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  1. #1
    Bronze Member andrec999's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
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    96
    Location
    Quebec.Can
    Tractor
    john deere 2030, Case 580CK backhoe

    Default Why does it cost so much to repair a tractor?

    I had a rear flat tire the other day on my Case backhoe , so I call the garage to come and fix it. He came over and took the wheel of and brought it at the shop and repatch the tube and returned and installed the tire.
    The bill came to 275.$ wich was mostly labour ,( 3 hours), I live about 2 miles from his shop.
    In order to make 275. clear , I had to work 2 and 1/2 days, that's when I was working, now that I am retired it is almost a full week of my pension.

    Is there something I don't get here, why is it so expensive for a tractor mechanic to work on my tractor, like 80. $ /hour, he works out of his shop, with no big overhead, no big investment, he didn't go to university.

    He does something that I cannot do myself , due to lack of the equipment. I do most of my smaller repairs.

    I guest, it would be easier if I was making money with my tractor , but I am not.

    Last week , I sold the backhoe, cause I cannot afford any other repairs like this one.

    The same garage quoted me $ 600. + labor( +300.) , to change a rim on my John Deere 2030 that is rusted at the stem and leaking badly. Close to 1000. $

    Will I have to sale my tractor to ? , it is getting very expensive to own old tractors.

    I guess I feel better now.

  2. #2
    Elite Member J F's Avatar
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    May 2012
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    4,174
    Location
    North of Atlanta, GA
    Tractor
    ShovelandBarrow

    Default Re: Why does it cost so much to repair a tractor?

    This probably won't help...but anyone charging less than $80 hr (on a small scale), isn't making any money (legally).
    ____
    Jay

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    581
    Location
    Parish NY
    Tractor
    555DTC Farmall 200

    Default Re: Why does it cost so much to repair a tractor?

    In order for the Mechanic to make a good living he must pay himself a good rate. Although you say there is no overhead there must some to keep the lights, water and heat on (in the winter) he also has to cover his business insurance and equipment upkeep and expenses . Does he have employees ......

    Does he charge too much, maybe/maybe not. Going rate for Auto around here is 80 to $100 hr at stealerships and 55 to 70 at independents. Do not know what heavy equip guys charge but I think it is in that 55 to70 ballpark.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
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    Jun 2013
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    1,129
    Location
    Fairmont, WV
    Tractor
    Mahindra 4035HST purchased 2013 - John Deere 42" Geardrive w/bagger purchased 2012 - Craftsman 42" HST purchased 2006

    Default Re: Why does it cost so much to repair a tractor?

    A lot of it has to do with inflation. Dollars aren't worth what they used to be. I've known of a few guys with larger 80s model JDs that have sold their machines for more money than they paid brand new, with a couple thousand hours, 30 years of paint fade and rust from setting outside, and only basic maintenance performed. Not because they're special, rare, or anything of that sort. They were made with cheaper dollars and cheaper labor, but still able to do the work they were made to do. $30k for a 30 year old well-used tractor that was $22k new is reasonable when a new one the same size and spec would be closer to $60k.

    I am in the service industry (not servicing tractors, but...), I see how quickly rates for all types of services have increased in the past 8 to 10 years and it's ridiculous. What I considered to be a fine wage when I started working is what general laborers are making at the low end now adays. What I charge for my services in certain situations I personally consider to be outrageously high. There is no way I would pay 'me' to do what I do for the rates I charge (first and foremost, I can't afford me). When I look at the bottom line of the books, I don't make any more than any other working stiff. Actually, in the past 4 years I've had a hard time keeping my rate increases at pace with inflation and it's been causing me to slip farther "down the ladder". 10 years ago I considered myself partially retired, now I can see I'll work as I do the rest of my life...

    If you need to use a vehicle for travel in your service business, with insurance-cost, fuel (being 2 to 3 times what it was 10 years ago), and maintenance, then add wage for the employee; you're looking at a minimum of $70 an hour in an area with cheap labor. Another consideration with small companies, when a technician works in a shop, they can tend to several tasks at once and make more efficient use of their time. You send that tech out on a call, that call needs to make all the money that could be made by staying in the shop or it isn't worth it. With the additional cost and risk of sending that tech out, that call should make more than staying in the shop...

    It's getting expensive to own anything. They want us all on the Government handouts... This isn't just a US problem either...

  5. #5
    Platinum Member adirondackmtnman's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
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    863
    Location
    Black Brook, NY
    Tractor
    JD 5045D

    Default

    You answered your own question:

    Quote Originally Posted by andrec999 View Post
    He does something that I cannot do myself , due to lack of the equipment.
    You're paying for the convenience of having him there when you need him, and with a decent shop, he's likely not making a fortune after he pays the bills. It cost me almost the amount you paid to buy a tube and calcium for my old IH624, and I did all the labor myself...took me forever and I had to rig up something to pump the mixture into the tire. If you have doubts about what he charges, call around, he's probably pretty competitively priced, and the prices aren't headed south any time soon...

    Sent from my LGL35G using TractorByNet
    "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far." ~Theodore Roosevelt

  6. #6
    Bronze Member andrec999's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    96
    Location
    Quebec.Can
    Tractor
    john deere 2030, Case 580CK backhoe

    Default Re: Why does it cost so much to repair a tractor?

    Quote Originally Posted by adirondackmtnman View Post
    You answered your own question:



    You're paying for the convenience of having him there when you need him, and with a decent shop, he's likely not making a fortune after he pays the bills. It cost me almost the amount you paid to buy a tube and calcium for my old IH624, and I did all the labor myself...took me forever and I had to rig up something to pump the mixture into the tire. If you have doubts about what he charges, call around, he's probably pretty competitively priced, and the prices aren't headed south any time soon...

    Sent from my LGL35G using TractorByNet
    Yes adirondackmtnman, I agree with you 100%,

    It is convenient for me to have him close by, I guess the dealer charges quite a bit more to.

    The only thing is that the smaller car shop around here are charging a lot less than the tractor shop, they have to make special prices to bring people in, a lot of people are doing their own work; they go the auto supply store, Canadian Tire, to buy parts to fix their cars themselves.

    Inflation is really hurting us ,and the interest rate on the investments is not high enough. We went through the high interest rates in the eighty's , our kids with mortgages surely wouldn't agree with me.lol

  7. #7
    Platinum Member adirondackmtnman's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
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    863
    Location
    Black Brook, NY
    Tractor
    JD 5045D

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by andrec999 View Post
    Inflation is really hurting us ,and the interest rate on the investments is not high enough. We went through the high interest rates in the eighty's , our kids with mortgages surely wouldn't agree with me.lol
    The interest on my retirement savings is very poor right now, so I can imagine what it'll look like when I'm ready to retire. Inflation is killing us here in the states as well, but they get people to take out more and more debt by keeping those interest rates low...I benefited from that this summer by refinancing a 6.875% mortgage to a 3.375%, so that part I can't complain about too much. I feel your pain with the repair bills, I surely don't take anything to someone else that I can do myself, even if it means buying the tools to do so at a slightly higher cost than the repair...not much return on investment most of the time, but at least I'm not paying someone ELSE'S mortgage if I can help it;-)

    Sent from my LGL35G using TractorByNet
    "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far." ~Theodore Roosevelt

  8. #8
    Elite Member /pine's Avatar
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    Mar 2009
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    4,728

    Default Re: Why does it cost so much to repair a tractor?

    Look on the bright side and be happy you're happy with a tractor and not something like a Skymaster...!
    Slash Pine
    blunt and succinct but sincere...in the immortal words of Popeye..."I yam what I yam"

  9. #9
    Bronze Member
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    Jun 2013
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    57
    Location
    Des Moines
    Tractor
    John Deere 2010

    Default Re: Why does it cost so much to repair a tractor?

    I work at an Automotive dealership and they charge 130.00 per hour......

  10. #10
    Gold Member
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    Oct 2013
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    314
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Tractor
    Kubota B2320

    Default Re: Why does it cost so much to repair a tractor?

    I had the repair guy come to the house for the initial 50 hour service--- cost $150 just for the road service. It was worth it because he showed me how to change all fluids and filters for routine maintenance. I don't have a lot of experience with tractor repair, and don't have a trailer for towing, so I will probably have to pay the increased costs of haulage or road service.

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