5 Uses for a Sub-compact Tractor

Did You Know? 5 Top Tasks You Can Do With a Sub-Compact Tractor

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Property owners need productive machines to help them care for the land, whether it’s one acre or ten. Yet, when most think about purchasing a tractor, the sub-compact models are often overlooked. Why? Most assume a large tractor with more power is needed to use different attachments and accomplish big tasks around the property.

Though small in size, sub-compact tractors are mighty in performance. Best of all, they’re compatible with several tractor attachments, including some of the most popular ones, giving them the versatility to accomplish numerous tasks around a property.

Slightly different depending on manufacturer, tractors in the sub-compact category typically are less than 40-horsepower. For example, John Deere’s 1 and 2 series tractors fall into the sub-compact category, ranging from 22- to nearly 37-horsepower. Watch to learn more about John Deere's 2038R tractor. 

Here are five of the top applications for a sub-compact tractor and a few of the attachments that help them accomplish the task at hand.

1. Mowing
Did you know – a sub-compact tractor is also a mower?

One of the top applications for sub-compact tractors is also one of the basics: mowing. With a mower attachment, the tractor quickly turns into a finish mower to tackle clean, close cuttings of common lawn grass.

To make attachment swap-in and swap-out simple, John Deere offers a drive-over mower deck for its compact tractors. After making a few adjustments per the operator’s manual, the operator simply – as the name implies – drives over the deck, secures the attachment, then is off to mow.

For those with larger properties that include pastures and rocky terrain, the rotary cutter attachment is an option for grooming and maintaining. Pulled behind the tractor, this attachment trims long, thicker grass, and is built to withstand gravel or larger rocks that may damage a finish mower.

2. Gardening
Did you know – a sub-compact tractor can be used for gardening?

Sub-compact tractors handle a variety of gardening tasks. Among the most popular chore for these tractors is tillage, including seedbed prep and weed control. Mounted on the back of the tractor, the hydraulic tiller attachment can handle these gardening tasks quickly and effectively.

Other gardening attachments include box scrapers, blades, and cultivators, offering plenty of options to maintain everything from small backyard gardens to larger, multi-crop plots.

3. Landscaping
Did you know – a sub-compact tractor is also a landscaper?

With the volume of yard and lawn care attachments available for sub-compact tractors, it’s not surprising this machine is popular with amateur and professional landscapers alike. In fact, the loader attachment, commonly used for earthmoving and transport of heavy landscape materials, is the most popular tractor attachment sold at most RDO Equipment Co. stores. It’s very rare to see a tractor sold without the loader as part of the final package.

From spreaders to sprayers, and aerators to utility carts, dozens of landscape attachments are offered for most sub-compact tractors, turning the machine into a multi-purpose landscaping tool.

4. Animal Management
Did you know – a sub-compact tractor can be used for various animal management tasks?

Along with acreage, many rural property owners also have animals to care for. The popular loader attachment comes in handy for everything from moving feed to cleaning manure. John Deere offers additional, attachments like manure forks and grinder-mixers, specifically designed for livestock and equine management.

What’s especially nice about using a sub-compact tractor for animal management tasks is the machine’s size. It’s large enough to manage the necessary attachments and tasks at hand, yet small enough to fit between gates, stalls and pens, and maneuver in tight, confined areas in barns or other buildings.

5. Snow Clearing
Did you know – a sub-compact tractor is also a snow manager?

In some areas of the country, snow falls more than six months out of the year. In other areas, the white stuff may only make an appearance a few times a year. No matter the frequency, the ability to turn a sub-compact tractor into a snow clearer is handy, especially properties with long driveways and on rural roads that may not be plowed on a frequent basis.

Again, the popular loader attachment shines, as it’s a great option for pushing snow. Blades and blower attachments can also be used to clear it away.

While they may be small in size, sub-compact tractors come up big in their ability to accomplish numerous tasks. Paired with the right attachment, a sub-compact tractor can go from mower to snow mover to gardener – and more. Furthermore, John Deere offers the exclusive Quik-Tatch hitch to make changing from one attachment to another fast and simple.

When looking to purchase a sub-compact tractor, consider making a list of all the tasks you’d like it to accomplish. Your trusted local dealership will be able to help you find the right machine and the attachments you’ll need to check all the boxes on the to-do list.


About the Author
Randy Hennes is an Account Manager with RDO Equipment Co. in Missoula, MT.

For more information on choosing a sub-compact tractor and attachments that fit your needs, contact your local RDO Equipment Co. store