Multi-Purpose Machines and Attachments for Canadian Agriculture

17 February 2022

On all types of farming and agriculture operations across Canada, there is no shortage of tasks that need to be done throughout the day. Many farmers rely on a fleet of multi-purpose machines and attachments to complete a diverse range of jobs, allowing them to work quickly, safely, and more efficiently.

Increasing productivity while cutting costs is top-of-mind for every Canadian farmer. With access to multi-purpose machines, including Skid Steer Loaders, Compact Track Loaders, Compact Wheel Loaders, Mini Excavators, and Telehandlers, farmers can save valuable time and labour on a range of everyday tasks, from stacking bales to clearing manure to performing routine maintenance and odd jobs around the farm.

Below is an overview of the top five multi-purpose machines that are able to complete a variety of common jobs across a wide range of Canadian farming operations. Simply by swapping out the
attachments, you can improve the productivity and profitability of your farm.

Skid Steer Loaders

Skid Steer Loaders are already recognized as one of the most versatile machines across construction and landscaping project sites. Powerful, exceptionally maneuverable machines with the ability to dig, lift, push, dump, and handle a variety of materials, their small size, versatility, and ease of use make them popular with all operators.

Available on tires, Skid Steer Loaders are ideal for farming operations that contain a lot of hard surfaces, such as concrete, asphalt, or gravel. They are commonly used for work inside livestock buildings, including free-stall barns and chicken coops, and are also used to manage warehousing and storage duties on crop farms and production facilities.

Popular attachments for Skid Steer Loaders include:

Compact Track Loaders

A Compact Track Loader is very similar to Skid Steer Loader, except a Compact Track Loader is equipped with rubber tracks instead of tires. This makes Compact Track Loaders ideal for uneven, wet, and muddy terrain. With a lower ground pressure than tires, the tracks perform better on steep inclines with greater load stability.

Compact Track Loaders are relied on for farming operations that have a lot of outdoor space, and are commonly used for loading and transporting materials from the field, and clearing and maintaining any fence lines or brush areas. These are popular with cattle ranches, pasture farms, and hobby farms.

Compact Track Loaders

Popular attachments for Compact Track Loaders include:

Compact Wheel Loaders

A Compact Wheel Loader can complete many of the same types of jobs that a Skid Steer Loader can provide (handling a variety of materials on hard surfaces), but are more productive for larger-scale farming operations, with the ability to operate on uneven, soft, and muddy surfaces as well. Because of its body design, the Compact Wheel Loader also sits a little higher than a Skid Steer Loader, improving operator visibility when using attachments or dumping, and when you need to look to the side of or behind the machine. A Compact Wheel Loader’s side-entry door is also much easier and safer to climb in and out of, and it has a roomier and more comfortable operating experience.

Where a Skid Steer Loader is preferred to complete a more diverse range of jobs, a Compact Wheel Loader is a much more productive machine in instances where you need to move a lot of material quickly across greater distances, and when you need to lift, carry, and dump larger, heavier, and higher loads. And with heavier duty tires and higher ground clearance, a Compact Wheel Loader can work just as efficiently in the field as in the barn.

Popular attachments for Compact Wheel Loaders include:

  • Hydraulic Angle Blades: to scrape and push light materials including manure and snow.
  • General-Use or Light Material Buckets: to scrape, push, lift, carry, and dump light materials including manure, bedding, feed, crop, and snow.
  • Multi-Purpose or 4-in-1 Buckets: to scrape, grab, scoop, carry, and dump a variety of light materials including manure, bedding, feed, crop, and snow.
  • Grapple Buckets: to grab, lift, carry, and dump loose and oddly-shaped materials, including manure, silage, and hay.
  • Silage Defacer: to loosen and break apart silage and haylage from tightly compacted bunker silos in order to transport and feed.
  • Bale Spears: to lift, carry, and stack rectangular bales of hay.
  • Bale Grabs or Bale Handlers: to lift and carry round bales of hay.
  • Pallet Forks: to lift, carry, and stack pallets of materials.
  • Brooms or Sweepers: to sweep and clear excess dirt, manure, rocks, gravel, sand, or light snow on indoor hard surfaces or paved driveways.
  • Mulchers, Rotary Cutters, or Brush Cutters: to cut and mow dense clearings, thick landscapes, and overgrown areas.
  • Rakes: for scrape and clear dense landscapes and overgrown areas.
  • Augers: to dig holes to plant trees or install fence posts.

Mini Excavators

Especially popular within the landscaping industry, the Mini Excavator may not seem like a common machine found on a traditional farming operation. But with its compact footprint, lightweight, and superior maneuverability, a Mini Excavator excels in tight spaces without disturbing the ground conditions. And with its ability to swivel its cab 360-degrees, it can scoop and unload materials quickly and efficiently.

Vineyards and orchards have begun using Mini Excavators to complete a wide range of tasks within their operations, as these machines are small enough to maneuver between rows of vine stocks or trees, without damaging the valuable root systems. And with its primary function as a digging machine, you can install and make repairs to underground sewer and irrigation systems.

Mini Excavators

Popular attachments for Mini Excavators include:


The most multi-purpose machine available for farming operations has to be the Telehandler. A Telehandler is a unique machine that combines the low-profile and versatile benefits of a Skid Steer or Compact Track Loader, with the high load capacity and lifting height of a Compact Wheel Loader. Popular in farms across Europe, the Telehandler is beginning to earn praise from Canadian farmers across all types of agricultural industries.

Ideal across a wide range of complex agricultural operations, the Telehandler is ideal for farming operations that need to complete a little bit of everything. They are efficient in working both in tight spaces and across long distances, both on hard ground and on rough or muddy terrain, and when completing common pushing, lifting, carrying, and dumping activities. Some telehandlers even include stabilizers, allowing you to use the machine as an aerial work platform or a crane if needed. And with their low-profile and close-quarter maneuverability, they are used often to clear chicken coops.

Popular attachments Telehandlers include:

Now that you have an overview of the versatility and range of multi-purpose machines and attachments available for Canadian agriculture, you’ll want to make sure you purchase the right mix of size, capacity, and functionality or equipment that works for your unique farm operation. With 60 locations across Western Canada, Finning provides reliable and dependable Cat® machines, parts, and services throughout the agriculture industry.

You will also find Cat machines and parts, as well as support and service, through our Finning authorized sub-dealer,
Agriterra Equipment, North America’s first Caterpillar Authorized Sales and Service Centre for Agriculture, further expanding our presence in select territories of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Other relevant Finning blog posts you may enjoy:

Finning is the world's largest Caterpillar dealer, selling, renting and providing parts and service for equipment and engines to customers across diverse industries, including mining, construction, petroleum, forestry and a wide range of power systems applications. We operate in Western Canada, South America, and UK and Ireland.


Not sure what size, capacity, or functionality of equipment will work best for your unique farm operation?Contact one of our agriculture experts to help you find the multi-purpose machines and attachments that will make the biggest impact on your farm’s productivity and profitability.