How to Purchase the Perfect Implement
A compact tractor with an incorrectly sized implement will provide lackluster results, and you may risk damaging your tractor or rendering your new attachment worthless within a few short hours of seat-time. Correctly matching several qualities of an implement to your tractor will make a world of difference when you finally get to that extensive list of projects. With tractors flying off of dealership lots in 2020, we know that there may be first-time implement purchasers. That said, here are a few general rules to consider before purchasing your first three-point or front-end loader attachment for your homestead.
Projects In Mind:
Maybe you're shopping for your first attachment and want to get the most bang for your buck. Or, you could be shopping for a more specialized piece of equipment to handle a select few projects this upcoming year. Either way, this article is aimed to ensure you end up with the correctly sized implement for your tractor. The last thing you want, or we want, is for you to purchase an attachment that compromises your tractor's lift capacity, is the wrong hookup type, or is either too light or too heavy for the power of your machine.
Choosing the Correct Width (3 Point & Front-End):
The width of your tractor is helpful for several reasons. We will discuss the two different widths of your tractor and how they can determine what size of attachment you may need to get the job done.
- Rear Wheel Base: Measuring the rear wheelbase width from the outside of both rear tires will determine your overall tractor width. This is especially useful for three-point attachments as you rarely, if ever, want a rear attachment to extend outside the wheelbase of your tractor. This will lead to unsatisfactory results, difficulty turning, and the overall maneuverability of your machine.
- Width Between Loader Arms: In addition to the make of your tractor, measuring the width between your front-end loader arms will ensure that our front-end attachments will have a snug and secure fit. Although Universal Quick-Attach (SSQA) is a standardized design, there are some differences between the varying tractor brands and loader series. If you are unsure about what style the front of your tractor is, we are always available to talk with you and walk you through the process.
Homestead Implements attachments are designed for sub-compact, compact, and select utility tractors under fifty-five horsepower. Our Heavy-Duty Root Grapple is the only implement we've built explicitly for tractors between fifty-five and one hundred horsepower. For certain implements, we made our lighter-duty Independence Series to accommodate sub-compact tractors under thirty horsepower.
- Independence Series:
- 15 – 30 Horsepower Range
- Back Blade, Landscape Rake, Box Blade, Land Plane, Bale Spears
- Lighter duty projects, softer soils, occasional usage, small homesteads & hobby farms
- Pinnacle Series:
- 30 – 55 Horsepower (Excluding Heavy-Duty Root Grapple)
- Back Blade, Landscape Rake, Box Blade, Land Plane, Grapples, Post-Hole Diggers, Rotary Tillers, Snow Equipment, Brush Cutters, Bale Spears, Pallet Forks
- Heavy-Duty Projects, rough/rocky soils, consistent usage, larger homesteads & hobby farms
Most tractors under fifty-five horsepower are what is known as a Category One. This term refers to the width of the hitch points on the rear of your tractor. Our three-point hitch attachments are standard Category One, with the largest (84") being dual Category One and Category Two compatible.
As a way to quickly swap between rear-attachments, some tractors may come equipped with an additional piece of equipment known as a Quick-Hitch. These inexpensive additions can save you hours of seat-time over the lifetime of your tractor, and all of our three-point attachments are compatible with Category One Quick-Hitches (Category Two when applicable) as well as the proprietary John Deere iMatch™ systems.
Front-End Loader Attachments:
Front-End attachments have more significant variability between the make and model of a tractor than any rear-end attachment. With the combination of hydraulics, loader series, and unique hitch style, the front-end attachments like Root Grapples or Snow Equipment prove a unique challenge. In most cases, non-John Deere™ tractors will utilize the Universal Quick-Attach, or Skid Steer Quick-Attach (SSQA), style hookup for front-end attachments.
We've focused on nine individual loader series common amongst their machines under fifty-five horsepower for our front-end attachments that are compatible with John Deere tractors. These include: D120, 120R, 220R, 300E, 300R, 320R, 400E, 400R, & 400X. If you are unsure of your loader series or have additional questions about our implements' compatibility with your John Deere tractor, please give us a call and speak with a member of our sales team!
Although your attachment color is less of a functionality decision, it is more dependent on whether you want your attachment to match your tractor's color. Our durable powder-coating finishes come in six colors that fit all major tractor brands. All colors are available at no additional charge and do not add any time or delays to your order.
Ultimately, when you begin the purchasing process of your next implement for your homestead or hobby farm, you must consider the projects you want to accomplish, your machine's width, the overall power, and the loader series or hitch types involved. We are always available to help you with this process, and you can also consult our Facebook Owner's Group to speak with other satisfied customers of our American-made implements!