I’m going to make a few people cranky with the next statement.
Sometimes you need to till the land.
Some “permies” (people that are into permaculture) disagree. I don’t want to get into that argument right now.
You may want to scrape a road on your land, break up some hardpan, move snow and tow coops. Maybe you want to seed your pasture or even cut hay. A tractor can be a handy thing to have.
One size doesn’t fit all with tractors.
For this post, I’m going to assume that the tractor is for a small homestead.
You have to have what is called a 3 point hitch. Don’t get a tractor so old that it doesn’t have one. These hitches became popular somewhere around the ’50s, so you shouldn’t have any trouble finding one.
It’s best if the tractor has front wheels that are far apart. This isn’t a requirement, but it helps stabilize things. My tractor is a tricycle, so I will not drive it down a steep hill.
If you look closely, you can see that I’ve pulled off some parts. I’m rebuilding the magneto and carburetor. You can just buy new or have someone else rebuild your parts if necessary.
Notice that I have chains. They come in handy. I recommend them.
The back blade (the thing behind the tractor is handy for moving snow or scraping a road.
A ripper is another implement that I recommend buying. A ripper is a big tooth that cuts a very narrow trench in the ground. It is really good for pulling up roots, tearing up hardpan and pulling cobbles up to the surface. Ripping is a good way to to add small up and down areas to a flat piece of land. This is good for permaculture related activities.
Think about buying an auger. Your tractor can dig holes for fence posts a lot faster than you can.
You may want some implements to mow and rake hay.
One requirement about tractors if you have kids or grandkids: you have to give them rides. Good memories.