Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Compact Tractor Purchase Advice please  (Read 1856 times)


  • Joined Oct 2013
Compact Tractor Purchase Advice please
« on: June 14, 2020, 12:03:14 pm »
We  are hoping someone might be able to give us some advice and or share their own experience.

My hubby and I have had a smallholding for about 5 years and have managed with a quad bike so far for livestock uses however we have not been managing the grassland as well as we would like since a lot of our ground has not been used for 30years and is also steep.

We have got rather lost in the huge number of different tractors specifications from every manufacturers, reviews and everyone has a different opinion to offer! We want something powerful enough to do the job, but safe for tractor newbies.  Something short and squat to manage the slopes safely.

We are looking to use it to power / tow a flail mower for rough land, chain harrow and a roller to start off with (all of which could be smaller units to suit lighter tractor for the slopes).

Our main questions are:-
1. What should we be prioritising when looking at tractor specifications given our requirements and ground?
2. What Make and model would anyone recommend for our needs?
3. Has anyone had experience (good or bad) with a Yanmar 2301?

Many many thanks in advance - thank you!


  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Compact Tractor Purchase Advice please
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2020, 12:57:37 pm »
You've already found out that everyone's opinions and reviews differs and you're going to get exactly the same on here.
So - time spent in reconnaissance is never wasted. Go and see what people in your local area have for sale. If they have similar land to you and seem to know what they are talking about and seem genuine people then go and look at what they have to offer and decide for yourself. It's a big leap of faith for anyone in your position getting their first tractor, but only you can make the decision.You already have an idea of what you want from your experience with your quad.

But one thing I will say - don't bother with a chain harrow. They are useless for anything apart from breaking up manure. Get a proper harrow with little spikes which will still move your manure about, but will also rake the dead stuff on your pasture, simulate your grass and prepare it a lot better prior to rolling.
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.


  • Joined Oct 2013
Re: Compact Tractor Purchase Advice please
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2020, 01:03:59 pm »
Thanks Landroverroy!

We will continue to check out local tractors - most of our neighbours have flatter land and use larger tractors.

Your comment about the harrow is really appreciated...we have alot of moss to remove to improve the grazing.

Thanks again.


  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow: where 2nd-homes can amount to 42% in some once-thriving working Cornish communities
Re: Compact Tractor Purchase Advice please
« Reply #3 on: June 14, 2020, 05:08:28 pm »
 You described your land as “steep” @bluewatersailor06 so tractor stability is obviously THE safety concern for you.  As you will be aware, using tractors safely on a slope is not just about the physical characteristics of tractor and “load”, but also the way you manoeuvre on a ‘slope’.

Of course, “steep” to one person is “sloping” to another:  if you are in two-minds, Google Earth can help give an approximate quick indication of steepness by checking elevation at two points and using the GE measure options between those points on the ‘slope’.

You don’t mention a front loader requirement (which would add extra weight up front, but could also obviously alter centre of gravity) so my thoughts about things to look for, in no particular order
and noting that I am no expert:

4-wheel drive (highly recommended);
Ability to easily add weight/s front-end (& weight/s that are easily sourced at reasonable cost or could be easily DIY manufactured);
Ability to add axle spacers to increase wheel track on the rear axle or means of doubling up rear wheels (i.e. “bolting” an outer set of rear wheels to existing – this is not an uncommon solution providing both extra traction and extra stability for steep slopes and/or soft ground);
As much compact-tractor Horse Power as you can get for your money (I would personally suggest 35HP minimum) noting that HP output at the PTO for driving a tractor-powered flail mower (for example) will be less.
The bigger the tractor (beyond “compact”, i.e. tractors with Cat2 3-point links and above) the more fuel you will probably want to store unless you are next door to a red-diesel supplier:  with my 37HP tractor a few 10 ltr cans is more than enough even when flailing several acres.

My own solution for what it’s worth:

Mine is an Agromehanika AGT 835 T/S “alpine” type tractor:  this
type of tractor is, it must be said, pricey, no matter what brand, compared to the plethora of standard compact tractor configurations such as Yanmar, Kubota, Iseki, Siromer etc (new or used).
I suspect it would be very much cheaper to modify a ‘standard’ compact tractor to provide extra rear-wheel track for safer slope-work than buy one of the “alpine” tractor brands (new or 2nd-hand), but I went the 2nd-hand “alpine” route as one was available when I was looking to buy. 
I was more interested in its ability to safely traverse undulating ground with a box-blade or heavy-duty flail mower attached than “steep” slopes, but my fields are quite steep enough and I do feel quite a bit safer with the low centre of gravity of the AGT.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2020, 07:24:23 pm by arobwk »


  • Joined Oct 2013
Re: Compact Tractor Purchase Advice please
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2020, 03:26:55 pm »
Arobwk - thanks so much that was all really helpful. 

We had never heard of an Alpine tractor and love the look of to find one at a price we can afford!!!

Or as you say adapt a compact.

Thanks again


  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow: where 2nd-homes can amount to 42% in some once-thriving working Cornish communities
Re: Compact Tractor Purchase Advice please
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2020, 08:48:46 pm »
@bluewatersailor06  - three extra thoughts:

"Alpines" are not widely embedded into the UK scene, so most spares and all extras will only be readily available via a single UK distributor. 
Take front weights for example:  "alpine" engine/chassis config' sort of means that front wheel weights are normally the only way to go which means one is unlikely to find OEM options for front-weighting an "alpine";

Also:  you are luckily thinking tractor and flail at the same time so you have the opportunity to consider best match from the outset.  Check the tractor load carrying spec's and the flail weight.  If working steep slopes, you will want to find the lightest implement (flail) that will still meet your pasture management requirement - iow, you do not want to get too close to the max' recommended loading of any tractor's rear (3 Point Link) for any sort of work on steep land.

I've seen examples (ont' web) where both rear and front wheels have been doubled up:  I personally think doubling up front wheels will stress the front end quite a bit unless used only on very soft ground.

Edit:  4th point - even "alpines" are being modified for use on very steep land.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2020, 12:11:51 am by arobwk »


  • Joined Oct 2013
Re: Compact Tractor Purchase Advice please
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2020, 03:17:50 pm »
Thanks for the extra points - really appreciated as we are seriously looking at the Alpine route so your advice, yet again is really helpful.

We are hoping to arrange to test drive one and have even found an owner less than 100miles away we just need lockdown to be lifted in scotland so we can give it a whirl!



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