Basic selection criteria of agricultural tractors!

The tremendous technological development of farm tractors particularly during the last two decades, providing  modern hydraulic and electronic systems as well as comfortable and air-conditioned environment into the cabin, gives unlimited capabilities for practicing the agricultural profession. 

The proper choice of the type and size of agricultural machinery  is one of the most difficult and most important decisions for the farmer. By saying  proper choice, we mean the right combination of farm tractors and associated agricultural machinery, that covers the mechanical work needs of farming and reduces the hourly cost of mechanical work in a comparative manner. Therefore, a techno-economic study should be contucted and the above factors should be taken  into account not only in their own, but in a more extensive study that will include:

• Operator’s comfort and safety
• Existing actual needs of the farm
• Agricultural accessories and machinery already belonging to the farmer
• Costing of farm tractor purchase  by analyzing the fixed and variable costs that burden production costs
• Credibility of tractor's production line and dealership
• Distance and reliability of the repair shop

One of the major costs is the cost of fuel consumed by each farm tractor. The fuel consumption of a farm tractor is expressed by a coefficient called “specific fuel consumption” (SFC). This figure presents the amount of fuel consumption in gr per unit of work the tractor produces. So when a tractor works, it consumes a quantity of fuel, and when this amount of fuel is consumed without the tractor producing some useful work,  then the SFC  is high. In other words if a farm tractor has high SFC it means it consumes more fuel in order to produce useful work, hence it is less efficient.

According to these mentioned above it becomes clear that the choice of the right tractor and  its accessories is of key importance for lowering production costs. In theory, an agricultural enterprise must have two tractors. One for heavy works and one for light works. Their size and characteristics depend on the size of the farm and  the work to be done. Can a small farmer who owns a few acres of land property have two tractors? Obviously not, and here is a general issue of cooperation between small farmers by sharing agricultural machinery to squeeze production costs.

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