Editor’s Note: Originally written a decade ago, the general content is still relevant. Feel free to offer your own views on the best tractor for the average user.
So… the quest for the right tractor begins.
Now I would love to pretend I know everything about tractors. Sadly, I would truly be pretending. The truth is, I don’t own any kind of tractor at all, nor have I ever. I have driven a few and used a loader some, but not much. The tractor experience in my immediate clan is limited to my older brother’s abused, and over worked, and much beloved Farm All.
Its cute enough, but there is just no way something like that would serve my purposes, which involve actually using a tractor, as opposed to merely working on one. For this reason, Green tractors are nearing the bottom of the list.
The top of the list?
I give you, the Kubota L4400. 44hp, 4wd, 36 pto hp… and pure unadulterated sexy. Admit it, this is hot.
One could argue that ‘Bota has taken over the American compact tractor market. You see more orange than green these days, and since the American made tractor is all but extinct (yes, all JD tractors below 100 hp are manufactured elsewhere) you can’t really wave the flag and shout, “buy American.” Ain’t no American to buy. The ‘Bota ain’t perfect. There is a tractor out there that has its number in a couple categories, including price.
The Bobcat CT440. Pretty, ain’t she? Oh it’s true, the Kubota has a superior dealer network, and made in Japan is better than made in Korea, but the Bobcat’s loader is faster and lifts more weight than the ‘bota. The Bobcat is also faster in forward, while the ‘bota is faster in reverse. Bobcat doesn’t even make 2wd tractors, and all of their tractors are hydrostatic.
In truth, I will almost certainly end up with one Kubota or another, but props to Bobcat for making it interesting.