Tractor or not?

I’ve just moved into an old farm with a couple acres of pasture, never having owned any land before, should I buy an old tractor with a cutter to top the grass or a sit on, would it be up to the job, basically at what point is a tractor the best bit of kit?

now there's a thought....! ;-)

Hey Andrew, changed your job? You sound like a used tractor salesman;-)

"a couple of acres" = 8000m² Best go for a good old tractor like my old one in the photo ;-)

haha, Vic, sure time is relative for some, even if they offer help. But really they do it.
The rest I've proposed was not for "agro-entrepreneurs"... You are also right about this little machine with regard to the terrain, but really for 1000 m² already prepared land its ok depending on your needs. You can plant & grow so much on 1000 m². If there is more, then of course, Richard better has a tractor.

Have you ever tried asking the locals to help Theo? They are always willing but never seem to turn up on the agreed day but always turn up when you are not expecting or ready for them. I find it best to socialise with them in the bar & do the work myself. Regarding equipment for "older" tractors. Any tractor with the international 3 point linkage will accept anything & the days of belt drive power take offs are long gone! I also don't necessarily agree with you on your choice of "motoculteur". The one you show would be good for a tiny already cultivated veggie patch but knackering & ineffective for much else. I know, I've been there. Try digging a trench & then banking up rows of spuds with a machine like that! Good for weeding between rows but not much else.

Richard, if you ask one of the villagers if he could do the job with his tractor, it will contribute to socialisation & chatting. The the big straws are gone with the wind anyway. You will need to cut at least 3 times per year, depending on in which the region in which you live (heat, drought). If you can mow now you have a basic cut. A tractor often is too big, the equipment for older types is difficult to find, so for the veggie plot you better get yourself quickly a "motoculteur " like this one. Digging is not fun. but has to be done right now!

yep, better go for an old massy ferguson or similar rather than modern cheap stuff. We had a 165 massy and a 1.5m girobroyeur on the back. I cleared many hectares with it and simply drove over and chopped up young trees and bushes (giro cut through tree trunks the size of your arm). As Vic says, things hold their value here, we sold our tractor and giro when we moved for slightly more than we bought them for. Some of the mini stuff is only good on flat land and tips over once you’re on a slope :open_mouth:

I've just remembered another important thing. Get an electric chain sharpener. A file is OK but you will never get the angle of each tooth the same & I'm sure they reduce the life of the chain due to incorrect sharpening. I've convinced all but the most curmudgeonly around here of the benefits & boy does a well sharpened chain make cutting easier.


If you have enough wood or access to enough a tractor/trailer with hydraulic forks/bucket is brilliant for moving/loading/ transporting the wood. I have big & small chainsaws plus a hydraulic log splitter mounted on & driven by the tractor. The splitter is the business & enables me to optimise all the wood which would otherwise be impossible to split by hand. It really depends how serious you are going to be. I bought most of the stuff second hand but it's still not cheap. The good thing is that it doesn't seem to lose it's value & there is always a good market to sell it when you decide to pack it in.

Whatever the cost it's good fun most of the time & damned hard work the rest. Very satisfying however when you heat your house cheaply with your own endeavours.

My opinion only as an engineer who has worked on some makes of Chinese industrial machinery be very cautious some of it is terrible it may be cheaper in the short term but heavy use will give some of them a very short life

Go for it but don't buy anything too "mini" or you'll look like a character from Trumpton:-)

Thanks chaps, I think I’ll start my search, thinking mini tractor but I’ll see what’s about

It was the slope that put me off anything like a normal mower and the size of land 1 acre didnt warrant any large machine we used to have a guy do it with a tractor for us but then he started to refuse seems he had a scary moment on the slope

We've got an acre of lawn and use a Honda sit on which is adequate, and we use a strimmer for any fiddly bits.

Nice machine John. I tried one of those before settling on a frontal cutter. I found the frontal cutter allowed me to cut grass under hedges & bushes without having my wig whipped off by the branches. I also found that with long grass & weeds it cut better because the cutting blades got there before the machines wheels. With really long stuff like nettles I just set the cutting plateau up to it's full height & charge in. I also tow a 5ft x 4ft trailer with it for garden rubbish etc. Very satisfying;-)

I have 1 acre of sloping land it had run wild for about 7 years i used a strimmer the first year last year i gave up and bit the bullet and bought a cub cadet zero turn ride on best thing i ever did from taking 7 to 10 days to strim it now takes 3 hours taking it slowly due to the slope

I've got 3 hectares & a Deutz- Fahr 65 hp tractor with hydraulic forks to play with on it. I cut & haul my own wood from fields around here & use a gyrobroyer to keep the grass in order when it's not being prepared for hay. I don't think 2 acres would justify a tractor but thoroughly recommend one to play on. My other "toy" is a Stiga frontal cutting rear wheel steer grass cutter which doubles as a weed whacker around the fields. The Stiga handles probably an acre of lawns which I can cut in about an hour. A mini tractor would probably suit you & would be good in a veggie patch if you really want a toy. Hope this helps.