Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: What is the best tractor for a smallholding?  (Read 1173 times)


  • Joined Jun 2012
What is the best tractor for a smallholding?
« on: September 17, 2021, 09:03:47 pm »
Hi All,

I am after some advice regarding getting a tractor for my mums smallholding for both me my partner and my mum to use (my mum is almost 70.)

It is mainly to be used for harrowing, rolling and topping (also need to buy all of these items) of various fields which are grazed my 4 horses and 3 sheep. It totals approximately 22 acres.

It needs to be something that could be driven relatively easily by us all. My mum wants to have a bucket on the front for scooping also.

Please can people advise what are the doís and doníts, what to look for and what to avoid. This is really a totally mind field. I am planning on getting some advice on the controls/using of the tractor before use. I have been told John Deer or Massey, but not sure.

Budget would be about £5-6k for the tractor alone.

Any advice welcomed. Thanks for reading



  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: What is the best tractor for a smallholding?
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2021, 12:37:02 am »
Check out the current Siromer models.  They are small, reliable tractors with simple controls. I'm older than your Mum and I love ours, which was one of the first Siromers imported into the UK. They are, or were, much cheaper than the British equivalent, the choice depends on how much you want to support the UK at your own expense.  We have implements for our Siromer - a front loader with both forks and a bucket, but changing them over will not be a job for your Mum, a small plough, topper, rotavator, rear hydraulic arm for attachments such as a hedge trimmer, spring tine rake and a roller.  Not all the implements are Siromer brand as other small tractor stuff fits fine and tends to be cheaper - perhaps the importer makes his money from the add-ons. We also use a small trailer with ours.  I definitely have trouble with changing implements on the 3 point linkage as my hands are arthritic but perhaps your Mum doesn't have that problem.
We also have an ancient David Brown for heavy stuff, which was a gift, but you won't need anything like that - you should be able to do all you need to with the Siromer or a similarly sized tractor. Sorry I don't know how much they cost now, but worth including in the suggestions you consider. btw, spares for Chinese tractors cost a lot and take a while to arrive, especially when they come via the Suez canal and some big ship gets stuck in it, but locally available 'pattern' spares are loads cheaper by mail order.

You didn't say if you want new or second hand.  Both can be reliable, or both can be a nightmare with breakdowns just when you haven't the time for that. Older models are likely to be a bigger problem and unless you have mechanical ability, steer clear of very old machines like the Little Grey Fergie - romantic but can be a pita.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2021, 12:39:29 am by Fleecewife »
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  • Joined Nov 2015
  • Kernow: either over-crowded or villages left half-empty.
Re: What is the best tractor for a smallholding?
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2021, 09:36:07 pm »
No suggestions as regards models, but a hydrostatic gearbox probably best for near 70 yr old mum's use especially for front-loader working. Bit more complicated if they go wrong, I imagine, so perhaps check with local tractor-repair workshops about support before actually buying any particular 2nd-hand tractor that has taken your fancy.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2021, 09:38:31 pm by arobwk »


  • Joined Jul 2020
  • North Devon
Re: What is the best tractor for a smallholding?
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2021, 06:44:30 pm »
We have a small, old John Deere 4300 HST with a new MX front loader with a bucket. Itís hydrostatic and is easy to use. Secondhand compact tractors tend to be disproportionately expensive though. Finding them is hard and I was seriously considering a Siromer before we bought the JD from someone who was retiring. The slight downside is that ours has turf tyres which have poor grip but it does stop you messing fields up by travelling on them in wet, muddy conditions!

Lancashire Smallholder

  • Joined Apr 2020
Re: What is the best tractor for a smallholding?
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2022, 09:11:57 pm »
I'd go for a Kubota any day, love mine... sorry not for sale as she'll be mine until she goes to tractor heaven!

Personally I'd avoid the really small ones, like the B series as they are only overgrown lawnmowers in size! The L series are proper mini tractors, and with £6k you could get a good second hand one I expect.

That said I'd look at what tractor dealerships are nearest to you, if it is your first tractor having them nearby can be very useful. I've called in a few time with a "help me question" and they are always very good. Of course buying private is cheaper, but the dealer will make sure you're getting a good tractor.

Good luck finding the right one for you.


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