The general purpose tractor is the traditional design with the rear wheels and the front wheels spaced the same distance apart. This type of tractor usually is built closer to the ground than the row crop design. The power range of tractors of this type is very broad; sizes range from about 25 to over 400 horsepower (19 to 300 kW). The use of a general purpose tractor is influenced by its power. The smaller sizes are very popular for smaller agricultural enterprises and for mowing. The mid-range sizes are used extensively for cultivating, spraying, tilling, and mowing, and for mobile or stationary power take off (PTO) power. The larger sizes normally are used for primary tillage and to provide PTO power for larger mobile and stationary machines such as large balers, forage harvesters, emergency generators and silage blowers. Some of the tractors at the top of the power range are designed for tillage only and may not have a PTO or three point hitch.
General purpose tractors are available with all five types of propulsion systems. Historically, this tractor category has been dominated by the rear wheel drive, but in recent years the situation has changed. The propulsion system also is influenced by the power. Smaller tractors use the rear wheel drive or the front wheel assist; in the middle of the power range, all types can be found; and in the largest engine sizes, the most common type is the articulating four wheel drive.
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