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How compact utility tractors can help you save time and money

April 27, 2022 -  By
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(Photo: Kioti)

(Photo: Kioti)

Compact utility tractors (CUTs) are invaluable tools for landscape professionals. The durability, efficiency and versatility are why Greg Bibee, director of strategic sales at Kioti and Mark Davey, market manager at John Deere, call them “Swiss Army knives.”

“It’s an awesome addition to a landscape professional’s arsenal,” Bibee says. “While the tractor itself may not be a specialized machine, if you think of it as a tool carrier, there are hundreds of jobs you can do just by swapping out the implements, instead of having a specialized machine for all of these jobs.”

The spice of life

Greg Bibee

Greg Bibee

There are dozens of attachments one can add to a CUT, making it the ultimate multitool for a contractor.

“You can use a rear blade, scraper or front loader to perform some leveling work,” says Bibee. “You can use a loader to move soil, mulch or gravel around a worksite if you’re doing hardscapes or something like that.”

Contractors also can use CUTs as mowers with a mower deck attachment. These machines also can aid with snow removal, with some manufacturers offering front-mount and rear snowblower attachments.

Bibee says the variety of attachments makes CUTs efficient investments, potentially saving landscape professionals from having to purchase several pieces of specialty equipment.

“You’ve got one machine with multiple attachments that you can swap out on-site,” he says. “It allows you to take on a lot of those jobs and do it far more efficiently. A compact tractor is a really good option for landscape professionals that have a wide variety of things they need to be able to do, depending on the job.”

Time savers

Mark Davey

Mark Davey

The number of attachments presents a new issue for compact tractor owners — time spent switching between them.
The team at John Deere has developed an answer: the Quik-Knect system.

“(Quik-Knect) allows you to quickly attach the power take-off (PTO) without having the hassle that’s typically involved and pulling back to locking collar and aligning the splines,” Davey says. “We pride ourselves on being able to add and detach implements and attachments quickly.”

The system utilizes separate connectors for the PTO shaft and the attachment itself.

Deere’s compact tractors also have drive-over auto attach features for attachments like a mower deck. Users line up their CUTs with the attachment and drive over it, and the attachment automatically connects to the PTO.

Technologically sound

John Deere also offers a way for users to keep track of maintenance schedules in its 2 through 4 Series tractors with its Tractor Plus app. The app requires the CUT to have a smart connector.

“You take a picture of your serial number and add (the tractor) to your profile,” Davey says. “Then you’re able to keep up with that tractor. So, you’d be able to see the engine hours that were last reported on it and any maintenance that’s coming up.”

The app shows users a list of parts needed for maintenance tasks and then allows users to order the parts from their phone for pickup at a local dealership.

“It just makes it really handy to be connected to your tractor and really know how to keep it in tip-top shape,” Davey says.

About the Author:

Rob DiFranco is Landscape Management's associate editor. A 2018 graduate of Kent State University, DiFranco holds a bachelor's degree in journalism. Prior to Landscape Management, DiFranco was a reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio.

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