John Deere Maintenance Monday: Choosing and equipping a single tractor
In this edition of Maintenance Monday, we're answering a question from Andy in Louisiana. He has a lot of work to do on some land he's renovating, but only wants to buy one tractor. How do you choose a tractor for multiple purposes and equipment?
Mark Hanna is an extension ag engineer at Iowa State University. He says before you buy the tractor, make a list of all the chores you plan to use it for now, and over the next several years. Things like mowing, snow removal, light tillage, and bucket loader applications. Then, you'll need to make some estimates.
"In terms of both the PTO horsepower, and the maybe the drawbar load that might be on that tractor," says Hanna. "If it's primarily mowing, or spraying, or that type of thing, there's not much of a drawbar load, but you need to at least size it for the power takeoff load of maybe that mower or the sprayer pump."
Choose implements that are properly sized. Quick-attach features will save you time and effort when switching from one to the other. Also make sure the three-point-hitch is the right size for all of your mounted equipment.
Hanna says another question to answer is will you be using hydraulics on the tractor?
"Are you going to run a hydraulic motor with something more than just a light load, are you planning on powering a grain auger or doing something that way and do you have enough capacity, hydraulic flow, and pressure to power what you want?"
Horsepower often dictates the weight of the machine, too. You may have plenty of PTO horsepower, but if you're planning on pulling any sizeable loads, make sure the tractor is heavy enough to control the loads as you haul them down the road. Also try to streamline ballast and tire pressure requirements for your applications.
John Deere has an extensive lineup of utility tractor attachments
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