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  1. #1
    Platinum Member saracenas's Avatar
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    Default 20th century tractors vs 21st century tractors.

    I had never found any discussion in any thread on the TBN about what are the ARGUMENTS of buying an old(er) tractor or staying with it for the decades (including if those were bought new many years ago) versus obtaining modern one. I'm not taking into account the possibilities of a budget. Some owners might say they better keep running the present 12 or 30 years old machine because of its simplicity, easy in fixing, parts availability, dealer reliance, habits e.c. Some others might need more power, cab comfort, operation convenience, anti-pollution standards e.c.

    I feel some guys would never change their tractors into new ones if even they are able to spend the required budget, and some others would never ever operate old ones - without turbos, common-rails, electronic control systems, hydro-transmissions... The ARGUMENTS of all tractor owners are respectable.

    Just curious what they could be?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member pjbci's Avatar
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    JD 4840, 450j, 310, komatsu D31px22, IH 1486, MF 135, MHF TO35

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    I have both modern and older equipment that I use daily. I really like my late model equipments fearures and ease of operation. But I have seen enough downtime from failed sensors and "designed to fail" parts to leave a bad taste in my mouth. My older equipment may not be shiny but the reliability is outsanding. These old machines will be on my farm for many years to come.

  3. #3
    D7E
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    Default Re: 20th century tractors vs 21st century tractors.

    Our breakdowns will almost always be electrical or computer related . I have worked over the years for some very large custom farming outfits and some very large grain / potato farms running fleets of brand new top spec tractors of all brands and generally reliability is appalling compared to lower houred older tractors and far more complex and expensive to fix . I like late 1980's-early 1990's era as you have all the electronics you need , air con , quiet cabs, decent gearboxes etc without the complexity and your not at the mercy of a dealer every time you have a repair .
    We have not bought a new tractor for many years so was interested a few years ago to rent a JD 8120 on a busy time ...It never finnished the first day from a computer meltdown then this year a custom guy helping us had similar problems with a new fendt resulting in extensive tranny work
    I'l keep my dinosaurs from 1975-1997 that we have they are payed for and cost me almost nothing in repairs.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member saracenas's Avatar
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    Default Re: 20th century tractors vs 21st century tractors.

    Quote Originally Posted by pjbci View Post
    I have both modern and older equipment that I use daily. I really like my late model equipments fearures and ease of operation. But I have seen enough downtime from failed sensors and "designed to fail" parts to leave a bad taste in my mouth. My older equipment may not be shiny but the reliability is outsanding. These old machines will be on my farm for many years to come.
    Sorry, that's my fault.
    Indeed, very many guys like you own both - old and new tractors. And as you are so strict, it means the reason is weighty for that decision.
    Understand your "taste" of failing sensors...

  5. #5
    Elite Member
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    Deere

    Default Re: 20th century tractors vs 21st century tractors.

    Quote Originally Posted by pjbci View Post
    I have both modern and older equipment that I use daily. I really like my late model equipments fearures and ease of operation. But I have seen enough downtime from failed sensors and "designed to fail" parts to leave a bad taste in my mouth. My older equipment may not be shiny but the reliability is outsanding. These old machines will be on my farm for many years to come.
    My experience as well. I have a 13HP Farmall Cub that works as hard as a modern day 25HP machine. In 59 years it has never failed to start and has always amazed me. Because of the simplicity, if something went wrong you could fix it as long as you had a 5/8 wrench handy. The new machines are just so much more of a joy to use though, even just in terms of power steering to all the hydraulic gizmos they are a lot less stressful, but a lot more prone to breaking. If I'm out to have a 'good ole time' I'll fire up the Cub and take my sweet time, but when I've got a days work ahead of me, there's a lot better choices. Just my $.02

  6. #6
    Veteran Member MHarryE's Avatar
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    My sister and her husband have 13 tractors with only 1, my sister's raking tractor, being newer than 1985. It is 4 years old and is the only one that didn't break down last year. Their repair parts bill, not including their mechanic's time, was over $32,000. My cousin farms about the same acreage but has new meaning all tractors less than 10 years old. Repair parts last year $1,200 - I replaced a cracked hydraulic valve body on his 6210 JD. He gets more free help because I would rather drive his JD 7730 than my brother in law's 6588 Internationals. IH - which of the gears is not out, does the TA work on this one, gauges - his mechanic has cobbled a working add on oil pressure gauge on all. The 7730 - electric shift, air seat, air conditioner that works, don't need ear protection, and does the same work using 30% less fuel. My brother in law is adding yet another old International to his fleet this year to keep going despite all the breakdowns. If his mechanic ever leaves he is in deep do-do. My cousin is not mechanically inclined at all so if he has a breakdown he has to beg for help so he keeps new equipment and avoids breakdowns. Oh, he also makes money which my brother in law with the old iron doesn't.
    JD7720; KubotaM135GX; NH TS115A; JD6230; KubotaL5740

  7. #7
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
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    Default Re: 20th century tractors vs 21st century tractors.

    You can buy modern 21st century tractors that are built like 20th century tractors. For example, my 2008 Mahindra 5525 is a pretty simple diesel tractor, gear tranny, no turbo, fairly simple electrical system, heavy and strong. It's not that much more complex than a tractor from the 1960s like a JD 4020.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 20th century tractors vs 21st century tractors.

    Quote Originally Posted by flusher View Post
    You can buy modern 21st century tractors that are built like 20th century tractors. For example, my 2008 Mahindra 5525 is a pretty simple diesel tractor, gear tranny, no turbo, fairly simple electrical system, heavy and strong. It's not that much more complex than a tractor from the 1960s like a JD 4020.
    Wait until next year. Tier IV final will result in all new engines, with electronic controls and sensors, DEF, the works,

  9. #9
    Reg
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    Default Re: 20th century tractors vs 21st century tractors.

    Just remember that the 20th century tractors that have survived are the "Good" ones and I don't mean just brand names and models, but the ones from the opposite end of the spectrum to the LEMONS.

    From another thread; the GM Oldsmobiles and Chevvies from the early 80s with the diesels that have survived this long have been the ones at that end of the spectrum.

    It is probably unfair to be comparing the longest survivors of the previous century to a population of new equipment that has a mix of everything from lemons to jewels in it.

    I agree that some of the new (electronic) technologies have been introduced before reaching reliability maturity and that in many cases field failures aren't fixable with a crescent wrench.

    Having said that, nostalgia keeps a lot of things alive and distorts our memory as well as our views.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member pjbci's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reg
    Just remember that the 20th century tractors that have survived are the "Good" ones and I don't mean just brand names and models, but the ones from the opposite end of the spectrum to the LEMONS.

    From another thread; the GM Oldsmobiles and Chevvies from the early 80s with the diesels that have survived this long have been the ones at that end of the spectrum.

    It is probably unfair to be comparing the longest survivors of the previous century to a population of new equipment that has a mix of everything from lemons to jewels in it.

    I agree that some of the new (electronic) technologies have been introduced before reaching reliability maturity and that in many cases field failures aren't fixable with a crescent wrench.

    Having said that, nostalgia keeps a lot of things alive and distorts our memory as well as our views.
    Thats a very good point. Im guilty of comparing the very best older equip to the mix of today. If I would have added the JD 2840 and the MF 1155 to my list for coparison, I might would have looked a little more favorably to modern equip.

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