The key benefit of a compact utility tractor is its versatility. A main reason for that versatility is myriad implements designed for specific tasks.
“During the interview process with the customer, we not only talk about the size of tractor they may need but the jobs they may want to do,” says Richard Miller, corporate sales manager-turf and utility, TriGreen Equipment. “Once you start showing the implements, then the customer starts to realize the potential of this tractor.”
Miller estimates throughout TriGreen’s 20-store footprint, more than 95 percent of the compact utility tractors sold come with a loader. Other popular implements are rotary cutters, mowing decks and box blades. “If there’s a basic package that the first-time buyer will purchase, it’s a compact utility tractor with a loader, rotary cutter and a box blade,” Miller says.
Perhaps the most intimidating part of owning a variety of implements is the simple matter of getting then attached. And today’s implements are light-years ahead of the implements of many years ago. While older implements can often still be used with today’s compact utility tractors, advancements in how those implements are mounted have vastly improved.
“If you are maintaining a five-acre property, the most popular package is probably a loader with a mowing deck or rotary cutter,” says Mark Davey, marketing manager, John Deere. “But you don’t necessarily want to have a loader attached while mowing. That’s why our quick-attach loaders are so popular. They can be easily attached and removed without leaving the operator’s station.”
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Mid-mount mower decks are also easier to attached and remove. “These mowers have drive-over decks that automatically connects the PTO,” Davey says. “You line up the deck, raise it into place, and mow. You don’t have to mess with getting down on the ground, reaching under the tractor and moving the PTO into place to connect it.”
Compact utility tractor owners may also not have the familiarity of how to attach implements. And let’s face it: if you’ve attached an implement, you know there can be a learning curve. Not anymore.
“Pinching fingers while attaching an implement is all-to-common,” Davey says. “For compact utility tractor owners who may use their hands for their main profession, this can be a concern.”
Advancements like John Deere’s iMatch Quick-Hitch make implement attachment and removal fast, simple and safer. “Our iMatch hitch is compatible with many different implements, and then it’s just a matter of backing up to the implement, lifting it, turning around and moving the latches in to place from the tractor seat to lock the implement into place, and off you go.”
Davey says ease of use is a main drawing factor to the compact utility tractor and implements. “For many of these owners, they are working on weekends and evenings. Any time we can save them by making the implements easier to attach and use, the more versatile the tractor becomes.”