I don't have a tractor. I don't want to get a tractor. It was sort of fun driving them when I worked on a farm in Tennessee summer of 2008, but since I don't plan to plow my fields much, if at all (I'm grazing animals), I don't see the need for one.
What I do need is:
1. Something that can haul things in a trailer up to my fields, to the woods, etc. (I have a trailer that can hold 1/2 ton, 500kg, 1000lbs (actually a bit more, I think 700kg, just not road legal then) My station wagon is only front wheel drive, and the access up to my fields (my house and the road are down in a fairly narrow valley) is not front wheel drive friendly, and definitely not when loaded. The exercise of walking up is great, and when I don't have anything to carry its great, but if I have to take anything more than a light wheelbarrow load it means a couple of trips up and down (25m change in height, depending on where in the field up to 700m in distance from my house-- it gets old quick!).
2. Transport to the next village, 2km away, where we go to church, because its also just a "tractor road" through the woods. The wife doesn't like walking when its wet, cold, raining, or night, so in these cases we end up driving further away to other villages with asphalt road access. So far two kids, probably more, but they don't all have to legally fit into seatbelts through the woods, because while the tractor trail is crappy mudwise there isn't any dangerous places to crash. I've made it once on there in my station wagon, but the second time I slipped into some mud and had to go get a neighbor to pull me out with his tractor. The border police get by just fine in Mercedes jeeps and the hunters in old Lada Nivas (Russian or Ukraine jeeps). I don't know how either of those would do for pulling much though.
If anyone has good suggestions for what's available in Europe, please let me know. I have heard buying used cars from Germany is the best way to go, because their strict environmental quality standards for emissions in cities make cars go "obsolete" quicker for a lot of germans and the cars are cheaper used there in general than Slovakia (for the same condition, that is). My preference is for diesels, because diesel fuel is much cheaper than gas here and sometimes new cooking oil in the supermarket is even cheaper than diesel, and I'm finally starting to collect from friends waste vegetable oil to filter as well (I feel a bit like a hypocrite doing it, because we wouldn't fry things in sunflower or rape oil at all, but I'll potentially benefit from friends who do that!)
They have been making them for years lots of spare parts cope well with tractor tracks aluminum body's so little rust issues . They claim that over 50 % of them are still going and since they have been making them for over 40 years seems like they will cope with whatever you through at them . Farmers love them .
Get a second hand one not new
Niva 's are a bit rough but will do I think but don't expect them to last and buy some
ear plugs when you drive
Living in Anjou , France,
For the many not for the few
You also have access to things like VW and Mitsubishi AWD's and a few other EU-only trucks and vans with 4wd made for dealing with tractor roads in winter. And there is always a Toyota--land cruiser or pickup.
"You must be the change you want to see in the world." "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." --Mahatma Gandhi
"Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words." --Francis of Assisi.
"Family farms work when the whole family works the farm." -- Adam Klaus
LANDROVERS !!! ! But- Forget about the nice pictures of land rovers in Africa on Safari, Most of the Early landrovers had detachable tops and that is how
you see them being used in all those Safari Documentaries , WRONG !!!
For off road use the top needs to be on in order to control excessive flexion and bending and twisting in the body, If a land rover is used without the top
on by an american used to a jeep, The Landrover can be destroyed in a couple of months !
I Can not speak for one made within say the last 15 years, but I have seen 20 year old land rovers destroyed in a few months, by Americans used to Jeeps !
Just my 2 cents ! BIG AL
Success has a Thousand Fathers , Failure is an Orphan
interesting. well, if I got a landrover, I wouldn't be thinking much about driving it like a convertible, since a lot of these tractor roads have branches sticking out and I don't like getting whacked in the head by trees!
I should give some consideration to VW, as I already have a Škoda Octavia station wagon (Czech brand owned by VW, internals are VW...). I really kick myself now that I didn't hunt down an AWD/4WD instead when I bought the car 3 years ago. Some of the Transporter vans have pretty good ground clearance indeed...