and garden tractor.
(Up to 25 Horsepower;
1-2 cylinder gas engine or 2-3 cylinder diesel engine; weight approximately 500-1200
This group can be subdivided
into lawn tractors and garden tractors.
lawn tractor is designed for mowing lawns. It has tires that minimize footprints
(tracks) on lawns, a 2-3 gallon fuel tank, might have an electric Power Take Off
(PTO explained later) but no or few attachments.
garden tractor has tires with good traction for working in a garden, a 5-6 gallon
fuel tank, a PTO (some are electric powered, some engine powered) with a hydraulic
clutch, and some offer 4WD. Depending on the brand, garden tractors can be used
with a full line of compatible attachments such as: dump cart, trailer, tiller,
broadcast spreader, snow thrower, blade, roller, sprayer, spike aerator, disk,
plow, cultivator and rotary broom.
lawn or garden tractor is handy for driving through barn alleyways and pens or
for pulling a small manure or feed cart. It would be unsuitable, however, for
routine fieldwork, arena work, or large-scale feeding or manure handling. Lawn
tractors can be an expensive option for horsemen - by the time you buy a tractor,
a cart, and other attachments, you might have reached the same price range as
a compact tractor. You could end up with half the tractor for the same price.
You might want to consider purchasing a lawn tractor for light duty or barn work
if you are planning to buy two tractors.
(Approximately 25 to 45
Horsepower; 2-4 cylinder diesel; 1400-2000#; category 1 or 2 hitch). This category
is often broken into two subcategories: sub-compact and compact. Sometimes tractors
in this category are also called a mid-size or acreage tractor; they are convenient,
easy-to-operate tractors. Since they are not very tall, they are pretty easy to
mount. The hitch is low to the ground, making attachment of implements convenient
yet with compacts there is greater ground clearance (12 inches or more) than with
garden tractors or sub-compacts. Generally, these are good tractors for teenagers
to learn on.
Sub-compacts are available
as low as 15 hp and up to 25 hp (10-16 PTO hp) with 2-3 cylinder diesel engines.
What make these different from garden tractors are features, style and the fact
that they are only available with diesel engines. Some are available with 4WD,
3 point hitches, loader and beefier implement choices. They have 6-8 gallon fuel
Compact tractors will usually
have 3-4 cylinder diesel engines with up to 45 horsepower and use category 1 or
2 equipment (see hitches later in this chapter). They are good for all-around
small acreage chores, but they are limited to the size of the attachments that
can be used with them. They can pull about an 8-foot pull-type disc or a 6-foot
three-point disc. They work well with a small manure spreader, especially the
friction-drive type (see manure spreaders in Chapter 6). With a front-end loader
or a 6-foot blade on the back, a mid-size tractor can work well for cleaning out
pens and runs.
Older tractors in this
category are the equivalent of the gasoline engine 8N Ford which was known as
the estate tractor when it was manufactured (1939 to 1952). As a thumb rule, you
can probably find a fairly decent older used gas tractor in this category in running
order for approximately $2,000. There weren't a lot of mid-size tractors manufactured
through the late fifties up to the seventies, so the vast majority of used tractors
in this size are at least twenty-five years old.
the late 1970s, most compact tractors are Japanese-made, many of them four-wheel-drive.
They go for $10,000 new and for $5,000 to $6,000 used.
(Approximately 45 to 85
horsepower; 3-5 cylinder diesel engine; 1500-3000#; Category 2 hitch). These are
taller, more powerful tractors, able to operate more heavy-duty equipment such
as a post hole digger or a large loader, to scoop or push deep snow. They have
a 20-30 gallon fuel tank. If you have a large arena and want to use a disc with
two 8-foot sections, you will want to consider a utility tractor. If you need
to handle large amounts of manure and you use a heavy-duty PTO-driven spreader,
you will need a tractor of this size. Depending on economics at the time you are
ready to purchase, you may well find a utility tractor for the same price that
you would pay for a compact tractor. All other things being equal, if you think
you might need the extra power, buy the larger tractor.
(Over 85 hp and up to
450 hp; 4-6 cylinder diesel engine; 2500-6000# and more; Category 2, 3, 3N, 4,
or 4N hitch). Generally these tractors are designed for commercial farming so
are bigger, more powerful, and have many features. There often have multiple hydraulic
hookups and PTOs - at the rear, front and side. The transmission could have as
many as 24 forward and 24 reverse gears with on-the-go 4WD. They can sport a fuel
tank as large as 300 gallons. The tires are much bigger, so the trip to the cab
often takes 2 or 3 steps, but the climb is well worth it. Large tractor cabs often
have all the comforts of home: a plush, power seat with multiple adjustments,
heat and air conditioning, sound system, tilt steering wheel, GPS system and more.
Cabs on new tractors will be ROPS certified but on older models, not necessarily
so. New cabs are well sealed to keep out the dirt, dust and fumes. Farm tractors
without cabs might have foldable ROPS to allow parking under a lower roof.
Excerpt from Equipping
Your Horse Farm © 2008 Cherry Hill
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