A small tractor (often called a compact tractor) is ideal for smashing out those smaller workloads and chores around the farm or acreage property. In this article, we look at 3 of the most popular small tractor brands in Australia and what they have to offer for the 30hp & under (mini tractors), 31-70hp (compact tractors) and 71-100hp (small tractor) markets.
The top 3 small tractor brands include:
- John Deere
- Massey Ferguson
- Case IH
We’ve taken a few of their best-selling tractors from each bracket and broken them down so you can see how they stack up within each horsepower range, starting with the 30hp mini tractor range.
Mini Tractors: 30hp & Under
To kick us off, we’ll look at the lower end of the scale. The 30hp-and-under range includes some of the most affordable small tractors around. Mini tractors are ideal for light work around your acreage or backyard—mowing, seeding or even some light landscaping. Most have optional attachments that will increase their versatility and let you really make the most out of them.
John Deere 1 Family Range
For John Deere we are focusing on the 1 Family range. Sub-compact 4WD tractors compatible with more than 200 attachments—these are a popular choice across Australia. The 1 Family consists of the 1025R and the 1023E, both are fitted with a Yanmar Tier 4 compliant diesel engine and a category 1 3-point hitch.
|Gross Engine Power||21.5hp (16kW)||23.9hp (17.8kW)|
|PTO||14.5hp (10.8kW)||18hp (13.4kW)|
|Transmission||2 Range Hydro/2 Pedal Auto||2 Range Hydro/2 Pedal Auto|
|Hitch||Category 1 Rear 3-point Hitch||Category 1 Rear 3-point Hitch|
|Max Lift Capacity||534kg||534kg|
The open operator station means there’s plenty of visibility, ease of access and comfort. These small tractors have been designed to be easy to use for everyone.
Outside of the 1 Family, the John Deere 2 Family range also has the 2025R, a 24hp compact utility tractor which a little more power than the 1 Family options, with the same quality design and 3-point hitch.
Massey Ferguson GC 1700 Series
Massey Ferguson’s contribution to the mini tractor range is the compact MF GC1723E and the MF GC1725M. Fitted with either a 23hp or 25hp, 3-cylinder diesel engine, these tractors have enough power to handle a loader and mower deck attachment. With the 25M also including an optional backhoe for extra versatility.
|MF GC1723E||MF GC1725M|
|Gross Engine Power||23hp||25hp|
|Transmission||Hydrostatic 2 Range||Hydrostatic 2 Range|
|Pedal System||Dual Control||Dual Control|
With a 540kg rear lift capacity, the MF GC1700 range is suited for both residential commercial work and wouldn’t be out of place as part of an industrial fleet—or out back in the shed.
Case IH Farmall Series
The last of the mini tractors is the Case IH Farmall 20B and 25B. Like the John Deere and Massey Ferguson, the Farmall series tractors are suited to both residential and commercial applications and pack enough power to handle most work around the property. There are a few minor differences between the 20B and 25B:
|HP||23hp (17kw)||27hp (20kw)|
|Rear Lift Capacity||650kg||650kg|
|Dry Weight Capacity||720kg||730kg|
|Bucket Type||Standard or 4-in-1||Standard or 4-in-1|
The 3-cylinder engine combined with the small chassis and compact design, means the Farmall 20B and 25B are ideal for pulling trailers, mowing and front loader work.
Compact Tractors: 31hp–70hp
Moving up in the power range, we make our way to compact tractors ranging between 31hp and 70hp. John Deere, Massey and Case IH all have several options in the bracket, so we narrowed it down to a few from each to make it easier for you!
The biggest range of the lot, John Deere has 11 options available ranging between 31hp-70hp. We’ve picked 1 from each of the series to give you an idea of what you can expect.
|Engine Power||37hp (28kW)||37hp 48hp (36kW)||65hp (48kW)|
|PTO||30hp (22kW)||37hp (28kW)||n/a|
|Transmission||2-Pedal Hydro||Hydrostatic, 2-Pedal Auto||PowerReverser|
|2WD or 4WD||4WD||4WD||MFWD|
|3-Point Hitch||Category 1||Category 1||Category 2 (Convertible to 1)|
|Cab or Open Station||Open Station||Cab||Cab or Open Station|
As you can see, there’s a variety of John Deere compact tractors available with varying levels of power, types of transmission and hitch types. Choosing the right model for your needs comes down to the type of work required. Light mowing or grading? Then the 3038E is a good fit. Heavy-duty loading, grading or tilling? Then the 5065E might be a better.
Struggling to make a decision? Have a look at our John Deere tractors to see which may be the right model for you.
Massey Ferguson 2600 Series
Your options from Massey Ferguson include the 2605-4R, the 2615-2R, the 2615-4R, and the 2625-4R. As you may have guessed, the 2615-2R and 2615-4R models are basically the exact same machine, but you get a choice of 2WD or 4WD.
With 3 choices in this bracket (4 if you count the choice between 2WD and 4WD), Massey Ferguson isn’t falling behind with their selection of compact tractors.
For easy comparison, browse through the Massey Ferguson MF2600 specifications below.
|Engine Model||Simpson S325.3||Simpson S325E||Simpson SJ436E|
|Engine Power (hp)||38.5 (28.7kW)||47.7 (35.08kW)||63 (47kW)|
|Lift—KG @ Position||1450@BE||1450@BE||2050@BE|
As with their mini tractors, the compact tractor range also feature Massey’s famous 3-point linkage technology, as well as a single piece hood for quick service access. The cab is also designed to be comfortable for the driver, with:
- A spring-suspended seat
- Hand throttle
- Gauges for easy monitoring of fuel, oil & temperature
This whole series is designed for more intense workloads than their mini range, tasks like:
- Loader work
Case IH Farmall B & JX Series
Bringing our compact tractors to a close is Case IH. With a mixture of their Farmall B series and their Farmall JX series, Case IH has ensured there’s a compact tractor available for every size project and property.
The compact Farmall B tractors are a follow-on of their mini tractor range and are built to the same high-quality standards you’d expect from Case IH. Starting at 38hp for the 35B and ranging up to 57hp in the 60B, this group of tractors has enough choice to satisfy almost everybody.
|Gross Engine Power||38hp (28kW)||57hp (43kW)|
|Transmission||Mechanical or Hydro||Mechanical|
|PTO||29hp (22kW) Hydro
31hp (23kW) Mech
|Rated Operating Load -Standard||375kg||810kg – ROPS/725kg – cab|
|Lift Capacity (Loader Only)||693kg||1,131kg|
The Farmall 35B is the most popular model in the Case IH lifestyle range, and is perfect for lifestyle farmers or owners of large properties that need maintenance.
The 60B is the heavyweight of the lifestyle range and can handle some of the toughest works a contractor or commercial business owner can throw at it. Of course, there is a selection of optional equipment for both the 35B and 60B, including:
- Front bumper
- Heating & A/C
- CD Player
Small Tractors: 71hp–100hp
Finally, we have the small tractors. The largest and most powerful in this comparison article, John Deere, Massey Ferguson and Case IH have a great selection of 71hp-100hp tractors that are designed for bigger, tougher workloads than their mini or compact counterparts.
Much like their 31hp-70hp range, John Deere has a variety of options for professionals and property owners to choose from. Every model in this bracket comes with an economy PTO, and a Category 2 hitch as standard.
|Engine Power||75hp (55kW)||85hp (63kW)||5100R (74kW)|
|PTO||540 & 540E||Electro-Hydraulic 540/540E||Electro-Hydraulic Engaged|
|2WD or 4WD||MFWD||Both||MFWD|
|Cab or Open Station||Cab or Open Station||Cab or Open Station||Standard or Narrow Cab|
As you can see, there are a lot of similarities between the models and the variations come down to mostly pure power. Included in all of John Deere’s compact utility tractors is a 6-year powertrain warranty, giving you complete peace of mind when buying new.
In contrast to their mini and compact range, Massey Ferguson has a wider range of small tractors available that fall between 71hp and 100hp. With custom-designed drivelines, powerful engines and a range of optional attachments, Massey’s small tractor range can’t be overlooked.
|MF 3707||MF 4708ST||MF 5709ES|
|Gross Engine Power||75hp (55kW)||74hp (55kW)||92hp (68kW)|
|Transmission||24F/12R Power Shuttle & Speedshift||12×12 Synchro||12×12 Synchro|
While the John Deere range of tractors may have a lot in common, Massey Ferguson’s tractors are designed for specific situations or professions. The 4708 and 5709 come with standard or essential layouts, letting you choose between cost-efficiency and additional tools or features.
However, the real standout for Massey is the 3700 series. The MF 3700 models each come in different versions, including:
- Ground Effect
- Wide Fruit
These unique designs make them a perfect choice for niche situations where standard tractors are too wide and may cause damage to crops. The 3707 is available in all of the configurations above, making it a great all-around choice for farms and orchards. Download the 3700 Series product brochure to find out more.
In this bracket, Case IH only offers 2 models, the Farmall 75C and 95C.
Not to be outdone by its little brother, the Case IH 95C has more in common with the 105C and 115C then the 75C. With 99 gross hp and Tier 4A compliance, the 95C gives you more bang for your buck.
The 75C weighs in at 2,800kg standard, and the 95C at 3,600kg, making the 75C a better choice where excess weight could cause damage to turf, crops or property. Both subject to attachments and accessories.
|Emissions||Tier 3||Tier 4A|
|Engine Oil Change Interval||300 Hours||600 Hours|
|Transmission||12×12 Power Shuttle||24×24 Power Shuttle Hi Lo|
|Lift Capacity @ 24” (kg)||1,886||3,356|
So, Which To Choose?
When you break it down, there are plenty of tractors available that are under 100hp. From mini 23hp little beasts to 100hp work horses that will handle almost any small job, there’s definitely a large variety. Just keep in mind the size and power you need to guide you in the right direction.
If you know which you need, check out these tractor auctions and see what’s available.
If we’ve missed something, don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!