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Tractors, the ten most common types

Tractors are an essential part of daily life for anyone who works in the farming/agriculture industry. Whether they’re out in the fields cultivating soil, managing livestock, hauling other heavy machinery or being used for smaller operations, the tractor is vital. It can sometimes be a little tricky to differentiate between agricultural and industrial tractors, hence why it’s essential to understand the distinction before making a purchase. There is a whole range of different tractors that are built for different purposes and this blog will talk you through the ten most popular/common types of tractors and their specific and superb uses.

Utility Tractors

These are probably the most common type of agricultural tractor, they’re rather small compared to some of the other tractors that will appear further down this blog but they’re a very popular choice due to their wide application.

Their main uses are typically general tasks such as sowing, ploughing, and landscaping. This type of tractor can have anywhere between 45 and 140 horsepower, which means that you can also use this tractor to pull heavy farm equipment such as hay cutters and harvesters.

For most small to medium-sized farmers, this tractor is usually the go-to option as it’ll be able to meet most, if not all of your agricultural requirements. There’s also the possibility to add on attachments that can help with the more industrial tasks such as trenching and breaking. All in all, utility tractors are a jack-of-all-trades.

Garden Tractors

This is an ideal companion for those with a small amount of land, especially if you’re a hobby farmer or need a machine to manage the gardens around your property.

They’re designed to be more compact and have thinner tyres, a garden tractor has an engine capacity of around the 30 horsepower range, therefore you aren’t able to complete more advanced agricultural work with this particular machine.

It’s best suited for tasks such as mowing your lawn and creating of new flower beds. Most garden tractors come with attachments such as lawn spreaders, sweepers, and sprayers.

Lawn Tractors

These look and serve a similar purpose to the garden tractor, in the fact that they both mow lawns very effectively but this is where the similarities end.

Lawn tractors have a smaller engine which usually produces a maximum of around 20 horsepower, they’re a very light build and structure. Therefore, allowing it to navigate around a garden or small field quickly and easily but it won’t be able to haul attachments or till land very well.

If it’s a small tractor needed for primarily mowing grass then this is the cost-effective solution for you.

Compact Tractors

Compact tractors are perfectly sized for navigating through small spaces such as vineyards and are fabulous for ploughing, gardening and even looking after livestock.

They are also deceptively powerful too, usually being fitted with an engine that obtains 15-60 horsepower. Allowing this type of tractor to be used for hauling and landscaping if required.

Implement Carrier Tractors

The main use for this type of tractor is to carry and attach different implements onto its chassis, meaning that these tractors have adopted a more unique shape.

The tractor has a chassis that extends out further than the front and rear tyres, allowing implements of various sizes and weights to be mounted onto it. This can include dusters, loaders, sprayers, drills, rotary sweepers, and more.

Row Crop Tractors

These are wonderful machines that can be used for a whole range of purposes. As its name suggests, its forte is sowing crops in rows.

It has higher ground clearance, good row-spacing, a responsive steering mechanism, attachment implements, a power lift for heavy lifting and many more features which make it ideal for agricultural tasks.

With an engine capacity of up to 450 horsepower, the row crop tractor can be used with additional machines such as water pumps, making this a versatile piece of equipment.

Depending on the tasks you need your tractor to complete, this tractor could be the only one you ever need to buy. It should be noted that their large stature, engine and ability to handle a whole range of tasks means that they’re considerably more expensive than most of the other alternatives on this list.

Autonomous Tractors

There have been significant innovations and advances in technology in recent years to improve farming. An example of this is autonomous tractors.

These are controlled and operated by artificial intelligence, which is technology that combines data from computers, drones, GPS and satellites, allowing them to function, effectively on their own.

Technically one human operator could oversee a number of tractors simultaneously from a remote location which could drastically improve the efficiency of farming. However, this is obviously an expensive option and removes some human elements of farming, which is a reason why there’s hesitation over this type of tractor.

Orchard Tractors

This is a tractor created for a very specific use. As the name suggests it’s designed for use on orchards and vineyards, with these tractors adopting a different build compared to most tractors.

They tend to be much higher, slimmer, and taller in size. This is so that farmers can remain seated and still access their fruit trees and/or vines for harvesting or trimming.

With an engine that can reach up to 100 horsepower and a slender design, they can easily access tight and narrow spaces, whilst still being compact and powerful enough to be manoeuvrable.

Two-wheeled Tractors

These are amongst the smallest and lightest on this list. Whoever is operating this tractor has to walk behind it to make this type of machine function, hence why they’re often known as walking or walk-behind tractors.

However, that doesn’t mean that the user must push the tractor to move it. These petrol-powered tractors have up to 20 horsepower and for their size are actually reasonably feisty.

They’re usually apparent in small farms or gardens where they can help with ploughing, tilling, and pulling small implements such as a trailer or rotary tiller.

Rotary Tillers

Rotary tillers are required when the soil needs to be prepared correctly ready for the planting of crops. The rotating blades can transform the soil from being hard and chunky to a thin, fine texture.

They can be attached to a four-wheel or two-wheeled tractor, where they’re typically used on big farms and fields. They can also be bought as a small self-propelled walking tractor to be used independently on smaller fields and gardens.

As you can see there’s a whole variation of tractors and you won’t be short on options when it comes to selecting an appropriate one for your needs. It just depends on the budget you have and the scale of the tasks which you need a tractor to complete. If you would like any professional advice or help from us regarding agricultural services, then please get in touch today.