Choosing the RIght Tractor for Your Property
You’ve gone ahead and purchased that dream piece of property. Now, you have to manage it and take care of it. A tractor and other equipment can help you get things done, but buying equipment that is ill-suited to your needs can end up being a costly mistake you’ll regret for years to come. Follow some time-tested advice and tips, and asking specific questions, can help you find the right one.
How Much Property Will You Realistically Work?
Tractors come in all shapes and sizes, and you want the right mix of power and maneuverability to meet your needs. To find that balance, you need to know how much land you will be caring for and what type of terrain it covers. This is a big question that is about a lot more than just how much property you own. It asks you to look down the road for several years and realistically estimate how much of that land you will need to actively work over time. If you are planning on having 100 acres planted in timber, you won’t need a tractor for that portion.
What Type of Tasks Will You Do Yourself?
There are plenty of things that need to be done regularly on a farm. In fact, there really isn’t ever a shortage of work to do. Sometimes, however, it makes more sense to hire outside help for certain tasks than to do them yourself. This might be a one-time project like digging a foundation or maybe getting your timber planted and squared away. Then, buy the equipment that meets those regular tasks. If you are going to be raising cattle, you’ll need hay bale moving equipment to keep them properly fed all year.
Are You Knowledgeable About Repairs and Maintenance?
Many newer tractors are loaded with technology that can make servicing them difficult, if not impossible for the average owner. If you are handy, buying a well cared for older tractor might be a good choice. The money you save over a new one might even allow you to invest in some extra implements to maximize its capabilities.
What Is Your Budget for Equipment?
Any farm equipment is an investment. You should expect to get many years of service out of it. That doesn’t mean you should be paying for it many years down the road. Decide what you can afford to spend before you start shopping for tractors. It can be hard to turn down those extra features once you see them in action, so don’t even tempt yourself if they are beyond your budget.
The right tractor for your needs should balance power, durability, function, and cost. With a little careful planning, you can find the one that’s a perfect fit.