Making the decision to buy a new tractor for your farm or smallholding is a significant financial investment, and if the expense is to be worthwhile, you want to be sure that what you are buying is not only perfect for your needs now but will remain suitable for your purposes as your needs change over time.
Get the specification right
The first thing you must consider is the technical specification of the tractor. Can the tractor physically do everything that you need? It's not just whether the tractor is too big or not powerful enough. Not all tractor models are well adapted for every environment. Start by looking at the basics; 4WD and power steering are generally thought of as standard features today, along with a creeper gearbox to offer the full range of speeds needed for getting around your property and manoeuvring the tractor into the correct position. While large tractors can cover more ground, they are frequently too large for the average smallholding. For many locations, compact tractors are the more suitable choice, they allow you to turn easily and work in areas where larger vehicles would struggle.
Is your choice of tractor adaptable?
Apart from the size of the tractor, you will need to consider the adaptability of the tractor in other ways. Is it possible to register the tractor for use on the roads if you need to move it between different areas for work? Do you want agricultural or grassland tyres fitted as standard, and can you switch between them as your circumstances change?
It makes little sense to purchase two compact tractors for one smallholding, so choosing a tractor that can be used with the widest variety of mounted or towed implements is essential.
Depending on your needs, you may want a front loader, or perhaps you will need to use a harrow, a brush or an aerator with the tractor in the future. Thinking ahead and choosing the right model of compact tractor is always the wisest move.
Where will you buy your tractor?
Almost as important as choosing the right tractor is choosing the right supplier. Compact tractors are generally very reliable, but over time they will need servicing, maintenance and a supply of spare parts. Choosing a cheap tractor may seem a great deal when you first buy it, but if parts are not readily available or if the servicing company is based a long way away, you may end up spending more over time despite the lower initial cost.
Look for a dedicated dealer who not only sells compact tractors but is able to support them in the long-term with spare parts and expertise.