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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Aug 2013
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    Belfair, WA
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    None

    Default Older Farm Tractor Buying Advice

    Hi, my name is Leah and I'm looking for some advice on buying an older tractor. I have a 40 acre organic veggie and livestock farm currently with about an acre in vegetables, 5 acres in pasture, and 12 alpacas, 6 goats, and a couple dozen laying hens. We are bringing about 15 acres of old pasture (currently under construction) into production for this next year as either pasture or vegetables.

    Right now we don't have any equipment, and will be needing to spread about 30 tons of lime, 200 tons of compost and manure, and several hundred pounds of cover crop. We have mostly level fields ranging from heavy, wet clay to sandy loam. Not many rocks, but historically wetland. We are working on improving our drainage (regrading, ditches, subsoiling, etc.).

    We are resurfacing and regrading the fields right now (an outside contractor w/heavy equipment) and then I'll be heavily amending the soil, starting with subsoiling, then lime, compost, seeding, etc. For the long term, we will be doing a lot of plowing (1-3 bottom), subsoiling (1-2 shank), chisel plowing (3-5 shank), discing, harrowing, tilling for seed bed prep, spreading lime, compost and manure, fertilizer and mineral mixes, seeding pastures and cover crops, turning compost, moving rock and sand for sacrifice areas, and mowing fields (potentially for hay later on down the road). Most of the veggies will be seeded by hand or with walk behind seeders. Transplanting is currently done by hand. We don't use round bales, just small squares.

    Right now I am looking at the 40-50 hp range, something between 1950 and 1980, mostly due to our budget. We can spend about $6,000 for the tractor and somewhere around $500 to get it here. We don't have our own trailer. 4WD would be nice but I think it is beyond our price range. Even so, I shouldn't really be out in the field anyways if it is wet enough to get stuck. I am not at all attached to a brand, but there are kubota and John Deere shops nearby. A front end loader, 3 point, and PTO are a must. Really we just want a reliable, easy to operate farm tractor that will last. I am mainly looking at classified ads rather than auctions, because I don't have enough mechanical experience on my own to be able to pick out a good machine. I'm a first time buyer, looking for advice on some older models, and any pitfalls or things to look out for when buying an older model.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can give a beginning female farmer
    Leah

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    1,649
    Location
    Piedmont, NC
    Tractor
    Kubota L4610 & BX2230, Farmall Super M, Super A

    Default Re: Older Farm Tractor Buying Advice

    Hello, Leah. Welcome to TBN.

    I think your budget is going to force you to make some compromises between features and reliability. For example, anything with the hydraulics to run a loader in that price range may well be either pretty old, pretty beat-up or both. There are plenty of older (say, 1950 - 1970), tractors like Fords, Massey Fergusons, etc., that would do pretty much everything else you've described, though. The trick is finding one that's been cared for and is likely to be dependable. You'll probably still have to be willing to do some tinkering with it from time to time. Consider all brands when you're looking at older equipment; it's more important to find a good one than be overly fussy about what make it is, but make sure it has a standard 3 point hitch setup since not all makes followed that convention at that time.

    The other direction to consider is finding a smaller 1980's import tractor for your chores. Makes like Yanmar, Shibura and Mitsubishi come to mind... nice little tractors that might fit your budget. They will be small for plowing (probably a 1 bottom), but you might be able to find one with 4wd and a loader. Standard features regarding the pto, etc., was an issue with these older imports also, so, for example, you have to make sure the pto turns in the right direction and speed.

    I'd highly recommend getting to know someone who is familiar with farm equipment and might help you look at what's out there: maybe a neighbor, someone at church, someone in the family, etc. You'll learn plenty of "seat of the pants" knowledge from owning and operating a tractor, but walking into it cold... it's a case of not knowing what you don't know!

    You may want to look into renting some equipment to get that material moved to take some of the pressure off of buying your own right away. Others will probably chime in with different ideas.

  3. #3
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    17,005
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    Kioti DK 40-Massey ferguson 135-Ventrac 4500 Diesel

    Default Re: Older Farm Tractor Buying Advice

    Very good post there Grandad, Leah Welcome.
    Murph ------------

  4. #4
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    454
    Location
    Albion, Indiana
    Tractor
    1710 Ford

    Default Re: Older Farm Tractor Buying Advice

    What pops off in my mind is a 560 International. Mid sixties tractor that are all around the price range. It has the hydraulics, fast hitch 3 pt, and PTO you need. You may want a non-rowcrop however just so it is lower to the ground and easier on and off. I am not that familiar with the compact tractors but a Ford 4000 or IH 484 come to mind. The Ford would be a little older and probably less expensive but would make a nice little tractor. A lot of it depends on what you find in your area.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member atgreene's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
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    855
    Location
    Sebago, Maine
    Tractor
    2005 TB135 Excavator with Thumb, Quick Attach System, Ripper tooth, 3' Hydrauic Tilt Clean-up Bucket, Skeleton Bucket, 1986 Kubota 4150 with Loader and Quick Attach with Woods Forks, JD B, 1963 IH 504

    Default Re: Older Farm Tractor Buying Advice

    You may want to consider buying a non-loader tractor to do the field work and work your way up to a 4 wd loader tractor. For that money you will either get a nice 50 hp 2 wd tractor in decent shape that will plow, till, hay, plant etc etc, or a beat-up 2 wd tractor with a loader that is worn out. The older Ford 2000, 3000, etc, IH 300, etc are nice tractors, but if they had a loader on them the front ends are probably worn not to mention a whole lot of other things.

    You will find that even with a small farm, a 2wd utility tractor and a 4wd loader tractor make a good pairing. You never have enough tractors.
    2009 Kubota M7040, cab
    2005 Takeuchi 135 excavator
    1963 Oshkosh 4819
    2013 GMC 3500 6.0 w 9-2 Boss V Fisher poly Sander.
    IH 504, JD B, Ford 2n, Farmall cub, Gehl 1475 Round Baler, JD 640 rake, Vermeer 2500 Bale Wrapper, Zetor 185 Drum Mower, New Idea 217 manure Spreader, Kuhn 4 star tedder, Farmi 501 winch.
    Local 740 Portland ME
    20 Scottish Highland Beef Cattle, 3 Herefords, 3 Goats, 2 Alpacas, 2 Llama, 140+- layers, and lots of maple trees.
    Facebook: Phillip View Farm

  6. #6
    Platinum Member atgreene's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    855
    Location
    Sebago, Maine
    Tractor
    2005 TB135 Excavator with Thumb, Quick Attach System, Ripper tooth, 3' Hydrauic Tilt Clean-up Bucket, Skeleton Bucket, 1986 Kubota 4150 with Loader and Quick Attach with Woods Forks, JD B, 1963 IH 504

    Default Re: Older Farm Tractor Buying Advice

    http://www.tractorhouse.com/listings...x?OHID=7889899

    I just did a quick search on Tractorhouse. With the perameters you've laid out it's going to be hard to find something in that price range. Spend some time searching sites like Tractorhouse so you get familiar with what's out there. A sure fire way to see if it is a good tractor is by how many are for sale. If you're buying the only one out there, probably ought to rethink it. Best to buy an older tractor that is popular.
    2009 Kubota M7040, cab
    2005 Takeuchi 135 excavator
    1963 Oshkosh 4819
    2013 GMC 3500 6.0 w 9-2 Boss V Fisher poly Sander.
    IH 504, JD B, Ford 2n, Farmall cub, Gehl 1475 Round Baler, JD 640 rake, Vermeer 2500 Bale Wrapper, Zetor 185 Drum Mower, New Idea 217 manure Spreader, Kuhn 4 star tedder, Farmi 501 winch.
    Local 740 Portland ME
    20 Scottish Highland Beef Cattle, 3 Herefords, 3 Goats, 2 Alpacas, 2 Llama, 140+- layers, and lots of maple trees.
    Facebook: Phillip View Farm

  7. #7
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    6,724
    Location
    Central wisconsin
    Tractor
    International 2500a with Loader

    Default Re: Older Farm Tractor Buying Advice

    if you are willing to spend the time and watch Craigs list for your area and have the money available and as soon as one good one shows up don't hesitate go look at it maybe take someone with you that has tractor knowledge with you,they are out there that's where i got mine 4 years ago and couldn't be happier.look for something that's clean and been maintained and sounds good.check all fluids to see if they are clean and have been maintained.
    ::welcome :::RON
    never stop learning.

  8. #8
    New Member
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    Aug 2013
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    Location
    alberta
    Tractor
    looking to buy

    Default Re: Older Farm Tractor Buying Advice

    My family has an International 484 that they have abused and neglected for about 20 years....and it has never broken down. No major problems at all, nothing electrical on it, has been run low on oil more than i can count, though it might smoke a little. Great tractor. And i believe they were made with the 4wd option as well...don't quote me on that though.

  9. #9
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
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    6,515
    Location
    Northern California-Tehama Co.
    Tractor
    2008 Mahindra 5525, 1964 MF-135 diesel, 1951 Farmall Super A, 1951 Minneapolis Moline BF, 1945 Oliver 60 Row Crop, 1949 JD B widefront

    Default Re: Older Farm Tractor Buying Advice

    You can find lots of old, used tractors with 2-stage clutch (live pto) in the vintage/ hp/price ranges you're eyeballing. Just check eBay, Craigslist, etc for buy it now (BIN) asking prices on Ford, Massey Ferguson, IH Farmall, Deere. The kicker is getting a decent used tractor in the 40-50 hp range WITH an FEL for just $6K. You'll have to look long and hard for one of those babies. Up your price range to $10K to open up vastly more possibilities.

    Welcome to TBN and good luck.

  10. #10
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    9,392
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    somewhere usa
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    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: Older Farm Tractor Buying Advice

    Wish I could offer a better solution for you but the 6,500 is very limiting. If you could put that down on a simple tractor such as a 5055E Deere with fel and get the 60 month financing at 0% you would be much better off. The problem with old tractors and hiring out the repairs is that it costs just as much as repairing a new tractor but doesn't increase the value. If you buy a $6000 dollar tractor and have to sink another $6000 in to repairs it won't be worth more than $7.500. I will also add the repairs are hard to finance and can shut you down if money is short. Please give this some thought before you loose money.


    About the fertilizing and lime, have you checked for co ops in your locale that will apply their product with trucks? Might simplify things a bit.

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