There’s a lot of farm equipment with all sorts of purposes and functions, but the greatest is durable, practical and multipurpose. Farmers already deal with tough soil and cloudless skies, so they need help to make their jobs easier. Here are some of the best pieces of heavy machinery to have on the farm.
A tractor is handy and capable of many functions, depending on its attachments. Since it comes in many sizes and types, farmers can get whatever works best with their land. Its primary purpose is to haul heavy objects, but outfitting it with additional equipment helps with various other daily tasks.
It’s one of the best pieces of heavy machinery to have on the farm because it’s versatile and dependable. For example, a tractor could prepare a field for planting in eight hours, even though it would take 40 days to do it manually.
Tractors are becoming more popular and farmers are beginning to turn to them to get the job done. According to the South African Agriculture Machinery Association, sales were up 56% in August 2021 compared to the previous year.
Much of the soil in Africa lacks moisture and it can be tough to dig more than a foot because it’s so dry and impacted. Plows are essential on farms that need help breaking up the soil to prepare for planting. Doing so can also discourage weed growth, making caring for crops easier.
Farmers can cut down on labor and relieve some of the physical strain of farming with an excavator. It carries heavy objects and can dig. Since the bucket on the front is relatively small, it has much more range of motion than other heavy machinery that hauls or digs.
Excavators are also incredibly versatile because they can have multiple attachments that let them do many different jobs. For example, additional equipment allows it to level fields so they’re easier to tend and access. It’s similar to a combined version of a shovel and wheelbarrow — only it can handle much larger workloads.
4. Combine Harvester
While soil preparation and planting are important, harvesting is critical to a farm’s success. A combine harvester’s primary function is to cut and gather crops simultaneously. Farmers can use them on a variety of crops and grains. For example, they can harvest corn, wheat, oats and soybean, to name a few. It cuts down on the time it takes to gather.
A telehandler helps farmers access things out of their reach, whether they’re storing them up high or need help stacking bales. It’s commonly used for farm chores since it’s one of the few machines with such a specific yet helpful function. Various attachments are also available to make using it easier.
6. Seed Drill
A seed drill is one of the best pieces of heavy machinery for farmers looking to save effort. Since it plants in bulk, it also significantly reduces labor costs and time. They can control where and how crops will grow because it sows seeds evenly and at the same depth.
7. Front-End Loader
A front-end loader is similar to other heavy-duty farm equipment but is meant for small-scale agricultural operations. Since small African family farms typically have separate plots of land, they’re better suited for smaller equipment.
It’s essential for farmers who pick up and move large amounts or heavy objects. It also digs, so it’s excellent for holes and ditches. For example, it can easily transport heavy feed bags or create a natural irrigation system.
Agricultural rakes are essentially large, industrial versions of the versions available for manual use. They’re great for making the ground level, spreading soil and gathering excess brush. An agricultural rake is one of the best heavy machinery for farms because it can do so much.
Balers are some of the best heavy agricultural machinery because they convert excess crop, straw or weeds into a compact shape that farmers can easily transport and store. It’s fairly standard, but it’s especially useful for farms with livestock to feed or those looking to sell the bales for extra profit.
A harrow tills the ground primarily to prepare it for planting, but it’s multipurpose and can pair with various attachments. Basic versions are available for only a few hundred dollars, making them relatively accessible even to small farmers. They help prevent weed growth by breaking up the soil and can smooth out the ground for better planting and easier access.
Best Pieces of Heavy Machinery for a Farm
Farmers face plenty of challenges — whether it’s a lack of rain or tough soil — that heavy machinery can deal with. Preparing dry soil and efficiently planting reduces the amount of effort and labor each farm needs, making it easier to focus on what’s essential.