Types of Farm Machinery and their uses – The Ultimate Guide

11 Nov, 2022

5 min read

Farm machinery is an integral part of modern-day agriculture. It helps farmers to speed up the process of planting, harvesting and other agricultural tasks. There are a wide variety of agricultural machinery available on the market, and each one has its specific uses. In this article, we will take a look at the different types of farm machinery and their applications.

What Is Farm Machinery?

Farm machinery refers to the various types of machines that are used in agriculture for carrying out various tasks. These machines help farmers to save time and labour, and they can be used for a wide range of tasks such as planting, harvesting, ploughing, irrigation, and so on.

The Types Of Farm Equipment

There are two types of agricultural machinery commonly used by modern farmers: stationary and mobile. Stationary machines are usually used for tasks that require a lot of power, such as threshing and grinding grain. Mobile machines, on the other hand, are used for tasks that can be carried out by moving the machine from one place to another, such as spraying crops or transporting goods.


Telehandlers, also known as boom lifts, are one of the most versatile types of farm machinery. They are a cross between a crane and a forklift and both static and mobile variations are used on farms. Telehandlers can be used for a wide range of tasks such as lifting hay bales, carrying farm equipment, and moving heavy loads.

manitou telehandler

A Manitou telehandler

Rough Terrain Vehicles (RTVs)

Rough terrain vehicles (RTVs) are specially designed to navigate rough and uneven terrain. They are often used on farms for tasks such as carrying farm equipment or moving hay bales. RTVs usually have four-wheel drive and high ground clearance, which makes them ideal for use on uneven ground. The most common example of RTVs found on farms is a rough terrain forklift and these are regularly used when loading heavy items like hay bales into barns or onto trucks.

rough terrain forklift

A rough terrain forklift in action


The best known example of farming machinery is the farm tractor and it’s arguably the most important vehicle on a farm. These multipurpose vehicles are mainly used for ploughing, tilling and planting. They are also used for other everyday farming tasks like towing other farm equipment, such as trailers and harvesters.

One tractor definitely doesn’t fit all and there are 4 types of tractor used regularly on farms across the UK. These are: 

Utility tractors: Utility tractors are the most common type of tractor and are used by farm workers for everyday farming tasks like looking after livestock and towing other small farm machines like muck spreaders or belly mounted mowers. 

john deere utility tractor

A John Deere Utility Tractor

Compact Tractors: Compact tractors are small modern tractors used around farm buildings, or by small scale farmers. They are perfect for towing small trailers of animal feed or operating where there is limited space. Using compact tractors is a great way to lower farm operating costs as they use less fuel due to the smaller size. 

kubota compact tractor

A Kubota compact tractor

Row Crop Tractors: Row crop tractors are used by both small scale farmers and large scale farms. These tractors are great all round pieces of equipment and are used by farms for crop production. These tractors are used with other equipment like drag harrows, disc harrows and seed drills, in the planting of all crop types but usually grain crops and cereal crops. 

row crop tractor in a field

A Row Crop Tractor in action

Implement Carrying Tractors: Implement carrying tractors are larger tractors specifically designed to tow bulky items. They are commonly used by large scale farms to pull all types of farming machinery including harvesting machinery, parallel-bar rakes, fertiliser spreaders and irrigation equipment. 

implement carrying tractor

An Implement Carrying Tractor


All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)

ATVs also known as quad bikes can be found on almost every farm across the UK they are a simple way of moving around larger farms and are much more efficient than tractors. The use of ATVs allows farmers to keep farm operating costs low and travel long distances across rough terrain at speed.  

Quad bikes are also used on a regular basis on modern farms for tasks like checking field conditions and land grading tasks. 

quad bike

Two quad bikes crossing a river


A transplanter is a machine that is used for transplanting seedlings from one place to another. Transplanters range in size and there are two main types used in modern farming these are tractor-pulled transplanters and handheld transplanters. 

Handheld Transplanters are used by small scale farmers or for specific crop types and have a much slower planting rate, these types of transplanters are becoming less and less commonly used in modern farming. 

Tractor-pulled transplanters allow farmers to plant crops at a very fast rate, and they can be used for transplanting a wide variety of crops. These pieces of farm equipment allow for a much less labour intensive planting process and is a much more cost efficient method of farming. 


A transplanter in action



Ploughs and tillers are used on all agricultural crop producing farms and range in size up to massive 25 foot ploughs! Ploughs are used to break the soil surface and prepare it for planting as well as to bury old crop residue and help control weeds. There are a few different types of ploughs around today and these are used for the different soil types they include:

Chisel Plough: Chisel ploughs have narrow chisel points mounted on long shanks that break the soil surface and help to reduce weed growth.

chisel plough

Chisel plough

Moldboard ploughs: which have curved plates that cut the soil as they spin these are used to bury old crop residue and prepare an area for new crops. 

moldboard plough

A Moldboard Plough

Disc ploughs: Which are designed to be used when opening up new fields and to process rocky areas these are used when the soil is low quality and the ground is hard.

disc plough

Disc Plough

Harvesting Machinery

Harvesters are farming machines used to collect the fully grown produce and deposit them into a trailer for transport to storage. The most commonly used type of harvesters are grimme – harvesters, forage harvesters and combine harvesters.

Grimme Harvesters: Grimme harvesters are commonly used for crops like potatoes and are super efficient machines capable of  filtering out soil and rocks and transporting the crop to a trailer ready for transport to storage. 

grimme harvester

Grimme Harvester

Forage Harvesters: Forage harvesters also known as silage harvesters are used for crops like grass or hay, They harvest plants to make silage which is chopped into small pieces and deposited into silos. 

forage harvester

Forage Harvester

Combine Harvester: Combine harvesters are the most common type of harvesting machinery and can be used for a variety of crop types like wheat and corn, Combine harvesters both cut and thrash crops allowing for a much more efficient process, and can harvest up to 30 acres of wheat crop in an hour! 

john deere comnbine harvester

John Deere 955 Combine Harvester


Farm machinery plays a vital role in modern agriculture. It helps farmers to save time and labour, and it can be used for a wide range of tasks such as planting, harvesting, ploughing, irrigation, and so on. In this article, we have looked at the different types of farm machinery and their applications in modern farming, we hope you found it useful!

Are you looking for telehandlers or all terrain forklifts to level up your farm machinery set up? Forkify’s range of local partners have a wide variety of machines available for hire and sale. Simply enter your requirements on our homepage and we’ll get to work finding the best deal!