Understanding Tractor Sizes by Acreage & Capability

posted on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 in QE Network

John Deere 2038R Compact Tractor

One of the most common questions we get from first time buyers is what size tractor do I need for my property that’s 5, 10, or more acres? There are many factors to consider that inform how to choose the best tractor for your needs. The size of your property is an important element, but you’ll also want to take into account the jobs you need to check off your list. Here, we’ll consider equipment for residential as well as small to mid-size farm use, with recommendations by property size.

If you have 5 acres and light chores

If you live on a property that is 5 acres or smaller, in most cases, a sub-compact tractor like those found in the John Deere 1 Series should be sufficient for gardening and light landscaping work. This type of equipment is the smallest out of all the tractor sizes and is made to fit in a standard garage. They are the most affordable of the set and are made to do a great job mowing thanks to their highly maneuverable design, allowing you to manage your way around gates, flower beds and other obstacles confidently. You’ll find equipment that makes horsepower in the low to mid-20s allowing you to manage light implements and attachments and therefore chores as well.

If you have 10 acres, and/or moderate chores

A compact tractor that’s making between 30–60 horsepower is a good fit for mowing 10 acres and managing moderate chores. The stronger horsepower and torque reserve allows you to deliver more power to larger and heavier implements and attachments.  It’s worth noting these are still not intended for larger crop operations. However, as long as the task fits within your weight limit, you can expect to move earth and other materials, handle bigger landscaping chores, level your drive and a great deal more, including farming work like hay management. Compacts can also take on more land when mowing  because they’re designed to work with wider deck sizes; some are even designed to manage rougher cutting with pull-behind rotary equipment. They’re still relatively small in stature, which limits how heavy they can lift, but it also makes them easier to handle. This allows this type of equipment to take on interior work like delivering hay to stalls, for instance. Pay close attention to key specs like horsepower and operating and loader lift capacity among several others, as this will help determine precisely how quickly you can accomplish chores, the type of chore and how much of it you can handle at once. You can explore the John Deere compact tractor lineup here. 

If you have 20 acres, and/or heavy chores

A utility tractor is well suited to helping you pull, lift and push your way through heavy-duty chores. These mid-sized tractors offer up between 50–250 hp depending on the model. Their larger size as well as weight and horsepower capabilities allow this equipment to take on big acreage and even bigger chores than small tractors from the compact category. This also allows for better stability when handling heavier tasks. More power also means you can cut down on your time spent on a great many activities. Some of the basic applications you can expect to handle range from mowing many acres of tall grass, tackling all-season crop work and any number of livestock chores among many others. You can view our current selection of utility tractors here.

Have more questions on how to choose a tractor size? Stop in at your nearest Quality Equipment dealership for help deciding on the best equipment for your needs. Our team of specialists have a great deal of experience advising homeowners, farmers and landscapers in North Carolina and Virginia and are always here to answer questions and offer guidance.