A guide to compact tractors

By Tania September 29, 2019 13:52 Updated

As compact tractors can help greenkeepers with a variety of tasks, the demand for them keeps growing. Here, we explore some of the most popular models on the market.

Kubota is well known for its range of groundcare machinery, in particular, the tractors which are built for premium efficiency, comfort and versatility. The B2 Series tractors take compact tractor capability to the next level with user-friendly operation and outstanding productivity. Equipped with high quality Kubota engines and transmissions, they deliver the extra durability and reliability you need for a wide range of jobs on the golf course.

With the deluxe integrated cab and ROPS, the B2 Series tractors bring more comfort and luxury to any task and are the only tractors in their class to feature an integrated cab. With a four-pillar design offering space and an expanded field vision of luxury that’s beyond their class, they are designed for comfortable operation and usability.

All levers, controls and compartments have been carefully laid out for the best ease of use and accessibility. The cleverly devised rear window halflock opens just enough for fresh air ventilation while minimising grass and dust entering the cab. The HST pedal and the independent brake pedals are situated on the left side of the steering column for more right-side foot space and easier operation.

Other key features of the B2 Series from Kubota include:

  • Hydraulic bi-speed turn – an innovative feature, which activates automatically when the front wheel turning angle exceeds 35 degrees. By nearly doubling the front wheel speed over that of the rear wheels, it allows for smoother, faster and tighter turns, and less turf damage. Also, with the use of hydrostatic, the durability of the clutch is greatly enhanced.
  • 12V socket and storage compartment – for charging electrical devices such as mobile phones.
  • Air conditioning and heating – to ensure comfort during all weather conditions.
  • Defogger – to enhance rear visibility when needed.
  • Cruise control (HST model only) – to keep working speeds consistent on the course.
  • Easy to use lever layout – to allow for easier access and smoother operation.
  • Redesigned bonnet latching system – to provide greater safety when opening the bonnet for maintenance.

When it comes to maintenance, keeping your Kubota in tip-top condition is easier than ever with the B2 series. Featuring a one-piece bonnet system, the front grille and newly designed headlamps are now integrated with the bonnet for easier opening and closing. This allows smoother access to engine components for inspection maintenance such as the AC condenser, radiator and battery. The fuel tank filler has been moved to the right side of the hood to make filling easier.

Whether you’re mowing, landscaping or doing light utility work on the golf course, the B2 Series is the best choice for durability, versatility and comfort.

The Royal Automobile Club’s golf course manager Lee Strutt is a long-term fan of John Deere tractors, and his newest compact models are worked hard on the Old and Coronation downland courses near Epsom in Surrey.

Members of the Royal Automobile Club greenkeeping team (left to right) Simon Glover, Andy Airlee, golf course manager Lee Strutt and Gary Stewart with the club’s two John Deere 4066R compact tractors, flanking a brand new 5125R utility tractor. (Image by Ash Youd Photography)

The club’s current fleet includes a 4520 and two 4066R compact models supplied by Farol at Twyford in Berkshire. One of the 4066Rs is equipped with a front linkage to take a snow plough and other mounted attachments, as part of Lee’s ‘future proofing’ approach to tractor purchases.

“The biggest improvements on compact tractors I’ve seen over the past two decades of buying John Deere machines include cruise control, automatic engine features that allow the tractor to be operated in the mode best suited to the application, the Hitch Assist inching control system and particularly the cab, which has excellent visibility and clear digital displays,” says Lee.

“I think if operators enjoy driving the machines they use, they’ll do a better job. I’d happily sit in a John Deere tractor all day long, it’s so comfortable – the company has done a good job of modernising the workspace for the operator, all the controls fit and come to hand very easily. Power to weight ratio is another very good feature, especially with the 4066R, which gives you the same power output at 66hp as some bigger frame tractors.

“John Deere’s latest compact models are pretty much smaller versions of the agricultural machines, so I’d also be keen to see a few more higher spec features such as the headland management system introduced to the smaller turf range. Compacts can be used for just as many different tasks as their larger counterparts, and I believe this would help less experienced users achieve more consistent results.

“We generally set a lifetime benchmark of about 3,000 hours for our compact tractors – the only thing that changes this policy is if a new model comes out with technology I’d like to have! As a long-term investment, if you take into account John Deere’s reputation for durability, reliability and build quality, there’s no doubt that with the company’s tractors you definitely get what you pay for.”

Using pioneering technology first introduced by John Deere on its agricultural tractors and other self-propelled equipment in 2001, the top of the range 4066R compact tractor can now be equipped with a StarFire satellite receiver and AutoTrac Universal automatic steering system. This is being made available on the company’s compact tractor range to help operators achieve higher levels of accuracy and input cost savings when working with implements such as amenity turf sprayers and spreaders.

The TYM T503 mid-range compact tractor strikes the perfect balance of economy with performance.

Powered by a four-cylinder Perkins diesel engine, the T503 is mechanically robust with proven components and a well-equipped, well-thought-out operator platform. It’s versatile and multifunctional, with customers highly rating its performance for annual renovation work, topdressing, pulling a mower and loading and transporting materials around the course, among many features.

It has an array of optional attachments such as front loader and backhoe available, and its ability to tow and pull attachments such as aerators further opens up capabilities of this middleweight compact tractor. In fact, a popular combination is the T503 with Toro’s SR72 for relieving compaction on turf.

Customers highlight how they are impressed with how easy the T503 is to operate and maintain, plus the overall build quality, which is often referred to as ‘exceptional’.

Available with either a 16F/16R manual or a three-range hydrostatic transmission, the T503 is economical without compromising on power. It boasts a range of features and optional extras too, including ROPS or spacious fully air-conditioned cab, independent auto PTO function, independent 4WD, telescopic lift arms and Dromone trailer hitch.


Engine size 49hp

Engine type Perkins

Transmission 16F/16R manual or three-range HST

Rear lift capacity 1,503kg

Rear PTO speed 540 rpm

Max hydraulic flow 55.7 lpm


By Tania September 29, 2019 13:52 Updated

Follow us on social media

Join Our Mailing List

Advertise with Greenkeeping

To advertise in the magazine or online, contact:

View our latest issues