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What Is the Best Brand of Compact Tractor?

Tough Question, Fairly Simple Answer

Today, we’re going to talk about my #1 most frequently asked question about tractors, and that is: “What is the best brand of compact tractors?”

As you can guess, that could open up a can of worms.  What I’m going to tell you first is that there are eleven brands of compact tractors currently available in North America.

  • Kubota
  • Deere
  • Mahindra
  • New Holland (Case is also part of the CNH family and not big on compacts,  so both offer similar product painted a different color)
  • LS
  • Kioti
  • Yanmar
  • Tym
  • Branson
  • Massey Ferguson
  • RK (offered through the Rural King Farm Store Dealership and built by Tym.)

So, Which One Do You Pick?

Well, first off, most tractor companies offer a kind of entry-level tractor or a no-frills tractor which they advertise at a low price. Then they offer a deluxe tractor, too.  Now, they’ll probably sell way more of the no-frills tractor than they will the deluxe tractor.  In fact, in some cases you may not even be able to drive the deluxe tractor because they may not have it in stock on their lot.

rhinohide-tractor-canopy-2
            Typical Sub-Compact

The most important thing to know is what the differences are between the bare-bones tractor and the deluxe tractor. If you’re shopping for a tractor, just go into the dealership and look at their no-frills model. Then ask if they have a deluxe version of that model. Ask what the differences are, and the dealer will tell you.

Now, personally, I would probably be happy with any of these eleven brands if I got their Deluxe tractors.  There are some features on the deluxe tractors that I really like, and would miss on the no-frills tractor. But if you don’t use the tractor very much–maybe you just run a brush hog around the field a little bit– the no-frills tractor may be just exactly what you want.  But personally, I would want the deluxe tractor.

I can say that the quality of those eleven brands is really close. Some are built in Korea, some are built in Japan. The Korean product has come a long way, and it’s very close to the Japanese product in quality.

So what to buy? In my opinion, if all the brands are pretty close to the same, I say find a dealer you like and that you trust will be there in ten years to take care of you.  Buy what they’re selling. That will end up being the best compact tractor for you.

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Tractor Mike

2 Comments

  1. Joe on October 4, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    I am starting to look at these for purchase. I have access to larger tractors, but want something I can use now at my house, on my projects/construction/landscaping, etc. Then use at my retirement home on my land in a few years. I tend to agree with your assessment above, but the hard part is trying to find the differences online. Do you have any suggestions on good info / comparisons of some of these? I have access to MF, JD, Landini, and grew up working the old Farmall SuperM,M and H tractors. I appreciate the input.

    • Tractor Mike on October 5, 2019 at 10:27 am

      It’s been a while since I’ve been online comparing tractor models, back six years ago, when I was in the dealership world, Deere had the best side-by-side comparison of models on their website. I’d bet the other manufacturers have caught up. The funny thing about Deere was, if their tractor didn’t win in a certain spec category, they’d just leave that information out! I’ve never seen one tractor win all spec categories but the way Deere had it set up they always won. I’d check corporate sites and read some tractor forum…one of the best resources is to have the dealer give you three names of people who own the exact tractor you’re looking at and call them and see what they think of it. Good luck!

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