The term "tractor" (US and Canada) or "tractor unit" (UK) is also applied to:
Garden tractors (mini tractors) are small, light tractors designed for use in domestic gardens and small estates. Garden tractors are designed for cutting grass, snow removal, and small property cultivation. In the U.S., the term riding lawn mower today often is used to refer to mid- or rear-engined machines. Front-engined tractor layout machines designed primarily for cutting grass and light towing are called lawn tractors; heavier-duty tractors of similar size are garden tractors. Garden tractors are capable of mounting a wider array of attachments than lawn tractors. Unlike lawn tractors and rear-engined riding mowers, garden tractors are powered by horizontal-crankshaft engines with a belt-drive to transaxle-type transmissions (usually of four- or five-speeds, although some may also have two-speed reduction gearboxes, drive-shafts, or hydrostatic or hydraulic drives). Garden tractors from Wheel Horse, Cub Cadet, Economy (Power King), John Deere, Massey Ferguson and Case Ingersoll are built in this manner. The engines are generally a one- or two-cylinder petrol (gasoline) engines, although diesel engine models are also available, especially in Europe. Typically, diesel-powered garden tractors are larger and heavier-duty than gasoline-powered units and compare more similarly to compact utility tractors.
Modern tractors use a power take-off (PTO) shaft to provide rotary power to machinery that may be stationary or pulled. The PTO shaft generally is at the rear of the tractor, and can be connected to an implement that is either towed by a drawbar or a three-point hitch. This eliminates the need for a separate, implement-mounted power source, which is almost never seen in modern farm equipment. It is also optional to get a front PTO as well when buying a new tractor.
The most common use of the term "tractor" is for the vehicles used on farms. The farm tractor is used for pulling or pushing agricultural machinery or trailers, for plowing, tilling, disking, harrowing, planting, and similar tasks.