Your Compact Tractor Questions, Answered

Posted on September 16, 2019

Compact tractors are do-it-all machines designed to solve the unique challenges of acreage owners, hobby farmers or anyone maintaining land. Get the answers to your most frequently asked questions about this versatile machine.

What is a compact tractor? 

Compact tractors are small agricultural tractors designed to take on the challenges that landowners face every day. Larger compact tractors are often referred to as utility vehicles and offer a range of 50 to 100 horsepower. Mid-size compact tractors range from 20 to 60 horsepower, and sub-compact tractors are typically under 25 horsepower. Bobcat’s line up of compact tractors range from 21 to 58 horsepower. 

Equipped with a 540-rpm rear power take-off (PTO) and a 3-point hitch, compact tractors are prepared for a variety of chores. Most compact tractors offer a front-end loader to help you complete everyday lifting, carrying, and light grading tasks. 

What is the PTO on a tractor? 

The power take-off (PTO) on a compact tractor is the power source for running a variety of implements such as tillers, augers, mowers and more. The PTO shaft on a compact tractor transfers power from the engine to the implement. The power from the tractor’s diesel engine is transferred to the PTO shaft in the form of rotary motion and is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm). 

What is a 3-point hitch? 

The 3-point hitch is a mechanism on the rear of the tractor that offers three points of contact with an implement to allow lifting and towing. A compact tractor with a 3-point hitch allows you to use and change out a variety of implements quickly and easily. The basic, proven technology has been around for nearly 100 years. A 3-point hitch works with a wide variety of implements, so you can tackle more tasks with fewer pieces of equipment or replace work previously done by hand. 

What transmission options are available for a compact tractor?     

Not all transmission types are created equal. The best transmission option varies depending on the application of the tractor and user preference. Bobcat compact tractors offer four different transmission types available on select models. 

  • Manual shift transmission: The manual shift transmission is an economical and reliable option that changes gears and ranges by stopping and depressing the clutch pedal. This non-synchronized transmission is perfect for jobs that require a constant speed, such as mowing or traveling on the road. 
  • Synchro shift transmission: The synchro shift transmission is a manual transmission that provides the greatest ease of use, allowing you to clutch and shift between all speeds as you travel. 
  • Hydrostatic transmission (HST): If you require maximum ease of use or if you plan to operate your tractor mainly for front-end loader work, a hydrostatic transmission is an ideal option. HST also allows the operator to quickly and easily change direction from forward to reverse and back by utilizing a simple forward or reverse pedal on the floor panel. 
  • Electric hydrostatic transmission (E-HST): E-HST boasts all the same benefits of HST, however it also allows you to maintain your uphill speed without travel pedal adjustments. 

What tire options are available for my compact tractor? 

When choosing tires for your compact tractor, it’s important to consider how you’ll be using the machine. Tires have a large impact on a tractor’s traction, flotation, ground disturbance, wear and overall performance. 

Bobcat compact tractors are available with three different types of tires for a variety of applications: 

  • Agricultural Tires (R-1): Agricultural tires feature deep directional lugs for optimal forward traction and self-cleaning capabilities. If you need more power for towing heavy loads or pulling implements in soft soils, this is the ideal option for you. 
  • Turf Tires (R-3): If you’re looking for excellent traction with minimal damage to lawns and finished surfaces, the turf tire is a good fit for you. This is the ideal option for applications such as mowing, where you need to be conscious of established landscaping or sandy soil. 
  • Industrial Tires (R-4): Industrial tires are designed for a wide range of applications while offering maximum durability and outstanding protection against wear and punctures. The wider tread bar and deeper lugs help keep operators moving in all ground conditions.   

Now that you’re equipped with the answers to some basic compact tractor questions, you are ready to build your compact tractor to fit the needs of your land. Visit Build & Quote now to get started. 

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