Buying a new tractor is sort of like picking a wife:  You need to find one you can stay with for the long haul. Understanding this, it's important to make direct comparisons among all the brands of tractors, getting as close to "apples to apples" and "oranges to oranges" as possible. We visited with several major dealers in our area to make some of these direct comparisons to get you started on what could be a daunting task of choosing a new tractor.  

Four questions to ask before tractor shopping
1. How much horsepower do I need?  
Always get enough horsepower to operate the largest implement you may use, even if it is still in your future.  Not enough horsepower can be a safety issue, as well as wear out a tractor prematurely if a tractor is asked to do more than it is rated for.
2. Do you need two or four wheel drive?
You need to determine on what type of terrain you will be working and how you will be using your tractor.  Will you be operating on flat, level fields and doing crop work, or will you be on a hilly, rocky terrain, brush hogging or feeding round bales?
3. Do you want a cab?
Some people consider a climate-controlled cab as a luxury that simply adds more cost to a tractor. However, consider a farmer can be more productive and operate his equipment safer in a cab than he can in the elements, especially after many long hours put in.
4. Do you like the tractor?
You should sit in the tractor, see where the controls are positioned, check visibility from the cab, entry and exit and certainly drive it.

Why Try Their Brand?
We went and asked five dealers at Farmfest why we should purchase their tractor, and what one of their best selling points was. Here's what we heard.
The Kubota dealer told us we should get a Kubota tractor, “Because we have the best warranty in the business, and we build all of our own engines and power trains.”
The Mahindra dealer told us, “We are the fourth largest tractor producer in the world.”
The New Holland dealer said, “The new models have a Cummins diesel engine.”
A John Deere dealer told us, “John Deeres hold their resale value better than any other tractor.”
We asked about Deutz tractors. The representative told us many farmers believe their engines are still air cooled, like they have been in the past.  But we were assured, “Our engines are water cooled now.”

Beyond the Purchase
Do you like the dealer? Is his service department good? You should talk to people who have owned the brand and get their feedback and talk to people about their experience with the dealer.  If any of these things don’t suit you, remember, they won’t get any better as time goes on.
Perhaps it's wise to spend more time comparing quality, who we’re going to buy our tractor from and the service they will provide. Last but not least, don’t forget to ask for a free cap after you've signed on the dotted line.


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