What Type Tractor Do You Use

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Travis in Louisiana, Mar 3, 2004.

  1. Travis in Louisiana

    Travis in Louisiana Clinton, Louisiana

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    Hello all, I am fixing to buy a tractor and I want to know what type tractor you use, the pros and cons of it. How long has it been in use, are parts easy to get and are the prices of the parts reasonable? How about ease of use of the tractor and of the impliments? I am nterested in a 35 to 40 horsepower model or their abouts. I have read up on mahindra, long, framtrac, kioti, and branson, along with deere and massey fergurson. I will be doing the usual garden, graderbox work and lifting logs for the bandsaw mill. Thanks for the input.
     
  2. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, I own 6 tractors, I don't think the server has room for all the info you requested. :)

    How do you want to handle the logs - front end loader? What size are the logs? Very easy to get very heavy here. I see this a your biggest toughest task, so you are looking perhaps for an industrial style tractor with a strong front end, strong power steering, and strong hydraulics. However, these models often are lacking in rear pto or 3pt hookups which you also want for your other tasks.

    You want live hydraulics, live pto, strong wide front end, and a slow 1st gear if you plan on using a tiller. You want 3 point hitch most likely.

    I'm not sure what age of tractor you are looking for? All my tractors but one are mid-70s or older. The features I mentioned above all showed up in the mid 1950s - tho some of the brands you mentioned didn't have a couple features in the 1990's even on ecconomy models.

    Me, I'd sure take a Ford 860 or 960 (or 1000-series) over some of the new machines you mentioned - but to each their own.

    --->Paul
     

  3. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    If I had a FarmTrac/Long dealer local I'd certainly look at a new tractor. This is because I've been very happy with the various Fords we've owned over the years. After market parts are easy and cheaper than orignal to get. New Holland (Fiat) is still supporting the older lines better than Caser IH (Fiat as well). I would pick a tractor with good dealer support locally. We have 6 NH dealers within an hours drive.
    Here's all the tractors we've owned over the years those with a * we still have:
    Two Ferguson 2085's, dandy little beasts no live PTO.
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    IH B275, tough as nails just got too hard to get parts for no P steering didn't help
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    *Two David Brown 990's, Very tough great Pulling tranny weak hydraulics compared to more modern tractors. First had no P steering, the one we have now is much better.
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    Ford 3000, a little light weight but a great all round tractor it owed us nothing.
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    Ford 5000, again a great tractor, wish I still had it. Reliable and strong.
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    Ford 8000 Kind of sloppy assembly but it could out pull more modern Deeres on less fuel. Still it was too much tractor for our needs.
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    MF 165 I liked this one fine but Massey's are poorly supported here. Lots of aftermarket parts though.
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    *Case 580 ck backhoe, it replaced our 3pth back hoe. I like it but its hard to get parts for this old thing.
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    *Ford 6600, an improved 5000 what's not to like? The P Steering is not great on it (reliable) but over all I've no imeadiate plans to sell it.
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    *Belarus 820, Cheap 4x4 lots of power great winter starter. Poor PS poor parts supply and they are very expensive.
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    Belarus 420, I luved that ugly beast. It pulled like 80 hp the air cooled engine would start in any temp. I'd still have it if I didn't get offered twice what I paid for it. Parts are very expensive.
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    *Ford 6710, a row crop version of the 6600 with improved steering. I'll probably keep this till I die.
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    *MM Universal Z, it's a useful toy.
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    *Fordson Major, another useful toy
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    We also have an older Bobcat 444 which is great but I need a bigger one.

    We've used the DB990's as garden tractors and with the creeper gear they are great low speed units. The 3000 Ford would have been OK too.
     
  4. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    My smallest tractor is 95 hp, so I probably can't help you with a specific model, but I will add my vote for having a local dealer!

    Things to consider also are....front wheel assist or 4WD if you have to deal with mud or snow. I almost buried my JD4430 in the field the other day due to mud. I hate mud season!

    Cabs are extremely nice if you plan to use it during winter, but they add $$$ to the price. In the summer an umbrella works, but I freeze when stuck in a tractor in the winter unless I have a cab.

    I would not dream of owning a tractor without a 3-pt, PTO and hydraulics, but then maybe some people don't need them.

    A loader is great. All kinds of fun things you can do with a loader. I use mine to clean up manure, fix the driveway sometimes when I'm too lazy to put the blade on, carry stuff, haul stuff and pick up things.

    Jena
     
  5. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Anyone wishing to do the work you mentioned needs a 40Hp+ tractor. If the budget is snug I would overlook the first 5 tractors you mentioned and buy a 20 year old "domestic" tractor. Look for one with a heavy front axle since you want to handle logs. Ford, Massey, IH would be my choice and in a diesel engine. Green paint is over priced IMO. Power steering with the loader would be a plus. Buy with a conventional transmission....no auto/hydro/power shift in any of the makes. Too costly to repair. Try to buy a tractor from a retiring farmer or estate if you can find such. Beware of tractor auctions, usually those tractors are there for a reason! If you are mechanically challenged hire a mechanic to evaluate the tractor prior to the purchase. Good luck and enjoy.
     
  6. Travis in Louisiana

    Travis in Louisiana Clinton, Louisiana

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    Thanks for the information. On the logs, I would probably be picking up 8 foot, maybe 12 foot logs. I was thinking of using the 3pt hitch to manuver the logs. I would pick up, one end at a time. I will check back in on Saturday.
     
  7. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

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    I have a Long 350. It's a good tractor, but the Romanian built Longs do not have real strong hydraulics - they are not something I'd want to have lifting logs.

    I don't know about the Farmtracs, other than folks complained about them leaking, but I think that was traced to inferior seals. The original Fords they are copied after, had very good hydraulics.

    My neighbor has a Mahindra, which is a copy of a mid-60s International. So far, he has really liked the tractor. Most of his work has been cutting and moving hay.

    Best of luck in your tractor safari.
     
  8. South of Forty

    South of Forty Active Member

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    I have an older Belarus as250. It was what I could afford second hand. It is also the first tractor I have owned. It seems to be a bit on the touchy side. Has a lot of mostly minor electrical problems, transmission problems as well, but it does start easy. All in all I like it but would prefer something a bit less of a maintenance headache.
     
  9. I just purchased a Kubota M5400 4x4 last fall. It was used with under 500 hours on it and it came with a decent Kubota front-end loader. Cost came in at $15500. It would probably be able to do everything on your list without too much trouble. I have not logged a lot of hours with it but so far it has been flawless. I am especially impressed with the little 5cylinder diesel engine. Started half a turn on the coldest morning this winter and it is one of the smoothest diesel engines I have ever run.
    Be very careful when purchasing old equipment. Old tools are for old fools. Parts for many older machines are often very hard to come by and the simplest of repairs can end up costing you BIG money. Old agriculture tractors always seem to hold onto value and sellers often want huge money for piles of junk. Do some digging on tractorbynet.com for more information on any given tractor model. Good place for info and prices.
    Moving logs with a tractor is a good way to get hurt and/or damage your equipment. Be sure to get a machine big enough to pick up all the weight you want without getting into trouble and get a good set of forks and a honkin counterweight. If you are going to be feeding a band mill for a living, consider a heavy skid steer or a backhoe. The industrial hydraulics and grapple/4in1 buckets will make your life a lot easier. An old log truck with an old prentice loader would be even better. Good Luck.
     
  10. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely agree that loading with a front mounted fork is much easier in the small sawmill enviornment.

    But how much do you want to pay for a utility tractor? I gave $3500 ten years ago for mine, used(400 hours), with a 5ft bushog, 5' tandem discs, and a post hole digger. I still see equivalent shape and sized tractors that can be bought in the 5-6K range.

    And I've loaded many a log, even 20 foot stuff, with a Ford 3000, and a homemade 3-point hitch 7ft boom, with a chain and a set of tongs.

    It's all in what you want the tractor for, and what you want to spend.
     
  11. Mullers Lane Farm

    Mullers Lane Farm Well-Known Member

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    We us a pair of 12 yo Belgian draft horses for hay mowing, raking, spreading manure and log snaking or a 15 yo Milking Devon ox for the stone boat and snaking logs - our son uses the 1942 Farmall M - I like the fertilizer from the draft animals better ...
     
  12. Have to agree on NOT getting a MF. We have an MF165--the parts are hard to come by here, too. Masseys are well known for their weak hydraulic systems (found that out after we bought it). We also use ours for hauling logs for a sawmill--very weak, slooooooow hydraulics--also power steering problems. Spent over $300 for a new carburetor because they don't make rebuild kits for the old carb. Have so much $ invested in it now, we may as well keep it! I think a Belarus is in order next time around, or a good old John Deere (Belarus are extremely reasonable where we live).
     
  13. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    A prime consideration is where are you going to have it serviced. The closer the better. If there is a farm equipment dealer in your area you might be better off buying from them (or at least that brand) just for the parts and service aspect alone. It is no fun to get a non-working tractor up on a trailer and have to haul it 90-miles for service.

    Ken S. in WC TN
     
  14. shakeytails in KY

    shakeytails in KY Well-Known Member

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    I have an International 574 with a loader, I think it's rated at 55hp. It's a good little tractor, easy to operate and wide stanced so it's very stable. Hydraulics are strong, but a little slow to respond. Paid $5500 for it about 10 years ago. We haven't had to buy very many parts, but they are readily available and average priced. New clutch was the only major repair, about $800.

    You might want to consider a bit bigger than 35-40 hp if price is a concern. The smaller tractors are more expensive to purchase.

    I'd stay away from all the "off-brand" tractors. Stick with the major names and you shouldn't have any problems getting parts. And definitely see what dealerships are nearby.
     
  15. thequeensblessing

    thequeensblessing Well-Known Member

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    We just went tractor shopping today! I think we've decided on a 55 hp John Deere. We priced New Hollands and Kubota, but the John Deere had them beat by a couple thousand for a similar tractor. We also were very much impressed with the John Deere service people compared to the others we visited. We'll be dealing with the service folks at whatever dealership we go with, so we want to be able to have a good relationship with them. We were very dissapointed with the two New Holland dealerships we visited. They both tried to sell us a MUCH bigger tractor then we need or want. At the JD dealership, they listened to what we wanted and showed us exactly what we were looking for, for less then the others!
    We will be cutting hay, (9 foot haybine), baling it, and hauling logs for the saw mill as well with ours.
    Used tractors in the size we need are very nearly as much as new ones in this area, if you can even find one! We originally wanted used, but after a little homework, we quickly decided to go new.
     
  16. Ken Scharabok

    Ken Scharabok In Remembrance

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    Buying a new tractor should be much like buying a new car. Once you know exactly what you want shop around. For example, make a list of what you would be getting from your local dealer. Then do a google search for dealers in your and surrounding states. Most likely have e-mail service. Send them the specifications and ask them for a price delivered to your yard. One option is to give your local total price (remember taxes and any other closing closing costs) and say if they can't beat the price, what would they throw in as a bonus. You local dealer will be required to honor all warranties, etc. If you find a significantly better price elsewhere you can also go back to your dealer and offer to let them drop their price to match it.

    Ken S. in WC TN
     
  17. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

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    True, the tractor dealer has to honor all warranties.

    Doesn't say what the repair timeframe has to be, however.

    Unless the deal is significantly better somewhere else, I'd buy locally. Or even the smallest problem could put you at the end of the repair line, and cost you a couple of days extra.

    In the haying business, time is money.
     
  18. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    We have had real tractors in the past. Now we have a great 30 hp Ford, 4WD positraction, Front End Loader, three pt hitch, live pto, no power steering (got used to it - suggest you try to get power steering).

    From another post of mine,

    Alex
     
  19. mousecat33

    mousecat33 Well-Known Member

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    Belarus, es good traktor ja!

    mc
     
  20. DW

    DW plains of Colorado Supporter

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    1946 or '49 (year is in question) IH-M. This is the real thing! Have had it rebuilt. Pretty easy to get people to work on it but we are in the largest agricultural county in Colorado.