What Size Tractor Do I Need?

When it comes to deciding on a tractor, there are many factors you need to consider and questions to ask yourself before you’re even close to making the decision! There are several types of tractors, all with different purposes, different sizing, and different horsepower.

We are going to be taking a look at some of these tractors – and the factors that you will need to think about before deciding on one – as well as some of the questions that you will need to ask yourself to help you figure out exactly what tractor size is best suited for your needs.

What Do You Need A Tractor For?

This might seem like a no-brainer, but it ‘s something that you need to think long and hard about. Do you require a tractor for general yard work, for work on a large plot of land, or do you need it for farm work?

Agriculture is the most common use for a tractor, but it’s not the sole reason that you may be in need of one of these vehicles. Make sure that you know exactly why you require a tractor and what sort of work you’ll be needing it for.

What Size Is Your Land?

If you are in the market for a tractor, then the chances are that you likely have yourself some land that needs to be managed. In this case, the size of that land is an incredibly important factor to consider.

Larger tractor sizes are better suited for larger areas, such as 15 acres or more,  whereas medium and smaller-sized tractors are well suited for the under 15 bracket.

It’s easy to under or overestimate your needs. 

Tractor Types And Sizes 

Tractors tend to be broken into different size categories, so let’s take a look at the most well-known types of tractor, what they are commonly used for, and what sort of sizing specifications they fit into. 

Farming Tractors

Farm tractors can come in small and medium sizes, but due to being designed around the premise of commercial farming, they tend to be larger and more powerful. Their horsepower can range from the mid-80s all the way to up to 450.

This strong and sturdy character makes them perfect for the heavy lifting that’s required to manage farmland. The larger farming tractors have a plethora of features, such as GPS systems, sealings to ensure that fumes and dirt are kept away from the driver, air conditioning, comfortable and adjustable seating, and hydraulic hookups to name just a few.

These tractors may seem perfect, but they can be a waste of resources if you find after buying that your land is too small to properly make use of its full utility, or if you don’t need the level of horsepower that the larger farming tractors offer.

Compact Tractors

As the name suggests, compact tractors are smaller and thus more suited to smaller work areas. They have two subcategories: compact (otherwise known as acreage or mid-sized tractors) and sub-compact.

Sub-compact tractors are smaller than the regular compact, usually running on two or three cylinder diesel engines with a horsepower of between 15 and 25. Compacts are a little heftier when it comes to horsepower and engine capacity, usually having up to 45 Horsepower.

The sub-compacts are not tall, and their hitches are close to the ground, making them brilliant to attach implements. That being said, the regular compact tractors allow for better ground clearance. For chores on a smaller amount of land, both subcategories of the compact tractors work perfectly. 

Utility Tractors

Another powerful category of tractor, utility types are built to be used for much larger tasks – such as scooping snow – and they can handle equipment that is much more heavy-duty. Utility tractors have a fuel tank that can hold up to 20 to 30 gallons.

Due to the sheer strength of a utility tractor, it would be most suitable for a particularly large area of land or- such as in agriculture – if you know that you have chores involving heavy lifting, such as handling a large quantity of manure. 

Lawn Tractors And Garden Tractors

What’s in a name? A great deal of information about these tractors it turns out! Lawn and Garden tractors are intended for much smaller environments, particularly compared to the utility or the farm tractor. They  are – unsurprisingly – designed to tackle gardens, with tires and traction that are well suited to that environment.

These tractors tend to have fuel tanks that can hold around five or six gallons. They have a wide variety of attachments available for use alongside the tractor itself, such as trailers, blades, snow throwers, rotary brooms, plows, cultivators, dump carts, and more.

Lawn tractors are somewhat smaller than garden tractors. Their fuel tank is smaller as well, holding between two and three gallons. They don’t tend to have as many attachments, but they sport tires that are specifically designed to minimize footprints.

Both lawn and garden tractors can be handy for certain realms of farm work, such as pulling small manure or feed carts, or light barn work. Lawn tractors are better suited for smaller land sizes – of around 0.5 to 2 acres – whereas garden tractors can handle more land, from three upwards.

The Verdict

These are just a few of the factors to consider when deciding on a specific size for your tractor. Once you’ve nailed down exactly what it is that you want to achieve – and precisely how much land you have to work with – you are well on your way to the choice that’s best for you.

Ryan Genkin
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