Slow Before You Mow: Consider These Factors Before Buying a Tractor

The average American spends, on average, four hours per week taking care of their lawn. That adds up to an average of 208 hours per year, or over eight days. And even though winter weather will be here before long, it’s never too soon to start getting a head start on next year’s lawn care routine. In fact, now that the off-season is here, many retailers are dropping their prices, allowing you to get the biggest bang for your buck — if you know how. Here are just a few of the most important factors to consider before you invest in a new tractor.

Intended Uses

First, take some time to make an exhaustive list of all of the ways you’ll need to use your new tractor. From towing to mowing, and more, tractors come with such a wide range of potential capabilities. And even though 86% of consumers will pay more for a better experience, you don’t necessarily want to pay for more than you need in terms of power, capability, and efficiency.

Once you’ve created this list, rank them in order of priority:
“What is the priority of the tasks in which you wish to engage? For instance, is road grading more important than field mowing? Determining priorities will help whittle down your initial implement purchase list. It will also help your dealer make recommendations on horsepower range, hydraulic capacity and lift capacity to suit your needs,” writes Oscar H. Will III on My Farm Life.

Small Area Specifications

While it’s typically ideal to have a larger tractor if you’re working with more acreage, you also want to make sure that your tractor is able to navigate around certain smaller areas of your property. For this reason, it helps to determine the smallest possible area that your tractor will need to make it through. Otherwise, you may have to shift things around or rebuild fences to navigate through your property with your tractor. But having this value written down can help your dealer make an informed recommendation.

Price Range

Of course, you should expect to spend several thousand dollars on a new tractor. But when determining your budget, don’t neglect the other maintenance costs involved: getting new tires, refueling, etc. The global specialty gases market is forecast to surpass $14 billion by 2026, and while the gas you put into your tractor isn’t considered a specialty gas, many tractors have tanks that cost more to fill up than you might think. Fortunately, most dealerships offer monthly financing plans so that you don’t have to make such a big investment all at once.

Ultimately, you’ll have to work together with your tractor dealer to find the perfect model that fits your budgetary, utility, and maintenance needs. When in doubt, remember:

“Taking that new machinery plunge can be daunting, but if you find a trusted dealer, you are more than halfway to finding an effective solution that will serve you well into the future,” writes Will.