So, I'm looking at a couple of tractors - doing a little bit of research - and I thought it was high time I asked a professional .... I've got a few jobs coming that'll require a loader and backhoe. I've been looking around locally and I've found an IH 340 utility which has been sitting, drained. The owner says it was working prior to the park, but knows it'll need some work. He's asking $3000 for the rig, and I have to figure out how to get it out of there not running. There's also an operable Case 440 with just a loader for $2500 and a guy elsewhere has a Case 32 backhoe off of a 530 that could be had for $700. It needs some tie rods and leaks a bit, of course. Oh yeah, and a 350 utility somewhere else for $1500. The 350's backhoe seems pretty small and I've got to dig a few foundations, so I really don't want to limit myself but I really don't know.

I understand that the IH utility's can be kind of hard to find parts for? Are they just not an industrial tractor, made for the abuse like the 440 would be, as well? The advantage of the 340, it seems, is a complete system that could potentially be had for less - I'm thinking - if I start waving $100 bills at his pile of metal that's been sitting there for a year. Remember, it's February in Maine. People are usually pretty eager for a little cash flow around here, this time of year.

For the 440, I'm not sure how easy - if possible - it'll be to fit that 32 backhoe.

I'd love to hear anyone's opinion - and would greatly appreciate it!