Tractors are the ultimate transformers with more attachments and accessories than a kid’s action figure. Choosing the right implements will allow you to do the work of someone with a whole host of different machines at their disposal. (Still deciding on your base tractor? We compared John Deere and Kubota compact tractors—see which came out on top.)
Here’s everything you need to know about farm tractor attachments.
Before you shop for equipment
To avoid developing attachment issues, take note of your tractor’s specifications. Its weight, horsepower rating, width and other details may all impact which accessories you’re able to safely attach. If you can’t find your manual, tractordata.com is a great resource, providing specs for most tractors on the market.
Front end loaders
It’s important to get the correct loader for the task you want to achieve. This will improve your efficiency, save time and prevent load rollback. Front end loader attachments with bale grabs, hay forks and log grabs provide you with targeted features to carry out the tasks they’re designed for. And a good quality bucket attachment will come with a self-leveling mechanism to ensure the implement remains at a constant angle as the arms are raised.
Trays, boxes and trailers
With the right attachment, you can let your tractor do the hard work of moving firewood, tools and equipment wherever you need them to go. Boxes are great for keeping the tools you need in easy reach. Trays and carryalls are perfect for bulkier, heavier loads. A tractor jib is ideal for lifting heavy engines, posts and root balls. And, since life is rarely simple, a winch will allow you to tow all sorts of objects from ditches and other places you can’t safely drive your machine.
A towing frame will allow for easy hookup and levelling of your trailer. While hitch adapters and tow ball adapters convert your standard ball-and-pin linkage, allowing you to quickly and easily connect trailers and other rear tractor attachments.
Planting and harvesting
Your tractor is an absolute weapon when it comes to readying the land for crops. Your choice of implements will depend on the land you’re dealing with. Hard dry soil might need a soil stabiliser or ripper. These accessories are versatile, allowing you to also dig trenches, remove rabbit burrows and pull up tree roots and stumps. Harrows and rotary hoes prepare topsoil for planting; while a plough can be put to use for deeper tillage. Aerators do just what they say and are great for athletic fields and other large, flat, high traffic areas with compaction issues.
Manure spreaders are perfect for farms with horses, taking manure from stable to field with minimal mess. Their fine-shredding capability minimises odour while maximising coverage. Plastic mulch layers and recycling systems can be used to lay irrigation and plastic mulch and then return fields to pure soil and organic matter. The most sophisticated models roll plastic mulch and irrigation tape separately, cleaning in the process to create recyclable bundles.
Seeders, planters and transplanters come in a variety of sizes and configurations, depending on your needs. Models vary to suit anything from conventional fields to conservation areas. Most are adjustable and allow for additional attachments to suit your specific needs.
Earth moving and landscaping
Slasher, backhoe, rock rake and rock crusher attachments allow you to clear land and level project sites. With roller and grader attachments, you can use your tractor to create driveways and roads. Wood chippers, mulchers, brooms, mowers and log splitters aid in property maintenance and cleanup and allow you to prepare garden beds. Having an auger attachment is perfect for fencing work and a cement mixer allows you to do concreting work anywhere on your property, without a hassle.
Rollover protection structures (ROPS)
You might not think your tractor has anything in common with a sports car but, just like the roll cage you’ll find in a Porsche, ROPS are designed to save you from injury should an accident occur. Safe Work Australia statistics demonstrate the introduction of ROPS significantly reduced the number of tractor-related injuries and deaths. It is vital to ensure your tractor has roll over protection, particularly if it is an older model that did not come with factory-fitted ROPS.
Apart from protecting you in case of an accident, your ROPS also extends the functionality of your tractor. You can add a canopy to provide you with shelter from the beautiful but harsh Aussie elements. And, if your tractor didn’t come fitted with a seat belt, there are mounts available to easily connect a belt directly onto your ROPS.
Other safety devices
If you regularly use your tractor’s power take off shaft, it’s worth ensuring you have a PTO guard installed. Serious injuries can occur if clothing, jewellery, hair or limbs get caught up in an unguarded PTO shaft.
And finally, a hood guard will protect your machine from front-end damage. Considering your tractor is the Swiss army knife of farming machinery, it’s certainly worth looking after.