Farm Tractors: Uses, Types & Brands.

Updated: Sep 8, 2020

Tractor comes from the Latin tractum which means to pull. The first steam tractor is a Russian invention which dates back to 1881. It was especially after the war that tractors became widespread. Draught animals being requisitioned by the military, farmers were offered to buy tractors on credit. Today there are more than 26 million tractors worldwide.

Table of Contents:

  • What are Tractors Good for and How do They Help Farmers?

  • What its components are?

  • What are the different types of tractors?

  • What are some Agricultural Tractor Brands?

  • How to Choose your Agricultural Tractor?

What are Tractors Good for and How do They Help Farmers?

Tractors are self-propelled vehicles that can be fitted with either a tire or tracks.

Versatile, agricultural tractors have three main functions:

Tow or Push agricultural Machinery or Trailers.

Tractors are used to pull conventional trailers carrying equipment or products useful for farming; they may also be towing heavy machinery used in sowing,plowing or harvesting.

Support for Agricultural Machinery, Tools and Equipment, which can be found at the Front or Rear of the Tractor.

These can be installed at the front of the tractor as in the case of Rollers, Forks, Shovels, ...or at the rear as in the case of Tedders, Plows, Snow Blowers, Subsoilers, Crushers, etc. To connect these materials to the tractor, a coupling system must be used, the type of which varies according to the model. In most cases, however, the three-point hitch system is used.

Convey Agricultural Machines which contain Cylinders or Rotating Parts.

For this purpose, the tractor relies on the power take-off from either the hydraulic or pneumatic system or from the rear of the vehicle.

What its components are?

In general, tractors have four wheels: Two-wheel drive, located at the rear of the vehicle and two guide wheels located at the front. Some tractors have four driving wheels instead of two.

Another key component of the agricultural tractor is the driver's cabin. Depending on the type of tractor, some models come with an Enclosed Cab while others are Open Station.

In terms of mechanical functioning, the tractor is no different from the car. It has a three-pedal system: the clutch, the brake and the accelerator. Sometimes there is a fourth pedal, corresponding to a second brake. Each brake controls one side of the tractor. There is also a lever, connected to the accelerator. This lever, which is operated manually, is used to block the engine at constant rate.

The tractor is therefore a machine where the transmission is manual. It has several speeds and reduction gears, allowing it to travel at fairly slow speeds.

However, in recent years, manual transmissions have been replaced by automatic transmissions or continuously variable transmissions.

What are the Different Types of Tractor?

There are several kinds of tractor, each serving a different purpose or need.

Each type of tractor features several ranges:

Conventional Tractors

The most widely used tractor in the agricultural machinery market, it has one major advantage: its versatility. The conventional tractor allows farmers to tow, push, or even carry agricultural tools and equipment.

Mini Tractors

Mini tractors are among the least powerful tractors on the market. Advantageous by their small size which makes it easy to move around, they are perfectly suited to local communities or individuals with large land and even certain farmers according to their needs. Another positive point of this type of tractor is its price, which categorizes it among entry-level tractors.

In terms of micro tractor brands, we find John Deere, Kubota, Ferrari ect.

Forestry Tractor

Forestry tractors, despite its name, remains an agricultural machine. Dedicated to forestry and the forestry sector, this tractor has four-wheel drive, an engine and a cab located at the front of the chassis. It also has a platform for carrying wood, located at the rear of the tractor. Since the environment in which forestry tractors operate can sometimes be difficult, they can be articulated.

Among the references in terms of forestry tractor, we find JCB, Valtra, Plaisance or Jarraff.

Articulated Tractor

Unlike the conventional tractor, the articulated tractor has four-wheel drive and a chassis with two movable parts allowing it better maneuverability. This type of tractor is therefore not guided by the wheels, but by the angle of rotation of the two moving parts around a central articulation. The advantage of articulated tractors is being able to make the most efficient use of the land. This type of agricultural tractor is mainly used to tow heavy loads.

Crawler Tractor

This type of tractor has the advantage of offering a better distribution of the weight of the machines, guaranteeing it a better adherence and thus preventing it from slipping on the ground. In addition, this better distribution of the weight of the crawler tractor reduces soil compaction. With brands like Case IH, Claas, or John Deere, Crawler tractor is the most powerful tractor.

Slope Tractor

The Slope Tractor is dedicated to agricultural work on steep or difficult areas. In order to be as efficient as possible, Slope Tractors have a low center of gravity and a high torque as well as 4-wheel drive or equal-sized wheels. As for Slope Tractors, many brands are positioning themselves like Lindner, Ferrari, BCS, etc.

Straddle tractor

The straddle tractor is ideal for both tall and narrow crops. Indeed, crops like vine are not wide enough to allow the use of conventional agricultural tractors. This reduced space pushes farmers to use straddle tractors. Among the best known brands are Tecnoma, Landini Pellenc and Bobard.

What are some Agricultural Tractor Brands?

There are many brands dedicated to agricultural machinery and more particularly to agricultural tractors. Among the biggest references on the market, we find the following brands:

Case IH

Founded in 1842, Case IH offers several ranges of tractors well-known in the market. Among these, we find in particular the Puma range for high-end Case IH tractors, the Maxxum range for medium-range tractors or the Farmall range for compact and versatile tractors.

John Deere

Among the world market leaders, John Deere is above all a company with more than 180 years of experience. The company now has a very wide range of John Deere tractors to meet all the needs of farmers. Each range has a power level:

The 5 Series range corresponds to low power tractors, from 55 to 125 HP

The 6 Series range includes medium power tractors, between 90 and 250HP

The Series 7, Series 8 and Series 9 ranges correspond to high power tractors, up to 620HP

Currently, the most powerful agricultural tractors of the brand are the John Deere 9R tractors.

New Holland

New Holland has been around for over 120 years. The brand offers ranges of agricultural tractors from the T4 to T8 range, responding to multiple applications (communities, construction, green spaces, fruit growing, etc.). The New Holland T8 tractor range has the longest wheelbase on the farm machinery market. New Holland is also recognized for its specialized agricultural tractors (fruit tractors).


With more than 80 years under its belt, Fendt is one of the revolutionists in the agricultural machinery market. Fendt offers several tractor ranges, from the small, low-power tractor like the Fendt 200 Vario range, to the larger tractor like the Fendt 1000 Vario range.

Fendt also offers two ranges of crawler tractors: the Fendt 1100 MT range and the Fendt 900 Vario MT.

Massey Ferguson

Founded in 1847, the Massey Ferguson brand has more than 170 years of experience building agricultural equipment. Massey Ferguson currently offers 14 ranges of tractors ranging from 19.5 to 405hp, allowing it to diversify its different types of tractor. We find in particular compact Massey Ferguson tractors with the MF 1500 and MF 1700 ranges, compact high power tractors with for example the MF 8700 S range.


Founded in 1913, Claas is one of the major players in agricultural machinery. Continually developing its tractor family, the brand has more than 50 models of Claas agricultural tractors to meet all the needs of farmers. Among the conventional and standard tractor models, we find the AXION, ARION and ATOS ranges. Claas also offers a NEXOS model for narrow tractors and an ELIOS model for compact tractors. In addition, Claas also offers a range of municipal tractors with 18 tractor models ranging from 140 to 530 horsepower.


Manufacturer of tractor since 1951, the Valtra brand offers 4 ranges of agricultural tractor from 75 to 405CH: the F series, the A series, the N series and the S series. The Valtra F series tractors are ideal for specialized work such as viticulture or arboriculture. The Valtra A and N series tractors are compact tractors, while the S series are the most powerful of the brand.

How to Choose your Agricultural Tractor?

On the market, you can find Mini, Small and Large Agricultural Tractors. You must choose the one that best suits your operation. Biggest machines are not always the most efficient. For this choice, you must refer to the use you intend to do with the machine. If it will not be used for traction or power take-off work, it is necessary to focus more on heavy models.

The operating surface can also be a determining factor in this choice. Indeed, if you have a field of more than 12 acres, it is better to take a tractor with a power of 70HP. A model between 30 to 60HP will suit you if your operation covers less than 12 acres. If the terrain you are going to work on is sloping or wet, choose a tracked machine.

The features are not to be overlooked for this choice, even if you do not plan to do important tasks with your tractor. Don't make life difficult to pick up a machine with a variety of programs if several people are going to use it. This will facilitate driving, repair and maintenance.

Also pay particular attention to the consumption of the craft. The ideal is to take the most energy-efficient tractor possible so as not to have colossal energy expenses. Take the time to compare the models we offer.

If you do not have a big budget for this purchase, you can acquire a used tractor. In this case, the quality and condition of the engine, hydraulics, transmission, wheels, battery, dial and gearboxes must be checked.