Tractor shopping? Here’re a few things to consider
YOU need to consider your land, the enterprise and daily tasks when choosing the right tractor and the right set of implements for your operation.
The weight of the tractor itself also comes into play along with the gearing and power, according to tractor experts.
Antonio Carraro managing director Dale Ingle said it was important to get the right size tractor because if it had more power than you needed the engine would be underused, and that could prevent the machine from running correctly.
However, it was also just as bad to over-run a tractor or push it to its limits.
“One of the main factors to consider when looking at buying a tractor that people seem to miss is thinking about their future needs,” Mr Ingle said.
“A lot of people will purchase a machine that’s great today, but doesn’t really suit down the track.”
He urges tractor shoppers to think carefully about this when doing their homework on what machine fits their purpose and budget.
“It’s often better to get a little bit more power than you think you are going to need,” Mr Ingle said.
Considering any specialised tasks the tractor may need to perform was also important, as was the terrain on your land.
“If you use the tractor for macadamia nut harvesting, spraying or to pull mulchers or slashers those needs have to be considered and taken into account.
“Buying a tractor is a big investment.”
Whether or not the machine has four-wheel drive was one of the most important factors when considering getting a loader.
“If you need to lift loads, be realistic about what the tractor can lift,” Mr Ingle said.
“It’s important to know the weight of what you are lifting. Ordinary hay bales are really heavy when they’re full of moisture compared to when they are dry.”
Inlon national sales and marketing manager Gary Surman agreed stability was a big factor buyers needed to consider.
“If you have a sloping property a stable machine with a low centre of gravity is going to be important,” he said.
“The weight of the tractor is important for stability, particularly when considering front-end loaders.”
One factor often overlooked by buyers was the origin of the engine, as a lot of big brands used engines made in India according to Mr Surman.
“The engine is important; it’s important to ask about its origin.
“I recommend buying a tractor that has a known engine and make sure you can get after sales support,” he said.
The level of automation was yet another consideration.
“Are you happy with manual functions or are you looking for something with a bit more sophistication and electronic controls,” Mr Surman said.
He also advised customers to look at the warranty and service offered.
Featured in Rural Life magazine