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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Collinsville, CT
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    Default First tractor purchase: JD 2040 v. MF 1260

    Hello! I am new to the forum... and to tractors. Just finished my first season as an organic farmer, and I am looking to buy my first tractor this winter. Budget is limited. Here is what I have found so far, would love to get your feedback on the selection - pros/cons, what to look for etc.

    Needs: 2.5 acres of flat river bottom sandy loam land. First attachments to be a 2 bottom moldboard plow, disc harrow and cultivator. Want a front loader bucket to move compost etc.

    Found:
    1979 JD 2040 2WD 3pt hitch, 40hp at pto, front loader, power steering, gear shift transmission $4500 (didn't get the hours yet)
    1995 MF 1260 4WD 1800 hours 3 pt hitch, 33hp at pto, front loader, tow bar, tachometer is broken $10k

    How do these compare? What questions do I need to ask that I don't know to ask?

    THANK YOU. I am enjoying reading this forum.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member cartod's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
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    871
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    Northern, West Virginia
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    JD 3320,255

    Default Re: First tractor purchase: JD 2040 v. MF 1260

    You need 4 wheel drive with a loader, so pick the one with 4wd. You are also comparing tractors that are about 20 years apart. Get the most tractor you can afford and then get a little more.

  3. #3
    Elite Member TSO's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
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    SouthEast Michigan
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    Massey 1652 HST Cab

    Default

    $4500-$10000 is a vast difference in price. What is your actual budget limit? What is your monthly payment Budget?

    I agree with cartod, get a 4x4, and get the most HP for your buck. Although keep in mind, for just 2.5 acres, you can probably get away with less HP than those
    Massey 1652 HSTC - TEREX PT70 CTL
    Hustler Z Diesel 66" ZTR
    - JD Gator 620i
    Stump Bucket * 60" Tine Bucket * 60" HD Grapple Bucket * 68" 4-in-1 Bucket * 72" GP Bucket * 72" Rock Bucket
    90" Hi-Cap Bucket * QA Forks * QA Tree-Puller * 96" HD BackBlade * 84" Dual-Grader * 84" BoxBlade * 84" Rake
    78" Box Disc * 72" LP Seeder * 3pt StumpGrinder * 3pt Chipper * 96" Ford Flail * ATI Pre-Seeder 805


  4. #4
    Super Member Tx Jim's Avatar
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    6,373
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    Coyote Flats,Tx
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    JD 4255/Kubota M7040 HDC

    Default Re: First tractor purchase: JD 2040 v. MF 1260

    JD 2040's are good tractors. Depending on SN it could be open-center hyd's. Granted in some conditions MFWD is better BUT farmers got along perfectly well for decades with 2WD tractors that had FEL.

  5. #5
    Super Star Member
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    Feb 2008
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    11,290
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    somewhere usa
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    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, x758, L130

    Default Re: First tractor purchase: JD 2040 v. MF 1260

    The two tractors are very different with one being heavier, more ground clearance and more hp Deere 2040, the other being 4x4, lighter, less ground clearance and smaller tires and lower hp. The Deere 2040 would seem to be the better tractor for your listed uses at half the price but condition is everything and not much to go on in either case. Massey Ferguson is a good brand to consider, some of the older models might be a closer comparison with more ground clearance and higher weight to look for.

    I really recommend you narrow down the size and features you need the most before jumping in. I am no gardener but some of the older tractors were better adapted to truck farming and that might be what you need.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
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    May 2005
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    856
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    Inland Portugal
    Tractor
    NH TCE45

    Default Re: First tractor purchase: JD 2040 v. MF 1260

    You asked what questions you need to ask, and following on from jenkinsph, you need to ask yourself a few questions first. My only advice on the two tractors is NEITHER - at present. I have farmed 2.5 acres in partnership with my father growing crops for retail sale and I have farmed 5000 with broadacre crops on 2000 of that.

    Which crops do you intend to grow? Being organic you are going to do a lot of inter row weeding work, so do you need narrow tyres on whatever you buy so that you do not crush crops? I know these tyres as "rowcrop tyres" but US naming could be different. Do you really need an FEL? A box on the tpl has carried everything I have needed since 1979 when I sold my FEL. They are much cheaper than an FEL and nothing to go wrong.

    How tight are you for turning space at row ends, around the yard and possibly in buildings? Do you have enough height through doorways to accommodate a standard tractor, or do you need a compact one? Compacts have much tighter turning circles. Will you have to use the tractor in wet weather and/or winter? Is a heated cab necessary to enable you to work in these conditions? Can you travel on your land in all conditions with 2wd? 4wd is normally more expensive in my experience for a similar tractor, but I do not have US experience of prices. Someone else will be able to tell you.

    I think you could safely reduce the hp you are looking at. I used a little grey Fergie (cannot remember the hp but under 30) on 9 acres for a while and then took it to 160 where I ploughed similar land to yours with a 2-furrow plough, discs, potato planter, potato harvester, mower, hay turner, baler, etc.

  7. #7
    New Member
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    Default Re: First tractor purchase: JD 2040 v. MF 1260

    Thank you all. I am still looking at different models, considering a separate cultivating tractor, and your input is very helpful.

  8. #8
    Super Member Tx Jim's Avatar
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    Coyote Flats,Tx
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    JD 4255/Kubota M7040 HDC

    Default Re: First tractor purchase: JD 2040 v. MF 1260

    It's amazing how all the FARMERS made a living with a 2 WD/FEL tractor before MFWD tractors were introduced. It's a wonder we didn't all starve to death from lack of FOOD!!!!!!!!

  9. #9
    Platinum Member cartod's Avatar
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    Northern, West Virginia
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    JD 3320,255

    Default Re: First tractor purchase: JD 2040 v. MF 1260

    Quote Originally Posted by Tx Jim View Post
    It's amazing how all the FARMERS made a living with a 2 WD/FEL tractor before MFWD tractors were introduced. It's a wonder we didn't all starve to death from lack of FOOD!!!!!!!!
    I wonder how many died going down a hill with a full bucket and no brakes?

  10. #10
    Super Member Tx Jim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Coyote Flats,Tx
    Tractor
    JD 4255/Kubota M7040 HDC

    Default Re: First tractor purchase: JD 2040 v. MF 1260

    Quote Originally Posted by cartod View Post
    I wonder how many died going down a hill with a full bucket and no brakes?
    Not all farmers lived/farmed in the hills/mountains. There are a whole lot of flat land farmers!!!!!!!!

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