Wonder why to use a CB radio for farm tractors when there are smartphones and cellular networks all around us. Well, for one thing, CB radio, also referred to as citizens band radio, is available for use to all members of the public.
Also, it offers you simple and inexpensive two-way radio communications. All you have to do is grab the mic and speak into it. No call or text message charges and no monthly bills.
CB radios come in a broad range of formats and models, making it hard to select the appropriate one for your needs.
Here, we have narrowed down the best CB radio for tractor use. There is also a detailed buying guide to help you select the appropriate product.
Top 5 CB Radios for Tractors
|#||CB Radio for Tractor||Specialty|
|1||Cobra 29 LTD||Best Overall|
|2||President Mckinley USA SSB||Best Durability|
|3||Uniden PC78LTX||Best Range|
|4||Uniden PRO520XL||Best Price|
|5||Uniden Bearcat 880||Auto Scan Feature|
The Best CB Radio for Tractor Use: Cobra 29 LTD
The 29 LTD is an extremely popular model in the Cobra Line up of CB radios. It is an ideal match for tractor operators, pick-up trucks, as well as professional drivers. This radio gives you access to 40 channels, which is the full range you can get with a CB radio.
However, you will need to purchase a dependable antenna to achieve this. It is good to know that the 29 LTD classic works with every CB antenna on the market.
The device is fitted with handy controls that let you easily and quickly navigate the channels. The radio will not pick up NOAA weather stations.
Nevertheless, this should not be a deal-breaker because you probably have other means of getting weather updates as a tractor operator.
The Cobra 29 LTD features a dedicated button to instantaneously access emergency channel 9. This feature is very useful although you may not use it much.
Sometimes, your tractor may malfunction as you drive it down the road. In such an instance, you can use channel 9 to alert other road users about this possible danger.
Another reason the 29 LTD is ideal for tractor operators is its rugged construction. The radio is built for everyday use, and as such, it can take quite a beating.
The device has a chrome case that is made of plastic. This plastic casing may crack if the radio regularly takes a hit. Nonetheless, this plastic casing can easily be replaced. On the whole, the unit is made with durable components.
For a CB radio, the maximum output power permitted by law is 4 watts. Most previous buyers report that the max output power from the 29 LTD is a little above 4 watts. This power output should give you a range of approximately 5 miles.
You will almost certainly not require more than this range when you are working in the field with your tractor. Remember that you will have to purchase a reliable antenna to get a good range out of this radio.
Most previous buyers agree that the 29 LTD is very simple to install and that the sound quality is fantastic. The noise filters on the radio help reduce the level of superfluous or static electrical interference from your tractor’s engine.
- Weight: 3.35 pounds
- Dimensions: 9.25″ x 7.25″ x 2.25″ (L x W x H)
- 40 CB Channels
- Adjustable dynamic boost
- Instant channel 9
- SWR calibration
- 9-foot microphone cable
- 4 watts output power
- Antenna warning indicator
- Excellent build quality
- Complete 40 CB channels
- Noise reduction NB/ANL
- High performance
- Does not receive NOAA weather channels
- Some users report that the mounting screws that came with the radio are of inferior quality
The Cobra 29 LTD comes with a comprehensive instruction/guidebook. You should read this guide for setup and usage directions.
While the radio is solidly constructed to withstand constant use in a tractor, it is also vulnerable to damage. Not taking good care of it can shorten its life. However, spending a few minutes now and then caring for the radio will help prolong its useful life.
Below listed are a few tips to keep your radio in excellent working condition:
1. Do not clean the radio with water
The Cobra 29 LTD CB radio is an electronic apparatus so you should never use water to clean it. Remember that electricity and water are not compatible whether the interior parts are covered or not.
When dust accumulates on the exterior surface, remove it by using static-free wipes. To remove dust particles from the heat sink and other interior components, use compressed air.
2. Regularly check the controls
If the controls feel abnormal or sluggish, it may be that dust has started to accumulate on them. Remove the dust build-up using compressed air or with a soft fabric. If this fails to solve the problem, consider replacing the affected control switch.
3. Check the Mic
The problem may be due to dirt build-up around the connection area if the microphone is not transmitting clearly.
Remove dust and dirt from the mic and connectors using the procedure described in step 1 above. Before you do this, make sure the unit is disconnected from the power source.
User Review and Feedback on Cobra 29 LTD CB Radio
People who have purchased the Cobra 29 LTD appear to be most thrilled by the ruggedness of the unit. Most users are happy that the device can endure the knocks of daily use and continues to work great.
Users are also excited by the ease of use of the radio. Practically every user appreciates the inbuilt SWR meter which saves them the cost of purchasing a separate one.
Cobra 29 LTD users also like that the screen is simple to read and that everything is labeled clearly. Customers who regularly switch operators in and out of their tractor fleet are especially happy with the product’s ease of use.
The major complaint that users of the Cobra 29 LTD have is that it does not receive NOAA weather stations. Some users also report that they found it difficult to set up the radio.
What Makes Cobra 29 LTD The Best CB Radio for Tractor?
The Cobra 29 LTD is made to an extremely high standard. As the tractor is driven across the field, it generates vibrations and dust which can potentially damage your CB radio.
The Cobra 29 LTD is specially crafted to endure these vibrations plus other abuses. The product’s sound quality is fantastic and it supports a PA function.
These features plus a reasonable price point make the Cobra 29 LTD the best CB radio for tractor use.
4 More Alternate CB Radios for Tractors
1. President McKinley USA SSB
This CB radio from President Mckinley is another fantastic choice for tractor operators and truck drivers. While the radio comes loaded with features, its small and compact design affords you some flexibility for mounting positions.
Operating the unit is simple night or day – thanks to the 3-color changeable large LCD.
The radio comes with the dual watch feature that lets you select 2 CB channels to constantly monitor simultaneously. And, with its 4 watts max output power, you can talk to people 5-6 miles away in good weather.
The Mckinley SSB features 40 channels, which means the device gives you access to the entire CB radio spectrum. The radio gives you access to 7 weather channels which may be less depending on the locality you are in. It also has a weather alert function.
Another feature that makes this President Mckinley radio a superb choice for tractor operators is its crystal clear sound. Working with a tractor means you have to endure loud sounds from the engine.
The unit’s internal speaker sounds great and there with no audio clipping. The radio also has a public address (PA) feature that makes it simpler to hear incoming messages. The Mckinley SSB also comes with manual and auto squelch controls.
These help decrease background noise when there are no incoming signals.
Most tractor operators who have purchased this radio say it is reliable over the long term. Some users report that they have had the radio for over 3 years with no issues.
The unit is very simple to use and comes loaded with automatic features that work. One of these is an SWR meter that helps you tune your radio for the finest possible performance. The VOX feature lets you use the device hands-free.
Included in the box are 12 volts dc power cord, microphone, mounting bracket, plus the owner’s manual.
- Compact construction
- Offers excellent value for money
- It comes with a weather alert button
- Great sound quality and has the PA feature
- Comparatively costly
- Some users have complained that the unit tends to overheat
2. Uniden PC78LTX
If you are seeking a radio that will keep you connected even as you work the fields, then the PC78LTX from Uniden is a fantastic option.
When you work the fields with your tractor, the radio will be exposed to a lot of vibration and dust. Thankfully, the Uniden PC78LTX is rugged enough to withstand any degree of abuse.
All CB radios are designed to deliver a max output power of 4 watts and the Uniden PC78LTX is no different. Several previous purchasers report that the device has a solid mile signal range. Some users say they have been able to attain a 7 miles range with the radio.
The PC78LTX offers 40 channels which can be seen on the LCD. It has a distinct button that lets you access channel 9 instantaneously. The unit does not offer weather channel frequencies.
This Uniden CB radio offers high-level features plus customizable settings so you can have superior sound quality. You can reduce external noise using the ANL switch.
You can also fine-tune the squelch, RF gain, plus microphone gain to deliver a static-free signal. Users love that they can enhance the antenna’s signal strength using the inbuilt SWR meter. The radio comes with a mic that is fitted at the front section.
There have been complaints about the inbuilt speaker not being loud enough especially when the tractor engine is on. However, many users report that they were able to solve this problem by installing an external speaker.
The PC78LTX is incredibly simple to install using the included mounting brackets. The major user complaint regarding installation is that the microphone cord is somewhat short.
Nevertheless, the long coiled power cable and the front-facing mic make using the unit very simple. And, when you switch to the PA mode, you can use this transceiver as a PA system.
The package includes the PC78LTX radio, mounting bracket kit, microphone, owner’s manual, and DC power cable.
- Simple to install
- Rugged design
- Affordable price
- Excellent mile range
- Customizable features
- Does not receive weather stations
- Some users report that the radio picks up a great deal of noise
3. Uniden PRO520XL
The Uniden PRO520XL is a hardwearing CB radio that offers 4-watts max output power as well as 40 channels. It comes within a compact-rugged design, which makes it tremendously popular for use in tractors and off-road vehicles.
The radio will conveniently fit within any tractor, thanks to its compact construction.
Installing and setting up the Uniden PRO520XL is very simple. Before you begin using the radio, you will have to purchase an SWR meter to correctly tune the antenna.
Included within the package are the PRO520XL, a mounting bracket, mounting hardware, knobs, and a microphone with the hook.
With the 4-watts output power, some users say they’ve gotten up to 6 miles range using a good antenna. The PRO520XL sound quality is fantastic. Most users agree that the unit’s sound quality is better compared to many expensive models.
Note that the inbuilt speaker faces the underside of the radio. So, you should take care not to mount the unit in a way that will muffle the sound.
You can connect the unit to an external speaker via the integrated speaker jack. The radio features an optional PA mode that lets you use the unit as a PA system.
The radio’s auto-squelch function and automatic noise limiter will let you remove superfluous noise from your tractor’s engine.
The Uniden PRO520XL also features a 2-color LED transmit indicator, RF meter, volume control, and front microphone connector. While the PRO520XL is a basic CB radio, it comes with all the features you will need for effective tractor use.
The major complaint from users is that the LCD is not backlit, which makes it difficult to see some important buttons during dark hours. However, if you will not be operating your tractor in the dark, this will not be an issue.
- Front-mounted microphone
- Auto squelch
- Rugged construction
- Easy to install
- LCD is not backlit
- No scan feature
4. Uniden Bearcat 880
Auto Scan Feature
The Bearcat 880 features a powerful rugged construction plus advanced settings that make it a fantastic CB radio for the tractor.
It comes with complete CB channel coverage and delivers 4 watts of transmit power. You also get access to NOAA weather channels plus instant channel 9.
The setup is straightforward. Some users note that the setup guidelines are not detailed enough. However, these users report that they got enough setup info by watching youtube videos.
The radio features an inbuilt SWR that makes it super simple to tune the antenna.
The Bearcat 880’s sound is excellent compared to most other citizen’s band radios on the market. However, some users report that the talk-back feature is somewhat weak.
The unit’s most distinguishing feature is its large, simple-to-read display. This LCD gives you 7 backlit color choices for convenient customization.
The radio has an inbuilt GPS that enables the device automatically choose close by channels from its national database. Other easy-to-use features of the bearcat 880 include dynamic squelch control, an ANL noise filter, plus a noise-canceling microphone.
The package includes the Bearcat 880 radio, microphone, DC power cord, microphone adapter, DC power cable, plus owner’s manual. This CB Radio comes with a 1-year warranty.
- Sturdy build
- NOAA weather information
- Reasonably priced
- Convenient noise-canceling mic
- PA capability
- There have been complaints about the LCD not being bright enough particularly in daylight hours.
How to Select the Best CB Radio for Tractor Use?
Installing a CB radio on a tractor means that it will be exposed to the shocks and knocks of your tractor as it works the fields. For this reason, you must select one that is rugged enough to endure these regular shocks and knocks.
While the radios recommended here are all highly durable, the Cobra 29 LTD is the winner concerning durability.
The body and attached microphone are designed to be extremely rugged to withstand the rigors of daily abuse.
2. Output Power
The maximum allowed output power for CB radios is 4 watts. This cap is placed to prevent signal interference with other electronic devices.
However, some CB radio models do not provide the maximum output power even in perfect conditions. Thankfully, all the radios recommended here all function at 40 watts so you can select any of them for your tractor.
3. Channel Options
Practically all CB radios come with 40 channels including the ones recommended in this post.
Price is always a crucial consideration when selecting any product. There may be considerable price differences between radio models. However, remember that spending more does not necessarily mean you will attain a better range.
Price differences differ majorly due to particular features integrated with the radio, for example, better LCD screens, VOX features, or superior sound clarity.
If your budget is low, you can settle for the Uniden PRO520XL. This radio is inexpensive and has all the basic features you will need for tractor use.
5. Ease of Use
When in the market for a CB radio for tractor use, it is vital to choose one that is easy to use. This way, any tractor operator you hire can learn to use it without wasting a lot of time reading the manual.
The Cobra 29 LTD is the best radio on this list concerning ease of use.
It features a simple-to-read screen and everything is labeled clearly. It also comes with a built-in SWR meter with simple-to-use antenna tuning features.
Comparison of Top 5 CB Radios for Tractor Use
|CB Radio||Weight||Weather Alerts||PA function||Dimensions||Channel Operation|
|Cobra 29 LTD||3.35 pounds||No weather channels||Yes||9.25 x 7.25 x 2.25 inches||40 channel operation|
|President Mckinley USA SSB||3.8 pounds||NOAA weather radio||Yes||10.67 x 3.43 x 8 inches||40 channel operation|
|Uniden PC78LTX||1.08 pounds||No weather bands||Yes||15.35 x 3.35 x 8.11||40 channel operation|
|Uniden PRO520XL||1.63 pounds||No weather channels||Yes||4.5 x 6.75 x 1.38 inches||40 channel operation|
|Uniden Bearcat 880||4.3 pounds||NOAA weather radio||Yes||15 x 1.5 x 8.5 inches||40 channel operation|
As stated earlier, CB radios offer you simple and inexpensive two-way radio communications. When shopping for a CB radio for tractor use, your most important consideration should be its durability.
The 29 LTD from Cobra is superbly constructed. Its rugged design, ease of use, and fantastic sound quality make it perfect for tractor and everyday CB operations.