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What to Consider When Purchasing a Utility Tractor

Oct 17, 2016 02:33AM ● Published by Family Features

From a few acres of suburban sprawl to large properties in rural regions, building, mowing, digging and transporting can be a daunting task. With the right utility tractor, more work can be done with less elbow grease.

Whether you are replacing an old machine or you’re a first-time buyer, navigating the world of compact utility tractors can be complicated. Questions arise such as: How much power do you need? Will it be easy to operate? What tasks can it help you with? Working with a local equipment dealer to select the right model is the easiest way to be sure you get exactly what you need, at a price you want. Before you purchase, give some thought to these features to help narrow down your options.

Horsepower: The first considerations are what types of jobs you intend to complete and the terrain of your yard or property, which impact how much horsepower you need. Depending on your work list, which may include tasks like plowing or cutting, you may need more or less horsepower.

Transmission: When it comes to the transmission, consider determining your preference between automatic or manual. Hydrostatic transmissions, such as those offered on John Deere 1 Series tractors, function similarly to an automatic transmission in an automobile. Combined with dual foot controls that simplify changing gears, the hydrostatic transmission transmits high power in a compact size and operates efficiently over a wide range of torque-to-speed ratios, allowing the operator to quickly perform jobs through smooth, versatile machine control. Conversely, manual transmissions are rugged and require a little bit more work on the part of the operator, also much like operating a manual automobile.

Lift capacity and height: Are you planning to use a loader often? Consider how much and what you will be lifting. Cycle time is also an important factor, as that determines how quickly the bucket can go up and down, improving speed and overall efficiency.

Comfort v. cost: Another consideration is whether you want a tractor equipped with premium features or if the basic model will satisfy your needs. Comfort features like optional climate-controlled cabs, available with John Deere 3R Series tractors, provide year-round productivity from sunrise to sunset. However, even entry models come equipped with the essentials that offer plenty of work power with an affordable price tag.

Implements: It’s easy to add functionality to a compact utility tractor, turning it into a multi-purpose workhorse. First, consider what implements you might want before purchasing, since it may be essential to select a model with specific attachment features. For example, if you are looking to use a backhoe or front blade, look for a model that has a quick-attach system allowing for easy connection, keeping you nimble and efficient around your property. Hydraulics are also an important consideration for loader attachments, depending on size and job requirements.

For more information about how to select and use a compact utility tractor to its fullest potential, visit

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