Attaching Implements:

What you need to know about attaching and using implements on your compact utility tractor

When you are thinking about buying a compact utility tractor, you will have to think critically about the basics i.e.

  • Torque
  • Transmission
  • Tasks (what you will be using your tractor for)

Hence the tag ‘utility’
Beyond these general requirements, you will certainly be looking to see how you can easily use the tractor to operate various implements. After all, it is called a utility tractor because it is supposed to provide more than one service using a range of attachments, right? Otherwise, you would rather get a lawn tractor or a garden tractor to mow the lawn.

PTOs and three-point hitches
You will need to familiarize yourself with these terms when dealing with compact tractors. These two features facilitate the use of several attachments and implements like loaders, rotavators, and mowers of various types.

PTO stands for power-take-off and this shaft runs from the tractor to the attachment and transmits power from the engine to the implement. A three-point hitch is the point where the implement attaches and holds in place. The hitch raises and lowers the implements as well.

All compact tractors have their power-take-off at the rear and some may have one at the front. The front and rear PTOs come standardized at speeds of 540rpm and are classified based on their drives. These are:

  • Transmission PTO – This is available on older and less expensive tractors. The PTO connects directly to the transmission and only runs when the clutch engages. The direct connection also means that the implement can run the engine.
  • Live PTO – This is driven by a two-stage clutch. If you press the clutch halfway, the transmission clutch is disengaged but the PTO remains operational until you depress the clutch all the way.
  • Independent PTO – A separate clutch controls that is completely independent of the transmission clutch controls this. It is more expensive but safer and more convenient than the other two.

Three-point hitches are also at the rear of the small tractors. Attaching an implement directly to the three-point hitch of a tractor can be rather difficult, as can be the process of dismounting the implement. What you will need, therefore, is a quick hitch.

A quick hitch is attached to all the points of the three-point hitch and then you can simply back into the implement, lift it up and get going. It is also as easy to release the implement and you will not even have to get off the tractor is the quick hitch is well attached.

There are a few disadvantages with the quick hitch. First, they are pretty pricey and second, they all put the implement back a few inches which reduces weight on the front tires, making the tractor harder to steer.

So when you are buying your compact tractor, make sure to look at the power-take-off and the three-point hitch to see if they will be able to handle the kind of implements you would like to use.

Choosing Between Petrol and Diesel Compact Tractors

compact_tractorWhen it comes to buying a car, you have carte blanche when it comes to what kind of fuel you want to use. The choice often depends on the type of car, cost of fuelling and environmental considerations. However, when it comes to compact tractors, you can go with either petrol or diesel as your fuel of choice.

And diesel is king

Diesel is the superior option for compact tractors over petrol for several reasons:

1. Diesel engines cause less trouble

Diesel engines are generally more robust because they have fewer moving parts that would typically cause trouble in a petrol engine. Since there are no carburettors rotors, spark plugs and distributor caps, which are the general problem-causers in petrol engines, you will have fewer problems with a diesel engine. Further, diesel engines can stay idle for long and still start up without much trouble.

2. Diesel engines are water cooled

This feature is limited to diesel engines and it enables the engine to run at more consistent and cooler temperatures. This means that the engine will run for countless hours without any trouble and generally, the life of the engine will see extension.

3. Diesel engines provide more torque

Farming is about torque rather than horsepower. The petrol engines can be faster at the start but they still cannot match the power and torque that the diesel engines are able to produce consistently.

4. Diesel engines use more attachments

Most petrol engine compact tractors come with a belly lawn mower but do not usually have a three point hitch. This means that with a petrol engine tractor, you will have less capacity in terms of attaching implements. The three point hitch, on the other hand, allows for more attachments, which means that you can do more jobs and have greater expandability of the tractor.

The choice is yours

When it comes to purchasing a compact utility tractor, you are certainly looking for convenience and efficiency in carrying out your farming activities or any other activities you might like. These are primarily available depending on the kind of engine that you choose for your compact tractor.

The engine will decide the amount of power that is available to you. This will then determine the kind of implements you can you. Therefore, if you are simply doing some small-duty lawn mowing, a petrol engine can provide the amount of power you need. However, if you will be doing anything more that mowing the lawn, for instance, some gardening, hauling and a little construction work, then you will need something more powerful: a diesel engine compact utility tractor.

It also helps that diesel is generally cheaper than petrol which means you can get all your heavy lifting done at relatively affordable rates.

Nothing’s perfect

There is always a drawback even with the best products and the same applies with diesel engines. The liquid-cooled diesel engines are more expensive than petrol engines, and for good reason considering the benefits. Further, diesel engines have higher environmental emissions than petrol engines although modern diesels have lower emissions than the older diesels.