As the warm weather comes on, a job on every farm is to pull the yard care equipment out of storage and get it running again. If that’s getting to be a nuisance, you might want to look at some of the new offerings in the lawn and sub-compact tractor segments that manufacturers have introduced for 2018. Any of them should easily take care of keeping large farmyards tidy and trimmed.
John Deere made some major changes to its popular line of 100 Series lawn tractors for this spring. The brand claims the changes make these models more comfortable to operate and also easier to maintain.
“Our main priority is to provide an easy and hassle-free experience for owners to maintain their lawn tractors,” said Kirk Eisenbeis, product marketing manager for John Deere.
Among the changes to the 100 Series, which gets a new model, the E150, are new dual foot pedals, one for forward travel and the other for reversing. The operator’s station has been modified to better accommodate both tall and short drivers and the cut-height lever has been redesigned to give better leverage when lifting and lowering the mower deck while still keeping out of the way for easy mounting and dismounting. As well, the ReadyStart feature makes choking the engine during normal startup unnecessary.
Arguably the biggest change, though, is Deere’s new quick oil change feature.
“The ability to change oil easily, quickly, and without a mess is really appealing to people who don’t have traditional oil change experience,” said Eisenbeis.
The 100 Series lawn tractors now have a combined filter and oil canister that holds about 0.76 of a litre of oil. Just twist the canister a quarter turn and it comes off with the filter and contaminated oil. Then twist the new one on in the same way, and the job is complete in only 30 seconds or so.
This system even ensures there are no oil spills on the garage floor to clean up afterward.
New Holland also has something to announce that should please those in charge of farmyard maintenance. The brand has two new machines to offer in the sub-compact tractor segment, adding the Workmaster 25 and smaller 25S models to its lineup.
The Workmaster 25 gets a three-cylinder 24.7 horsepower diesel engine mated to either a 12×12 gear transmission or a three-range hydrostat. It is capable of delivering 7.9 g.p.m. (30 l/m) of hydraulic flow to an implement. It also brings a category one three-point hitch that has a lift rating of 1,808 pounds (820 kilograms) at the ball ends, and it has a 540 r.p.m. PTO shaft.
The more compact 25S uses the same three-cylinder diesel and a hydrostatic transmission, but it looks more like a lawn tractor and has lower specifications in almost all categories except horsepower. Available in four different configurations, the 25S can still be fitted with a loader or small backhoe attachment, and it offers a rear PTO and three-point hitch as well.
We should also mention that South Korea’s Kioti tractor brand made changes to its sub-compact tractor line last year, introducing factory-mounted cabs on its 35- and 40-horsepower CK models.
“On a lot of the small tractors, you don’t have factory-mounted cabs,” said Gerry Picard, Kioti’s territory manager. “A lot of guys were asking about that. So we have a beautiful system now. We decided to put a factory-mount cab on a 35 and 40 horsepower. It’s our SE version.”
The cabs are typical of what you’d expect on a tractor of any horsepower class. They’re airtight, with plenty of quiet.
“It’s done right from the factory and it is a nice piece of work,” Picard adds. “It comes with air conditioning, heat, all that kind of stuff. And it’s very quiet. There aren’t any loose fittings or air holes.”