Buying a tractor

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by Mark Williams, May 25, 2006.

  1. Mark Williams

    Mark Williams New Guy

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    I need a tractor. I dont know why, I just do :)

    Just kidding. I need a tractor to drag some cut timber and take care of our pasture.

    I'm trying to find and older model as I only want to spend around 2 K.

    What are some of the better brands of older "pullin" tractors ?

    What should I look for when checking out a perspective?

    Should I just bite the bullet and finance a newer one ?

    Thanks for any guidance.

    Mark
     
  2. chuckhole

    chuckhole Born city, love country

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    I wouldn't trade my new Kubota 29HP for anything. I found that even at 15-20 years old, tractors hold their value real well. Most were 50% to 80% of new so I went ahead and bought new and got the warranty.

    Two bits of advice that were given to me that are worth passing on are 1) get 4-wheel drive and 2) get the next size bigger than what you think you need. I followed that advice and glad I did. A 4-wheel drive will act like a much bigger 2-wheel drive because of the extra traction to weight. My neighbor has a 45HP Massey Ferguson that is a 2-wheel drive and my smaller 29HP runs circles around it with 4-wheel drive. I was letting the price drive my choices more than my needs so I was looking at the smaller tractor. That was a mistake.

    Another bit of advice that I have learned since. Match your hydraulics to your implements. My Front End Loader is a Kubota built match and it is a great performer.
     

  3. chuckhole

    chuckhole Born city, love country

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    One more thing. You can add trail mowers and drag timber with an ATV. You do not need a tractor for that. But a tractor can do so much more than that.

    I have purchased the following for my tractor and use them all:
    * Front End Loader - 1,000lb capacity, a must have item
    * Box Blade - grating, smoothing roads and trails
    * Rear Shreader/Mower - brush cutting, mowing
    * Tiller - garden and food plots for deer
    * Posthole Digger - tree planting and fencing
    * Subsoiler - trenching to run hog wires on fence and bury water/electrical lines
    * Toolbar with Hipper Discs and Cultivators - garden

    I have paid witnesses that my DW said I could get a backhoe for my tractor as well but..........gotta have something to dream about. :)
     
  4. mowrey1999

    mowrey1999 Well-Known Member

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    Just my 2 cents, if you only want to spend 2000 dollars , you could get a 8n ford, A lot of guys still have them for bushoging ,pulling out old stumps, debris, ect, It isnt the most powerful tractor but will do ok on a budget,They are easy to get parts for and easy to work on,there are several usually on ebay and tractor house and several sites, If you have some serious clearing to do and the budget isnt a issue I would probably do as suggested above get a new model kabota, or a mahindra ect with a bucket, 4x4 and around 35 horsepower or more and you should be able to do about any thing within the tractors capability, Most dealers have deals with 10% down and low interest, some rebates also and up to 72 month financing, You will get a warranty, new tractor and they do hold there value pretty good,
     
  5. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've had and used old tractors. And I've used new tractors. From a working perspective, I never want to go backwards.

    If 2 grand really is your limit, you're going to be hard pressed to find anything worth a darn. Avoid name brands and the like. Green is flat impossible, and the Fords will be hard to find at that price even. Mmm, an old Allis Chalmers is possible, but you're going to be living without many nicities.
     
  6. wilderness1989

    wilderness1989 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this having owned 8n style Fords over the years. Watch this for an idea of prices. http://business.search.ebay.com/for...sacatZ71366QQsspagenameZSTRKQ3aMEFSRCHQ3aSRCH Also check the completed sales. Good luck! :cowboy:
     
  7. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    In the under $3,000 range would look at a JD B, 50, or 60. Any of these will drag trees& logs. In IH-Farmall you would look at an M, an H, or a 460 model. All of the above have the limitation of NOT having 3 pt. hitch, so ,you will have to define what maintaining your pasture requires. They can all pull a drawbar type sickle mower. The JD 2-Cylinder models mentioned above use mowers with their own JD style brackets attached at drawbar area, and these mowers are around.
    With any older used tractor, first pull engine oil dipstick and inspect. Is it full?,LOL. But mostly look for grey-green pea soup/peanut butter slime that would indicate that antifreeze is getting into engine oil. Look for excessive wear or slop in drawbar hitch, clutch and brake linkages. Check tires for breaks, bulges, or dryrot in sidewalls. Inspect rims for corrosion caused by saline ballast fluids.
    If you have the opportunity to drive one, drive it in every single gear AND reverse. You don't want to get stuck with one of them "CUL-DE-SAC" Tractors.
    Check frontend kingpins, pivot points, and tierods for excessive wear or sloppiness. If you are a real stickler , you could do a compression test of each cylinder to avoid an unknown problem. But don't go to that extent unless you are ready to walk down the aisle with her, LOL.
    Yes, the new ones with mfwd, joystick loaders, and a multitude of attachments are wonderful. The payments are wonderful as well.
    The old ones will keep your diagnostic skills sharp, because you will be doing some repairing and maintaining.
    Guess it depends on what you are capable of and comfortable with.
    Either Way -Owning a tractor is a MUST!!!!!!
     
  8. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Oliver and Deutz are impossible for $2k???? Who would have thunk it?

    By way somebody in shopper had '68 JD 1020 (38hp) with rebuilt engine for $2500. Nope, not 2k but most people allow some bargaining room so... I've never owned one so dont know what its weak points are.
     
  9. Mark Williams

    Mark Williams New Guy

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    Thank Guys. By maintaing the pasture, I did just mean bushhogging. There are quite a few available locally. I'll check out a few in the coming week. I'll post pictures if I can.

    I've got a few feelers out also.

    Thanks again for all the info.
     
  10. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Oliver is a good bang for the buck, back in their day they had a lot of inovations - live pto, etc - that you will like.

    Define your needs.

    Power?

    3pt?

    Loader?

    Nimble?

    Hay baling/ snow blowing?

    Running a tiller?

    And so on. What features do you _need_, what doesn't matter, and which would be nice. Each of the above questions has something that is good, and some features to totally _avoid_ for that use.

    Every color made a good machine, and every color made a lemon.

    I find the Ford N series to be way, way over priced for the features (or lack of) they offer, as _everyone_ wants one who doesn't know anythingf abouyt tractors.... While they had many new & great features when new, that was 60+ years ago, & time has passed them by. No live pto, live hyd, power steering for loaders, rather unstable for pulling logs, poor gear selection esp older than the 8N.....

    You likely need a low, stable, slow geared machine ti skid logs? You will want 3pt for the bush hogging, want live pto for that. Looking for 35 hp or so?

    Good luck finding any such working for less than 3000. :)

    Buying a tractor is a compromise. Figure out what features you need, then look for a model that fits those needs best. Color is not important mostly, tho I myself like to have something that was popular in my area, so parts & knowledge can be fould.

    --->Paul
     
  11. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    Agree with rambler Ford N series overpriced in midwest. Most of them bring $2,800 to $3,995 in our country. More if restored.
    Just a thought if looking at new check out John Deere finance program on new 25-32 HP models. They make it hard to say no.
     
  12. Mark Williams

    Mark Williams New Guy

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    Thanks Rambler, You've made a lot of good points.

    Starting to think that newer may be the best route. I may just bite the bullet and finance one. I still might get an old clunker to ride to church :)
     
  13. wendle

    wendle Well-Known Member

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    Some of the old farmalls can be had for cheap, though they are a little limited on what you can do. The front loader is awkward, so I like mine better without. My 1940 H cost me 900 running with good tires. I added a used 3 point conversion for 450.00. New costs around 800.00. It is easy to turn with the narrow front end, has more pulling power than my ford 8n and is easy to run and start. It's a simple tractor and easy to work on. Yes you can mow with it too. There were alot of them made so it isn't too hard to find parts.
     
  14. Gideon

    Gideon Well-Known Member

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    My 240 Farmall pulls discs well and bush hogs in 2ond most everywhere. What I like about the 8N style is the low chassis-seems like it would be safer. As a kid growing up on an Oliver 77 I put it on two wheels more times than I like to think about. Kids should not use tractors!! On the 240, We have a two disc plow that gets down there. Want a rear tine tiller and a box scrape. The regular scrape does OK but a box is much better. Have a scoop for the three point hitch that transports a little dirt-much better than a wheel barrow. Hope you find a good one. Try it out by working it hard a bit and listen for rattles or noises coming from the tranny. Does the heat stay down in the green-oil pressure stay up where it supposed to? Do the hydraulics make squeeling noises or act choppy-big dollar repairs. Ask folks that have what you are looking for what they think about theirs and what to look out for.
     
  15. spam4einstein

    spam4einstein Well-Known Member

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    I like my allis wd. Its only disadvantage over a modern tractor is more modern live hydraulics. It has sort of live hydraulics. But for about $400 and a days work I can add a superb hydraulic system. In its original form it will run a brush hog and any 3pt tool except a post digger as well as any new tractor. Post diggers are a little trickier when the pto and hydraulic pump arent indipendent. I paid $1200 for her, So for about $1600 Ill have a sweet running very simple and well made tractor that will do everything a new 45hp 2wd $32,000 tractor will do.

    But my advice is to buy a later 1960's era tractor with a loader for 3-4k. I cant imagine why anyone who isnt farming with their tractor daily would WASTE their money on a newer one. These will do everything a newer one will. They are simple, reliable and easy to get parts for if you dont mind waiting a few days or buying off ebay. Of course if you want 4wd then your looking at newer, but you dont need 4wd unless your really muddy or hilly.
     
  16. chuckhole

    chuckhole Born city, love country

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    For most people I would have to agree and I don't farm every day. My place is a weekend project but I purchased new anyway for a number of reasons.
    1) I am new at this and I did not know anything about tractors so having a warranty gives me time to learn while being able to use it.
    2) 0% interest on the loan and a really good sale by Kubota. I paid less than $15,000 for a 29HP 4WD with a matched Kubota Front End Loader as well as a box blade and rear mower/shreader.
    3) My weekend time is precious to me so when I get to go to God's country, I don't want to work on a tractor. I want to work with the tractor.
    4) The one thing that makes buying new easier to swallow is that I make good money.

    I don't want anybody to think that just because I was new to tractors means I purchased blindly. I did 4 months of research on the Internet looking at the different purposes, implements, styles, values and what the rental rates are, new and used prices at various stages and sizes. There are tractor forums in which you post discussions and get a wealth of information from peole who have been doing this all their lives. I also talked to the people at the hardware and feed stores to see what their uses and preferences were. From all of that information, I made the best purchase for me and after two years (this week) of owning my tractor, I am just as happy today as the day I purchased my Anna-Belle. Every good mistress should have a name.
     
  17. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You likely visited www.ytmag.com for info on older tractors, and www.tractorbynet.com for info on newer compact machines then. :)

    Nothing wrong with new if you can afford it, as you did.

    The old cast iron machines with gas engines & simpler systems need a little attention now & then, but have run 40 plus years, and will go another 40 as long as we can find fuel for them. And will be worth about what you paid for them.

    The new ones become costly as soon as that warrenty is off - lot of plastic & computer parts, they are stamped out of thinner metal, and when those front hubs wear out, won't be able to afford to replace them for what the machine is worth by then. In other words, a lot of depreciation, and a much shorter lifespan.... But, as you need, nice to hop on & use it, not having to fiddle with it for the first 5 years or so.

    Room for both ways to go.

    I find tractors before 1955 are missing a lot of features one would like to have so should be pretty cheap; tractors from the mid 1950's through the 1970's are built very tough, have most of the niffty options one wants, and a zillion were made so parts are easier to find; tractors from the mid 1980s through the 90s are still good but were in the transition stage from ag tractors to compacts in a period the ag companies were suffering $$$$-wise so you can get a good machine or a lemon from this period; and the last decade or so makes nice light-weight creature compfort machines that probably won't last forever. Just my take on the 20-60 hp machines. :)

    --->Paul
     
  18. Up North

    Up North KS dairy farmers

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    ChuckHole - good choice. Da Kubota's a good machine.
     
  19. Rockin'B

    Rockin'B Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone had any experience with the various Asian tractors such as this: Ebay tractor

    I'm leary of the Chinese versions, but have heard fairly positive feedback on the Japanese tractors. They seem to offer quite a bit of bang for the buck.

    Thoughts?
     
  20. jefferson

    jefferson fuzzball in the Cascades

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    Not to highjack a thread, but what can you tell me about a Massey Ferguson TO-35. Got a guy about 100 miles away selling one with a bucket and backhoe. New tires and "runs well". 4350 smakers. Should I take the trip over andd look?