Horsepower is a critical factor in determining a tractor’s capabilities. You can make an informed decision when you consider how much tractor horsepower you need. Our post goes into more detail below.

The Difference Between Horsepower and Power Take Off (PTO)

The overall horsepower of a tractor refers to the power produced by the engine, but a more important figure for many users is the Power Take Off (PTO). PTO horsepower refers to the power that’s available for attachments and implements such as mowers, tillers, and balers. Typically, PTO horsepower is less than the engine horsepower due to power loss during transmission. Always check the PTO horsepower when considering a tractor, as doing so will give you a more accurate understanding of what tasks and attachments the tractor can handle.

Four Main Types of Tractors

Four main types of tractors exist to perform tasks of varying difficulty and to handle terrain from flat to hilly and rough. The four main types of tractors are:

  • Sub-Compact: These tractors are small but mighty with engines of typically less than 25 horsepower. They can handle most all lawn and garden tasks while taking up less space. They’re maneuverable and a good value for properties of an acre or less.
  • Compact: Compact tractors typically have between 25 and 45 horsepower. They are perfect for smaller land plots with flat acreage and tasks like mowing, light landscaping work, and manure management.
  • Utility: Utility tractors fall in the range of 45 to 85 or 100 horsepower. They are versatile machines capable of handling larger landscaping tasks, heavy-duty farming tasks, and even some construction work.
  • Agricultural: Agricultural tractors are the heavy hitters, often boasting above 100 and up to 450 horsepower. As the name implies, manufacturers designed these machines for large-scale farming operations.

Terrain and Acreage

The terrain and size of your property helps define how much tractor horsepower you need. You might need more horsepower for rough or hilly terrain. Similarly, larger properties require more power to efficiently cover more ground.

Mowing or Farm Tasks?

A compact tractor should suffice if you’re primarily using your tractor for mowing a small to medium-sized property. However, you’ll need a utility or row crop tractor if you’re undertaking farm tasks like tilling, baling, or heavy lifting.

Understanding horsepower and PTO horsepower will help you select a tractor that can work with you as you care for your land, whether you’re managing a small homestead or running a large-scale farming operation. Brim Tractor Company has tractors for sale in Washington State. We’re sure we have a tractor that will meet your needs. Visit one of our locations today and let our team help you find the perfect tractor that matches your horsepower requirements.