Regardless of how big your farm is, a tractor always comes in handy with the heavy lifting (plowing, sowing, harrowing, you name it). You can also see this huge machine on construction or commercial sites thanks to its heavy-duty performance.
However, you must pay a significant cost, not only the upfront price, to take one home. So the question is: how much do tractors cost in total? Scroll down to learn our price breakdown.
In this article:
How Much Is A Tractor?
The average cost of a brand-new tractor is about $44,000, varying with its sizes. For example, small machines start at $8,000 to $12,000, while mid-size tractors are priced from $25,000 to $50,000. Due to the powerful engine, a big tractor’s price reaches $80,000 to $200,000 or more.
While a new model’s price ranges between $8,000 to $200,000, used ones cost only about half or even less. And you may pay more for complex attachments that add around $5,000 to your final bill.
Apart from its size and age, the type of tractors, horsepower rating, brand, and drivetrain also determine the exact price.
What Determines Tractor Price?
Types Of Tractors
The main function of a machine plays an important role in its pricing. You do not necessarily invest in a specialized machine when your intended use includes light-duty and basic farm tasks. Think of what you use it for and choose one from the following four tractor types.
Garden or lawn tractors
As the smallest option on the market, these machines weigh between 500 and 1200 lbs and generate no more than 25 horsepower. Their average price ranges from $2,000 to $10,000 – the lowest you can expect.
The compact construction is ideal for garden maintenance since the tires do not harm the ground or landscape. Plus, the modest engine power only allows it to handle light duties or jobs that prioritize flexible mobility.
These equipment produce more power (25-50 HP) due to 2 or 3-cylinder diesel engines. The increase in horsepower enables them to operate freely on areas up to 20 acres.
In other words, they handle larger workloads over a large field than the first option. For these added features, their average price goes from $10,000 to $30,000. In return, you get many features like three-point hooks, loaders, etc.
Consider investing in this category if you have a property over 20 acres. This type of tractor offers a higher horsepower range (50-85 HP) and a larger fuel tank to get the job done.
The utility tractor is meant for mowing lawns, digging holes, or shoveling. The large size gets your work done faster. Still, you must expand your budget from $25,000 to $60,000 to own one.
These machines witness a breakthrough in power (85-450 HP), so they are perfect for commercial use. All of their components are bigger in size to accommodate heavier applications.
This option also has a makeover in appearance – a closed cabin for the operator. Generally, the farm tractor price ranges from $50,000 to $200,000 or more, and what you get is a real assistant.
Size And Power
As you have seen above, each type of tractor serves a certain amount of power. These two crucial factors play an important role in your shopping decision. If you value power, you may notice some tiers of horsepower, including:
- Under 40 HP: includes garden tractors and sub-compact tractors. These options are ideal for work in ash houses or small barns.
- 40-99 HP: consists of compact and utility tractors, often featuring 3 or 4-cylinder engines. They come to nail more difficult work on rough surfaces.
- 100-174 HP: points to larger utility tractors and agricultural tractors. Stronger machine allows them to handle various duties on tough terrain.
- 175-199 HP: covers farm tractors working in large industrial or agricultural facilities. They are just enough to fit into the barn but also powerful to get more intense tasks done.
- >300 HP: includes tracked and quad tractors that provide exceptional power to complete heavy-duty farming tasks.
Track Vs. Wheel Tractor
Track tractors cost between $300,000 and $600,000, while wheel tractors are usually cheaper. The main reason is that the more expensive option promises a more powerful and convenient performance.
The tracks allow more surface contact with the ground, thereby increasing traction. This feature makes sense for rougher terrains such as snow, mud, or wet dirt where the vehicle still struggles to pass.
Tracked tractors are also designed to handle heavy work and loads such as clearing soil, pulling timber, removing tree stumps, etc. At the same time, the tracks absorb shock well to ensure stability while dispersing the weight of the vehicle body to reduce compaction. As a result, the operator benefits from better flotation and a smoother ride.
In comparison, wheel tractors with typical tires fall short in all features so you can expect a lower charge. On the bright side, this option achieves good versatility, which means a wider variety of working terrain. It is also a good choice if you do not want to pay for high maintenance costs later.
Used Or New
Obviously, for the same model, a used unit always costs you less. The average price of a pre-owned tractor falls between $3,000 to $75,000. So should you buy a new or used device? The final decision boils down to your preference.
A new tractor is worth it if you wish to use it for at least six years. This way, you can benefit from tax reduction when agricultural profits make up most of your income.
Simply put, some local governments cut the tractor purchase tax at an attractive rate. The purchase price is depreciated, so you save a lot of money.
Durability is also an important factor when considering a new machine, especially for farmers who work on fields of hundreds of acres upwards. You want something that lasts for years to come and offers a lifetime warranty.
On the contrary, you should go for a secondhand one if buying a new tractor puts you under great financial pressure. To optimize your investment, consider three criteria: cumulative run time, previous owner depreciation, and maintenance history.
Consider both sides of buying a second-hand product before deciding.
|– Economical price tag|
– Manufacturers’ faults are discovered and corrected
|– Extra time to find a quality machine|
– Already depreciated
– Potential damagesShort warranty period
– Limited payment option
Plus, thoroughly inspect your tractor for early damage and renegotiate if necessary. You can also pay for models from famous brands refurbished or restored for higher reliability.
The brand name contributes to the dealer price as part of the marketing strategy. Famous producers, including Kubota, Massey Ferguson, or John Deere, tend to offer higher price ranges, while other names, such as Branson or Kioti, often serve affordable models.
Below is a price breakdown of their popular models:
|Case||IH MX285 (2004)||$57,200|
|Mahindra||105P MFWD (2015)||$40,000|
|John Deere||5083E (2012)||$28,500|
|Massey Ferguson||6713 (2017)||$31,350|
Some experts classify tractors depending on the drive mechanism: two-wheeled or four-wheeled. In general, the first option costs less than the other. However, you should make up your mind based on actual application rather than price.
Two-wheel tractors are only suitable for dry and flat terrain. If your job doesn’t require a lot of traction, such as seeding or fertilizing, this option comes out on top.
Meanwhile, four-wheel drive counterparts work well on uneven surfaces. The extra money is worth it to overcome the great friction from rough or muddy terrain. Besides, only it can hold additional attachments or transport heavy loads.
Additional Accessories & Attachments
Manufacturers always have a way to get more money out of your pocket in addition to the initial cost of tractors since they provide customers with extra features for increased efficiency and comfort.
Depending on your available budget, you can pay for a wide variety of add-ons to serve certain purposes. Below are the estimated prices for some parts.
|Bluetooth-capable radio: $250|
Extended monitors: $2,000
Premium lighting: $3,000
Power take-off: $16,000
Outside mirrors: $600
Leather-wrapped interior: $1,800
|Tractor rake: $350-$6,000|
Backhoe attachments: $4,000 – $7,000
Rear hitch: $23,000-$26,500
Dual hydraulic pump: $12,500
Many other factors contribute to tractor pricing, such as technological advancements, eco-friendly solutions, market, etc. Some owners are also willing to pay extra for insurance plans, with premiums ranging from $3 to more than $1,000 per year.
Tractor Maintenance Cost
Similar to any other equipment, the ownership cost entails not only the upfront price but also maintenance cost.
While these numbers are subjective, you can get an overview based on the Iowa State report. Note that the numbers below are counted for a tractor with an annual working time of 400 hours and economic life of 15 years.
Experts have estimated a new machine’s repair and maintenance cost around $8.33 per operating hour. Regarding used machines, this figure increases to $15.5 per hour since the breakdown might be more severe than new ones. The fuel, lubrication, and labor cost adds to the final bill of $34.57 per hour.
However, the actual operation of the tractor varies from owner to owner. Some expenses, such as tire change or lubrication, may change according to your job conditions.
When Is The Best Time To Buy A Tractor To Save Money?
Like other products, the tractor market follows the principle of supply and demand. When the demand increases, the selling price follows, and vice versa. Hence, you should enter the market in the low season to benefit from good deals and promotional programs.
From our experience, the average charge of tractors often decreases at the end of the year. Plus, retailers treat their customers with great offers to clear inventory quickly before the new production cycle begins in the new year. You then take advantage of attractive promotions during the festive season, thereby cutting your bill.
On the contrary, purchasing a tractor in the spring is not wise. Undoubtedly, farmers flocked to agricultural stores to shop for their growing season. Their high demand and launch of new devices lead to a higher price tag than usual.
How To Save Money On Tractor Shopping?
Needless to say, a used tractor saves you a lot of money. Some great sites to connect with owners are eBay or Craigslist. If you still go for a new machine but have financial barriers, do not hesitate to discuss it with dealerships. They are ready to offer attractive financing options to help farmers handle huge costs in the early stages.
It would help if you also considered direct purchases through the manufacturer to benefit from lower-interest loans. Do not forget to consult your local government and check for tax credits. Experts often give useful tips that will help to cut down a significant amount.
Last but not least, renting a tractor for short-term work is a viable idea. This strategy saves you from sales taxes and paying large sums at once.
How Much Does It Cost To Rent A Tractor?
The average rental cost for a small machine (20-29 HP) starts at $250 per day and goes up to $525 for a bigger one of over 100 HP (including high-end utility and lower-end farm equipment). Generally, you spend around $1,500 – $4,050 for a monthly contract.
What Is The Most Expensive Tractor?
The 1913 Case 30-60 Antique, which sold at $1,470,000, is the most expensive tractor in history to date.
Who Are The Major Sellers Of Tractors?
The top 5 tractor brands in the US include Ford Performance Vehicles, Case IH, New Holland, Massey Ferguson, and John Deere.
A tractor is a major investment, but fortunately, most tractors can serve you quite a long time. Proper use and maintenance allow your equipment to last over a decade. But first, you must invest in one that fits your needs to get the most out of it. It is best to compare new tractor prices from brands and sellers to find the best deal for your budget.