There is a lot to love about farming.
Not only can you make a decent living if it is successful, but you also get to work outside as well. It is also a great way of living sustainably and the nature of the work keeps you fit and strong.
However, as rewarding as running a small farm can be, it is also a lot of hard work. Often involving long hours and quite a bit of stress. Which can be accentuated if you don’t have use of the most efficient equipment.
To make your job easier, it is worth investing in apparatus that is easy to use and can improve efficiency.
With that in mind, here are 10 essential machines and tools for small farms that you should own.
Build up a collection of this equipment and you will soon find your working day much more productive and a lot less physically demanding.
1. Pickup Truck
Regardless of its size, every farm needs a pickup truck.
Arguably the most versatile and convenient long-term purchase you can make for your land, these trucks are essential for efficient hauling.
With them, the likes of transporting firewood, feed, building supplies and soil are much easier. If you partner them up with a trailer, you can even move livestock as well.
While it is a big investment, a good pickup truck can last for many years. Just remember to get it regularly serviced like you would any motor vehicle and keep it covered when not in use.
2. An ATV, UTV or Compact Tractor
Even the most traditionalist farmers who want to use animals to work their land see the value of having an ATV, UTV or compact tractor.
These vehicles are versatile equipment to have around farms and can perform a range of tasks. This includes everything from setting fence posts and pushing snow to baling hay and digging a foundation.
For those with properties of 60 acres or less, a UTV is often sufficient. It is cheaper than a tractor and also comes with a range of add-ons including manure spreaders and front-end loading buckets.
With their low center of gravity and thick tires, they are easy to get across your farmland.
For those with bigger land (and a healthy bank balance!), it is a good idea to have a tractor as well as a UTV. The tractor will be even more efficient at doing the heavy work, while the utility vehicle can take care of the hauling of supplies.
A handcart is worth its weight in gold. So it is a good idea to prioritize this as one of the first apparatuses you buy.
Try and find one that is sturdy and lightweight but can carry a big load. Some brands of carts even come with the facility to convert into a trailer. You can then pull behind a small tractor or UTV.
These carts can also be used for various tasks, including moving tools, hay, plants, seed, topsoil, manure or fertilizer.
In an emergency, they can also be used to transport small or baby animals too!
4. Manure Spreader
Manure is part and parcel of farm life, so it is a good idea to use it wisely.
Spreading piles of manure over your soil improves its fertility, helps to stave off an army of flies and reduces the runoff of contamination.
However, this can be a very labor-intensive task without a manure spreader. So it is well worth your while to get one.
As manure spreaders are units that are tractor driven, you can transport more manure on one trip than you otherwise would be able to. It is particularly handy if you have a lot of animals on your farm.
One of the most environmentally friendly activities you can engage in on your farm is composting.
A great way to stop waste from going to incinerators or landfills, composting is also a natural way to nourish plants and soil.
While you can make your compost box, several different models are available for you to buy and set up on your farm.
As compost comes with the territory of owning a farm, it is a good idea to embrace this organic resource.
6. Livestock Trailer
Should you aim to keep large livestock such as cows or horses, you will need the use of a stock trailer.
Even if you don’t haul your animals all that often, you will be glad you have it when you do.
You can also use it to transport lumber, hay, firewood or feed as well.
7. Hand Tools
As every farmer will tell you, it is important to have a good selection of hand tools to draw upon.
Several top-of-the-range brands come with lifetime warranties, so this is a good investment to make.
Try to build a collection that includes a screwdriver set that comes with a full set of Phillips head and regular drivers. A good quality claw hammer is also worth having, especially if it has a comfortable grip.
Other hand tools you should get include adjustable wrenches which come in various sizes, electrician’s pliers, and a 25-foot and 100-foot tape measure.
8. Garden Tools
A good range of garden tools is a must-have item for any small farm.
What you need depends on the size and composition of your farm. However, your collection should include both a pointed and flat spade, as well as a good fork for digging. The latter is particularly good for turning and breaking up soil, cleaning up manure and harvesting.
You should also invest in a tool like a hoe that will make the process of weeding much more efficient and easier.
9. Electric Tools
You’ll find many different styles of power tools at your local hardware store which would be very handy to have at your disposal. However, two items you should have are an electric drill/driver and a circular saw.
Both of these are essential for any type of farm-based construction project. Whether it be a new gate for the pig pen or a small area to put the compost, these versatile tools will help you do the job quickly and efficiently.
If you do plan to invest in these tools, it’s worthwhile buying a top quality heavy duty one. You might want to add a reciprocating saw to your collection too.
10. Fence Post Driver
Farms and fences go together like fish and chips. So it is well worth purchasing a fence-post driver for your property.
For those who don’t know, a driver is a hefty iron tube that is placed on top of a T-post. Featuring handles on the side, it can be used to securely bang a post deep into the ground.
Depending on the size of your property, this can save you a lot of time and effort when it comes to creating enclosures or fencing them off.
We all know working the land can be hard yakka.
But as this list illustrates, modern farmers have access to a massive range of machinery and equipment, which can make the job a little easier.
To make their farms as successful as possible, all farmers need to consider how best to improve their productivity and efficiency. By building up a collection of this equipment, much of which you can find online with Grays, they will give themselves the best opportunity for doing so.