Monday, February 7, 2011

Tractor Huntin'

Well, ladies and gentlemen, the search has officially begun for a tractor of suitable horsepower for the new farm. It's been my experience that getting in a hurry seldom pays when shopping for any sort of iron so I expect I will be some while in finding what I want at a price I want to pay.

Every farmer thinks differently about his tractors. Just like some country boys like fancy trucks, some farmers really enjoy fancy tractors, and there's nothing wrong with that so long as the man writing the cheque is comfortable with what he is getting relative to what he is paying. For as much as I joke about fancy tractors, I become eminently practical when it comes time to sign on the dotted line. This is especially true right now because in building out our new place I have a lot more places for money to be spent than I have actual money to spend. When the rubber meets the road, I'm looking for a reliable machine with a front end loader that will give me ten years of relatively trouble free service and can handle 3-400 hours per year of medium duty work at some sort of a reasonable operating cost. Four wheel drive would be nice, but for my applications in this part of the world it's not an absolute necessity. As much as I'd love to have one, I feel the same way about a cab; it's nice, but not absolutely necessary.

To begin to whittle away at my search, I went to see these two machines today. Today was John Deere day, but I'm not stuck on any particular colour, so long as the model in question has a history of reliability.

This is a 2006 JD 6403, rated at 100 engine and 85 pto hp, 1060 hrs. It's for sale just down the road at an asking price of $ 26,000, which would be a little steep except for the low hours. The tractor is basically a new machine.

This one got the blood pumping a bit harder ! This is a 1989 JD 2955; 100 engine and 85 pto hp, 2wd with 1740 hrs and a negotiable asking price of $ 16,800. If it was a 4wd, I'd have written a cheque on the spot !


RuckusButt said...

Ah, geekin' out with the tractors, love it! The second one looks like a pretty sweet deal and you did say you don't need 4WD!

Jason said...

It gets pretty slick around the hay feeders down here in the winter but we never get deep mud (of the kind that sinks tractors to the hubs) like we got when the frost was coming out of the ground in Ontario. And of course it never snows very much so as handy as it would be to have 4wd, I don't really need it.

Jason said...

What would be *really nice* to have is a cab ! If I had to choose between 4wd and a cab the cab would win hands down !

RuckusButt said...

Well, then, get a cab! I think the "nice to haves" become pretty practical when you factor in time spent using whatever machine/vehicle etc. With my last car, there was a particular feature I knew I could live without but really wanted all the same. It was the kind of thing I wouldn't mind going without for a year, but more than that and I would have regretted not paying for the upgrade.