Does anyone actually own one an 'off-brand'tractor???

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by oz in SC, Jun 1, 2004.

  1. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    We have been looking online at the various tractors available and I was wondering if anyone actually has any 'hands-on' knowledge of off-brand tractors like Minha,Mahindra,Farm Pro,Farmtrac,etc.

    Also what about the various Gray-market tractors you see advertised?

    We need something capable of doing the various homestead chores(tilling a garden,a little light loader work,but most likely nothing more)

    Thanks oz and Mrs oz :)
     
  2. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Several of my neighbors have Mehindra and Zetor. They love them and would not be happy with the Brand being OFF.
     

  3. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I just bought an old, '78, shibauru 4wd small tractor. I love it! I think it has 14 hp. I paid to have a front end loader installed and bought a scraper blade. I was told this company now makes Ford tractors, and the engine is identical to a Ford.

    I haven't had it long enough to have a problem, so I don't know how hard it is to get parts and repair. It has a side mount pto which is weird and I will probably never find an attachment beyond the rototiller that came with the tractor.
     
  4. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    Here is a tractor that LOOKS like it might me our needs:
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=56977&item=3816517689&rd=1

    Unfortunately it is Chinese made and I have issues with buying Chinese products(makes life quite difficult to say the least) BUT it has almost all the features we would want.

    I would REALLY prefer to buy a product from almost any other country but.....
     
  5. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

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    Got an old Long 350, circa 1973 (I think). Built in Romania by UTB, and imported into this country under the Long name, but also Allis-Chalmers, and Oliver.

    It's been a decent tractor, but nothing's perfect, and they tend to have weak and troublesome hydraulic systems.

    My neighbor has a Mahindra - the one that's a knockoff of the old 60s something IH. He really likes it.
     
  6. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    that seems pricey to me

    I like that it includes some worthy attachments, but you could probably get an older and more common tractor with as many attachments at half the price.

    I shopped for awhile and bought mine on ebay. Although I know I got a fair total price, I was a little impulsive. I feel I should have looked harder locally because of the high transportation cost.
     
  7. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I don't like to badmouth things.


    At this point in time, I would not buy a Chineese tractor. They are aweful for fit & finish. The castings are poor quality, and they leak oil. Everyone promises parts, but WHERE are you going to really get parts from for this thing?

    I'd much rather find a Ford 4000 or MF 135 or Oliver s55 (nd other good old iron of other colors, I'm just not so familiar with Orange & Green & more) for $5000 or less & buy the implements I want locally. These tractors have stood the test of time, and parts are so simple to find.

    What you are looking at is like the Homier tractor - same thing. I saw one at one of the truckload sales - actually saw 3 of them.

    What a gosh aweful piece of junk. The hyd lever for the loader would break off in 2 days. It was starting to rust already because of such a cheap paint. None of the controls looked sturdy enough to handle a year's use, much less the 20-50 years a tractor should last.

    My understanding is that China has the engine manufaturing figured out pretty well. But the rest of the machine is being made from poor-grade cast iron, poor machining, and bad hydraulic systems.

    And then, where do you get parts?

    Again, I really hate to badmouth products. And, I never heard them run, never sat in the seat. I looked it over pretty good.

    And the poor quality just turned my stomach.

    But, maybe it's better than my impression. I don't know. I farm for a living, a tractor is something I _depend_ on. It has to run when a crop depends on it. All my tractors are old, some older than me. But they work, and keep working, and when they break the parts are there in 24 hours.....

    Japneese cars used to be unreliable rust buckets, just a joke of a car. Very cheap, but worth far less. Now they win most all the reliability & finish awards, some of the best cars out there. All in 40 years.

    Maybe 40 years from now, & I expect in only 10-15 years, the Chineese tractors will be state of the art.

    But right now, in 2004 - they are aweful cheap things, worth 1/2 of their cheap price.

    The grey market machines are hard to get parts for, but if from Japan seem to be real good machines. While you _can_ cross reference to USA imports, the manufacturers do _not_ like the grey market & may not sell you parts or help you in figuring out what you need. But, if you need to go cheap, a grey market Japaneese machine is something to work with.

    Other Asian countries make pretty good stuff - not as solid as Japaneese, but 100 times above China stuff.

    The old Soviet block area made some ok tractors. Certainly below Japan standards, but some above China.

    Just my opinion. Others might see things differently, and that is fine. You asked for opinions, and this is mine.

    Other places to snoop & read & ask:

    www.ytmag.com - old USA tractor site. I'd personally much rather buy a good used 30-40 year old USA tractor for 1/2 the price from someone local.....

    www.tractorbynet.com - new (and somewhat used) compact tractors, including areas for grey market & China junk tractors.

    (I'm sorry my bias comes through so strong. Has nothing to do with the country, it's people, or it's policies. Just those Homier China tractors I saw were the most aweful pieces of cast iron junk I ever saw in my life. I'd be ashamed to try to sell something that poor to people for any price.)

    --->Paul
     
  8. Ohiosteve

    Ohiosteve Well-Known Member

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    I've got to agree with Paul on this one. Why buy this questionable foreign stuff when there are so many good used tractors from this country available? I think
    if it were me I would look for a 60's or 70's Ford 3000 or 4000. Even if you had to sink $ into it initially you would be further ahead. I have three Fords and they are extremely reliable, parts are relatively cheap and easy to get.
    Around here there are consignment auctions and estate auctions that are usually loaded with older farm tractors. Before you buy foreign at least look at these sources. I don't think anyone made a bad tractor in this country in the
    40's through the 70's, however some of them are more desirable from a price/parts standpoint.
     
  9. Farmer Brown

    Farmer Brown Well-Known Member

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    Had a Long 610 4x4 for years. No problems at 2400 hrs and uses no oil. FB
     
  10. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

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    Jon don't spend $11,000 at ebay. There are several tractor places in Shelby, NC and there is a tractor auction house up near Boone. A friend of ours went to the auction and bought a Farmall Cub with attachments for $5650 another guy I know bought a 2000 model Ford 4x4 tractor with plow, scrape, disk, brushhog for $18,000 and that included delivery to his house.

    TRY:
    Parker Farm Service 800-441-9474 he has Grasshopper-New Holland-Kubota-Toro Etc.

    If you get that close you should call us it'd be good to meet someone else off the board.

    Kenneth in NC
     
  11. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    Trust me we don't want to spend $11,000 on a tractor :)

    I also would much prefer an American made tractor BUT around here there is nothing available.

    I guess we should really wait until we are up there although I hate the idea of paying someone $50/hour to brush hog the land every year...

    We are going up this weekend to meet a guy with a dozer and lookat a camper.
     
  12. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have a grey market yanmar and love it. Cost was right and support is available. I dont however like the cheap chineese tractors. Fit and finish was very poor at every one I looked at. They are also price might be right but for how long.

    Witrh either your going to have to be handy with making repairs yourself. If you not comfortable with the idea of doing repairs then you need to find a name brand tractor.
     
  13. Siryet

    Siryet In Remembrance

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    OZ, I actually test drove a Farm pro and i couldn't wait to get off it. It shook so bad I almost lost my uppers. The workmanship is not good and the castings and steel pressings are not very sturdy. But I didn't buy it so I don't know how good they work in the fields.

    I looked for two years before buying a tractor and I bought vintage '55 massey harris and it ran and ran and ran. In fact It was too big for me so I sold ot on ebay and bought a smaller John Deere which i sold and now have a 56' Massey ferguson. I love this tractor.

    Also if your new property is overgrown it might be cheaper in the long run to have someone brush hog it first. that way you won't be bending up your own equipment.
     
  14. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I'll add another vote for a used Ford or Massey, they're just too easy to own. I had a Belarus for 14 years and it treated me fine. If you need a big hp tractor for very little money then they're worth a look. I'll soon be back to all Ford or New Holland, with the dealer support around here they really are the first choice. I know nothing about Chinese equipment but I expect Paul is near enough right about them. I do like the look of Farm Trac Ford copies, and the TAFE Massey clones, and Mahindra has a reasonabley good reputation. Lots of these off brands are being made in Ex-Ford, Massey and IH factories by the same people who made the brand name tractors so just how off they are is debateable. My next tractor will likely be a New Holland TB120 made in Mexico, based on the 5000 series of Fords. Or a Case IH JX85 made in Turkey based on the Hesston lines. I wonder what the smallest (45 hp?) Case IH JX series would cost you?
     
  15. shakeytails in KY

    shakeytails in KY Well-Known Member

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    Before you buy an off brand tractor, check the prices of the more common brands. We just bought a plain-jane Massey 70hp for $18000. The off-brand tractors weren't any cheaper, and I checked a lot of prices at the Farm Machinery Show in Louisville this spring. Plenty of warranty and the aftermarket people will be making parts for Massey, Ford/NH, JD, CaseIH and the like for years and years- I'm not so sure about the off brands.
     
  16. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    While 18k may be a good price for a 70hp tractor. I beleive from the description of what is needed 70hp is way overkill for what task OZ needed. It looks more like the job for a compact and not a larger tractor.

    The problem is compacts are very popular and hold there value and often are not sold. I look for over a years in all around ohio for a good JD or kubota compact and found nothing but worn out tractors. I ended up with a Yanmar grey that more than meets my needs.

     
  17. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    OZ,

    Check out www.tractorbynet for yanmar, grey and other offbrand tractor fourms.

    While I AM NOT RECOMENDING any of these sellers. Check out the yanmars on ebay

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=56979&item=3818769862&rd=1

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=56979&item=3818876971&rd=1

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=56979&item=3818900462&rd=1

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?
    ViewItem&category=26193&item=3819444645&rd=1

    a little smaller
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=50374&item=3818968560&rd=1
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=56979&item=3819771165&rd=1

    a LITTLE LARGER
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=56979&item=3818710032&rd=1


     
  18. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    Each to their own, but best buys are in used larger tractors. The yuppies with their McMansions on 5 acres dont want them and in many areas commodity farming is dead or very near it. The only thing they arent good for is if you want to run a belly mower or need to manuever brush hog in tight spaces. Otherwise a larger tractor with a good loader can be very handy. I dont have any experience with the Chinese tractors and too new to have heard how they do actually hold up. Personally, the only foreign tractors I'd go for with my present knowlege/experience are David Brown, Deutz, or Kubota. Case doesnt really support David Brown line anymore, so depends on local dealer. Deutz parts are available, but cost like they are cast out of gold. Very durable tractor however. Kubotas just cost a bundle up front. Longs have good enough engine, but as somebody else mentioned, their hydraulics leave much to be desired. Lots of leaks too. Friend of mine has one and it took 6 month!!! to get a starter repaired as the shop couldnt get necessary parts. He also paid way too much for it in my opinion, but 25hp to 35hp diesel tractors bring a premium around here if they run half way decent at all.
     
  19. reluctantpatriot

    reluctantpatriot I am good without god.

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    Ford 8N and 9N models and Cub tractors are a bit outdated, but they are held for stout and keep plugging away year after year. You can generally find parts for them, or at least can find parts tractors to buy for just as cheap. Granted, they are not the most powerful tractors, but they do most jobs well for not too much money and they don't eat you out of house and home with repair bills and consumables like gas and oil.

    Just my view on it. Oh, and from what I have seen of the new compact tractors, I would prefer an older model that is bigger, but easier and simpler ot work on rather than newer and more complex. However, that is just my personal opinion.
     
  20. Ohiosteve

    Ohiosteve Well-Known Member

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    Whatever you do stay away from the 9n,2n,8n Ford tractors, or any of the older tractors without live power and live hydraulics. I have a 2N and I love it,
    but it is not much more than a trailor toter due to it's lack of live power/hydraulics. As I opined earlier 60's-70's vintage Ford tractors are hard to
    beat on all counts.