Can a Lawn Tractor Pull a Plow?
Plows – or ploughs – are among the most revolutionary tools of all times, and they’ve changed how we develop the land. From large fields to small plots of land, plowing the soil can yield endless benefits. And if you already have a lawn tractor, you might be wondering whether you can attach a plow to it and turn your plot into more fertile land.
A lawn tractor will not pull a plow well because of its lightweight frame, 2WD, and weaker connection points. A lawn tractor will have 15-25HP and is built for mowing grass, while the minimum power needed to pull a plow is 20-30HP. Garden or row-crop tractors are better for plowing.
If you have a plot of land, it’s only normal to look into the tools that can help you take care of it and obtain the best results. While lawn tractors are excellent for mowing the lawn, they’re not all suitable for plowing – here’s all you need to know!
Can You Pull a Plow With a Lawn Tractor?
If you have a garden or a lawn, you need to have a lawn tractor. It can help you keep your landscape in check and effortlessly cut the grass when preparing for an excellent season.
However, if you’re thinking of turning a part of your land into farmable land, you might wish to use your lawn tractor to pull a plow. Of course, investing in a new tractor can be an extremely costly choice, so it’s worth looking into what you can do with your tractor before investing in a new tool.
However, before pulling a plow with a lawn tractor, it’s crucial to understand what sets this machine apart from others.
Lawn tractors – also called yard tractors – are machines designed to cut grass. They’re lightweight enough to be easily picked up. Their construction is steel and highly streamlined, making the tractor not sturdy enough to pull a plow.
Additionally, lawn tractors only yield an average horsepower of 15-25HP. Smaller models may have only 1-10HP, and larger, newer models can reach the threshold of 30HP. While this might be enough to pull a small plow, the lawn tractor’s construction might make it uncomfortable or unsafe to pull.
Here are some of the tasks that a lawn tractor can efficiently perform:
How Much Horsepower Does It Take To Pull a Plow?
On average, the minimum horsepower needed to pull a plow is 20-25HP per bottom. The most potent lawn tractors might be able to achieve these power standards and pull a 1-bottom plow.
However, horsepower isn’t the only factor to consider to learn whether your tractor can pull a plow. Other elements to keep in mind include:
- 4WD vs. 2WD (most lawn tractors are 2WD)
- Engine type – whether it runs on gas or diesel
- The plow size
- The condition of the soil
Lawn Tractor: Features and Characteristics
Trying to pull a plow with your lawn tractor can cause you to damage your garden tool and fail to work the land properly. Therefore, it’s essential to understand the characteristics that make a tractor able to pull a plow – and why a lawn tractor might not be the most suitable choice!
Here’s a rundown of the characteristics that might make a row crop or garden tractor a better choice for your project!
A Lightweight Construction and Frame
If you try to pick up a lawn tractor from the back and lift it off the ground, chances are you can do so. Lawn tractors, which are also called yard tractors and riding lawn mowers, are designed for cutting your lawn’s grass.
Because of this scope, they’re simple to drive and maneuver – and lightweight! Thanks to their steel frames and minimal components, they won’t weigh much more than 300-600 pounds (135-270 kg).
Thanks to this feature, they’re incredibly versatile and move seamlessly across a flat field. However, if you’re looking to pull a plow, their light frame can become an obstacle. That’s because a plow, depending on size and bottoms, can weigh much more than 650-800 pounds (300-385 kg).
The plow’s weight, coupled with the lawn tractor’s reduced horsepower, can make it impossible for you to pull such heavy machinery.
Steel Connection Points
Another factor to look into before attaching a plow to your tractor is its connection points. You’re likely to find a hoop designed to attach implements at the rear of the tractor.
However, when looking at a lawn tractor’s connection point, it’s immediately clear that these aren’t sturdy enough to pull a plow. A lawn tractor’s connection point is usually made of steel – even if created with a sturdier design.
In turn, this kind of connection system is more suitable for attachments on wheels rather than heavy-duty plows. Attaching a plow to a yard tractor might cause you to damage the connection point.
Horsepower and Scope
The scope of a lawn tractor is to mow the grass. For this aim, it’s one of the most versatile and powerful machines out there. Thanks to its hydrostatic transmission and lightweight body, you can drive your riding lawn mower across any garden without much training.
Manufacturers have developed yard tractors to meet all gardeners’ needs, including adding towing power to attach a wheelbarrow on wheels.
At the same time, these tools might not be suitable for pulling a plow because of these factors:
- They offer a limited horsepower that’s usually below 20-25HP.
- They don’t have proper braking systems in place to safely tow a plow downhill.
- On wet or muddy terrains, it can be impossible for your yard tractor to pull a plow.
- While higher torque standards are available, most riding lawn mowers don’t have enough to pull a plow.
Generally, the average towing power of a yard tractor is 250-580 lbs (113-263 kg), which is a fraction of what’s needed to pull a plow.
Garden Tractor vs. Lawn Tractor
While they’re often put in the same category, garden tractors are incredibly different from lawn tractors. As we’ve seen, a lawn tractor is specially designed for cutting grass and towing green waste. While garden tractors have a similar name, they might be a more suitable choice for pulling a plow.
You can find a comprehensive overview of the differences between the two – or read on in the video below:
Some critical features of garden tractors include:
- More potent than yard tractors, with 25-35HP on average
- They’re much heavier
- They’re constructed in a heavy-duty metal
- They boast cast-iron axles and connection points
- They’re more suitable for heavy-duty attachments such as plows
- They’re ideal for sloped or hilly terrains
Ultimately, garden tractors are more suitable than yard tractors or riding lawn mowers to pull a plow – thanks to their build and torque power. However, other types of tractors might be even more suitable for plowing, such as row-crop tractors.
These tractors are suitable for leveling, harrowing, and seed control tasks. While they’re also more expensive, they can be a better choice than lawn tractors if you have a large land plot that needs caring for regularly. You can also opt to rent one of these tractors from a nearby farmer or cooperative.
A lawn tractor is a tool designed to take care of smaller land plots and cut the grass. They’re more affordable than garden tractors, and they yield 15-25HP. While they’re powerful machines for their scope, they might not be suitable for pulling a plow efficiently.
And, due to their lightweight frame and weak connection point, you might accidentally damage your lawn tractor by trying to pull a plow with it. More suitable alternatives include garden tractors and row crops tractors.