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First Time Buyers

When buying your first tractor, there are many things to consider.

Small tractors: Hauling and General Maintenance Around Your Property

Large tractors: General Farming - Plowing, Disking & Mowing

Horsepower should be one of your most important considerations. The bigger the scale of your project, the bigger engine you’ll require to get the job done right.

Purchasing a tractor with too much horsepower can end up costing you more. Not purchasing enough horsepower can lead to a tractor which is not capable of the tasks you need done, and can even end up damaging your machine.

There are three types of horsepower that come into play when buying a compact tractor.

Engine horsepower (or brake HP) – this is when the engine is working by itself with no attachments or auxiliary parts, like a water pump or a gearbox.

PTO horsepower (power take-off HP) – the most common measure used to describe tractors. It’s the amount of power generated at the power take-off shaft – how much you have when spinning. To pull a cutter or mower through dense crops and terrain, look at PTO. Thick grass and hills eat it up. I believe this is a dying metric because people always want to quote the horsepower number that’s higher.

Drawbar horsepower (or draft HP) – the measurement of power generated by the tractor to the attachment, usually equal to about 85% of the tractor’s PTO HP. It represents the pulling power when a trailer is hooked up. Manufacturers use drawbar HP to describe power in tractors that don’t have a power-take-off shaft.

(PTO) Horsepower Comparison Chart

 ModelEngine Horse Power PTO Horse Power
BX1880 16.6 13.7
BX2380 21.6 17.7
BX2680 24.8 19.5
BX23S 21.6 17.7
L2501 24.8 20.5 / 19.0
L3301 33.0 27.7 / 26.2
L3901 37.5 32.1 / 30.6
L4701 47.3 39.3 / 37.8

Remember this; when pulling weight, drawbar horsepower is most important. When bush hogging, PTO horsepower is most important.

The transmission on a tractor is a pretty big deal. In cars, the engine just has to propel the vehicle and its contents. Tractors, though, are designed to perform a multitude of tasks – hauling, dragging, tilling, etc. The transmission converts the engine power to the wheels turning at a much slower rate. They aren’t exactly designed for racing, just for the brute force necessary to drag heavy loads. You’ve got three basic options to choose from:

Straight gear drive – non synchronized

Gear transmission uses a clutch and manual shift change gears and speeds. Gear transmissions are lower cost than other options. You’ll recognize it by the grinding sound.

Hydrostatic transmission

Hydrostatic transmissions are often incorrectly compared to the automatic transmission in cars, and they aren’t really the same except in ease of use. With hydrostatic transmissions, there is no clutch or gears aside from the center, or neutral, position, disengaging the engine. You control the speed and direction (forward or reverse) with your foot.

Shuttle transmission – reverser transmission

Shuttle transmissions have a high and low range, gears 1  through 4 with a lever on the steering column. A key feature for shuttle is that there’s no hunting for reverse! The driver can go forward and backward at the same speed without ramping up. This is quite convenient for chicken house tasks where you don’t want to start in low gear. Shuttle transmissions come in two types: mechanical (clutch) and hydraulic (no clutch).

Other important considerations:

  • What are your short and long term goals for your land (mowing, garden tilling, material moving, hay baling, snow removal, grading)?
  • What acreage are you working with?
  • What is the primary purpose of your land?
  • What kind of landscape? Do you need 4-wheel drive?
  • Keep in mind the smallest area through which you’ll need to navigate your tractor, as you will not want anything to big for your space.
  • How steep/flat is the terrain?
  • The amount of time you plan to spend on the job/jobs.
  • Do you want more automatic transmission or clutching and shifting?
  • What is your top priority task (this can help narrow down which implements to invest in first)?
  • During which seasons will you be working (do you require a cab or snow implement)?
  • Small Farm

    Hobby farm, deer plots, baling hay, upkeeping large gardens to small plots

    Kubota Series for Small Farms:

    MX Series, L60, Standard L01, B Series

    Popular Attachments:

    Some Hay Equipment, Removable Front Loader, Backhoe, Quick-Hitch, Box Scraper, Grading Scraper, Rotary Tiller, Rotary Cutter, Grooming Mower, Rear Blade, Disc Harrow, Drag Harrow, Landscape Rake, Post Hole Digger, Ballast Box, Rear Mounted Snow Blower, Front Mounted Flail Mower, Front Mounted Snow Blower, Front Mounted Rotary Sweeper, Front Mounted Blade

    Large Farm

    Row cropping, baling hay

    Kubota Series for Large Farms:

    M7, M8, M6060/7060     

    Popular Attachments:

    Hay and Farm Implements, Kubota Built Front End Loader, Backhoe, Rotary Cutter, Bale Spear, Box Scraper, Quick-Hitch, Disc Harrow, All-Flex Mower, Grading Scraper, Food Plot Seeder, All-Purpose Seeder, No-Till Seeder, Powered Rake, Pasture Aerator, Grooming Mower, Post Hole Digger

          

    My House

    Tending to yard, landscaping

    Kubota Series for Home:

    Small/Mid-sized Zero-Turn Mowers, 

    Walk-Behind Mowers,
    Lawn & Garden Mowers, BX Series

    Popular Attachments:

    Front Loader, Mid-Mount Mower, Quick-Hitch, Box Scraper, Grading Scraper, Rotary Tiller, Rotary Cutter, Grooming Mower,  Rear Blade, Disc Harrow, Landscape Rake, Post Hole Digger, Ballast Box, Rear Mount Snow Blower, Front Mount Snow Blower, Front Mount Snow Blade, Front Mount Sweeper

    Commercial Business

    Landscapers, small contract jobs

    Kubota Series for Home:

    Landscrapers Zero-Turn Mowers, 

    Walk-Behind Mowers,
    Lawn & Garden Mowers, BX Series

    Popular Attachments:

    Front Loader, Backhoe, Quick-Hitch, Box Scraper, Grading Scrapes, Rotary Tiller, Rotary Cutter, Grooming Mower, Rear Blade, Disc Harrow, Drag Harrow, Landscape Rake, Post Hole Digger, Ballast Box, Rear Snow Blower, Mulching Kit, Grass Catcher, Debris Blower, Rotary Sweeper, All Season Cab