Top 8 Things to Consider When Buying a Tractor
When you run a farm, there is a lot of equipment that you need to have. None is more important than your tractor. The tractor is the workhorse of a farm. It is needed for a wide range of jobs, and it can run for hours at a time if needed. Tractors come in many sizes, and some have specialties. Whether you have a small hobby farm or a large commercial farm, you will use a tractor. It is a significant investment, so you need to be sure that you make the right choice. Here are eight things to consider when buying a tractor.
You want your tractor to have enough power to do the job. Otherwise, there’s no point in having one. Tractors tend to run on diesel or gasoline. The power you can expect from the engine will depend on how much horsepower it can provide. Depending on what you need your tractor for, you may need more horsepower, or you could settle for less. If you have to deal with rough terrain and traverse long distances, go with more power. This will also allow your tractor to be more flexible for its usage. You can tow more, for example.
There are two types of transmission that are the most common. The first is a hydrostatic transmission, which can be controlled using foot pedals. The benefit to this is that you can have one hand on the steering and another on the stick that controls your loader or another accessory while using your feet to control your speeds and reverse. In addition, your engine will automatically switch into different gears as you need it to.
The other type is a shuttle shift. This type requires you to shift gears as the tractor gains speed manually. This provides you with more control and allows you to keep a constant speed. However, you will need to use a hand to shift gears, so some operators consider it less convenient. In addition, this transmission type is harder to master, so it will depend on your comfort level.
Tires and Traction
Your tires are going to be helping you push, pull, and move things over all sorts of different surfaces. Therefore, you need tires that will provide you with the appropriate traction so that you don’t skid out every time you want to do some heavy lifting with your vehicle. Tractor tires tend to be big and heavy as it is, but many owners choose to supplement the weight with liquid. For example, antifreeze and windshield wiper fluid are both heavy enough to give your tires some extra oomph when trying to gain traction on the ground.
Without at least one hitch, your tractor won’t be much more than a glorified golf cart. You want to be able to attach to extra equipment that your tractor will use to get the job done. The handiest type of hitch is the three-point hitch. It has a hydraulic lift that makes it easy to raise and lower the attached equipment. Drawbar hitches are simpler but also very useful. Depending on the work you will be doing, you might need specialized hitches that will only attach to specific equipment. Make sure your tractor has what you need or can be connected to what you need.
Hydraulic power is vital to the operation of a modern tractor. There are several uses for it. For one, hydraulics can provide you with power steering. This can save you a lot of frustration and strength when turning your tractor in difficult conditions. You will have more control, and turning will be physically easier. Hydraulics can also be used to help provide power to certain attachments, like loaders and backhoes.
The thing about a tractor is that you can spend a lot of time on it, and you can also use it for many different functions. There’s a good chance that you will want to customize certain aspects to suit your purposes perfectly. You may want a secure toolbox, for example. You may also want special seating, a built-in radio, or cup holders. If you are out in the hot sun or need work done on a rainy day, having a John Deere tractor canopy would be handy to keep you protected. If you want any of these things, then you need to get a tractor that will be compatible with them.
Tractors pack a lot of power, and they operate on uneven terrain. As a result, there is always the risk of a tractor rolling over, and many people have died or been seriously injured because of it. Decades ago, that was merely the risk you took when you operated a tractor. However, it doesn’t have to be anymore. You can have a rollover protection structure added to your tractor to prevent injury or, worse, in the event of something terrible happening. Most tractors now have it as a standard feature, but it’s always a good idea to confirm that any tractor you consider buying has it in place.
As with all things on a farm, the cost of your new tractor should be a big factor in making your choice. You will need to balance all of the features you need with the cost for each one. What can you sacrifice to fit within your budget? What is absolutely necessary, no matter what? These can sometimes be hard choices, but they are imperative in making sure you get your best possible return on investment.
Buying a tractor is a challenging task. But it’s an important piece of equipment you will use for years. Consider these factors to make the best choice for you and your farm.