Understanding Farm Equipment Types and Their Uses


It is challenging to keep track of the variety of farming equipment types and their uses. While you might be scratching your head about grapples for sale, this article aims to simplify equipment categories and terminology by breaking it down into two categories: farming vehicles and tractor attachments.


Farming Vehicles

While common farming tropes include a red barn and a pickup truck, the pickup is only one vehicle farmers find useful. In fact, there are a few vehicles that are more important to the average farmer.


When a farmer needs to get from point A to point B in a hurry, an all-terrain vehicle or utility vehicle is likely more convenient than a pickup. These four-wheelers are useful for traveling rough terrain, and many can also be equipped with attachments, like snowplows.

Harvester or Combine

If a grain farmer, you will need a harvester or combine. These vehicles make the harvesting process more efficient with a complex system of belts, gears, and blades. Combines use three processes to harvest: reaping, winnowing, and threshing.


The tractor is the most iconic and versatile piece of farming equipment, and it is nearly impossible to have a functioning and productive farm without one. You can purchase a tractor in several sizes, from compact to standard or larger.


Tractor Attachments

A tractor alone is pretty useless; it is the attachments that make these machines valuable to farming. While there are many attachment types, like the John Deere hay spear or the skid steer tree cutter, several are significant to most operations.  

Wagons or Trailers

Available in a wide range of sizes, tractor wagons and trailers are necessary for most farming operations. You can use these attachments for material handling, harvesting, equipment transportation, and so much more, including human transportation.


Square or round balers, depending on your needs, are essential for the collection of straw, hay, and corn stalks. Square balers are typically less expensive than round balers, but the higher-priced product might be essential to your operation.


Seeders reduce the amount of time spent spreading seed across the farm. While primarily used for large-scale farming, some medium-sized or independent farms might find the attachment useful. There are at least four types of seeder attachments:

  1. Box drill seeders
  2. Air seeders
  3. Broadcast seeders
  4. Planters


Harrows are useful in the preparation of agricultural work. The attachments contribute to leveling the soil surface, redistributing weed and crop residue, making room for new plants, and encouraging healthy growth. There are also four types of these attachments:

  1. Roller harrows
  2. Chain harrows
  3. Spring harrows
  4. Disc harrows


Plows attach to the rear of the tractor, dragging long blades and cutting furrows in the soil. Plowing is the first step in preparing the fields for fresh plantings.

Fertilizer Spreaders

Fertilizer spreaders allow for the quick and even distribution of fertilizer. The most common types of spreaders include a manure spreader, slurry spreader, and broadcast spreader.

While not an exhaustive list of farming equipment, the above does help provide a basic understanding of some of the more essential tools and machinery required for farming. For more information, contact a local farm supply store.






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