Farming has changed a lot in recent years, with costs for some equipment, such as a new combine, coming in at nearly half a million dollars new!
Photo by chris robert on Unsplash
With such prices, it can be good to know what equipment is truly worth getting and what is best skipped. And when it comes to tractors, no farm equipment could be more important.
Some equipment, like a tractor and its accessories, can still be had for a reasonable price and provide a good return on investment in terms of added utility and efficiency when bought new. Other items have seen their prices skyrocket and are best bought used. This makes a tractor an essential piece of farming equipment.
So, if you’re interested in learning more about tractors, as well as the best attachments and accessories for use with them, be sure to read on as we delve into all the pertinent information on tractor ownership and operation.
It should come as little surprise that a tractor would make the top of this list—farmers and tractors are so closely associated that even a child could make the connection. The tractor has been a game changer since its invention in the late 1800s, with car manufacturers such as Ford dominating the early market.
Affordable tractors changed the way that farming was done, allowing for a much greater amount of cultivation and efficiency on the farm. And back in the day tractors had an additional advantage, unlike horses or other draft animals, the machines only consumed fuel when running, making them the economical choice as well.
When looking to purchase a tractor be sure to keep the power to price ratio in mind. The more horsepower a tractor has, the more acres it will be able to handle. However, a tractor with more horsepower will also be more costly, thus the right ratio of power to pricing must be struck. As a general guide, a farm with less than 25 acres will be fine with a tractor with 20 to 25 horsepower, while a farm with more than 25 acres will want a tractor with more than 40 horsepower.
Getting the right attachments for a tractor can give even a beat-up machine new life and capabilities. The right attachments will allow your tractor to take on more complex work and save on the expense of renting or buying more specialized farming rigs. And as the price of farm equipment has skyrocketed, the need to rely on tractor attachments to get the job done has likewise increased.
Useful tractor implements include:
· Tire chains
· Rotary tiller
· Front end loader
· Rear blade
· Box blade
· Pallet Fork
· Snow removal equipment
· Drawbar for hitch
The following accessories can make the use and maintenance of a tractor much more pleasant during those long days of use during the harvesting or tilling seasons.
· Tractor canopy: A tractor canopy is a great way to protect against the ravages of the sun and risks such as skin cancer. And best of all, not only will a canopy keep operators shaded and comfortable, but they will provide additional protection for the machine as well.
· Tractor seats: The pilot’s seat of their tractor is where a farmer will spend a surprisingly large amount of their time. As such, it pays to make sure that this seat is as comfy as possible.
· Tractor decals: Reflective emblems or strips may be required to be placed on your tractor’s exterior for safety reasons, depending on local regulations.
Keep in Mind the Full Cost of Ownership
Now that you’ve decided on what equipment to buy, it is important to do a reality check to make sure that your purchase is financially sound. After all, there is a lot more to the cost of a tractor than just the monthly payment to the bank. And besides depreciation and tax considerations, the greatest expenses of tractor ownership can be cyclical, such as fuel and maintenance.
The full cost of tractor ownership can include such expenses as:
· Repairs and maintenance
· Licenses and governmental fees
· Costs for additional accessories and implements
And there are other factors to consider when purchasing a tractor as well, but hopefully, you’ve come to agree that a quality tractor is one of the most important investments that any farmer can make for the continued health and growth of their operation.
Why Tractors Are an Essential Investment
In summary, tractors are one of the only pieces of equipment that farms both large and small can fully utilize. And though they are often expensive to buy and maintain, most farms would be crippled if you took away their tractor. Besides, with the right care and accessories, a tractor can be comfortably enjoyed for many useful years.
There obviously is a lot more about tractors than can possibly be covered here, so please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or comments you may have, we’re always happy to help. Thanks for reading!