Buying Advice The Bathtub Curve of New Product Quality

   #1  

Tractorable

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I found this video interesting explaining that new manufactured products have higher failure rates at the very beginning of their life cycle and also at the very end, which can be represented by a bathtub shaped curve when plotted against risk of failure (y axis) and time/usage (x axis). So perhaps a lightly used tractor that has passed its break-in period and has any kinks worked out could be more reliable than a brand new one.

The Downside to Buying a New Car - The Bathtub Curve - YouTube
 
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   #2  

fried1765

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SO..oooo CORRECT !!!
Bought my last new car back when I was young and foolish.
Presently driving my 1996 Mercedes, bought used in 1999.
I plan to buy a new (2 year old ) Mercedes in January.

An Englishman good friend, has a magnificent 6 year old Rolls Royce (he previously had a gorgeous Bentley) with 27,000 miles, that he recently bought for $52,000. The original sticker is still on the car...$234,000 (+16,380 tax?).

I assume that many, if not most, here on TBN, buy new tractors because they need financing.
 
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   #4  

nards444

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I found this video interesting explaining that new manufactured products have higher failure rates at the very beginning of their life cycle and at the very end, which can be represented by a bathtub shaped curve when plotted against risk of failure (y axis) and time/usage (x axis). So perhaps a lightly used tractor that has passed its break-in period and has any kinks worked out could be more reliable than a brand new one.

The Downside to Buying a New Car - The Bathtub Curve - YouTube

Curious how the data is tracked a few things that could skew the data. new cars is a data point, but how many were new models or new designs of old models, these typically have a lot more failures. Also what kind of failures are being tracked, loose bolts or a loose seat cushion I wouldnt count as a failure. Lastly where did the data come from, new cars coming into shops the data should be really easy to track as its all warranty work and dealers keep great track of that stuff. Once that stuff is out of warranty people bring it to other shops, DIY etc.

So I dont know what really make of this, as a brand new car sold today IMO more times than not will probably be in the shop less in the next year than a 20 year old car with 200k on it.
 
   #5  

Teachu2

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I assume that many, if not most, here on TBN, buy new tractors because they need financing.

It's hard to buy used when there aren't any to be had. I was in a position to pay cash for used, but the used market for CUTs here is sparse. If you are patient, you may get lucky and score a 30 year old tractor with ag tires - but I haven't seen a decent 4x4 CUT with R4s and a FEL in the five years I've been looking. Closest was a 29hp Kubota rental return with ags and 800 hours on it for $15,800, and R4s with rims would add $1800. Bought a brand new Kioti 34hp with R4s for $17,500, last of the ones made without the exhaust scrubber. Financing was cheap enough at the time to justify using it - my investment account was making far more return than the interest rate on the tractor, even with the insurance.

The other factor was my lack of knowledge on tractors, period - much less on used ones. I was buying my second tractor, with my first being a 30 year old Mitsubishi MT2301D, IIRC. No loader, ag tires, tall and narrow and short on power. Perfect for the steep mountain property I own - NOT. Parts availability was pretty much what the single junk yard in the U.S. could pull and ship. Had to fab my own ROP....but it taught me what I wanted to improve on the next buy. Bought it cheap, sold it cheaper, but it didn't owe me anything.
 
  
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Tractorable

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So I dont know what really make of this, as a brand new car sold today IMO more times than not will probably be in the shop less in the next year than a 20 year old car with 200k on it.

That's true, the goal is to stay in the sweet spot between new product bugs and the problems that arise near it's end-of-life. There was an example in the video that even light bulbs have a 3% failure rate when brand new.
 
   #7  

deserteagle71

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I found this video interesting explaining that new manufactured products have higher failure rates at the very beginning of their life cycle and at the very end, which can be represented by a bathtub shaped curve when plotted against risk of failure (y axis) and time/usage (x axis). So perhaps a lightly used tractor that has passed its break-in period and has any kinks worked out could be more reliable than a brand new one.

The Downside to Buying a New Car - The Bathtub Curve - YouTube

This may apply to cars. Not so much for old tractors.

If you find an old tractor - late 40s through say the 70s - that has been taken care of (and you take good care of it too) there is just not much that can go wrong with that old iron. No electronics, no fancy transmissions. Just an engine with a manual tranny and hopefully a hydraulic system that can run the 3 point hitch and the front end loader. You can run a machine like that for another 50 years without problems.

If you dig in to the problem areas with the new tractors, its the same as the cars - the electronics, the non-manual transmissions. Today's tractors are one heck of a lot more complicated now than they were even 30 years ago - more things to go wrong. Not to mention the air conditioning and all the other stuff if you have a cab tractor.

That's why, at least in the area where I live, that old iron sells for more than it did when it was new. If you can find it for sale in the first place, that is. The few ads I've seen recently for a Ford 8n or 9n - asking price generally starts at $3,000. I bought my old John Deere 2020 in 1997; it cost me $7,000 way back then and it was in sad shape.

I have to admit though, after spending last summer in the cab of my Kubota with the a/c blasting, the tunes playing and the bugs and the dust on the outside of the windows instead of on me....I'll take the new over the old and just fix any problems that do crop up!
 
   #8  

Paystar

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I can believe it. In the last 6 years I have bought 2 brand new vehicles. A car and an SUV. Both have been more problematic than my old SUV that is at 400,000 KM and the F150 with 330,000 KM that I recently bought for $1500.00

My new Polaris ATV is absolute crap compared to the 09 and 05 I also have.

And out new $220,000 emission motored dump trucks.......don't even get me started on the crap those are.

My Kubota is the only thing I bought brand new that hasn't disappointed me.
 
   #9  

Paystar

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Know a guy that just bought a brand new loaded F150. At 12,000 KM both front wheel bearings went out. At 15,000 KM it lost the front drive (something with the hubs.)
And now it has growls and vibrations they can't find.

And sad part is I see all kinds of this with this new crap they are selling us for top dollar.
 

ovrszd

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I think this theory is what keeps the price of low hour used tractors near the price of new.

I bought my M9540 new. Have had no problems with it in 1500hrs. If asked to price it, would be within $5K of what I paid.
 
 
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