What are the Differences in 3-point Hitch Categories?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 04/21/2022 - 8:00am

As you start thinking about your next tractor purchase, the Koenig team would like you to keep in mind the versatility of your tractor and what jobs and tasks you have planned for it, as well as the efficiency and ease in completing these tasks.

Regardless of the size of the tractor, most tasks are using implements or attachments that require a 3-point hitch. It is important to understand these 3-point hitch categories when ordering a hitch, keeping in mind that you need to know both your tractor horsepower, as well as the compatibilities of the attachments that will be used.

Continue reading to learn more about 3-point hitch categories and their capabilities, or find the nearest Koenig Equipment dealership and contact the team for more information.




How many categories of 3-point hitches are there?

3-point hitches were designed to help give the tractor more usable traction by transferring the weight of an implement, along with the resistance, to the driving wheels. The required 3-point hitch goes off the tractor’s horsepower. There are seven main categories of 3-point hitches and an additional limited hitches for some of the categories. The category number increases as the tractor and implements get larger and heavier.

The chart below shows the different categories and their details.



Tractor HorsepowerTop Link Pin DiameterLift Arm Pin DiameterLift Arm SpacingMast HeightApprox. Max Weight*

Category 0

Up to 20 HP5/8"5/8"20"12"500 lb

Category 1

20-50 HP3/4"7/8"26"15"2,000 lb

Category 2

40-125 HP1"1-1/8"32"15"-24"

5,000 lb

Category 3N

80-225 HP1-1/4"1-7/16"32"15-24"5,000 lb

Category 3

80-225 HP1-1/4"1-7/16"38"19"-27"15,000 lb

Category 4N

180-400 HP1-3/4"2"38"27"20,000 lb

Category 4

180-400 HP1-3/4"2"46"27"20,000 lb

*Maximum weight is an approximation for comparison purposes - actual capacities may vary by the tractor.


Hooking up to attachments with a 3-point hitch can be difficult, having to get in and out of the driver’s seat. John Deere has made it easier for the operator by offering quick hitches. With the addition of a quick hitch to your 3-point, you can hook up attachments with the ease of not even leaving the operator’s seat.


What is a limited category 1 hitch?

Looking towards the John Deere 1 Series sub-compact tractors, you may have heard the term-limited category 1 when talking or reading about hitches. A limited category 1-hitch still works for the 20-45 HP sub-compact tractors, but it is lower to the ground than the regular category 1. Implements like the Frontier BB20L Box Blade and RB20L Rear Blade are designed to work with the limited category 1 hitch, which also won’t open as wide as the regular category 1.


Where can I find more information on John Deere hitches?

Understanding John Deere's 3-point hitches does not have to be overwhelming. The experts at Koenig Equipment will help you with any questions throughout your tractor shopping process. Contact your local Koenig Equipment to learn more about John Deere iMatch™ quick hitches today.


Additional Resources

Best Tractor Attachments Available for Your Needs

John Deere 1025R vs. 2025R vs. 2038R

Options and Attachments Available for New John Deere Tractors