Yanmar tractors are very capable little machines but some people have a tendency to over-estimate what can be done with a compact tractor. This article is designed to help you know what to expect out of your tractor.
Yanmar tractors come in various sizes and, obviously, the larger the tractor the more work you can do in a given time (all other things being equal). These smaller loader tractors are perfect for moving a bucket load of sand, rocks, or dirt around your property. If you are expecting to dig a pond in your back yard- rent an excavator. Front loader tractors are simply not designed to dig. They are designed to scoop and move.
2wd Loader Work
Adding a loader to a 2wd tractor is not usually recommended. The problem is that when you try to scoop up a load you are pivoting on the front tire and unloading the weight off of the rear tire. The rear tire now has very little traction and, since the front tire does not have any power on a 2wd tractor, you are pretty much stuck until you lower the loader bucket. You can counter this somewhat by adding weights to the rear tires, attaching a weight to the three point hitch, or even by leaving your mower hooked up but you will still never be as productive as a 4wd tractor. Is it better than a shovel & a wheelbarrow? Yes. Is it worth the cost of adding a loader to a 2wd tractor? Not generally. It is usually better to spend a few hundred dollars and upgrade to a 4wd tractor if you are going to be doing a lot of loader work.
Leveling A Lawn
Yanmar tractors are perfect for leveling a lawn. You can put a box blade on the back with ripper shanks. The rippers will break up the ground and the box blade will level it out. The ground, of course, will need to be relatively soft and you will end up making hundreds of circles around your lawn getting it all level & smooth. The box blade will typically only weigh a couple hundred pounds so there is not a lot of down-force. You may find that you need to add weights to the box blade to help it cut into the ground better.
Leveling A Driveway
Using a compact tractor to level a driveway works pretty good. You can use the front loader to spread out a pile of loose gravel easily. Loose rocks and gravel seem to work reasonably well but harder, more packed in gravel or rocks will not work well at all. Some people have visions of the truck dumping a big pile of gravel in the driveway and just ramming the pile with their Yanmar and pushing it down the driveway. It will not work that way. You will be scooping up smaller buckets of gravel and spreading them out. One bucket at a time. Then, either back dragging the gravel with the loader bucket or dragging it out with a rear box blade or utility blade to smooth it out. Again, the problem here is the weight of the blade. The blade will tend to just roll along the top of the road instead of cutting into the gravel and dragging it along. It will usually take many passes. Adding weight to the blade may help.
Yanmar tractors work really well for tilling. The ultra low range gears make these tractors perfect for tilling. You generally want to get a tiller just wide enough to cover your rear wheel tracks. You will have to experiment with different PTO speeds, tilling depths, and gear ranges to get the best results.
Rear mounted mower work really good on these tractors. You can get a rough cut mower with a big single blade to mow road banks, fields, or other areas where you are likely to hit stumps or rocks. The big blade takes abuse better than a finish mower. Finish mowers have 3 (sometimes 4) smaller blades that spin faster and are better suited for lawns. The negative side of rear mounted mowers is the turning radius. Turning with that mower hanging out from the back of the tractor tends to take out trees, cars, and mailboxes until you get the hang of it.
more coming soon.
Always install proper safety equipment including a certified ROPS.