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5 of the Best Compact Tractor Choices

5 of the Best Compact Tractor Choices

Issue Time:2021-08-01

Life in the country is always better when the best compact tractor is in the shed.But what is the best compact tractor?The answer depends entirely on the intended use, as compact tractors have the most diverse range and scale.According to the American Society of Agricultural Engineers, compact tractors typically weigh 4,000 pounds or less, have three-point suspension and range in power from 40 to 60 horsepower.Most compact tractors can lift more than 2,000 pounds with a loader and are large enough to handle hay equipment easily.A bit like the Goldilocks model, the best compact tractors are neither too big nor too small.

Mowing, road maintenance and snow removal are the most popular uses today, but raking, stump removal, ditching, pasture improvement and various fencing work are also in the mix.Here's our list of the best compact tractor choices on the market today, and fans of these brands will note that each of the major manufacturers is excelling in one of America's most popular farm equipment.

1. John Deere 4066M Heavy Duty

Equipped with a turbocharged diesel engine, electronic hydrostatic transmission and standard middle and rear hydraulics, the John Deere 4066M heavy duty tractor is one of the best compact tractors available today.The Big Green Machine has a 65.9 HP engine and 52 HP power extractor with Class 1, Class 2 and three-point suspension options.The 24-inch rear link arm has a lifting capacity of 2,500 pounds, while the total weight of the entire open cab unit is 4,255 pounds with a wheelbase of 73 inches.A key feature of the eHydro transmission is the ability to have continuously variable transmission in each range, which allows the operator to better match the speed to the job.Clutchless allows for faster direction changes, and dual-touch foot pedals provide quick and easy forward/backward operation.Cruise control is standard on all models.Other features include wraparound wide-angle halogen headlights and fender - mounted work lights.

2. Compact Farmall 45C CVT

The Case IH range of Compact tractors covers a wide range of sizes and options, the most notable of which is the multi-purpose Compact Farmall 45C CVT.The Big Red has a 45-horsepower engine and a 36-horsepower PTO with a CVT gearbox and with or without a cab.Designed for use with the L350A as a compatible loader, the pivot pin has a lift capacity of 2,000 pounds and a lift height of 105 inches.Powered by a three-cylinder engine with a 13-gallon fuel tank, the design is derived from Fiat powertrain technology.The CVT gearbox provides smooth, seamless speed changes in a variety of conditions with a single pedal down, cruise control for mowing applications and automatic adjustments to provide the desired speed and match load conditions.Total machine weight without cab is 4,190 pounds and 4,920 pounds with cab.

3. Kubota L2501

Big and nimble, the Kubota L2501 is among the best of the smaller compact tractors for generalized use.  With a 24.8 horsepower engine and 20.5 horsepower at the PTO, the 2,425-pound unit is the perfect size for someone looking for something a little lighter. The three-cylinder engine runs in conjunct with a 10-gallon fuel tank. The Kubota L2501 features a Category I 3-point hitch with 1,918 pounds of lift capacity at all point and 1,389 pounds at 24 inches behind the lift points. The two-wheel and four-wheel drive models feature a gear shift transmission system with eight forward and four reverse, while the HST four-wheel drive model offers a hydrostatic transmission and three-range speed. Overall length of the machine is 110.6 inches of orange, with 55.1 inches in width and 91.7 inches in height.

4. Massey Ferguson 1740E

Don’t be surprised if the phrase, “Massey Ferguson 1740E” comes up when asked to name the best compact utility tractor. Gross engine horsepower comes in at 38.5 with 32.7 at the PTO, driven by the Shibaura, 1.5 liter, three-cylinder, liquid cooled diesel engine. The Massey Ferguson 1740E is among the newer models sporting the 8×8 Synchro Shuttle or three-range HST transmission with open center hydraulics. The 8×8 Synchro Shuttle offers quicker directional changes with just the push of a clutch and pull of a lever. This makes this particular unit great for heavy ground-engaging work, as third and fourth gears are synchronized eliminating the need to stop to shift. Designed to work on big and small operations alike, three-point hitch lift capacity at 24 inches behind the pins is 1,598 pounds. Loader options include either the pin-type or skid steer coupler, 60-inch bucket, the 72 inch bucket, and 38 inch pallet forks.

5. New Holland Boomer 55 Cab (T4B)

Big Blue continues coming through with its Boomer series of tractors, and the Boomer 55 Cab is among the farmers’ favorites. With 55 horsepower and a rated speed rpm of 2,600, the three-cylinder engine has an emissions level of T4B Final running off a 12.4-gallon fuel tank. An independent electro-hydraulic engagement PTO brings 46.7 horsepower to any job you need completed. This model offers some choice in terms of transmission with a 16×16 gear option, or the three range hydrostatic/dual pedal. The New Holland Boomer 55 Cab also has a synchro style gear/shuttle system with wet, multi-disc brakes. Three-point lift capacity at ball ends is 2,756 pounds with 2,116 pounds at 24 inches. Among the bigger units within the compact tractor group, the New Holland Boomer 55 Cab has a 73.2-inch wheelbase and is 128.1 inches of blue and white end to end and 69.1 inches wide. Height to top of cab is 94 inches, and the unit weighs in at 4,194 pounds. 

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