The king of all farm tools, the tractor should have a place on your farm—and here’s why.
“Tractors will never replace a good team of horses! Farming was hard work and required a tough, pragmatic approach.
Even though today’s hobby farming may be a part-time or recreational activity, selecting equipment requires the same practical decisions. Here are a few things to consider when buying a tractor: Think about the tasks it will perform. Bigger is not always better, and a compact 20-horsepower garden tractor may well be more useful (and affordable) than a 140-horsepower behemoth. A front-end loader is almost a necessity for lifting and hauling. Depending on your situation, you might get by without four-wheel drive, but the added utility makes it a highly desirable feature. Without further ado, here are 15 of the best reasons to own a tractor.
1. Brush Hogging
Mowing heavy brush or just keeping the weeds down is one of the most common jobs for a tractor. When selecting a mower attachment, be sure that it matches the horsepower of your tractor.
2. Land Clearing
If clearing rocks, heavy brush, trees and other debris for crops or pasture is on your to-do list, a tractor provides the muscle for heavy lifting, pulling and hauling. Brush pullers are special tongs that attach to bushes or saplings so you can pull them out by the roots with the tractor or winch. The front-end loader, of course, is useful for pushing, lifting and carrying brush and logs. For heavy loads, a rear carrier might be just what you need, because it has more lift capacity and puts the weight on the tractor’s more robust rear axle.
Plows, disks, seed drills and cultivators are available for every size tractor, so you can work a plot of land as intensively as you want and maybe expand your hobby to a small truck farm. The manure spreader is an often overlooked tool that can be very useful.
4. Livestock Care & Feeding
The good visibility, large tires, and precise control allow you to position your load of hay or grain with precision to minimize lifting and carrying. A mid-size tractor that can move large round hay bales can help reduce your feed bills and save you time.
Whether you are building a fish pond, retaining wall or planting shrubs to beautify your home, you need a tractor. Use the front end loader of rear lift to move rocks and fill dirt and the blade to sculpt the ground, level off hills, direct drainage and build small ponds.
5. Emergency Transport
A flood, tornado or another natural disaster may make roads impassable. Those big tractor wheels can plow through mud and climb over debris that would block a 4WD pickup, making it the ultimate “get there” vehicle. With a front-end loader to move debris and a blade to plow and fill ruts, you will be able to get to town for vital supplies, help your neighbors and enable utility crews to get through to restore power. If you have a lot of trees and shrubs to plant, consider a post-hole auger. The rock roller pushes the rocks down into the ground and compacts rock on the driveway to give a hard, durable surface without paving.