A Two-Wheel Tractor Is Perfect For Small Farms

There are numerous benefits that a two-wheel tractor brings to small and hobby farms, so consider these advantages of compact machinery!

by Zach Loeks
PHOTO: images by Zach Loeks

The two-wheel tractor is the best piece of small equipment for professional growers, landscapers and serious homesteaders. It makes land management a breeze. Two-wheel tractors are affordable yet powerful and beneficial for many different tasks. They can be suitable to many different types of enterprises where affordable, maneuverable, multi-functional equipment is needed. 

I have used two-wheel tractors throughout my life and career.  When I was growing up on a permaculture homestead in Santa Fe, New Mexico, we had a two-wheel tractor to manage our gardens and do various earthworking tasks. I also used two-wheel tractors when I started up my market garden and innovated a Permabed system using equipment to help form raised beds that were never destroyed, only reformed. 

This system is much easier now with some of the great equipment being manufactured today—like the power ridger!  Now I use two-wheel tractors extensively to nursery fruit trees, berry bushes and herbs. I can more easily prepare land for edible landscapes or foodscapes using the edible ecosystem design methods we are developing. The two-wheel tractor is great for home gardeners, homesteaders and farmers. 

 Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits. 

Read more: Build Permabeds with a two-wheel tractor and power ridger.

Multi-Functional Tractor

A two-wheel tractor has only one engine, and yet you can use it with multiple implements. This multi-functional nature is unique to tractors and makes the smaller two-wheel tractor quite useful for many different property types and project applications.   

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Easy to Learn & Use

These tractors have a simple but effective design. With every control in easy access to an operator’s hands and eyes, the learning curve is straightforward.  Large equipment takes much more time to learn to operate correctly, and in many situations it is no more effective. 

two-wheel tractor tractors

Task-Appropriate Power

Most two-wheel models have between 1 to 18 horsepower.  Overall, this lower hp range and their light weight makes them useful for application where other tractors with too much power and weight aren’t ideal. 

For example, there are farms that use large tractors (from 20 to 200 hp) to pull light cultivation equipment over just one to three vegetable beds. This is far more weight and power needed for these light-duty jobs.  


Tractors are available at a price range that allows a grower to pick up all needed equipment on a modest start-up budget. Often, with large equipment, you could easily sink all your money into machinery. 

Read more: Two-wheel tractors are ideal tools for community gardens!

Diverse Seasonal Implements

The two-wheel tractor has many jobs it can perform through all four seasons. You’ll find a plethora of equipment suitable for different spring, summer, fall and winter jobs. 

Low Impact

These lightweight and fuel efficient machines (you’ll even find some electric models entering the market) are low impact in two senses.

First, they cause far less compaction on your soil. Second, the manufacturing is far less energy intensive than larger equipment.  Considering large tractors are used for jobs that could be performed by smaller tractors, they are always a lower impact choice for smaller land management jobs. 

Low Maintenance

Generally speaking, the design of the two-wheel tractor is one that is easy to maintain, with easy access to most components and a good deal of functionality visible to the human eye. 

They rely on four-stroke engines, which are both commonplace and maintenance friendly. You don’t need highly specialized tools or facilities to maintain this equipment. 


These tractors are very maneuverable because they are small, with a tight turn radius. This makes them very effective for situations where there isn’t much room for turning around, such as the ends of garden plots or within greenhouses.   

Easy Storage & Transport

These machines are easy to store, with foldable handlebars and a compact size. They are also easy to transport, with the ability to load in the back of a pickup truck or on a small trailer. 

Safe Handling

These units are much safer to operate than large equipment. They are much smaller and lighter, yes, but advances in safety have also made them quite safe for operators at all levels of experience. 

The two-wheel tractor is also great for a number of specialized jobs, where larger tractors are too large to fit and maneuver, or cause too much compaction. The two-wheel tractor has many jobs it can perform through all four seasons, with a plethora of equipment suitable for different spring, summer, fall and winter jobs.

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