As a new owner of recreational or farm land, there will come a time when you need to consider buying a tractor to help maintain the property. The choices are numerous and often confusing for new buyers, and in my experience, I’ve found that brand loyalty for tractors is as real as Ford vs. Chevy for truck owners.
So how do you know which tractor is right for you?
As a self-proclaimed tractor addict, I have owned several tractors over the years. In that time, I have learned a few things about purchasing tractors – both new and used – that can handle the majority of work I do. I have also bought tractors I probably shouldn’t have and implements I couldn’t figure out how to use and probably never would.
I have gained a good understanding of what is important and needed in a tractor to get the work done. I hope my experiences, good and bad, can help guide you to make the right decision when considering your own tractor purchase.
More Likely Than Not, You Will Need A Tractor
The importance of a tractor and proper implements to take care of your land cannot be overstated. I have known landowners who own 10 acres and those who own 100 acres that thought they could get by without a tractor. While some young energetic weekend outdoorsman may get by, the majority simply cannot.
My farm is 185 acres and consists of moderate slopes, 100 ± open acres, while the rest is a balance of woods, brushy cover and creek bottoms. Of the 100 open acres, 80 are in rotation by professional farmers. The rest is left to me, used for:
- Food plots for wildlife
- Cleared lanes for kid’s recreation
- General maintenance
Overall, I probably maintain less than 15 acres as I don’t touch the woods and other deer bedding areas. While I am on the heavier side of equipment ownership, I use everything I have.
The Right Tractor Will Maintain the Land – And Its Value
Why do I need a tractor, or in my case, two tractors? Any prudent landowner will want to care for their land as it helps maintain or even increase the value while maximizing its use for you and your family’s enjoyment.
No one wants to wade through shoulder high weeds to get to a pond to fish. Kids aren’t going to drive the UTV through tall tick-infested weeds or thickets. Keeping the area around barns and outbuildings cleaned up helps with aesthetics and critter control, and you need to mow and work future food plots to keep the place from being overgrown. All this will need to be done with a tractor and at least a cutter (brush hog, bush hog, etc.).
While a standard mower may take care of smaller properties, any sizeable fields or rough ground will call for a tractor and cutter. Having the right equipment will make more efficient use of your time and a tractor will add versatility.
When I purchased my property, it had never been mowed and was in rough shape. Today, the riding lanes are kept cut, field edges and the pond area are mowed, as well as different smaller plots. It takes over 6 hours to complete the mowing due to the layout and distance between fields on my farm. I have to mow virtually every week April through August and can scale back near September. The bigger the equipment, the faster I can get the mowing done and move on to other projects. The time spent improving the usability of my property results in additional recreational opportunities and increases the market value of my property.
It’s important to have a good understanding of what you will be using a tractor for on your property as this will help guide you on your journey to purchasing the best fit.