Selecting the Right Tractor for Your Farm

A tractor at work on a field

A diesel-powered tractor is an essential agriculture equipment in any Australian farm. Commercial farming requires powerful, multi-featured equipment with the right transmission. However, it is not smart to go to the biggest supplier in town and get the biggest tractor they have in stock. Even if you are ready to purchase the latest model with an air-conditioned cab and state-of-the-art GPS system, there are a few parameters to consider.

Horsepower

There was a time when a tractor’s horsepower was directly proportional to its size. The higher the PTO horsepower number, the bigger the tractor size. These days, horsepower typically refers to an engine or break horsepower, and similar sizes of tractors may have different engine horsepower.

Don’t worry too much about that. All you need to decide is how much horsepower is required to work the farm. Matching the tractor’s power to the job that needs to be done is the most important decision any farm owner has to make. The type of soil, the specific type of work to be done, and time allotted for the job are also factors to consider. The type of equipment you require is probably available locally. Ask the manufacturer or distributor for horsepower options available today.

Transmission

Mechanical transmission models have given way to hydrostatic models. Do not discount the reliability of old models, but you have to consider the advantages of not having to move a lever to select gear ranges. Unfortunately, hydrostatic models are less efficient and involve significant power loss. If the work required is mostly light, a hydrostatic transmission should do the trick. For other work requirements, such as ploughing a field, you are better off with a tractor with a manual transmission.

As for the brand, browse online and visit manufacturers and dealers to get the information you need. Tractor selector charts available in your territory should get you started.