Build Your Own Tractor Barn
This page will explain how we built our 16 X 24 foot "Tractor" Barn. The purpose of this building is first and
foremost to house our John Deere 2320, but also to store hay, shavings , feed (and other bulky items) as well as the
odd collection of tools and sundries that are littering the farm under ubiquitous poly tarps. Okay, this isn't really a
step-by-step guide to building your own barn. We are going to have to assume you have some basic framing skills
(which you will need in order to undertake a project of this relative magnitude). However, this page will hopefully
give you some ideas and help you to gauge this design/materials and weigh this against your own needs.
Since the destruction of our steel framed/poly tarp "Garage-in-a-Box" (seen here), we needed a more durable
solution to keep the John Deere out of the rain and snow. We decided to "bite the bullet" and get a wood framed
shed. First off, we had to find a suitable site. We needed this close enough to the goat barn to offer ease of hay
storage, but also leaving enough room to keep our back "dirt road" open and accessible. The best place we found
had a medium slope to it. For this reason, we opted for 4X4 piers sunk three feet down in concrete.
Weight was a considerable concern, since this floor would need to support the weight of the JD 2320 (1,660lbs)
with loader (605 lbs) and a 3 pth implement (say 600 lbs max of the ballast box) and maybe another ton or so of
hay and sundries.
For this we decided on 2X10 pressure treated pine floor joists 16" o.c. with ¾" tongue and groove plywood for
the floor. Just to be extra safe, we doubled-up the 2X10s under the tractor wheels the entire length of the shed.
We used 12 piers totals, with four on each end and four in the middle. This arrangement essentially makes two
12 foot sheds connected together. The span charts for PT southern pine, indicate that No 2. 2X10s with 60 psf
live load and 20 psf on 16" centers can span a maximum of 12'8", so we should be okay with this. Also, one
entire side of the building is resting directly on the concrete block on the ground for its entire length (also the
side the tractor is parked), so we should have an even further margin of safety.
The walls are 2x4s 24" o.c sheathed with 7/16" exterior grade tongue and groove t-111. The rafters are 2X8s
16"o.c. with ½" plywood sheathing and 25 year asphalt shingles. We opted for one 4' door at the rear requiring a
single step (a handy repurposed blue stone step left in the woods by the previous owner).
The tractor door itself posed some problems. The bucket is nearly 6 feet wide, so the door should be around 8
foot wide. We weren't wild about have two four foot double doors, as these would be difficult to hang and secure
open and closed. Instead, we opted for a 7' 6" sliding door. A ramp completes the tractor door set up. This was
built of 2X8 PT pine on 16" centers hung with galvanized joist hangers and sheathed with ¾" pressure treated
pine. This easily supports the weight of the tractor going in and out and doesn't even shimmy the slightest bit.
The hardware for this door was relatively expensive and all of it purchased at Tractor Supply Co. We need 16" of
track, two ball bearing door hangers as well as a half dozen track hangers, and one lower door "guide". This
was about $200 for the hole set.
After shingling a coat of green paint was applied, and we also cut in 8 shed windows. We opted for 18" X 27"
single-hung, flush-mount, aluminum shed windows. This required us to put in an extra stud per window to
properly frame it. The eight extra studs will add some extra strength. We also used a piece of 2X6 both above
and below to add a nice window sill and shelf above.
We put two coats of latex floor paint inside and put up a few shelves between the studs. The tractor easily fits
inside, and still gives us plenty of space for storing hay and other items.
Since we used "full length" collar ties, it was easy to nail up a few 4'X8' sheets of 1/2" OSB to make some extra
storage space in the loft. There are still a few more details to build in, so stay tuned for further updates.