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

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When caring for a property it doesn’t matter if it’s one acre or ten. All property owners need productive machines to help them care for the land.

Sub-compact tractors are a great option that provides more capabilities than a riding lawn mower, yet without the price tag and footprint of a larger tractor.

Why Use a Sub-Compact and Compact Tractor for Yard Work?
Depending on manufacturer, tractors in the sub-compact category typically are less than 40-horsepower.

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For example, John Deere’s 1 and 2 series tractors fall into the sub-compact category, ranging from 22- to nearly 37-horespower. Not far from that, Deere’s 3 series compact tractors (CUTs) check in between 25-46 horsepower and are also a great option, especially for those with larger properties to maintain.

Watch to learn more about the Deere 2038R tractor.


Though small in size, CUTs are mighty in performance. Best of all, they’re compatible with several attachments, giving them the versatility to accomplish numerous tasks around a property. Deere also offers the exclusive Quik-Tatch hitch to make changing from one attachment to another fast and simple.

Here are five of the most popular applications and attachments for CUTs.


1. Mowing
A CUT can be used to mow.

Did you know that mowing, arguably the most common yard work task, can be done with a sub-compact or compact tractor? 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, Deere offers a drive-over mower deck for its 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.

Deere offers a new product, the Load-N-Go system, that makes it easy to remove the mower deck from the tractor for maintenance. Watch to see how it works.
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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
A CUT can be used for gardening.

Did you know that gardening tasks can be done with a sub-compact or compact tractor? Among the most popular chore is tillage, including seedbed prep and weed control. Mounted on the back of the tractor, the hydraulic tiller attachment can handle this gardening task 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
A CUT can be used for landscaping.

Did you know that landscaping projects can be done with a sub-compact or compact tractor? The loader attachment, the most popular tractor attachment sold at most RDO Equipment Co. stores, is commonly used for earthmoving and transport of heavy landscape materials. 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 tractors, turning this already versatile machine into a multi-purpose landscaping tool.

4. Animal Management
A CUT can be used for animal management tasks.

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Did you know that necessary work for taking care of animals can be done with a sub-compact or compact tractor?

In addition to more acreage than most property owners, rural property owners often also have animals to care for. Going back to the loader, the most popular attachment, also is a great tool for animal management tasks, everything from moving feed to cleaning manure. Deere offers additional, attachments like manure forks and grinder-mixers, specifically designed for livestock and equine management.

An added bonus that comes with using a sub-compact tractor for this type of work is the machine’s ideal size. It’s large enough to work with the attachments needed for this work and powerful enough to handle the tasks, while being compact enough to fit between gates, stalls, and pens, and maneuver through tight, confined areas in barns or other buildings.

5. Snow Clearing
A CUT can be used for snow and ice management.

Did you know that sub-compact and compact tractors are also snow and ice tools?

Related article: Turn your tractor into a snow management machine

While some areas rarely see snow, other parts of the country get blanketed with the white stuff six months or more every year. Regardless of how frequently the flakes fly, the ability to turn a tractor into a snow and ice management tool is useful, especially properties with long driveways or in rural settings where roads aren’t regularly cleared of snow.

It's here where the versatile loader again shows its range. Loaders can be used to push snow, while additional options like blades and blower attachments can be used to clear it away as well.

Small in size yet mighty in versatility, power, and performance, CUTs can take on several tasks, from the most common to more specialized. Mow, landscape, garden, or all of the above – what do you want your tractor to do?

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About the Author
Alex Mitchell is passionate about customers, John Deere machines, and RDO Equipment Co. As a Consumer Products Sales Account Manager, Alex enjoys educating potential customers on what John Deere equipment can deliver and he especially loves showing them they can turn their dreams of owning a Deere into reality.

Take a look at compact tractor packages from RDO to find the right model, attachments, and price point. For more information contact your local RDO Equipment Co. store.