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Old 07-07-2011, 08:00 PM   #1
Bull
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Default Best Used Tractor for Gentleman Farmer?

I am positive that this thread has the potential to be contentious, or for people to say that the question is impossible to answer, much like when someone asks what the "best" tools are.

That being said, I want to know what your opinions are regarding the used tractor market. If a person has a small amount of acreage, say fifteen or fewer, that they want to be able to harrow, plow, till, and whatever else a gentleman farmer needs to do, what used tractors offer the best bang for the buck? My soil is heavy clay, so the machine will need to be able to deal with that.

I suppose the areas I am most curious about relate to: cost; power; reliability; functionality/ease if use; parts availability; gas vs. diesel.

Specific brands, models, prices and date ranges would be most appreciated.

I should add: I am not loaded, so money is an issue. Can't go for the "Cadillac" of used tractors, so to speak.
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:09 PM   #2
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Default Re: Best Used Tractor for Gentleman Farmer?

any of the john deere 2XXX Subcompacts would do well, or even the 3xxx.
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:10 PM   #3
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Default Re: Best Used Tractor for Gentleman Farmer?

I dont have any real advice, but a suggestion from practical experience.
My father has a Ford Tractor. The closest dealership for parts is over 2 hrs away. When the tractor breaks down, we drive 4 hrs roundtrip to get the replacment part.
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:11 PM   #4
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Default Re: Best Used Tractor for Gentleman Farmer?

Some of the new Chinese (or perhaps I can say Asian brands) tractors are very good and making a big way into small machines specialy suitable for small hobby farmers.

Daedong from Korea have good products and I am told sell well here as no other company produces small tractors for the Australian Market. Companies like Dong Feng - East Wind ( Cummins connections ) are also starting to sell well here.

Other wise you may be looking at an older petrol tractor that may need restoration. Fergusson has a good following with many enthusiasts. I am sure others will comment given the folowing we have on this forum.
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:12 PM   #5
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Default Re: Best Used Tractor for Gentleman Farmer?

I'm impartial...but I love my Farmall 560 wide front gas. Inline 6 produces 55hp. I have the dirt bucket so I can move lots of dirt & snow as well as tree branches, logs and rock. Very easy to fix. I've owned mine for 15 years and live on 10 acres. Mine cost me $4200 with the westendorf loader.
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:12 PM   #6
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Default Re: Best Used Tractor for Gentleman Farmer?

Kubota's, parts are available and they hold their value well. The best thing to do is go to your local tractor dealer, they will have new and used ones. Usually they will have quite a selection of manufacturers for used equipment. Then you can try some out.
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:18 PM   #7
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Default Re: Best Used Tractor for Gentleman Farmer?

if i was looking for a used tractor, i'd be looking for parts/service availability,
ie: wheres the closest dealer or tractor repair shop

as mentioned, a smokin' deal on a used tracotr could be a royal pita if the closest place to get parts is XXX miles away.


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Old 07-07-2011, 08:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: Best Used Tractor for Gentleman Farmer?

Bull,
There are a ton of tractors that fit that bill and if you google any one model/make you'll get plenty of info and directions to several discussion forums. The best bang will start at the low end with the Ford 8n. The later year of mfg would be 1952 which has the most upgrades and the guys that really use them for farming will tout their abilities, even at 24hp. They are super plentiful and can be had from $1-3k. From there you can choose from a huge aray that go into the 30-40K [tractors are expensive as you know] which will get you a nice John Deere, Kabota etc with accessories. Here's a pic of a '52 8n that I have about $4k into and a '68 Case 1030 @ 100hp that I have $3500 into. Quite a differance. Check out 'Tractor House' to see more for sale. And yes a parts/mechanics close by is best.
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:51 PM   #9
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Default Re: Best Used Tractor for Gentleman Farmer?

I bought a Allis Chalmers wd45, wide-front with a near new 6' belly mower for $1700. Without the mower they run $1000-$2000 in my area in decent shape. The grandfather used to run 320 acres with one. It is a real popular tractor and their everywhere around me. Mine is 57 years old, I have owned it for 15 years without putting 1 dime into it. If your worried about how far the closest dealer is, your looking at the wrong tractor. If I had $15k to spend it would be on a Kubota.
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: Best Used Tractor for Gentleman Farmer?

I bought a 790 John Deere - 30 hp 4wd with the 300 loader. Great piece of equipment!
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:03 PM   #11
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Default Re: Best Used Tractor for Gentleman Farmer?

Bull
You have asked a question that will depend somewhat on what you plan to do with it. Tractors come is different styles to do different jobs. A row crop tractor for vegtables and such is going to be different than one for grain or hay. Orchards are another different animal. Once you decide what crops you are going to farm then you can decide on a proper set of implements to compliment the tractor you choose and the crops you desire to grow. As you learned on your 3-point adventure with the Bolens there are different catagories of hitches. As tractors go up in HP then the hitches change. So as your dreaming learn what hitch systems are out there. There are some propriatary systems that will limit you to that manufactures implements so pay attention to that. You will also find that there are two standard PTO speeds and some tractors will do both and some will do one or the other. again the implements will have to match. Remote hydraulics may also be a factor in your choice.

Like said above check what brand is supported locally. Decide what color you prefer then check out the specific web forums for those brands. You will find tractor guys are as rabid about tractors as you are about Pontiacs. Each of the tractor brands has many models and some are orphaned. Oliver is a good brand but they imported and rebadged some Fiat tractors that are not as well supported these days as the old US machines. Most of the other brands have had rebadged imports that have a lot of parts NLA, no longer avaiable.

All that said I would look hard at a Kubota in the 35-50 hp range for me. Depending on how much tilling your planning YOU may be able to shop in the 25 hp range.

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Old 07-07-2011, 09:10 PM   #12
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Default Re: Best Used Tractor for Gentleman Farmer?

I've always liked the look of a grey Ford 9N for a gentleman/hobby farm.

Probably would want something more modern and fuller featured for regular work though.

Last edited by Weps; 07-07-2011 at 09:22 PM.
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Old 07-07-2011, 09:33 PM   #13
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Default Re: Best Used Tractor for Gentleman Farmer?

We started out with a 1989 Kubota L2350 witg a loader, goog trector but too small; the bushhig would "drive" the tractor.
W bought a BX22 w/loader and backhie for the pet cemetary.
we then traded the 2350 for a larger L2800; this travtor handles the bushhig and the 5' tiller with no problem.

My advice is to buy a new travctor with good service
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:07 PM   #14
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Default Re: Best Used Tractor for Gentleman Farmer?

Bull just make sure the parts are easy to get and dont cause your wallet to bleed to death


deisel tractors are great ... TILL they break and cost you a few weeks of your paychecks to fix
we did have a mitsubitchi deisel starting having problems with it running... injector pump was over $1500
now have a late 40s 2N ford only thing i can't get new as far as parts go is the block and rearend main casting
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:12 PM   #15
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Default Re: Best Used Tractor for Gentleman Farmer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by crewchief888 View Post
if i was looking for a used tractor, i'd be looking for parts/service availability,
ie: wheres the closest dealer or tractor repair shop

as mentioned, a smokin' deal on a used tracotr could be a royal pita if the closest place to get parts is XXX miles away.


This right here ^^^^^^^^! Wise words from crewchief.

Also be aware that even the big, American manufacturers had "oddball" models that are hard to find parts, hoses, filters etc. for, even from a dealer.

As far as a recommendation, the IH 656 comes to mind. Its around 60 HP and will handle a loader or be able to handle tillage on a small acreage just fine. Pluses are: live PTO, ease of operation, choice of gas or diesel models, 3 point hitch, and bigger than a utility tractor but not too big. Proven reliability and commonly available parts and service parts too. Should be able to get a very good one for about $5000 to $7000. Price may vary where you are from though.

Scott
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:28 PM   #16
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Default Re: Best Used Tractor for Gentleman Farmer?

scout is on the right track, diesel engine, live pto and hydraulics, at least one rear mount hydraulic outlet(2 is good, three is better) three point hitch. 40 hp or more is a good size. i would avoid utility type tractors and those older tha the 60's. they just don't have enough modern features. i know i will get called out but i would avoid the ford 8n,9n 2n models. too old, too small not enough features. if you don't have a cab , think about getting a roll bar. tractors tip easier than you think and most older tractor cab are not reinforced for rollovers ( think crushed in a tin can) . i helped pull a guy i knew out from under a tractor not equiped with a roll bar. he didn't suffer much but the casket was closed.........
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:37 PM   #17
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Default Re: Best Used Tractor for Gentleman Farmer?

whatever you decide on, look at the tires. if you have priced tractor tires lately you will know the value of good tires.
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:39 PM   #18
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Default Re: Best Used Tractor for Gentleman Farmer?

Larry_G has given some very sound advice there. I would add that, based on extensive personal experience, you DO NOT WANT an old 8N/9N/2N. They are wonderfully nostalgic pieces of machinery but don't multi-task well. I would also advise you to get a diesel rather than a gas burner. I own a three-cylinder Kubota B2630 (26 horsepower) that will simply work rings around the old N series. The difference in ease of operation and maintenance is night and day, with day being the Kubota and the 8N being a cold, drizzling, pitch black moonless night with a black hole for a fire. You might also want to take a look at the Mahindra offerings. I have a brother-in-law that has one, and it's a solid machine, with a good pedigree. And don't completely discount buying new; many dealers offer excellent financing options, many with 0% for up to 60 months.
Good luck! It took me months to find the right tractor, but it's well worth it.
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:09 AM   #19
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Default Re: Best Used Tractor for Gentleman Farmer?

You need to decide on a full-size Utility tractor or a smaller Compact Utility tractor. There will be more lower-cost options in the Utility tractor category, but the trade off will be age and size.

I'm biased green...so utility tractor:

JD 820-- $3,200 in Vermont. These are a nice size tractor that can do a lot of "traditional" tractor work (bush hog, plowing, etc).
http://www.machinefinder.com/ww/en-US/machine/1754207




Compact utility-wise, here is a cute little JD 650 in New York. Low hours too., These were very simple tractors, built for JD by Yanmar. VERY durable, but not really made to plow as they don't weight enough. But will run a tiller, harrow, bushhog, etc. But price goes up...$5,595. Also comes with a 60" belly mower, so you could cut your lawn too.
http://www.machinefinder.com/ww/en-US/machine/1726941



Having owned a Ford NAA (OHV version of 8N), I also don't recommend them for most folks.
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Old 07-08-2011, 12:14 AM   #20
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Default Re: Best Used Tractor for Gentleman Farmer?

Good explaination of tractor classes...

Compact tractors are used for light applications such as tilling and grading and large lawn mowing. They are extremely versatile typically have between 1-40 horsepower.

Utility tractors are primarily used in things like dairy and hay operations, and are good for loader work. They are small enough to be used for both farming and landscaping but have more powerful engines (40-100hp) than compact tractors.

This Needs Analyzer is fun to play with and will give you an idea of what kind of new tractor would do what you want. We here could then help you find something equivalent on the used market.
http://productselector.deere.com/Cus...argetMarket=HO
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