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The versatility of compact utility tractors can make them a valuable investment

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The versatility of compact utility tractors can help contractors tackle jobs larger equipment can’t access easily. (Photo: John Deere)
The versatility of compact utility tractors can help contractors tackle jobs larger equipment can’t access easily. (Photo: John Deere)
The versatility of compact utility tractors can help contractors tackle jobs larger equipment can’t access easily. (Photo: John Deere)
The versatility of compact utility tractors can help contractors tackle jobs larger equipment can’t access easily. (Photo: John Deere)

Compact utility tractors (CUTs) can be a true jack-of-all-trades for a landscape professional. CUTs offer pros power and utility in a smaller package than a traditional tractor.

“What makes CUTs such valuable tools is their smaller size,” Beau Woodbury, product manager for Kubota’s BX, B, L Series, says. “It allows them to be extremely versatile in areas that larger equipment has difficulty accessing. CUTs allow for material handling and transport, as well as overall property maintenance in a way that traditionally may have included multiple pieces of equipment.”

Woodbury and Mark Davey, go-to-market manager at John Deere, share with LM why a CUT might be an excellent addition to your fleet of machines and what’s new with models coming in 2023.

What’s right for you?

According to Davey and Woodbury, the most common question contractors ask about CUTs is, “What horsepower do I need for the job I need to get done?” There are several parts to that question, starting with the size of the properties a professional will be working on.

“The main thing is understanding the need of the professional that dictates the overall size/capacity and horsepower needs,” says Woodbury. “Our versatile compact utility tractor lineup helps for effectively selecting the right equipment for their needs.”

Generally, the smaller the property, the less horsepower you’ll need. Properties ranging from 0 to 5 acres call for a CUT with 25-35 hp; from 6 to 10 acres, pros should look for 35 hp and up. Depending on what work a contractor is looking to do with a CUT could skew those numbers as well.

Pros looking to move heavy material should aim higher on the horsepower scale; those looking for a CUT to move lighter material in conjunction with mowing might want to look on the lower end.

Faster and smarter

Part of what makes a CUT such an impactful tool for landscape pros is the ability to change between a variety of different attachments and implements. Changing an attachment allows professionals to dig, move dirt, level dirt and haul materials all with the same machine.

“For design/build jobs, loader and backhoe attachments can be used to carry materials, dig underground or move large amounts of soil,” Davey says. “Additionally, these machines can be equipped with mowers and rotary cutters to tackle land maintenance and grass cutting, efficiently handling even the largest of properties.”

According to Davey, users can also gather telematics from apps like John Deere’s Tractor Plus app, which help to determine when maintenance might be needed. Kubota also offers telematics through its myKubota app.

Davey expects telematics to become more commonplace in the CUT market as it continues to grow.

A tool for all seasons

Compact utility tractor attachments offer additional options for professionals looking to potentially add more services to their business.

Attachments like snow blades, blowers, pushers and brooms can turn a CUT into an effective snow mover. Davey says Deere also offers LED headlights and working lights on its 2023 1025R and 2 Series CUTs, further helping with winter work.

“The true benefit of a compact utility tractor is the ability to tackle a variety of jobs in any season,” says Davey. “This time of year, some parts of the country need to move snow, (John Deere CUTS) are available with a heated cab to allow operators to stay productive in all conditions.”

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Rob DiFranco

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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