50-hp or less Tractor Shopping Guide
Ready to wrangle your land? Whether you've got untamed territory as far as the eye can see or only a few acres waiting to be manicured, finding the right John Deere Compact Utility Tractor
is job #1 in caring for your property.
Here are some tips for selecting the right tractor:
Take Stock of your Land
The two most important questions you should ask yourself are:
- How much land are you caring for?
- What do you want to do with your tractor?
While basic, these questions will help you start the tractor shopping process correctly and ultimately help you find the right tractor and tractor attachments for your needs. With that in mind, there are two basic rules of thumb for chosing a compact tractor:
- The more land you have, typically the more horsepower you need.
- The more tasks you do, typically the more attachments you’ll want.
So, think beyond the first job that comes to mind. (Hint: it might not just be mowing or hauling.) Consider all the other kinds of work you can check off your list with the right equipment. Before you visit the dealer, our experts recommend taking a stroll around your property to think about all the tasks you want to tackle with a John Deere tractor. Remember, your needs may change from season to season. Factor all these things into your decision since the right equipment can keep you working strong for a decade or longer.
Cut grass without cutting corners
If the primary reason you're looking for a John Deere tractor is to mow your lawn, you're on the right track. With the right mowing deck and tires, you can save serious time cutting your grass with speed and precision. Start your search with our entry-level 1 Family Sub-Compact Tractors
and the AutoConnect mid-mower deck (or belly mower) that you can easily, just by driving over it, put on and take off. That's just the tip of iceberg when it comes to saving time.
With up to 38 horsepower engines, these lighter 1 Family Tractors and 2 Family Tractors
have serious get-up-and-go. But, it’s more than just how fast you mow, it’s how well you mow fast. Our mower decks are formed by stamping a single piece of steel, so there are no seams to rust and no corners to stop grass from discharging smoothly.
If you've ever seen a freshly cut lawn with giant clumps of grass randomly strewn across it, thats from a mower with a fabricated deck (which John Deere doesn't make). In those other mowers, grass collects in the deck seams, blocking airflow through the mowing deck, making the tractor work harder, pulling down your horsepower. The tractor then hacks up a clump of grass like a cat with a hairball. Not pretty.
That's why we can say John Deere mower decks don't cut any corners, because they don't have any!
So much more than a mower
While cutting grass might be the chore you do most often, there are so many ways to put a Compact Tractor to work for you and your land. In fact, our experts estimate that 99 percent of the tractors that drive out our doors include a front-end Loader because it’s such a versatile tool. While it’s great for loading heavy things like mulch, sand, soil or feed, the bottom of the bucket also doubles as a make-shift box blade for chores like smoothing roads and clearing stables.
mowing a yard is the easy part
Think about your other chores as well:
- Mulching a yard?
- Clearing overgrown debris?
- Digging and tilling a garden?
- Maintaining dirt roads or gravel driveways?
- Installing a fence?
Make sure you get enough machine for the jobs you need to do. Our experts recommend folks who live on 10-plus acres, or who do more than mow, look at our 3 Family Tractors
, which get up to 45 horsepower.
John Deere’s 3 Family also have another nice feature for allergy sufferers, folks with bees on their land and anyone who’s worked a full day under the hot sun. The 3 Family, and specifically the 3039R
, is when tractors with closed cabs are available. That means you can isolate yourself from the elements in a sealed, pressurized, climate-controlled environment and be comfortable no matter what you encounter.
From landscape to livestock
If you’re like most of our customers who live on 10-plus acres, you’ve got livestock on your land and need serious horsepower to keep your animals happy and healthy. With the type of work required day in and day out, our experts recommend looking at our 4 Family Compact Utility Tractors
for their increased lifting capacity, range of accessories and implements and bigger engines that top out at 66 horsepower. The 4 Family series of compact utility tractors doesn't break a sweat moving 40 bags of feed into the barn, and they can lift and empty water troughs all day long before scraping pens clean, then dumping in new bedding.
Another perk? While any 4 Family Compact Tractor is a beast on the job, it can easily be pulled on a trailer with a half-ton pickup whether you’re maintaining separate properties or don’t live on your farm and like keeping your tractor at home.
If you are moving round hay bales around, our experts insist you go with a 4 Family or a 5 Family Utility Tractor
built to handle round bales. Even if that seems like more tractor than you need, know that if you try to do too big a job on too small a tractor, you risk damaging the components, shortening the life of the equipment and jeopardizing your own personal safety. Especially when you’re livestock depends on you, think 5 to 10 years out when considering your equipment needs.
Our experts recommend to all of our customers that once you find exactly what you are looking for, go ahead and BUMP IT UP BY ONE. There is always that job or chore you haven't thought of that could catch you by surprise. After all, it's better to have too much muscle than not enough. Our experts have also seen plenty of customers come back a year or two after their initial purchase to trade their smaller tractor in for the next sizee up and thats something that isn't always the most financially practical.
Compact Tractor Chart
Still not sure what tractor and attachments are right for you? We created this reference chart so you can find the tractor tough enough for your land and list of chores. Before you go, bookmark this page, save or share the chart to be the tractor expert of your town.
|Hobbies & Chores
Cleaning Stables & Troughs
||Hauling Hay Bales
||4 & 5 Family
||3-Tine Bale Spear
Contact an equipment expert
If you are looking for more advice for specific needs on your property, you can contact a compact tractor expert at a United Ag & Turf Location