5 Tips for Buying Your First Tractor

posted on Friday, October 6, 2017 in News

Expert Insight for Michigan Property Managers and Home Owners to Get the Best Value on Small and Compact Tractor Models

Most home owners and hobby farmers throughout Michigan use compact utility tractors to help them complete tasks in a timely fashion without the physical impacts of back-breaking property maintenance.

With so many different options available for compact tractors, it can be intimidating to read through all the information, watch all the videos and figure out which brand and model is best for you. Even then, deciding which family of John Deere compact tractors works best for you and your chores isn’t always easy. We asked Tri County Equipment sales director, Mark Williams, to come up with five tips to get you started.

1. Consider your tasks and future property plans


The most important question you need to ask yourself is: What kinds of yard work or other tasks am I looking to accomplish? Your answer will be one of the driving forces to figuring out which John Deere compact utility tractor is best for your property, and also which implements you’ll need to help you complete your work.

Thought-starters to ask yourself:

  1. Do I need my tractor to mow grassy fields or for snow removal?
  2. What kind of terrain do I have on my land – rough, hilly, flat, smooth?
  3. Will I need to lift heavy materials like mulch, gravel, hay or feed?

Once you’ve identified the main tasks around your Michigan property, our trained staff at Tri County Equipment can steer you in the right direction to pick out the best John Deere tractor for you.

2. Think about the right tire tread for your tractor

First-time tractor buyers in Michigan’s Thumb should give some thought to the type of tire tread they need to complete whatever work they want to accomplish on their land. Most customers choose industrial tires since they provide the best traction for project versatility. However, if your tractor is going to be used mostly for mowing, then a turf tire will do just fine and be more gentle on your lawn. 

John-Deere-TractorsWilliams advises “Ask yourself ‘Am I buying a tractor to just mow grass OR am I buying a tractor to do other things and mow grass?’ Thinking about your primary use and your property will help you choose the right tire.” Regardless of the tires, Williams points out that John Deere compact utility tractors use unparalleled drive-over technology to better help farmers and home owners mow (literally) through tasks fast while maintaining the quality the brand is known for.  Drive over mower decks and auto-connect technology create an unmatched ease of use making it easy to flip between mowing and hauling, lifting, or whatever task is at hand.

3. Know what Horsepower you need in a small tractor

A tractor’s horsepower and the types/sizes of implements it can handle correspond with each other, which means you need to consider the workload of your tasks first. Once you know what you’re trying to accomplish and the type of implements you need, you can confidently choose the size tractor necessary for your purposes. Tasks -> Implements -> Horsepower.

Each John Deere compact utility tractor has its own lifting capacities, therefore it’s very important during your research process to nail down what kinds of materials you’ll be lifting around your property and how heavy the load will be. Mulch, gravel, dirt, feed, manure, hay, autumn leaves: all weigh a little different, but knowing your work load on a tractor’s front-end loader can be a shortcut to selecting the right tractor to fit your needs.

Other implements have different requirements as well, so Williams recommends coming to a sales person with this info handy and says the right tractor dealership can steer you in the right direction along with a tractor test drive to find the right fit.

4. Go big or go home – how important is your time management?


Your own time management is often overlooked when considering different John Deere tractors to buy. As a general rule, remember that the smaller the tractor, the more time it’ll take you to complete a task. Getting a tractor too small can be the result of a tight budget, however, when you work the numbers, pinching pennies now may result in a lot of time wasted later. Plus, when you take advantage of our current sales and promotions, the price difference between model sizes might mean spending only $50 more per month (give or take), and result in a lot less time on the tractor in order to get the job done.

5. Understand your ownership obligations and service options near you

Much like a car, tractors need to be serviced either at home by a smart DIYer or from your local service technician.  Tractor oil should be changed at least once a year or every 200 hours. All Tri County Equipment locations offer fall and spring tractor service specials to ensure our customers keep their John Deere tractors running like new.

“We work on a lot of compact tractors for home owners and find that communication is key for happy repeat customers,” said Williams. “Our service department at Tri County is trained to keep safety top priority for our customers, while also servicing the immediate needs. We take care of everything from routine maintenance to major repairs, or whatever they came in for.” 

Williams also points out that if you prefer to service your own equipment at home, your warranty will not be effected. You can also find the necessary filter kit from the parts counter or contact Tri County’s parts department to steer you in the right direction.

Bonus Tip: Know where to go

Buying a new John Deere tractor is no small investment by any means, so it’s important to make sure you ask all the right questions when you visit your local Tri County Equipment store. Get comfortable with the equipment before making a commitment—test drive a compact utility tractor on the lot, operate the implements and ask about promotions.

To contact a John Deere expert or to find a location near you, click here for more information.

About Mark Williams

Mark-Williams-Tractor-ExpertMark Williams is a Sales Director at Tri County Equipment and has been an integral part of the business since 2012. Mark’s vast industry expertise in Turf equipment, commercial landscaping, small ag equipment and large property owner markets position him as a respected industry thought-leader.

When Mark’s not at work, he enjoys running, biking and dirt bike riding and he also has a strong passion for classic cars. In 2010, he restored a 1978 Chevy Malibu with his dad.