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While viewed at first glance as a machine used only be professionals, tractors are an attractive and versatile option for homeowners interested in either improving or maintaining their yards.

“You can add implements, such as snow plows, snow blowers, power brooms, scraper blades and landscape rakes,” explained William Matheson, owner of New Boston Truck & Equipment in New Boston. “You can also add post hole diggers, stump grinders, backhoes, finish mowers and rototillers … A tractor can be a very useful tool.”

Today’s “hardworking” tractors are also comfortable.

“They can be equipped with a cab with air conditioning and heat, front and rear wipers and washers, front and rear work lights, air ride seats, tilt steering wheel and stereos with bluetooth,” he said. “They are very comfortable and have lots of room and great visibility.”

For homeowners specifically thinking about moving snow this winter, Matheson said all their tractors — from the smallest 23 horsepower subcompact they sell to their larger tractors — possess this ability.

“You can put a front snow blower, rear PTO (power take-off) snow blower, snow plow or snow pusher. or simply use the front loader bucket,” he said. “It really depends on the customer’s snow removal needs and how comfortable he or she is with operating the attachments.”

For individuals who have never owned or operated a tractor before, Matheson said the most important consideration is its intended use as opposed to its horsepower or size.

“Certainly, the terrain will play a factor in what someone’s needs may be, but that is not the only thing to consider,” he said. “Most tractors today are built with ease of use for the end user.”

He said they have taught many first-time tractor owners how to operate a tractor.

“We discuss with them the many uses outside of the obvious ones that you can do with one,” he said.

As for storing a tractor, a garage or outdoor storage option would be ideal, but it is not a requirement. One thing Matheson would not recommend, however, is putting a tarp over it.

“We have found that this gives mice a nice sheltered home to which they can really wreak havoc on the tractors,” he said. “Things such as tires and seats last much longer when stored under cover.”

If a tractor is not stored under any sort of cover, the main concern would not, in fact, be snow or rain.

“The sun will do more damage,” he said.

Other considerations include maintenance, which Matheson said is very important to the life of a tractor.

“We recommend consulting the operators manual,” he said. “Today’s manuals go over the maintenance procedures very well.”

Noting he feels the maintenance is very easy, Matheson acknowledges it really depends on the comfort level of the customer.

“We can service a tractor at a customer’s home or pick it up and service it in our shop,” he said. “We always help the customers who want to service their own equipment, too. All of our employees can speak to the customer and will offer any advice or support as needed.”

If there is one final consideration for the would be tractor owner, Matheson cited a long-term view.

“A tractor is an investment,” he said. “A tractor is something that many folks only buy once so longevity and finding one that best suits their needs should be the priority over just finding one with the lowest price.”

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