Home / Connected to the Land Ep. 9: Safety & Compact Utility Tractors (Ryan Winberg)

Connected to the Land Ep. 9: Safety & Compact Utility Tractors (Ryan Winberg)

Title: How to keep you and others safe around compact utility tractors. Brought to you by Ryan Winberg at 4Rivers...

Title: How to keep you and others safe around compact utility tractors. Brought to you by Ryan Winberg at 4Rivers equipment. 

Description: In this episode of Connected to the Land Podcast with 4Rivers, Fred Eichler talks with Ryan Winberg, Director of Sales at 4Rivers, about features of the Compact Utility Tractor and how to operate it safely. 

Guest: Ryan Winberg

Host: Fred Eichler


  1. Safety Features: What we have found is, just as you said, it’s a lot of times, it’s the first real piece of large mechanical equipment that they’ve owned or operated, and in Colorado, like everybody is seeing, the growth is unbelievable, so there are so many small farms being built, and people really focuses on sustainability and be able to grow some of their own vegetables or take care of their own horses or whatever it may be, and they’re getting into a piece of equipment now that they need, big enough they need to operate and gotta that safely. So we’ve been trying to put some initiatives out there to help some folks know how to take their decks on and off safely, the three-point influence on how safely ’cause it’s amazing how many places you can pinch your finger or get caught in a PTO shaft and are saying that they spin and turn in a piece of clothing catches that you’re gonna get in trouble. PTO, President Switch Seat, Loader, pedals, switches, seat belt, fingers, clothes. 
  2. Tips and Tricks: You’ll notice if it has a roll bar, it has a seat belt, it doesn’t have a roll bar, it doesn’t have a seat belt, so like an ATV, it doesn’t have a robot, and neither does a motorcycle, but a small tractor or a UTV that holds two people will have you typically have a robot… We’ll have seatbelts because if you have a roll bar, they want to keep you in because a robot keeps you safe and roller, where if it isn’t a roll bar, then they don’t want to hook you to something that’s going to squish you, so they want you to fly off and get on the way. So it’s a very different approach, but the things that people typically don’t know or don’t see come into play in what we do today, so we want to help people understand some of the different things on the machines.


  1. How do Compact Utility Tractors help our customers? When you go out there, get on that tractor, and she goes to till her garden, feed the horses, it’s like therapy, it’s getting away from reality for a few minutes and just go on and join what you love and the reason you’re in the country, the reason you’re in the mountains, whatever that may be. So we want to make sure that people are doing that safely. 
  2. What are some of the safety features on Compact Utility Tractors? Seat belts, roll bar, president seat switch off, PTO. the hood guard frame ends up becoming them out, so you can walk up to one of the loaders, like my personal compact tractor, and you walk up to mine when am sitting out there in the field and the kids can crawl on it, climb around it, push buttons on it, it doesn’t matter, they’re not gonna get hurt, there’s nothing there that’s gonna move or change or fall over, and John, here’s the only brand that can say that today, which is really neat, if you look at all the other brands they use like more of a foot stand style, and they can sink in the mud, or you can push on the back of the load of frame and the loader will tip over in the ARD, there’s a lot of safety risk that these folks that are playing around it, they’re not even the operators, they’re even less trained typically, or they wouldn’t be playing on the other kids or an interest there that they’re looking to sell, so we’re trying to keep everybody on the farm a safe as we can, not just the operators on the machine. 
  3. Safety procedures to complete before your CUT’s first journey out? Operator’s Manual. Test drive at the dealership, Walk-through with a salesman. 
  4. Putting it in storage? 
Equipment Storage Checklist

– Clean it with a high-pressure washer, making sure to get in all the nooks and crannies where dirt and trash can hide.

– Check for worn parts including belts and hoses, loose bolts, leaks, electrical connections, hydraulics, etc. Now is the time to repair and replace, rather than when you want to start up again and experience a problem, while the work you need to do goes undone.

– Protect any scratched-up areas on metal decks and housings to prevent rust. Paintworks. Wax might be a good option in certain areas.

– Check all fluid levels and filters and follow your operator’s manual instructions for storage and maintenance.

– Now is a great time to remove and sharpen or replace blades on cutting equipment. Some require specialized skills or equipment. So consult your operator’s manual, or call your John Deere dealer for advice.

– Check tires for wear and damage. Make sure they’re inflated to storage specifications.

– For implements like blades, plows, pushes, tillage tools, etc., all the ground-working components should be thoroughly cleaned and coated with a lubricant or other protective coating to prevent rust.

– Lubricate all moving parts and check all grease points.

– Storing equipment in a shed and under a tarp to protect it from the elements is also a good idea.

Lastly, always check the operator’s manual for any special instructions on extended storage before storing equipment. Always read the Operator’s Manual before operating any piece of equipment and follow all operating and safety instructions.

And remember the old adage: How you put your tools away will determine the condition you find them in when you need to use them next time.

5. What attachments would you suggest for each season? Summer, Spring, Fall, Winter? 

Tiller, box blade, loader, garden trailer, snow blower, Push-blade. 

Hundreds of things you can do with your tractor, but one of the most common implements we see today, once somebody’s own it a while, is some way to move a trailer around, because if you have a compact tractor, you probably have a trailer to move it, or you have a horse trailer, or you have a boat, or you have a camper. So we see many people today buy an implement or accessory to either go on their loader or the back of their tractor because they have hydraulics, they move up and down, so I can… For instance, in my yard and in a number of my friends that have seen my attachments, you can move my boat trailer around the farm, I can put my horse trail around the farm, and I never get off the seat so I can back up and move that machine around safely without having to get off Jaime up, try and come up crandon, and you have good visibility. Being in an open station machine like that, it’s much easier to get around with a… Then for instance, get your pick-up out, so it makes some excellent attachments for the front, like pallett forks, we have an attachment, you have a loader on the front to move pallets around, so if you have heavy things and move very often get a little palette, you get palates everywhere, everyone has a pallet you can go pick up, and even if to buy under 7 to 10, you throw things on pallets and then on your seasonality and you’re moving things in a radio, your garage woven with the pallets, you don’t have to move them by hand all the time, and those same palpate tires around, there’s a lot of impeachment, you gain it on the same frame, you can take the fork off and put on a bail spear, so if you wanna move a small round bales or even small square bales, you can do it with pallet forks, or a bale spear, you can take that same attachment off and put in a receiver hitch, so when you wanna move your trailers around, you put a receiver hitch on that thing to move around to put it in and out of storage for the winner or whatever that may be.

6. Hauling your CUT? Best techniques to ensure safe travel?

Before you take delivery, it’s in the book, or obviously, you can talk to your sales team or any of the stores on what they weigh… Most of our machines will fit on a standard car trailer, so these three thousand, even 4000s and down, are light enough, you can put them on a standard car trailer when I see standard car trailer in Colorado, that means two acts that are carried 3500 pounds a piece, but in Colorado, they have to break on every axle, so if you only have one Axel on your trailer, unless it’s a heavy made heavy, heavily made, it’s not heavy enough to Hall a compact tractor, typically, you usually have to have a two actual trailer, and even though lighter to actual trailers, typical how all of our small compact tractors, we sell a lot of tan manual trailers for Hall and compact tractors over the years, and it’s worked really well, because with like our 10-year warning, if you bring it into us once a year, just once a year to have to inspect and get to all changed, that keeps your 10 were warranty in effect.

7. General maintenance on CUT’s:

We back our tractors with a 10-year warning, so you make sure you have a warranty on the machine the whole time you’ve got it, you get finance, you can lock in your cost that way and slow down your unexpected expenses.

One of the other things is they hold their value… Do you know what I mean? I was impressed at how much… You know, when I had talked about upgrading, and I think we still want to do that, and how much the one that we bought was still worth, and I think that’s kind of across the board with John Deere equipment, but in the compact utility tractor, somebody puts that investment in, it’s nice to know you’re going to get that investment or a good portion of that investment back…

Yeah, if you keep the machine looking right or keep it shaded or garage, however, might be, and keep it inspected and service, your machine is going to hold its value well, we’re very proud of that with here, and in fact, we can’t get enough good use trade-ins, we get one trade-in in the US, the four or five customers in line by it, they just don’t last very long, there’s so much demand out there today, and a lot of people, everybody wants to save it, save a few dollars and get the work done, so a good-year-old or two-year-old machine is excellent to have around.

So you can even change oil at home yourself, these things are not difficult to maintain, they’re very simple, very intuitive. And we sell home maintenance kids to do it at home, but if you want to bring in once a year, we suggest a small tan, a mass trailer, or you can rent a U-Haul trailer for the day or whatever that looks like to Halle as well. Our stores are all equipping to come to get them. So if you want a service, you don’t want to have to all of the towers on the means, you call one of our source departments, and we’ll run out and grab it, some of our stores are equipped to come service… I’m right there at your location; all of them can… If you’re more remote, like you’re spread, and we’ve service hours right there at the house, in other locations that have a closer town… Well, describe it. Run us down. Do it in the shop, retinol, and drop it back off.

Yeah, it’s nice to have those service trucks, especially for where I live, you know what I mean? To come out there, and honestly, it’s easier for me too, you know what I mean? I don’t burn up a day all in it. What general maintenance do you suggest on those… So somebody may be… Listen, that goes, I wonder what it takes to maintain them. We found it super easy to maintain, but if you ask for rivers and Director of Sales, you know more about them than I do, talk a bit of just some of the suggested maintenance on a compact utility tractor.

Yeah, there’s not a lot to it. Typically, an oil change once a year, it’s not every three months, like your car is typically once a year, the hour requirements, unless you’re doing commercial modern or something, are low enough that maybe, once a year, grease the loader and it’s supposed to be every 50 hours and most of our loaders, which for most consumers, that’s about twice a year, so you grease the load or pinch points roughly twice a year to make sure they’re good shape, you check the air pressure once a year if you’re in really dirty conditions, are mowing a lot of grass with it, do you want to check the radiator or the screens in front of the radio, in the side screens more often, so you want to do a walk around to your safety check daily, and if you see a major build-up of material anywhere, could wipe that off. Get rid of that extra bill dot to keep your machine cooler and keep it safe from any fire danger, especially in Colorado, we’re getting really dry, like we do every year, and you have to watch the fire danger, or maintenance-wise is very, very low.

Very low maintenance, none of our compact tractors have blank, like you’re seeing your pick-ups and larger D machines today, so there’s not that you have to worry about, it’s just diesel engine oil. I hate to say that doesn’t burn any oil anymore, but the engine technology has come so far that 99% of the customer do we check the oil to two oil changes, and to be honest, I never check mine, my personal tractor either. It still looks good and still full, every time I change, it will every year, so there’s a lot to it, but they do have a daily recommended check of the dipstick of as for your oil and your transmission, most transmissions have a site glass, you can look at the oil will not even removing anything. So they’re very simple to maintain. They don’t take any special knowledge; no tools are required to check anything that you’d have to do on an annual basis.


8. What does the future of Compact Utility tractors look like? More sales? High demand, and low supply? Pre-order for the fall. 

Yeah, you can get in a compact tractor for under 15000, and you can get in a compact for 100 a month. There are many options out there between 00 months or 15000, the machine you finance up to up to seven years. It depends on what your situation is. How long are you going to do monthly, quarterly, semi-annually? You want to pay three months, give three, pay three whatever, we’re pretty simple to work with, we can organize that to whoever it makes sense in your cash flow, what you’re trying to do with your farm and your minor operation of whatever kind of maybe… So we can work around that. That’s pretty simple. It’s in-house through John or financial. So it’s pretty simple to work with, they’ve got an online form, you fill out and get you pre-approved, you know what you’re good to go for, and it’s for you, it’s completely confidential, and so where you go… We back our tractors with a 10-year warning, so you make sure you have a warranty on the machine the whole time you’ve got it, you get finance, you can lock in your cost that way and slow down your unexpected expenses.

So one, two, three, or four-family is the most common in these machines, and by far we sell more under 30 horsepower tractors here, then all the other families from tester are combined. Well, the ones outsell everything else, hands-down, there’s that many large property owners or small farms, anchorages in Colorado that we go through hundreds of years of those small tractors, which like everybody availability has been somewhat of a challenge in 21 and probably will be some in 22, a lot of those machines coming in on every day for the new Operators or the small farms.

But typically, when they give you a date, they’re generally pretty good at taking that day. They’re prioritizing those orders, so rather than another dealership getting one just for stock inventory and when you sign a retail order. You order your machine, you’re actually locked into that machine. You get prior towards the priorities above all the other dealers in their documentary. Like John Deere, a lot of different folks, we’re actually giving some incentives for people to fall order, because right now, if you try to buy anything for outdoors in Colorado, here paying full price, if you… You can’t even find… There are just not many discounts out there, but if you follow, order a compact tractor, you actually can get a received like a free box blade or a discount on the machine for ordering it and waiting for your machine to come because you’re on a… To do some more manual between them or run a machine or deal with an older one you already have or something for a while until the new machine arrived, so we’re trying to help some folks out with that and still get their needs taken care of before winter.

9. What is your favorite John Deere/CUT’s memory/moment? 

There is… There’s some forestry equipment that is insane, but they don’t even have a steering wheel; they’ve keyboards and not just one keyboard, but one in each hand looking, either way, to talk about artificial and tell, I’m not good enough. Not just serious intelligence, and I am not talented enough to run that just yet, but some of the technology we’ve been incorporated in the machines as they have made him fun to run, but my own farm, I farm on the side at home, in my entire fleet of equipment, and I just got it accomplished, but everything I own now my farmers antique, and I guess that makes me at because it’s Antanas all never to me. So everything I own is 1976. No, so my windrower that I cut the hay with it in 1976, my tractor that I rated the haywire that rakes in both my baler as square and round baler. Everything is 1976. Now, if that’s really cool and… No, it wasn’t on purpose. It was dumb luck. And once I figured it out like, that’s really cool. I used to act like I did that on purpose.

Right, and then my youngest son comes out, looks, and goes down, but you used to have a really nice modern tractor that worked really well. I’m like, Yeah, this is grey. It’s very… I love it. That’s awesome. So I like the older equipment, I love technology, I’m definitely a tech guru, but the old… The old iron is just unique. It harkens back to a simpler day when you think about how your dad did it, or My guess on nothing for grandad did it, but you know… Yeah, how did it… Or when you were a kid, you have to see the machine will some of that stuff’s still usable, and I didn’t restore any… Mine was so good used equipment that wasn’t good enough for a big farm but perfectly capable of my little tears.