Aren’t all tractors the same?


Buying a tractor

My wife and I have left our jobs and moved to Northern California to become Raspberry farmers. I have no background in agriculture or farming, in fact the totality of my knowledge of the subject comes from books and YouTube videos.

I had read about small scale market farmers not owning a tractor. I thought about saving money by foregoing the purchase of a tractor. Fortunately, I have an uncle who has experience with farming, he actually laughed when I told him I did not need a tractor. Not only did he tell me to get a tractor, he also said I should, “get the largest tractor you can afford.”

Tractors are rated by horsepower, the more horsepower the engine can output the bigger implements you can tow, larger loads you can lift and etc. Sizing a tractor for your needs can be difficult, especially if you are like me and have no experience with tractors.

After talking and emailing my uncle a number of times, we figured I needed a tractor that had a tiller, a front end loaded and an auger (post hole digger). He suggested that I stick with Kubota, since they are known for small farm/vineyard tractors, focusing on the “L” or “M” series, since they are geared for general use, rather than a specific task.

After figuring out what I needed, I started looking at used tractors being sold locally. I quickly found out that tractors hold value, at least in the minds of their owners. It was not uncommon for me to find used tractors for MORE than the original purchase price. Get much older than 20 years and it is sold as a “classic.” Classic tractors evidently are worth more than some houses. After reviewing the used tractor scene, I decided I should call a local dealer. Local being about 2 hours from the house. I thought talking to a tractor salesman would be like talking to a used car salesman. I was pleasantly surprised that after one phone call and a couple of emails, I was able to get an off lease 33 hp tractor with full warranty and all the attachments for less than a used 20 year old tractor with no attachments. They even delivered.

If you are interested in the make and model, it is a Kubota L3301. The orange is nice, I definately will not lose it.

After the dealer dropped off the tractor, I realized I did not even know how to turn it on….This is going to be fun.