New member tractor advice

   / New member tractor advice #61  
   / New member tractor advice
  • Thread Starter
I’m loving helps a lot

Is there a certain amount of hours that would worry y’all? I see a lot with either inaccurate hours, 1000-2000, and some near 8k to 10k which worries me. The really high hour ones are the larger tractors 100hp. Some with rebuilds
   / New member tractor advice #63  
For me, if it's a diesel and has been reasonably maintained, anything under 4,000 hours is a creampuff.
   / New member tractor advice #64  
When I worked for the county; I think one of their guidelines of when to surplus a machine; was 4000 hours for under 75 hp; and 6000 hours for over 75 hp; all diesel engine equipment. Now, does that mean they were worn to the point of worthless? No, that just what they used, as basically a reference that is about equivalent to 150,000 miles on a passenger vehicle. They wanted to surplus them while they still were running, and before Major repairs. Now, that 6000 hour 85 hp Right of Way mowing tractor, very well might last your life time with your use,
   / New member tractor advice #65  





   / New member tractor advice #66  

   / New member tractor advice #67  
I would think a 50-60 hp utility tractor in the 1500-3000 hour range could be picked up pretty reasonably and still have thousands of more hours of life left in it. There’s a few common things you can assess pretty quickly.

If all the joints look like they’ve seen grease and everything still feels tight, and oils and filters (air/oil/ fuel/hydraulic) have some evidence of being changed occasionally it’s probably worth testing out.

Check the radiator to see what it looks like inside from the top (oily, rusty, etc). If it looks good on top also try cracking the drain to peek at what comes out of the bottom. I’ve used the big solo cups for this before and just poured it back into the top afterwards.

Look over the battery and visible wiring and connections to see whether it all looks factory or pieced together in a scrap yard. .

Make sure you get to try the first start of the day too. Look for clean exhaust and check for pressure/combustion blow by in the crankcase. If it’s hard starting, needs ether, makes funny smoke, makes odd noises, or puffs out of someplace that’s not the exhaust, run away.

Put it on a grade and test the brakes to see if they hold. Also check the clutch to see how it grabs and holds too, try to check and see if there is any clutch adjustment left or if its worn out. If there’s slipping and you can see that adjustments have already been happening, or if all the adjustment has been taken up, run away. FYI, excessive clutch wear is more likely to be a problem on a tractor equipped with a dry clutch and loader than any other type of tractor. Loader-less gear driven tractors can have an extremely long clutch life with a good operator.

Also test the pto engagement and stopping. Doing all this with an implement attached would be best. Also, my recommendation would be to avoid any tractors with a transmission driven pto. If anything raises a concern in the pto process, run away.

If the fan belt and the filters have paint overspray on them, If there are tool marks on every bolt, if the battery doesn’t fit and you see butt splices and electric tape, etc…….run away!

Don’t rush and buy something that is questionable. Prices have been coming down and inventory has been going up. Patience could pay off handsomely in your search.
   / New member tractor advice #68  
I'm in my 80's so I purchased all new don't care to be working
or fixing anything. I have had enough of that in the past. Now
its time for someone else to do the repairs that's why I purchased
all new.

   / New member tractor advice #69  
I maintained 25 acres of fields for a decade using an early 70's Ford 2000 with a 5' Woods rotary cutter that was bought used. The tractor was cheap, easy to maintain, and purred right along puling the 5' cutter. Just set your height, pick a gear, and mow. It's smaller size was also an asset for trail maintenance in the adjoining woods. Since I was primarily just keeping fields from turning into woods, I could work around my schedule and pick the days and weather I wanted to mow. The little open station tractor gave me plenty of opportunity to get to know every inch of the property.

From that first tractor I bumped up to a 2WD, 53 hp, gear-driven, John Deere 5210 utility tractor with a removeable loader. I ran that tractor for another decade doing the same things with a 6' mower. The Deere was much more robust and made things better. Plus, a loader really is a game changing attachment. And I think a lightly used 5000 series Deere with around 55 hp and a loader might be just the ticket for you too. There still appears to be a decent selection of pre-Tier 4 machines available on the market.
Second that. I've owned my 5210 with a 521 loader new since 2000. I baled 40 acres of hay for 20 years with that 5210. No problem pulling my NH conditioner mower or baler. Now it's retired with me to a smaller 15 acres and we just occasionally brush hog stuff and blade my two roads. I hired a guy to do bale hay on the new place.
   / New member tractor advice #70  
Based on your list, a MF 265 or similar will do what you listed, for around $6-10k. Moving more modern, and more expensive, something like JD 5205 would probably be between $12-20k. The other route, something like a TYM 574, brand new, with loader is like $33k. Set aside about $1600 for a 6-7 ft bushhog;

For 40-80 acres, you might want to explore a 9-10 ft bush hog, and that would probably push you towards around a 70 hp machine. I'm assuming we are talking about at Most mowing every two months, during growing season, maybe once between frost and spring; so probably around 4 times per year; a 6 ft mower, even at 5 mph will take a good long while. A 8-10 ft bush hog used is going to be $3500+; and new. probably more like $8500+.

In a perfect world; 6 ft cutter; 5 mph; is 3.6 acres/hour; a 9 ft mower is 5.5 acres/hour at 5 mph. You could maybe get it all cut in a weekend.

Edit: 80 acres, depending on condition, might be worth renting out to a farmer, if the terrain, soils, local economics make sense; might bring in enough to pay property taxes, keep it ag exempt, and put a Little in your pocket.
I too would give more thought to what those acres will be doing going forward. If it was just hayed you could gross $50k a year. Or consider leasing the land for cultivation. Or having an agreement with a local grower or hayer to work the fields. Brush hogging that acerage is going to be a lot of tractor time for what goal? A nice view? The tractors being recommended here (50hp, loader) all start at $50k if green plus mower/brush hog. A long range plan for the land would be wise.