How to choose a mini tractor, tips for choosing and reviews
Mini tractor — a multifunctional machine that is designed for processing land. Such equipment is designed for a wide range of horticultural and utility work. A mini-tractor with appropriate equipment will replace a lawn mower, hiller, shovel, cultivator, loader, walk-behind tractor and other agricultural machinery.
When choosing a mini tractor, consider the main points.
- Brand. A reliable mini-tractor will cost a lot. Well-known manufacturers offer innovative solutions, quality materials and service. This increases the cost of the car.
- materials. The best solution is a galvanized metal body and a minimum number of plastic parts. If the metal is not galvanized, then it will become a target for corrosion, and plastic, although not afraid of rust, is still quite fragile. In addition, plastic is sensitive to sudden changes in temperature, which negatively affects strength.
- Build quality. Bolts and nuts must be well tightened, and the parts must be securely fixed.
- Comfort. The more comfortable the operator feels in the mini-tractor, the more efficient his work. Therefore, it is worth sitting in the tractor seat, trying the steering wheel or control levers. Landmark — the handles are at arm’s length. True, for a high level of comfort will have to fork out.
- own physical condition (height, age, weight, strength) and technical literacy. For example, for teenagers, a car with steering is not the best choice. For people who cannot boast of great strength, a lever-operated mini-tractor will do.
In addition, to evaluate the possibilities and comfort of driving a mini-tractor, test it. Pay attention to the terms and conditions of warranty service.
After the purchase, the mini-tractor is subject to registration with the Gostekhnadzor. If the machine is used exclusively for agricultural work, then the operator must have special tractor driver rights.
If the equipment is used in municipal or construction work, therefore, is a road user, then the driver must have a license. To work within the city, the operator of a mini-tractor must undergo training, certification and receive the right to drive special equipment.
In addition, the mini-tractor must pass a technical inspection, which is certified by an appropriate certificate.
- Mini tractor rider
- Mini tractor garden
Domestic – a low-power mini-tractor, which is used to process a plot of up to 4000 m22. Harrows, rakes and hinged rollers are installed on such a unit.
semi-professional — a more powerful model capable of processing an area of 5000-7000 m2. In such a machine, a snow blade, a cultivator, a seeder, a planner, an aerator are used.
Professional — a powerful and multifunctional machine, which is able to process a space of several tens of thousands of meters2. A professional model clears snow from paths, irrigates and digs up fields, and performs a number of other works. Like mini-tractors of other classes, such a machine provides for the possibility of changing equipment depending on the tasks.
Rider – a small and low-power tractor with a seat for the user. Differs in good passability, maneuverability and simplicity in management and service (regular washing and oil change). The rider is cheaper and lighter than a mini-tractor, but it also has a shorter service life. Unlike a mini-tractor, the rider has a motor at the back (under the operator’s seat).
Purpose: lawn mowing, haymaking, soil fertilization, snow removal. The rider is perfect for processing relatively small areas and hard-to-reach places.
Mini tractor (garden) — a large and powerful tractor, often equipped with a closed cab for the operator. This is a more expensive and difficult to operate technique, which is used with a lot of additional attachments and trailers, which expands its functionality. Maintenance of a mini-tractor is carried out in a service center.
Purpose: a wide range of tasks, including: fertilizing, cultivating and plowing the soil, cleaning grass and snow, making hay, loading work. A garden tractor is the optimal solution for processing large areas and performing a large amount of work.
Electric — relatively cheap, light, low noise, easy to operate (no need to change the oil). However, such an engine has low power and requires frequent recharging of the battery, which is inconvenient. The electric motor is found in light tractors.
Petrol — powerful (10-35 hp), but expensive, heavy and difficult to use, as it requires an oil change, cleaning filters and candles. In terms of noise level, this engine is in the middle between an electric and a diesel engine. Many riders and mini-tractors are equipped with a gasoline engine.
Diesel — in terms of power it is not inferior to a gasoline engine, but compares favorably with it with a longer service life and economy (diesel fuel is cheaper than gasoline, and fuel consumption of such an engine is less). Disadvantages: high noise level, expensive repairs, difficult start-up in the cold season.
The internal combustion engine is represented by two types.
- 2 stroke — powerful at a relatively low price, but very noisy during operation. A 2-stroke engine requires refueling a mixture of gasoline and oil in a precisely defined proportion (deviation from them will lead to premature engine wear).
- 4 stroke – Economical, less noisy and easy to refuel, since petrol and oil are filled separately. With the same volume, such a motor loses in power to a 2-stroke one.
cylinders – the more cylinders, the more powerful, reliable and durable the engine. The disadvantage of a multi-cylinder motor is a decrease in overall efficiency.
Power — measured in horsepower (hp) or watts (W). The higher this parameter, the more productive the mini-tractor. Power is determined by a number of factors: the type of engine, the number of cylinders, volume, the presence of a turbocharger.
According to the power of the mini-tractor, they are divided into three categories:
- low-power mini-tractors (up to 5 kW) — designed to work on areas of 10,000-20,000 m22a good choice for snow and grass removal, lawn care, irrigation);
- medium power mini-tractors (up to 15 kW) — used for processing areas up to 50,000 m2and in terms of functionality they are not inferior to a walk-behind tractor, rider and cultivator combined;
- mini-tractors of high power (up to 40 kW) — allow you to process up to 400,000 m2 and are able to replace all garden equipment. Examples of work performed: collection and disposal of grass, harvesting, clearing the site of snow, digging and loosening the soil.
To perform simple work in a small area, for example, mowing the lawn, it is enough to purchase a mini-tractor with a capacity of up to 15 hp. With. If you need to process a vast area and solve a number of tasks (including hay harvesting, uprooting stumps), then in this case it is recommended to choose a machine with a capacity of 20 hp or more. With.
Important: to convert horsepower to kilowatts, you should know that 1 liter. s.=735 W.
Volume — the larger this parameter, the higher the motor power and the performance of the mini-tractor. True, an increase in engine size entails an increase in fuel consumption and an increase in the total weight of the car.
Fuel tank volume / battery capacity — the higher this parameter, the longer the gasoline / diesel or electric mini-tractor will work without refueling / recharging.
fuel consumption — directly depends on the engine power. The more powerful the mini-tractor, the more fuel it consumes.
Motor cooling — there are two types:
- air — cheap and inefficient (used in low power tractors);
- water — it removes heat much better and increases the life of the motor.
There are mini-tractors with a turbocharged engine, which is characterized by greater power and «gluttony».
direct injection – reduces fuel consumption and the amount of toxic emissions.
Modes of operation of a mini-tractor with mowed grass:
- ejection to the side – the optimal solution for hay harvesting;
- collecting in a bag (grass collector) — eliminates the need to collect mowed grass from the site, but requires periodic work stops to empty the bag;
- mulching – chopping grass and then spreading it over the lawn. Advantages of mulching: fertilizing the soil, reducing evaporation of moisture in the heat, solving the problem of recycling cut grass. However, when mowing a wet lawn, mulch interferes with grass growth. Therefore, it is better to mulch the lawn in dry, warm weather.
Capture width — the larger this parameter, the faster the mini-tractor will process a certain area. At the same time, as the working width increases, the dimensions and weight of the machine increase.
Recommended working widths:
- 71-117 cm — for plots up to 8,000 m22;
- over 117 cm — for areas from 8,000 m2.
Cutting height – allows you to estimate the height of the grass left after the rider passes. The higher the cutting height, the taller the lawn grass after being processed by the machine.
Important: Pay attention to the number of cutting height levels. Depending on the model, their number varies between 2-12. The more such levels provided in the machine, the more precisely the position of the knife is adjusted to obtain the desired grass height of the lawn.
Performance — the higher this characteristic, the faster the machine will solve the task in a unit of time. Measured in square meters per hour (m2/h). Productivity depends on engine power and working width.
brakes — available in two options:
- drum – are protected from the penetration of dirt, but quickly heat up, which negatively affects braking.
- disk — they heat up more slowly and brake more effectively, but they are easily contaminated, which reduces their reliability.
Travosbornik (bag) — performed in several forms:
- hard (plastic) — durable and easy to use, but makes the car heavier;
- soft (mesh, fabric) — lightweight and compact, makes it possible to monitor the filling level, but working with it is not as convenient as with plastic.
Transmission (gearbox) — there are three types.
- stepped mechanical — involves shifting gears manually. This is the cheapest and simplest transmission option.
- step automatic — gears are switched without user intervention. This solution will cost more.
- stepless automatic (CVT) — unlike previous types of transmission, provides a smooth ride of the mini-tractor. The easiest to use, but expensive and structurally complex transmission, the maintenance of which must be carried out in a service center. Good for beginners.
A mini-tractor with a manual transmission is good for tillage, but a model with an automatic transmission is good for lawn care and snow removal.
Number of gears — varies between 2-16. The most common options: 6 front and 2 rear; 6 front and 3 rear; 3 front and 1 back.
Traction force — is determined by the engine power, dimensions and weight of the drive wheels. The more relevant characteristics, the higher the tractive effort of the mini-tractor.
turning radius (minimum) — the smaller this parameter, the easier it is to control the mini-tractor.
Load capacity of the hinged mechanism (maximum) — this characteristic directly depends on the weight and length of the wheelbase of the mini-tractor. In general, the greater the weight of the machine, the heavier the loads it can handle without risk of breakage.
Important: Do not exceed the maximum lifting capacity of the attachment as this may result in equipment damage.
Wheel drive — in household and semi-professional models, rear-wheel drive is usually found. Professional mini-tractors are equipped with all-wheel drive, which is characterized by increased traction and excellent cross-country ability, but massive and “gluttonous”. Despite these disadvantages, four-wheel drive is the best solution for a mini tractor, especially when working in difficult terrain.
Wheelbase — longitudinal distance between the axles of the rear and front wheels of the rider or mini-tractor. The longer the wheelbase, the better the equipment works and moves. This detail becomes even more important if the machine is equipped with a telescopic boom or agricultural attachments.
Rear wheel diameter — in mini-tractors, it is often much larger than the size of the front ones, which increases the cross-country ability.
Rear wheel width — the higher this parameter, the better the grip of the mini-tractor with the road surface.
For a rider, the parameters of the front wheels are more important than for a mini-tractor.
BOM — a power take-off shaft that transmits torque to the equipment connected to the mini-tractor.
- Rotational speed — the compatibility of the mini-tractor with mounted agricultural implements depends on this parameter. More BOM speeds — more attachments can be fitted to the machine. Do not use a BOM speed that is not specified for a particular implement, as this increases the risk of damage to the implement.
- Mood — most often found in the rear (agricultural implements for cultivating the land), much less often — in the front (for bulldozer blades, loaders and other equipment). On a mini-tractor with a front and rear BOM, any attachments are installed.
- Power – the higher this parameter, the more power is supplied to the connected equipment.
Noise level — the smaller this parameter, the quieter the mini-tractor works and the more comfortable its operation. A car with a low noise level will not disturb the neighbors, which is especially important when using equipment at night.
The weight — affects the efficiency of tillage by a mini-tractor and is determined by its power. The heavier the machine, the better and faster it will complete the tasks. The optimal choice is a tractor weighing from 500 kg. Practice shows that the use of mini-tractors weighing 1-2 tons gives good results.
Important: in order to correctly navigate when choosing a mini-tractor by weight, follow the rule (weight-to-power ratio: 50 kg per 1 hp).
That — made of plastic and metal. The plastic deck is cheap and not subject to corrosion, but has low strength, the steel deck is reliable, but sensitive to corrosion. The best choice is an aluminum deck that combines high strength and corrosion resistance. True, the high performance characteristics of such a deck significantly increase its price.
Power steering — allows you to drive a mini-tractor without much effort. In turn, this makes it easier to maneuver the machine.
coaster – thanks to this accessory, the operator will always have soft drinks at hand.
Hour meter — Displays the number of hours the motor has been running. Such a device reminds the driver of the need for maintenance.
Fuel level sensor / indication of the degree of charge — with its help, the operator controls the level of fuel / charge in order to refuel / recharge the machine in a timely manner.
hydraulic outlet (valve) — used to connect various mounted hydraulic agricultural implements (front loader, excavator) to a mini-tractor.
safety arc – increases the safety of the operator when turning over the mini-tractor. Riders and mini-tractors without a closed cabin are supplied with a safety arc.
Adjustable seat — allows you to adjust the seat to the height of the driver. Increases the level of comfort when using technology.
Closed cabin — serves for more comfortable operation of the mini-tractor. The cab retains heat, and some models even provide for its heating, which is useful in winter.
Brake lock – prevents accidental movement of the mini-tractor. This option is useful during a stop, when the car can leave without a driver (especially on slopes).
Differential lock – improves maneuverability and cross-country ability, reduces tire wear, provides a small turning radius.
Agricultural implements — expand the capabilities of the mini-tractor. They are mounted and trailed. There are the following types of equipment:
- brush cutter — for cutting branches of trees and shrubs;
- aerator — for loosening the soil (as a result, the earth is saturated with oxygen);
- rake – for cleaning cut vegetation and straw;
- soil tiller – for soil cultivation (leveling, loosening) in order to improve its characteristics:
- plow — for plowing the soil;
- Ph.Daboutvokol — for preparing firewood;
- potato peeler — for harvesting potatoes, beets, turnips, garlic, onions and other root crops;
- blade knife — for cleaning the area from snow or dirt;
- planter – for sowing seeds, fertilizing the soil, spreading sand;
- trailer – for transporting various items (including garden tools, mulch, gravel, garbage).
In addition, a hiller, a flat cutter, a garlic planter, a chopper, a harrow, a grouser and other equipment are installed on mini-tractors.
Fastening mounted agricultural implements — it can be single-point and three-point. The second option is the most widely used.
telescopic an arrow with hydraulic drive — makes it possible to use a mini-tractor as a loader. This device is located at the front of the machine.
Cassette mechanism — makes it possible to quickly and easily change equipment on a mini-tractor. Mounted on a three-point mount.
cruise control – maintains the speed of the mini-tractor set by the driver. At the same time, the speed is maintained even when driving on difficult terrain (slopes, uneven roads).
Headlights — Good for night work.
- You can not start the mini-tractor at the place of its refueling.
- It is not recommended to work at night, because at night it is much easier to come across objects that can break the cutting mechanism.
- Reduce speed when cornering to avoid skidding and loss of vehicle control.
- Wear special clothing: long pants, non-slip shoes, earmuffs, goggles.