Recommended Tractor AccessoriesBimini100
Your tractor is much more then simply a piece of production machinery. Your tractor can often be your home for up to eight hours or more per day when you are preparing the soil or harvesting, or working on other projects that require the use of the big beast. Most of us think nothing of adding refinements to our automobile to make us more comfortable: upgrading a stereo perhaps, adding a GPS system and often adding seat covers, and of course the chrome rims. Many farmers forget that their comfort, and their performance within the tractor adds to the overall efficiency of production of the tractor/ farmer unit. If upgrading their experience with the tractor makes for a more enjoyable farm day, then it is money well spent.
No, we will not be painting our tractors neon purple, putting glowing lights under them, or adding chrome rims, but some other tweaks may improve the appearance of the tractor and certainly improve the performance and comfort of the tractor.
Accessory #1: Get cheap and useful technology – an agriculture GPS.
No matter how old or small your tractor is or how small your farm may be, you need to get an agricultural GPS system. An agricultural GPS system will tell you exactly the distances you are traveling on your farm, the areas of where you are spending the most time and help you allocate resources based on complete location information it will provide. After using an agricultural GPS system for one growing season, you know precisely the time spent per acre for particular crops, and can calculate the amount of diesel they require and perhaps even the amount of fertilizer if you have the sophistication to track that as well.
All this information comes from a relatively low cost piece of equipment that can take less than 10 minutes to setup and install in your tractor. It can also tell you if you are tracking straight rows and how far to go, as well as create new patterns or boundaries that are invisible to the naked eye, but firm within the GPS guided system.
This goes down as a must-have piece of equipment.
Accessory #2: Get a sound system or education system.
Install either tractor radio with a good speaker system, or set up your MP3 player or iPod to keep you busy and enjoying yourself while you are going up and down rows feeling like a gerbil. You can listen to whatever strikes your fancy. If it happens to be the latest from Whitesnake or Beethoven’s fifth, or you have decided you want to brush up on your Spanish or learn to speak Portuguese, then all of that is possible while you are taking care of your farmland.
There are also systems available to tie into a radio that will drown out the white noise of the tractor and operating machinery. Over long periods of time that noise causes a great deal of stress for an operator and eventually can cause hearing loss. Bose makes a stereo headset that includes noise-canceling capability that can serve the same purpose.
Accessory #3: Put your money where you sit.
Fortunately, someone in almost all of the design sessions for modern tractors came up with a brilliant idea to give tractor operators comfortable seats. If you are not fortunate enough to have one of the new generation of operator friendly seats than I strongly recommend that you invest whatever you can afford improving your seat comfort. Sitting in a seat that feels about as welcoming as a 2 x 4 will make every minute in your tractor seem like an hour. It is not being a tough guy to be in pain while you are riding around in your tractor. It is being inefficient and eventually will cause health problems if you are sitting either in a position or in a manner where you are restricting blood flow to your legs. Get the absolute best seat you can possibly afford for either yourself if you are the operator or for your hired operators. They will know that you care about them, and they will perform far better over the long haul.
Accessory #4: Make your equipment changeovers hassle free.
Get any mechanical, electrical, or hydraulic accessory that allows you to attach and unattach all of the equipment that your tractor can use as quickly and as easily as possible. For my own tractor, I spent extra to get a mounting plate with hydraulic capturing brackets for being able to switch out from a bucket front loader, to an auger, to a variety of other attachments with nothing more than swapping hydraulic lines and lifting one or two hydraulic levers. This contrasts greatly with using the three point and four point hitch systems. The three or four point hitch systems are nightmares from an earlier era of tractor accessories. Use the latest methods of attaching the variety of accessories available for your tractor so that it minimizes time between changes and allows you to spend more time being productive.
Adding these accessories to your tractor will not only make you a more productive operator, but they will greatly increase your enjoyment of farming. And enjoyment is what it is all about in the end.