Table: 79,000 active tractors in the Republic of Ireland; where are they?

There has been a slight year-on-year decline in the number of tractors in Ireland, according to updated figures from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

There were 79,674 agricultural tractors (licensed for road use) in the country as of December 31, 2017, the recently-released data showed.


That’s down slightly from a figure of 79,871 at the end of 2016. The figure recorded at the end of 2015 was 82,046.

Agricultural tractors make up just over 3% of all ‘mechanically-propelled vehicles under current licence’, according to the report.

Private cars account for 77%. Goods vehicles account for 13%. The remainder is accounted for by motorcycles and the ‘others’ category.

Geographic breakdown

In terms of a numerical breakdown by county, Cork had easily the highest amount of agricultural tractors in the country, with 10,320 units at the end of 2017.

That was almost double the number of the next highest-placed county.

This table (below) shows the active tractor population across the country, as of December 31, 2017 (according to the Irish Bulletin of Vehicle and Driver Statistics 2017).

Source: Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport (Irish Bulletin of Vehicle and Driver Statistics 2017)

In second, third and fourth place were Tipperary (5,401 tractors), Galway (5,323) and Mayo (5,029), respectively.

The county with the lowest number of agricultural tractors was Leitrim with just 1,010 tractors.

New tractor sales in 2018

In other tractor-related news, the FTMTA (Farm Tractor & Machinery Trade Association) says that registrations of new tractors have stabilised somewhat, but continue to lag behind the levels achieved in the same period of 2017.

It made the statement, having reviewed its statistics covering the first half of this year (2018).

A total of 1,100 new tractors were registered during the January-to-June period. That’s a decrease of 6% on the same period of 2017.

It is notable though that, in a repeat of last year’s registration pattern, the year started with a considerable drop and then recovered as time moved on.

The three counties with the highest levels of registrations (so far this year – to the end of June) are Cork (158), Tipperary (98) and Wexford (88).

The July figures will no doubt be closely studied as a guide to the likely final outcome for the year. July has become a key month for registrations of all types of vehicles, since the introduction of the split registration year in 2013.