As with purchasing any big piece of equipment, you're likely going to put a lot of thought when shopping for a tractor for sale. If it has been a while since you've looked at tractors, you may be shocked to see just how technology-driven they've become in the last decade. It's wise to get a bit of a refresher on what features matter, and this list will help you get started.
Data Display and Gathering
Like other industries, agriculture has rapidly become data-centric, and the tractors for sale today have certainly sought to match that trend. GPS is found in these, especially in larger models, and has the ability to map where the vehicle has been. This ensures that every time you're making passes through a field, you can expect to have fewer and smaller gaps. Modern tractor operators often have multiple computer screens up while they're out in the field, providing data about everything from fuel levels to incoming storms.
Once you're out of the field, the data can be moved to computer systems. Over the course of several years, you can develop an impressive picture that's worth spending each winter puzzling over in order to make your efforts more efficient. Smartphone-connected tools allow a farmer to check the state of a rig from anywhere, something to appreciate on days that are cold or wet. For folks who want more data-driven farms, that means the first question worth asking will often be, "Where is the data port?"
Tractors have come a long way from the days when buying fuel was a case of diesel or nothing. If you're looking for efficiency, eco-friendliness, or flexibility, there are now engines built for use with everything from liquefied natural gas to distillates. Diesel-electric hybrids and all-electric vehicles are rolling onto the market with support from big names, such as John Deere, too. It may even be possible to find a ride that accepts multiple fuel sources, allowing you to make choices based on what's cheapest at the time.
Operating a tractor can become exhausting, especially during peak periods of planting or harvesting. One way to reduce the wear and tear on yourself is to move toward a system with a hands-free guidance system. They provide accuracy within inches, allowing the operator to focus more on doing the job and less on fighting to keep the tractor in line.