NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Mini tractors - experiences and advice please  (Read 308 times)


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
Mini tractors - experiences and advice please
« on: December 07, 2018, 12:02:37 pm »
I know this comes up regularly but the threads usually start very quickly to become very technical and I find I don’t then follow the conversation.

We have our eyes open for a wee tractor for jobs around the holding.  I’ve no experience with the “Smallholder” tractors, the smallest I used in Cumbria was a Massey 165, which was upgraded to a 60bhp engine while I was there but was originally less (not sure how much, but more than 35 I think).

We think that if we had a small 4wd, we could do our own scraping of the new yard, tidying and emptying of the muck midden (although we’d probably still pay the local contractor to do the spreading for us, so it might still be cheaper because quicker to use his big beast to dig the muck out too), topping, etc.  Not baling, so we’d probably still get the grass cut and baled by the contractor, but could woofle and perhaps row up ourselves.

When I see ads for, eg, a Kubota B6001, I don’t really know what it’s capabilities are, and whether it’s a tractor that was designed for building site work, grass / park management, or small scale agriculture.  (I’m assuming we’d want one that was designed for the smallholding market?).  Where would I find such information, and if it’s tech specs, what am I looking for to tell me it’s suitable for a small farm? 

Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cow, beef cattle, pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing
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  • Joined Feb 2014
Re: Mini tractors - experiences and advice please
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2018, 01:24:39 pm »
Hi Sally, 

If you look on you'll see the Kubota B6001 only has 11.5Hp to drive the PTO.  I'm not an expert on this by any means but I had a 21Hp Kubota that I needed to rev the nuts off to get it up to speed to drive the PTO and it sometimes struggled with a flail on thicker areas of threshes.  I loved little Norman but he recently gave up on me so I'm currently looking for something a bit bigger - say 30hp or more as that should give it a wee bit more oomph to do all the jobs I need doing.  But some how the cost of something 30Hp plus seems to be the same as much bigger tractors!?

So probably for tidying the yard etc the little Kubota might do a job for you in the yard I wouldn't imagine it had the grunt to do much out in the fields.

Hope this helps,


Big Mat

  • Joined May 2016
  • King's Lynn, Norfolk
Re: Mini tractors - experiences and advice please
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2019, 10:53:46 pm »
The tractor you're looking at will be too small for what you're wanting to do. I used to drive one at my last job, 3ft topper  single furrow plough, small single leg buster.

The problem is also the physical size of them, I dare say they'd struggle with a haybob or similar.

They're a brilliant tractor for little jobs, glasshouse work, small market gardening,  but as an all round smallholders tractor they'd abit small.

If you're Japanese and farming rice they're ideal!

I'd be looking at tractors depending on how big you want to go, or more importantly,  what size of tractor suits your yard. There is nothing worse than having to shunt about because you've bought a tractor that is too big. At our place,  a 70hp 2 wheel drive is about the biggest we want, unless you've got hills, you get get most stuff done with 2 wheel drive. When I drove tractors for a living,  it was only on heavy draft work that I used 4wd


  • Joined Jan 2011
  • North Lincolnshire
Re: Mini tractors - experiences and advice please
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2019, 09:25:04 am »
I have a Solis 26hp 4wd. Use it for the muck midden and topping. I have a 4ft topper and a Millcreek muck spreader. All very good on our 3.5 acres, the Solis is based/designed with Yanmar Tractors with a Mitsubishi engine (both Japanese) made/assembled in India.


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