If you’re in the market for a tractor, several factors will come into play when it comes to cost and finding the machine best suited to your operational requirements and budget.
The cost of a tractor will range from $1,000 to $300,000 for a used model and $3,000 to $600,000 for a new one. Factors that determine the final price include the size of the unit, its horsepower, the manufacturer, and the addition of attachments and accessories.
In this article, I’ll present you with prices for some popular new and used tractors. I’ll also guide you through the process of understanding the cost factors associated with tractor prices to help you make a more informed purchasing decision.
Tractor Pricing Guide
The following charts list tractor prices for different category types for both new and used options.
New Tractor Prices
|New Holland T9.480 UC PLMI T4B||Farm||480 hp||$462,883|
|John Deere 8R 310||Farm||341 hp||$418,703|
|Kubota M6H||Utility||104.4 hp||$67,356|
|John Deere 5065E||Utility||67 hp||$27,661|
|Case IH Farmall 55A||Utility||55 hp||$32,818|
|Kubota Grand L60||Compact||37 hp||$26,780|
|Mahindra 1635 HST Cab||Compact||36.2 hp||$29,775|
|New Holland Workmaster 25 T4B||Sub-compact||25 hp||$16,911|
|John Deere 1025R||Sub-compact||23.9 hp||$15,066|
|Kubota T2090BR-42||Lawn and garden tractor||20 hp||$3,949|
Used Tractor Prices
|2019 John Deere 9570R||Farm||570 hp||$362,900|
|2014 Case IH Steiger 370 ROWTRAC||Farm||370 hp||$218,000|
|2014 New Holland T8.320||Farm||175 hp||$149,000|
|2015 John Deere 5085E||Utility||85 hp||$55,800|
|2019 John Deere 5075M||Utility||75 hp||$47,500|
|2018 John Deere 5055E||Utility||55 hp||$39,600|
|2008 John Deere 4520||Compact||53 hp||$39,500|
|2018 Mahindra 3540 HST||Compact||40 hp||$34,900|
|2012 New Holland Boomer 25||Sub-compact||25 hp||$16,900|
|1986 John Deere 850||Sub-compact||25 hp||$5,499|
Is There a Blue Book for Farm Tractors?
Unlike automobiles, there’s no equivalent to the Kelley Blue Book regarding the valuation of tractors. Your best source for price guidance on used tractors is to use the results of recent tractor auctions to establish a baseline.
Alternatively, you can use pricing information from online sites dedicated to the secondary tractor market.
Cost Factors for Tractors
To properly understand and evaluate the cost of purchasing a tractor, it’s essential to know which features are worth paying for – and which aren’t. Let’s expand on the cost factors that account for the vast range in pricing seen in the charts above.
Tractor Size and Horsepower
The tractor manufacturing industry divides the types of tractors produced and marketed into three distinct segments based entirely on horsepower. These three segments are:
- Under 40 horsepower
- 40 – 100 horsepower
- 100 and above horsepower
While that type of segmentation is helpful for the financial analysis of the tractor manufacturing industry, it’s insufficient for adequately gauging the different types of tractors on the market in terms of usability.
- Lawn and Garden Tractors
- Compact Tractors
- Utility Tractors
- Farm Tractors
Each of these categories considers the horsepower of the tractor but also incorporates practical elements such as form factor, weight, and the ability to add attachments. These categories are a more reliable cost factor than relying on horsepower alone.
As a cost factor, the higher the category of the tractor, the higher the cost.
1. Lawn and Garden Tractors
Lawn and garden tractors are the smallest tractors on the market. They typically have 25 horsepower or less and weigh between 500 to 1200 lbs (226.80 to 544.31 kgs).
This type of tractor is best suited to lawn and garden maintenance duties. Its lightweight design helps to eliminate damage to lawns and landscaping from its tires.
The small form factor of this category of tractor also makes it ideal for tasks that require tight maneuvering around barns and livestock feeding areas.
If, however, your requirements for a tractor involve the hauling of materials or moving of equipment, tractors of this size will fall short of your needs.
2. Compact Tractors
Compact tractors encompass those that have 25 to 50 horsepower. The majority will have power plants that are powered by 2 to 3 cylinder diesel engines. A compact tractor will usually be sufficient for a property that is as large as 20 acres (8.09 hectares).
Larger than a lawn and garden tractor, they’re ideal for workloads that cover larger areas. Another difference is that compact tractors have higher ground clearance. Most will have a minimum ground clearance of 12 in (30.48 cm).
Also, compact tractors are more versatile than lawn and garden tractors in that they come with more options, such as loaders and three-point hitches.
Included within the compact tractor category—sometimes classified as a standalone category—is the subcategory of sub-compact tractors. This sub-grouping covers the range of compact tractors between 25 to 35 horsepower. They’ll be lighter and with a smaller form factor, filling the need of those who require a more robust tractor but who may currently be making do with a lawn and garden variety.
3. Utility Tractors
Utility tractors will have power plants that can produce 50 to 85 horsepower. Additionally, they will be equipped with much larger fuel tanks. A fuel capacity of 20 to 30 gallons (75.71 to 113.56 liters) isn’t unusual for this category.
Utility tractors are best suited for properties that surpass 20 acres (8.09 hectares) in size. The larger size of these tractors allows you to use disc harrows as large as 8 feet (2.44 meters) per section. This larger size can greatly expedite tilling operations.
4. Farm Tractors
The farm tractor category covers the remaining tractors that achieve an output of 85 to 450 horsepower. These tractors are the ones that you would commonly associate with commercial farming operations.
Everything about them is larger, from fuel tank capacity to the number of available accessories to provide a greater variety of customizable use-case applications to their owners.
Visually, farm tractors are distinctive in that most models offer closed cabs for the operator. Mechanically, they’ll be equipped with sterner transmissions. Some have as many as 24 gears each for forward and reverse torque.
There are two-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive tractors available in all categories. As a cost factor, two-wheel-drive units will be lower in price than their 4-wheel-drive counterparts.
However, you’d need to take into consideration how you’ll be using your tractor. Two-wheel-drive tractors function well in dry and flat terrain where you don’t have to tow too many elements. Seeding and the spreading of pesticides and fertilizers are tasks easily handled by a two-wheel-drive unit.
A four-wheel-drive tractor will merit its added cost if you need to contend with muddy or rougher terrain where added traction is required. A four-wheel-drive unit would also be best if you need to till land and haul heavy loads or need to accommodate a wider variety of attachments and implements.
As a cost factor, the dealership presence in your area, availability of replacement parts, proximity of certified service centers, and the market’s demand for a particular manufacturer will affect the price.
New Versus Used
Common sense dictates that a new tractor is going to cost more than a comparable used model. However, when using the new versus used paradigm as a cost factor, you also need to consider accrued run time, maintenance history, and the amount of depreciation taken by the tractor’s owner.
Those three areas are what will allow you to determine if there’s value in a used tractor. For example, an owner of a utility tractor who has used it regularly and maintained it properly has likely depreciated the tractor’s value against tax liabilities over a five to eight-year period. This time frame will vary based on the accounting and financial laws where the tractor is located.
What this means to you, the buyer, however, is that a well-maintained tractor that has been largely fiscally depreciated by its owner could result in a good deal.
Finding similar deals with tractors that have only been used for less than two or three years might be more difficult. The reason is that under these circumstances, the current owner would be more inclined to recover more of their initial investment by affixing a higher selling price to the tractor.
Is Buying a New Tractor Worth It?
Buying a new tractor is worth the investment if you purchase a tractor that’ll meet your needs for a period surpassing six years. The reason for this is that in most tax jurisdictions, you would be able to fiscally depreciate all, or most, of the purchase price in that time frame.
That being said, you also need to consider the total cost of acquiring a new tractor, such as financing charges. If the financial outlay required to purchase a new tractor places an undue burden on your finances, or if you anticipate that your tractor requirements will change in the short term, a used tractor would be your best choice.
What Is the Number 1 Selling Tractor in the World?
The top-selling line of tractors in the world comes from Mahindra. The company is part of the Indian Mahindra Group, and it produces and sells more tractors around the world than any other company. In the United States, however, John Deere is the top seller of tractors.
While Mahindra does have a presence in the United States—based on market share, reputation, longevity, and customer satisfaction—comparing John Deere to another tractor producer, such as Kubota, would provide a more equitable comparison.
John Deere Tractors
John Deere tractors are instantly recognizable even to those not involved in agriculture due to their distinctive green and yellow color scheme.
This level of recognition can be seen as a testament to the company’s longevity and trust from its customers. That said, especially on the secondary used market, John Deere tractors will often carry higher resale value than lesser-known tractor brands.
How Much Does a John Deere Tractor Cost?
John Deere manufactures a complete line of tractors with multiple models in all categories. From lawn and garden to sub-compact, compact, utility, and farm/specialty models.
Are John Deere Tractors Made in China?
John Deere tractors are made in China as well as Mexico, Germany, India, and several other locations around the world. John Deere has three tractor manufacturing facilities in China located in Harbin, Ningbo, and Tianjin.
Other John Deere manufacturing facilities are located in:
- Rosario, Argentina
- Montenegro, Brazil
- Mannheim, Germany
- Dewas, India
- Pune, India
- Saltillo, Mexico
- Domodedovo, Russia
- Augusta, Georgia
- Waterloo, Iowa
- Greenville, Tennessee
- Horicon, Wisconsin
Kubota tractors are manufactured by a Japanese company of the same name. Approximately half of the tractors it sells in the United States are assembled or manufactured in its Gainesville or Jefferson, Georgia facilities.
How Much Does a Kubota Tractor Cost?
Like John Deere, Kubota manufactures a full range of tractors, from sub-compact to farm/specialty models.
Is John Deere or Kubota Better?
The question of whether a John Deere tractor is better than a Kubota tractor is very subjective. Both companies have a strong reputation for quality and service support.
A John Deere tractor is better if you’re accustomed to a traditional pedal configuration. Kubota tractors use a treadle pedal configuration that some find confusing. The Kubota tractor is better for cabin comfort in larger models and added interchangeability in loader attachments.
Tractor Maintenance Cost
A topic that often gets overlooked when considering whether the cost of a tractor is a wise investment is the maintenance costs associated with operating a tractor.
While estimating expected maintenance costs is highly subjective, you can take figures determined by a study conducted by Iowa State University as a baseline for maintenance costs of a tractor. It used the scenario of a utility tractor with an average yearly run time of 400 hours per year over a total economic life of 15 years.
Factoring in the regularly scheduled maintenance and expected repairs over that time frame, the study determined that the maintenance costs of a tractor purchased as new is equivalent to $8.33 for each hour of run time. Using a similar calculus but substituting a new tractor for one purchased, the maintenance cost per operating hour was determined to be $15.50.
Of course, tractor usage in the real world will vary, and some expenses need to be determined more precisely. The cost of lubrication and tire replacement are good examples of this.
What Are the Lubrication Costs for a Tractor?
The average cost of lubricants for a tractor in the compact, utility, and farm categories was 15 percent of fuel costs when averaged over 15 years, according to studies and surveys conducted by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers.
How Much Does a Tractor Tire Cost?
A tractor tire can cost as little as $19 for a lawn and garden tractor to over $5,300 for a utility tractor. The cost of a tractor tire will vary depending on the size of the wheels on the tractor, the desired tread depth, and brand.
For utility and farm tractors, choosing between bias and radial tires can also affect the final price, with the former being less expensive.
Frequently Asked Questions
The act of purchasing a tractor, whether new or used, is a considerable investment. Therefore, it isn’t unusual to have additional questions about the cost of a tractor. The following is a rundown of some of the most common open-ended questions on the topic:
What Is the Best Tractor for the Money?
When it comes to a capital investment such as a tractor purchase, defining what is best will depend entirely on your circumstances and requirements.
The best tractor for the money would fulfill the buyer’s operational requirements for at least six years. The owner would then be able to depreciate the cost of the tractor as much as local fiscal laws allow, lowering the operating cost of the tractor over its useful lifetime.
What Is the Most Reliable Tractor?
Performance and durability determine the reliability of a tractor.
The manufacturer’s level of support and service over the lifetime of the tractor also plays a role. To that end, the depth of coverage of a manufacturer’s authorized network of dealerships and authorized maintenance centers is important.
John Deere is the most reliable tractor brand according to ratings by tractor dealers regarding the durability of components, customer satisfaction, and service coverage. Kubota and New Holland follow closely behind as the next best options for most reliable.
What Is the Best Old Tractor To Buy?
Choosing an old tractor for purchase isn’t so much a question of choosing a particular manufacturer. It’s more important to properly gauge the present condition of the tractor that you are considering purchasing.
The best old tractor to buy is one that has been well-maintained throughout its work life. Its engine hours should match what would be expected for the number of years it has been in use. Maximum engine hours will vary, but 10,000 to 15,000 is the norm over the lifetime of a tractor.
What Is the Cheapest Tractor To Buy?
The cheapest tractors to buy will be from the lawn & garden tractor category, followed by those in the sub-compact category. Market forces dictate that used tractors will cost less than comparable new models.
What Does a Small Tractor Cost?
If your operation can make do with a small tractor, the barrier to entry in terms of cost is demonstrably lower when compared to larger utility and specialty tractors.
A small tractor, either a lawn and garden tractor or a sub-compact, costs $3,500 to $30,000 when new and $1,000 to $20,000 when used. Total horsepower, manufacturer, and age are key to determining the price.
How Much Does a Pulling Tractor Cost?
When considering a tractor based on its ability to pull implements, you should base your choice on the size of the implements you intend to pull and the predominant soil condition of your operation. Larger and heavier implements would require larger tractors. So too would rougher soil or the presence of grades.
A pulling tractor can cost $1,000 to $300,000 when used and $3,000 to $600,000 when new. Another important variable to consider alongside the upfront cost of a pull tractor is the added cost of operation if you choose a pull tractor that’s too big or too small for your needs.
The larger and more powerful the tractor, the more fuel it will consume. If that added cost is justifiable based on the size of the implement you will pull, it will save you time and money.
However, if you purchase a pull tractor with power that you will never use or only pull small implements, the added fuel costs may be counterproductive from an economic point of view.
It would also be uneconomical to be restricted to smaller implements due to a smaller underpowered tractor. The added operating hours and increased fuel consumption required to cover broader acreage with small implements will negatively impact your bottom line.
How Much Does a Tractor Cost To Rent?
If your needs for a tractor or a specific type of tractor are short-term, renting a tractor can be a better option than buying.
While purchasing a tractor for operations that are intended to span several years is a prudent investment, meeting the unique requirements of a single planting season or other short time frames would not justify the same level of investment.
The cost to rent a smaller tractor can start at $250 per day for a 20-29 hp unit and reach $525 for higher-end utility tractors and lower-end farm tractors of up to 100 hp. Monthly rentals for the same equipment would be $1,500 and $4,050, respectively.
Keep in mind that seasonal demand, geographical location, model choice, and other factors could affect the rental charges.
In short, the cost of a tractor will vary based on multiple factors. Whether it’s new or used, the manufacturer, available horsepower, etc., will affect the final price.
Always keep in mind that the purchase of a tractor is a capital investment. It’s not a standard expense. Greater effort needs to be put into analyzing the purchase decision.
What’s important to remember is that getting value out of a tractor purchase requires understanding the cost factors that determine its sales price. By doing so, you’ll maximize the efficiency of operating the tractor throughout its useful life.
Thanks for reading!
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