Whether you’re a new landowner or looking for a smaller farm tractor to add to your operation, finding the right machine can be overwhelming. Especially with how many models, features, implements and even terms there are in the market right now.
The good news is that today’s compact utility tractors (CUTs) can do it all. While their size may be compact, they come equipped with enough power to handle everything from landscaping to livestock maintenance—and then some. To help steer you in the right direction, we break down everything you should know when starting to explore your CUT options.
Comparing compact vs. utility tractors
Let’s start with what a compact utility tractor is, and how they stack up against larger models. Like the name suggests, a CUT is a smaller tractor designed for up to 100 acres. Their small size allows them to maneuver around and in tight spaces to knock out everyday tasks. But don’t mistake the small size for small performance. These lightweight tractors live up to the utility name with plenty of implement options and a wide range of horsepower options to get the job done.
While most people refer to a compact utility tractor as just a utility tractor, there is a difference. Utility tractors are larger in size with a cab to sit in and enough horsepower to tackle pretty much anything you need them to do. A lot of times, however, landowners can accomplish most of their to-do list with just as much ease in a compact tractor. It all comes down to a few considerations when shopping.
6 considerations for choosing the right compact utility tractor
Type of property or operation
Compact utility tractors are well suited for private properties to commercial operations with anywhere from two to 100 acres of land. That can include large properties, hobby farms, orchards, vineyards, ranchettes and so on.
Tasks to accomplish
Another consideration to keep in mind is what kind of work you’ll need your tractor to get done. Make a list of projects, daily tasks and wishlist jobs to ensure your final choice can handle it all. Here’s a list of common tasks you can count on a CUT for:
- Cutting rough terrain
- Grading and leveling
- Building fences
- Removing stumps
- Snow removal
- Handling hay
Features and specs
Once you have a sense of how much power you’ll need and what kind of tasks you want to accomplish, you can start to compare the features and specs of different models. For example, the 1‐4 Series Compact Utility Tractors from John Deere come in a wide range of horsepower options—21.5-65.9 HP to be exact. Some models feature a hydrostatic transmission with a two-pedal system that let you seamlessly switch between forward and reverse, plus, hydraulic power which allows you to lift and steer at the same time. Watch the video below to see how the John Deere 1 Series Compact Utility Tractor stacks up against the competition.