need a box scraper.
3. Lifting Capacity
What materials will you lift and carry, and how heavy will these loads be? Determine how much gravel, feed, or hay your tractor will handle. This will define the optimal size and horsepower.
4. Hours Clocked
A second-hand tractor should have under 5,000 hours logged. Otherwise, the repairs and overhauls will cost a lot. Steer clear of machines made before the 1970s, as they have safety issues. The overwhelming majority of modern tractors also have diesel engines, which are more reliable than gasoline power.
5. Safety Features
Your machine must have a seat belt and a rollover protective structure (ROPS). These prevent you from falling out in case of a rollover. Otherwise, you may get crushed under the tractor.
6. Power Takeoff and Live Hydraulics
This is another argument in favor of newer models. On old machines, depressing the clutch caused a standstill, as the PTO and hydraulics stopped. As a result, the driver had to start all over again, which was a nuisance.
Ideally, you should get a tractor with double live hydraulic outlets. If the model has a single outlet, you can add another one. This is required for many farm machines today.
7. 3-point Hitch
This feature is absolutely crucial for any farm tractor. Installing it on an old model is pricey and difficult.
Sometimes, the weather can be against you. A tractor with four-wheel drive will allow you to work in challenging conditions. You can get around in the mud, manage snow, etc.
9. The Right Tires
Is your land hilly or mostly smooth? If the type of ground varies, you need industrial tires. A specialized turf tire is best for mowing, as it rolls gently.
10. Adding a Canopy
In summer, a canopy is absolutely essential. It protects your skin from sun rays, which may cause cancer. You will also stay cool in hot weather.
These are ten primary criteria for any small farmer. Generally, most operations can be completed with a tractor of the Compact Utility type. These 15-50 kW machines have many of the features found in larger and more expensive models.