In Part 1# of Compact Tractor Shopping we started the discussion of how to choose the right tractor. Today we’re moving on to Features & Options that really matter.
- WEIGHT. Depending on what your chores are, this can be the most important factor in your tractor purchase. Common sense would say “the larger the Horse Power, the heavier it is” But that’s not always true. For example, Branson Tractors has a 35 HP model that is the size of a typical 50 HP tractor and weighs over 2 TONS before the wheels and tires even go on. (3520R) Kioti Tractors, among others, makes a 40 HP tractor that weighs about 2,600 lbs. with the ag tires installed (CK4010)
- If you only looked at Horse Power you would have thought that the Kioti Tractor was a bigger, heavier tractor with more lift capability.
The main point to remember here is that the heavier the tractor is, the more ability it has to Lift, Pull & Push. If You don’t have a lot of lifting to do and your mainly just using the PTO for implements, then weight is not as important to you. I always Recommend getting the largest combination of both weight and HP for your lifting, pulling and pushing needs.
- HORSEPOWER. We touched on this before, but I’ll stress it again. A tractors’ size doesn’t necessarily correspond with its ability. A low Horsepower tractor this is heavy can actually outperform most of the new larger Horsepower lightweight tractors. Where Horse Power DOES matter is when you are performing chores like making hay or using a large mower. When using implements and attachments, there is a second HP number to pay attention to. “the PTO horse power” This is the power that is actually available to the attachments or implements. This is an honest measure of the capabilities of a tractor. The PTO attaches to the tractor’s engine thru a rotating drive shaft that connects the implement to the tractor at the rear of the tractor. Getting a tractor with slightly more HP than necessary is a smart move, as you won’t be pushing the tractor to it’s upper limits all of the time. This will result in a longer lifespan and a lower cost of ownership.
SUMMARY FOR TODAY: In the old days, farmers new that weight was the most important factor in a tractor. Think about it..If you could put one of those BIG County road truck grader blades on a pick up truck, you still aren’t going to do much work. You DON’T have enough truck! The same goes for the tractor that only weighs 2,600 lbs. A Volkswagen Beetle weighs 3,200 lbs. “what are you gonna do with a tractor that doesn’t even weigh as much as a mini-car?”
In Part 3# We will discuss LIFT CAPABILITY and TRANSMISSION OPTIONS.
See you next time!