What Tractor Options Do You Really Want?
If you’re buying a tractor, there are options you need to know about so you get the ones that are exactly what you want. Many of the options are difficult or impossible to add after you buy a tractor, so it’s important to get it right the first time. In the related video, I go over the options that you should always get, as well as the options you should buy with your new tractor if you’re pretty sure you want them. I also have a few to recommend, and point out some that I could take or leave.
First of all, you need to know that most tractor makers don’t allow you to really select options. They produce an inexpensive model ( the one the dealers advertise with low payments and cheap price), and then a deluxe tractor with a lot more factory additions. This means you can’t mix and match the options on those tractors. But I can offer some tips to help you decide whether you want to spend the extra money for the deluxe tractor or go with the bargain version.
Options To Always Include in Your Tractor Purchase
Two option to always get when you buy the tractor are 4wd and a front end loader.
Now, if you are running a tractor above about 50 hp or a utility tractor, you can live without front wheel assist. But on anything smaller than that, 4wd is a must. Without it, little tractors are pretty helpless. So that’s one option that isn’t optional in terms of using your new machine.
The other essential item is the front end loader. Some folks think they’ll save their money now and add the front end loader later, but it’s much cheaper to get it when you buy the new tractor. Buying it as part of your initial purchase insures that the cost goes along with any low rate program and saves freight and installation later. Plus once you have a tractor with a front end loader, I guarantee you’ll find uses for it. It will also help your resale value when it’s time to sell the tractor.
Another large option you must decide on is which transmission to get. Most smaller tractors come with either gear or hydro. Hydro is going to be about $1000-$1500 more, but in my mind it’s worth it.
Some Options You Might Be Considering
If you think you want a belly mower, rear remotes, or a third function valve, get those when the tractor is new.
Why? Because the belly mower needs a mid-mount PRO and many of the brands offer only mid-mount PTO on hydrostatic drive tractors. If you buy a gear drive machine and decide later that you want a belly mount mower, you’re out of luck.
As for rear remotes and third function valves, these factory kits are generally available only when the tractor is new. Once new models come in, these kits get separated out and allocated to the parts department. Unfortunately, buying each individual component to make the kit is much more expensive than buying the whole thing in the original kit form, and sometimes the parts go obsolete. Plus, they’re easier to install while the tractor is still in the dealer’s shop.
If you don’t want to spend the high price for those kits, I do carry a hydraulic diverter valve kit. And while it’s not a third function kit, you can install it to get hydraulic flow to the front end of your tractor.
The Options I Feel Are Must-haves
Options I couldn’t live without include a quick attach front loader bucket (I could live without a quick attach loader), a folding roll bar and telescopic stabilizers. Those telescopic stabilizers should be available through the aftermarket, but they’re not, and usually they only come with deluxe tractor packages. That option alone would make me want to invest in a full feature tractor.
And Some I Don’t Really Care About
Options I could live without include the extendable lower link arms (as long as I have Pat’s Easy Change), tilt or telescoping steering, a swivel seat, or economy PTO. The last option I’d use, but wouldn’t pay extra for it.
Choose the Right Options to Save Money Down the Road
It costs a lot of money to trade a new tractor in, so it’s really important to get the right thing the first time. Having an awareness of these options will help you choose the right machine the first time. Don’t economize any more than you absolutely must on your tractor purchase, and you’ll save money later on.