Compact Utility Tractors
Compact UTILITY tractors
It is understandable that with the mention of the word tractor, most people associate it with large tracts of land like those big farms you see on post cards or on a road trip. There is some truth in that association but it only applies to a certain size of tractors.
Combined harvester for your garden?
There are small tractors that are great for a few acres of land, down to a sizable lawn. It would be quite a site to see something the size of a combined harvester trying to maneuver itself around a small garden, wouldn’t it? That is why there are compact tractors. These are not only good for plowing but they can be modified to do a range of activities from moving manure to clearing snow and digging post holes with just a few attachments.
Making the choice
This all sounds great but not every compact utility tractor will be the right fit for your patch of land. Therefore, you will need to look into a few factors before making your choice:
1. Lawn or small farm?
If you are simply handling a couple of acres of grass every other weekend then you may just need a lawn tractor or a garden tractor which come with a few handy attachments like snow blowers but don’t have the power and dynamism of a compact tractor.
If you have a lot of brush and pasture along with livestock and a large garden or two on your land, then you have something of a small farm. The compact tractor will generate the horse-power needed for all the heavy lifting required. It has two-speed transmissions, power take off and three-point hitch and is a four-wheel drive, all of which make movement quite efficient.
2. Speaking of transmission…
If you grew up on a farm, visited one or just watched a lot of movies with tractors in them, you are guaranteed to have seen a tractor lurching along a dirt road. It made driving a tractor look like a lot of hard work.
And it is! Most tractors had manual transmission back then and that can be hard to handle at slow speeds around a patch of land. Nowadays, you still have to know what you are doing to handle even the small tractors but most tractors have now been fitted with continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) which operate like an automatic transmission. CVTs have the added advantage of powering the various attachments you may need on your tractor.
3. Horse-power versus Torque
When it comes to farming, we are less concerned about horsepower and more concerned with torque. Horsepower is about keeping the vehicle moving once it is at a certain speed, which does not really take that much effort.
On the other hand, torque is the power needed to get the stationary object to move, especially if your tractor has a heavy load. It also refers to the rotational power of the engine that powers the attachments.
Therefore, what you need is an engine with more torque to better power your attachments for less fuel consumption and less engine wear.
Fotontractors.co.uk is a good place to start looking if you are in the UK or France and looking for a compact tractor or attachments
There are several reasons that one may buy a compact utility tractor but more often than not, it has to do with convenience. We want to be able to do a lot of work with the least amount of effort and in the shortest amount of time. We also want to be able to do many things with one piece of equipment rather than having something of an equipment store in our garages, right?
The joys of compact tractors
The good news is that compact tractors provide both the efficiency and dynamism needed to run our small farms. How? After all, they are essentially just small tractors, aren’t they? Yes, they may be small but their design fits with various implements and attachments that are useful for anything from farming to clearing snow and even a little bit of construction work.
Some of the more popular attachments
It is not possible to list all the attachments that people can use with compact tractors but we have a list of some of the more popular implements.
1. Quick-hitch systems
It can be quite a hassle to attach the implements directly to the hitches on tractors especially if you change them often. A quick-hitch system enables quick and efficient attachment and removal of the implement. Just make sure that it is the right fit for the tractor and the implements and you will be good to go.
2. Front-end loader
When you want to do some heavy lifting, loaders, and especially front-end loaders are just the thing. The latest designs allow you to get closer to the objects you are moving due to increased visibility. Just make sure you have the right hydraulic system for the loader and based on the size and quality, you could get a loader from anywhere between $2,000 and $5,500.
3. Rear finishing mower
This is good especially if you have a rather large yard. The finishing mower will help you get a smooth finish on your lawn by adjusting to the contours of the land to reducing scalping or undercutting situations on the uneven sections of the yard. The best ones have a four-gauge wheel, a heavy deck and separate belts to reduce belt wear.
4. Rear blade
If you want to grade your driveway or to remove some snow or prepare your garden for planting, this is the attachment for you. The rear blade has to be the same width as your tractor for the easier maneuvering. Make sure the blade is strong enough and stops the tractor when it hits an object that may bend it.
5. Rotary cutter
This is great if you have large sections of overgrown grass that need clearing. The rotary cutters are great for heavy-duty mowing of up to 2 inches of grass and brush. While they can be set to lower heights, they cannot substitute a lawn mower.
Therefore, if you are still deciding on which implements to get, you could start with these five, depending on your needs. Happy shopping!