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Author Topic: Tractor advice  (Read 518 times)

Handyman Essex

  • Joined Dec 2020
Tractor advice
« on: December 27, 2020, 03:51:59 pm »
I have been skulking around the forum for a bit and done a number of search but still can't work out what would be best. I have contacted some dealers also with out much successes so I hope someone here can advice.

We are looking to buy a compact tractor our first, We have a very limited budget so price is a big factor and have been looking at secondhand machines. We have a wish list of attachment we would like to add over time to make life just that bit lighter.

Front loader

Tipping Trailer


Chain Harrow


Hedgecutter/Flail Mower

Grass tyres and 4 wheeled drive we are on a hill .

What would you guys recommend for a needs ?

Kind regards


  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Tractor advice
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2020, 12:16:15 pm »
I asked the same a few months back.  Here's the thread
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 cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing


  • Joined Oct 2011
Re: Tractor advice
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2021, 12:23:43 pm »
I would recommend a david brown. we have a 20 acer smallholding and loads of browns and me and the mrs swear by them. They are so reliable and do all the jobs we need. A 990, 995 or 996 or even a1210 would be a brilliant size tractor for a smallholding. They are powerful enough to complete all jobs you would require and you can get a good one for around £1500-£2500.

Defiantly get your self a tractor with a loader and trust me they are so handy for just moving things around the place.

hope this helps and good look.


  • Joined Mar 2012
  • Carmarthenshire/Pembrokeshire Borders
Re: Tractor advice
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2021, 10:04:27 am »
For what it is worth, here is my contribution.  We have a smallholding in West Wales with some quite steep slopes.  When we first moved in we "acquired" (the previous owner left it in the hedge!) an old Zetor. It was a real rustbucket and my wife refused to go anywhere near it, on top of which the hydraulics were very dodgy so we got the local scrap dealer to take it away (we got a few hundred for it!). 

Bought a nice compact Kubota 2420 which seemed to do the job, but eventually realised it was too small and felt very unstable on the slopes. I stress this was probably a feeling and our experience (or lack of it) rather than the reality but there you go. No front loader option which we realised was a very useful (we thought) addition, so picked up a bundled compact with front loader as advertised on ebay and the like. We soon realised that a front loader on a compact tractor is a visual accessory that is simply incapable of lifting anything much more than you can do by hand (well not quite but you get my drift!). The tractor simply doesn't have the weight and stability to cope. Sold that as a learning exercise for someone else!!

Sat down and had a good think.  We are quite tight round the yard and shed so a full sized tractor is simply not manoueverable enough for us so ended up buying an Italian compact tractor (Antonia Carrera), 50hp, 4 wheel drive, loads of power and very stable on the slopes. Handles the trailers, disk mower, baler (a 60 year old New Holland Super 68 which I have completely renovated), tedder and everything else apart from heavy lifting. Love it to bits as it suits us to the ground. For lifting we finally relented and realised we needed something built for the job so picked up an ex demo JCB skid loader. Will lift a full size round bale without feeling as though you are in imminent danger, cleans the muck out of the barn and moves pallets of feed and stuff around. Not foolproof mind you. Tried to unload a pallet of feed from the delivery truck and ended up with the whole lot on the ground and the back wheels in the air!! Fortunately no damage but a valuable lesson in respecting limits.

So my advice:

Ask yourself EXACTLY what you want to achieve and be realistic about it.
Compact tractors are relatively expensive (and you will be limited by the implements you can find (and the high prices) in a Cat 1 linkage. They are no real use for lifting anything more than a few inches.
If you have the space go for a conventional medium sized tractor - loads around from dealers or at machinery sales. Do check the hydraulics and whatever you think now you will need at least two double acting spool valves which are expensive as an after fit so check out what is fitted (and that they work).
In winter a cab is useful(!) and rollover protection is a must. Having it road registered (even if you don't intend to use it) is a plus since it is a few hundred quid and a load of paperwork to do it later.
Bigger tractors are more stable on slopes (although nothing beats an alpine in that respect)
For lifting and ultimate manoueverability nothing beats a skid loader - it is worth buying the right tools for the job - much safer that way.
Think long and hard before you buy, that way you are less likely yo have to sell it and buy again!

My 3 golden rules I have learned:
You always need a bigger shed!
You always need a few more a acres than you have!
There are no short cuts or cut price options when it comes to safety and machinery, buy the right machinery for the job (and whatever size you go for you will probably wish you bought the next size up later on!!).

Good luck, and stay safe!


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