When you hear the word tractor, you probably think of farming. For a long time, those two ideas went hand in hand, the tractor and the farmer. Over time, however, we have seen the tractor become more versatile and branch out to tackle more tasks. As homeowners start to crave more space to raise their families and relish in the ability to feed their families with vegetables grown in small scale gardens, the tractor has bent to a new set of needs. In recent years, the answer to farming and growing food were tasks doled out to large scale tractors that were capable of doing serious grunt work whereas now you can get a lot of the same benefits on a smaller scale with a compact utility tractor.
Knowing what machine is best for you is key to selecting the right one. In a lot of cases, people can get by with a mere yard tractor if the work they intend to do can be conquered by such a machine. This is fine as long as a yard tractor can fulfill your needs, but if you have plans for more serious yard work, you might need to step up your game. It all comes down to the size of your property and what you plan to do with it, as well as how hands on you would like to be in the process.
If you do not have plans for any major property renovations that might require excavation, odds are good that you can get away with having only a lawn tractor. Should your garden plans involve an electric tiller or cultivator, then stepping up to a more expensive tractor may not be necessary. If you are handy with a shovel and do not mind wielding one, the same thought process applies.
That said, it may be that you have plans to do some heavier work on your land. If you have a driveway that is not paved and is of any significant length, chances are good that it will need patching from time to time as erosion takes a toll. Gravel driveways are evened out easily with a box blade and little manual labor on your part. If you have livestock, the same can be said for their pens, or even any riding arenas you might have; simply drag those areas to make them smooth once again.
Should there be a need for drainage ditches or trenches, a backhoe will be useful to get those jobs done. Even a small backhoe can work faster than a person equipped with a shovel. By the same token, a front end loader can pick up and move loads of dirt or other items in a faster, easier manner than can be done by hand and shovel. There are also other tasks you might not even consider a front loader to accomplish; around here, for example, we move 55 gallon drums full of water and round bales of hay to the animals on distant pasture with our front end loader.
The bottom line in selecting the best machine for you is the function you need it to perform. While there are a lot of things old fashioned manual labor can accomplish, there is no shame in having a tractor with the capability of doing those things for you. By the same token, having a utility tractor instead of a lawn tractor can be overkill if your needs don't require you to take such a leap. Before you decide which beast to bring home, make a list of the beautifying it will be doing versus that you are willing to do manually. The answers, compared with the expenses, just might surprise you.