Tractor Question...

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Crystal H, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. Crystal H

    Crystal H Well-Known Member

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    Hello everyone and Happy Thanksgiving in advance..

    My DH and I are now(closed escrow today) proud owners of 7 acres in beautiful coastal Oregon! :rock:

    But now that the shock is starting to wear off, we need to be a bit more practical. What sort of tractor should we consider buying? Our Land is pretty level, mostly pasture, or at least grass. The previous owners had the placed perfectly manicured...

    We plan to raise some small animals...hopefully soon, chickens, rabbits, a milk cow, alpacas, silk worms and have a garden. Maybe a horse or two in a few years...

    I tried a search... but would love some advice. We would prefer to buy American made goods. What price range are we looking at?

    Thank you in advance.

    Crystal
     
  2. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You may not really need a tractor, but you'll certainly need a good mower. Te tractor you get it mostly based on your finances. They make some really neat little four wheel drive tractors that is very handy to have if it has a loader on it. It is surprising how often you will find use for the loader. Got something that needs moved, you can put a chain around it then hook it to the loader and away you go. John Deere and Ford New Holland both sell them.
    If you don't have that much to invest in a tractor, then an older tractor will suffice. The old Fords from the 50s and 60s are very popular because they all had the 3 point hitch that is still used today to attach the tools such as mowers you will use. There are several older brands of tractors that will work as well. Don't buy anything without the 3 point hitch on it. This means getting a little newer tractor in other makes.
     

  3. tyusclan

    tyusclan Well-Known Member

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    Only a couple of things I'll add to Uncle Will. Make sure whatever you get has a "live" pto. This means the pto operates seperately from the clutch. That way, you can operate a pto-driven piece of equipment and it won't stop every time you depress the clutch. Also, without it a heavy piece of equipment, such as a rotary mower, can keep pushing the tractor after you've clutched and braked. It can create a dangerous situation. If you don't have a live pto, you can get an overrunning clutch to put on your pto shaft to prevent that.

    Also, the last I knew, all the newer tractors under 30 hp are all made in Japan or China, no matter what the make is.
     
  4. BigBoy

    BigBoy No attitude here...

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    For me, the Massey Ferguson 135 is the best all around tractor there is. I've had the Perkins diesel and the Perkins gas models and loved them both. Physically small enough to maneuver well and enough horsepower to do most any job.
    The Ford 2000 and 3000 are ok too.
    And the compact Japanese tractors would do well for you on the size property that you have. Just keep in mind that a lot of those on the market are grey market and it's not as easy to find parts if you need them.
    Also, drive it before you buy it.
    Power steering may be a must have for you.
    Diesel is preferred but gas tractors are usually less expensive.

    Probably the best advice to give is that you should spend some time on the tractor sites and forums.
    http://www.tractorbynet.com/
    http://www.ytmag.com/
    http://www.ssbtractor.com/wwwboard/wwwboard.html

    Hope this helps a little! Good luck!
     
  5. harley

    harley Well-Known Member

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    Even if you dont plan on buying new, find a dealer in your area, preferably one that sells more than one make and discuss with them what your needs are. They will help you figure out exactly what you need to make sure you dont buy too big or too small or like other posters have said, suggest live PTO's and 3 pt hitches. They know all the ins and outs and what is best suited for each person.
    You have to buy what you need right now and what you may need down the road. You dont want to spend $15,000 and a year from now realize you cant do the jobs you are doing, a broken tractor doesnt do you much good, same as one that is too big for the area you have or work. Thats just my 2 cents, ive helped a few friends buy heavy trucks or equipment and they info on making decisions the dealers gave was worth its weight in lots of money saved.
     
  6. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Are you sure you don't just need a tiller and a riding lawn mower with attachments? You CAN hire a tractor to do the initial plowing for the garden.

    I am considering buying one myself, but with a BIG! difference in price I might go with the attachments for the lawn mower. It's about $10,000 cheaper, though I would miss out on the front blade?lifter.
     
  7. Iddee

    Iddee Well-Known Member

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    Live PTO...Mandatory
    Loader....Nice, but optional
    Diesel......preferred
    Gas.....aceptable
    3-point hitch.....mandatory
    hydraulic hook-up.....very nice, but optional
    horsepower....20 to 38
    price used....1500.00 to 4500.00
    Experienced trainer.... DOUBLE MANDATORY Too many newbees die every year on tractors, along with some old-timers. Be careful and enjoy your new home. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!!
     
  8. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

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    You know now that you mentioned that I got to thinking and all but one of the people around here who have either died or been severely injured on tractors have been older guys. They were all either actively farming or were retired and just using tractors for hobby farming or homestead chores. Usually die from rolling the tractor on hills or ditches. Also worth noting that most of these tractors were older ones without ROPS. Two I know of personally though were newer tractors which had the ROPS removed. Both were older guys who didn't think they needed it. One I actually heard state that he had been running tractors for 60 years and he didn't need that "damned sissy bar to catch on everything." A couple of months later he dumped the tractor while mowing around his pond and crushed his skull. The one young guy I know that got killed was in his early 30s and was trying to unload a round bale from a rack and it rolled down the arms his front end loader and broke his neck. I was told that the broken neck didn't directly kill him but that he suffocated to death because the bale pinned him and since the broken neck had paralyzed him he couldn't move to even try to free himself. Awful way to die.
     
  9. mountainman_bc

    mountainman_bc Well-Known Member

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    If you're looking for cheap- I found Ford 9N and 8N to be very reasonaly priced, and if you do a bit of research first (websites already offerred) you can get a real good one. 20hp. I have almost 10 acres and any more would be overkill money wise, but it would be nice.
    They don't have a front loader bucket but you can find one for it, just not specifically built for one. They are gas which is easy enough.
    Some of the hobby farms around here have some quite expensive JD's. They look really handy but they won't likely come near to paying for themselves. Again, if I had $15-20k to burn I'd have one, but I just love my '41 9N.
     
  10. Arborethic

    Arborethic Well-Known Member

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    Well, my old Ford PU was an eye catcher, but it can't compare to my Lariat SuperCab! LOL... The biggest difference is in SAFETY!....not to speak of comfort, efficiency, and capability. That said, I'll put up a well used Kubota against any old 8-9N. First, it has capable hydraulics. In fact, I added a new tool to my B21 Kubota recently. I took a cheap ($150) used hydraulic limb lopper (same kind used by the utility clearance people) and added a couple of hydraulic quick-connect fittings and a 12' pair of hoses. Now my Kubota can trim trees (especially those low hanging limbs) up to 2" in diameter with the squeeze of a trigger.

    I might also mention that OLD tractors have a nearly useless 6 volt system. The 6 volt system is a royal PITA! One spends more time on getting the electrics (including starter/battery) than they do on actual work.

    My first Kubota was an old, seemingly worn out, B1400. I paid $2800 for it, which included a front loader, and 'sloppy' back hoe, along with a new 4' shredder. Even with a blown headgasket, this little tractor would out work a 8/9N three to one! That little Kubota made me far more money than it cost. Now my B21 not only has a phenomenally well integrated backhoe, but a grading blade, box blade, auger (8"&12"), wood splitter that operates in the horizontal and vertical mode, and a 5' Howse shredder that mulches any tree the tractor can push over (up to 4" caliper).

    Tractors might be compared to rifles. A muzzle loader has a distinctive esthetic appeal, but a modern rifle will out perform the muzzle loader while providing far greater safety.
     
  11. lewbest

    lewbest Well-Known Member

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    Bigboy wrote:

    "And the compact Japanese tractors would do well for you on the size property that you have. Just keep in mind that a lot of those on the market are grey market and it's not as easy to find parts if you need them."

    I've seen this terminology before; what is meant by grey market; what is the parts situation?

    Thanks!

    Lew
     
  12. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The grey market parts situation vary depending on what grey market tractor manufacture your talking about. Kubota has both domestic and grey market int he US, They hate the grey market and even had a law suit against the dealers. Parts however are the same or very simialr on grey vs domestic.

    yanmar are very popular grey market tractors, They had a line of US made tractors in the US in the 70 and 80, but when they started making tractors for John Deere they stopped. I have a US yanmar and a Grey Yanmar, Parts are available for both. Going to an offical yanmar dealer for US parts or going to grey dealers for parts takes about the same amount of time. If going with yanmar you do need to pick the popular models, yanmar has lots of differant models but only a few are popular in the US.

    Iseka is a ford compact in foregin clothes and himinato is a Massy. These are not a common in my parts but I hear they have regional popularity.
     
  13. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    Quit thinking about the tractor and start thinking about what you want to do with it. What implements are you going to need? They will determine the size and what tractor you need.
     
  14. BigBoy

    BigBoy No attitude here...

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    Grey Market means that they were built for a different country (Japan) but have been brought in to this country by someone other than the company that makes them. They are basically used Japanese market tractors. A lot of the parts are available from the U.S. dealers but the problems are that the model numbers are different between Japan and the U.S. and most dealers don't want to help you if they know that you are buying parts for a grey market tractor.

    Here are some links to help.
    http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/kb13/ans_grey.htm
    http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/kb13/TF_home.htm
    http://www.tractorstractors.com/
     
  15. Jack_IA

    Jack_IA Active Member

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    I was in the same boat. thought what I needed to do and what I thought would like to do in future. Now own 3 tractors in hp range of 40 - 100. Loaders , backhoes,3 pt hitches. There is nothing I cannot do.
    I looked at compacts and thought no way,not enough weight or power.
    I have way less in my 3.
    Stick with name brands and parts wil not be a problem. I would not scrimp as this is something you want to be around for a while and able to use when you need it.
    There will be alot of things that you will not even think of doing now till you done some suff for a while then the light bulb will go off. The last thing you want is not to have to say ,this is too small or get a huge repair bill on.
     
  16. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

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    every time someone asks this I always recommend a John Deere 720 diesel with a pony starter motor. They run forever, have live PTO, have a 3 point, have power steering, can handle a front end loader very well and are 60 horse power