Looking for tips on a good used tractor

Help Support Homesteading Forum:

JAC

Awesome Friend
Neighbor
Joined
Mar 22, 2018
Messages
2,605
Getting ready to buy a used tractor. Looking for around 50 hp, front loader, hay spike, brush hog and maybe a box blade, Budget is around 8000 to 10,000. I need to be able to load and move dirt, load and move round hay bales, drag driveways, clean out animal pens, maybe cut and bale hay in the future if I can find that equipment at a decent price later on.

Anyone have any tips on what brands to look for, what to watch out for and what to check on them?
 
Last edited:

Flight

Just a Canadian trucker...awesome one
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Nov 27, 2017
Messages
1,062
Location
Ontario
When I get home I'll see if I still have my magazine on how to choose a tractor. I found it was really helpful and good sound advice, not that I can afford one lol, but still.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JAC

Bacpacker

Awesome Friend
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Dec 4, 2017
Messages
5,731
Location
East Tn
Stepdad has a John Deere 5103. It 2wd and 50 some odd hp. Its a good tractor and probably 6-10 years old although still being produced. Not sure what used prices are on them. I think he paid around 12,-13,000 for his.
I have an old Duetz 70 model 3006. It's only 32 HP, but they made a 4506 that was around 48hp, and a 5306 that was something over 50hp. They were German made, air cooled and pretty well bullet proof.
 

Flight

Just a Canadian trucker...awesome one
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Nov 27, 2017
Messages
1,062
Location
Ontario
Sorry I got sent on a short trip, I'll have to look for it tomorrow when I get home
 
  • Like
Reactions: JAC

Spikedriver

Awesome Friend
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Nov 27, 2017
Messages
2,816
Location
Midwest
What you want to do really needs a little more than 50 HP. You can move up to 65-75 HP for not much more $.

Your best bet is to look for tractors built between 1965-75. You'll want diesel power and a good 3 point hitch. John Deere has the best hydraulics and transmissions on these older tractors and hold up best overall. Farmall/IH is good as is Oliver and Allis Chalmers, but they all do have some weak points. Research and find out what suits your needs best. How hard you plan to use the tractor matters as well.

My choice would be something like a John Deere 2020 (about 50 HP) or an Oliver 1600/1650 (65 HP). You can find them less than 10k depending on condition. Adding a loader can push the price over 10k. The Oliver should cost less than 10k with the loader.

An added benefit of the old tractors is that you can work on them yourself if you're mechanically inclined. Good luck on your search.
 

Flight

Just a Canadian trucker...awesome one
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Nov 27, 2017
Messages
1,062
Location
Ontario
I'm sorry I looked for that magazine and could not find it.
 

Peanut

Awesome Friend
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
5,009
What you want to do really needs a little more than 50 HP. You can move up to 65-75 HP for not much more $.

Your best bet is to look for tractors built between 1965-75. You'll want diesel power and a good 3 point hitch. John Deere has the best hydraulics and transmissions on these older tractors and hold up best overall.
Good advice here... First look at a lot of tractors... be very careful to examine the transmission/rear end areas. The weak point with most is the hydraulics, look for leaks, any kind of leak, stains from old leaks. Ask about previous repairs.

Leaks are the money pit. A good diesel engine is just that, if you know who built it and how many hours are on it you can budget. Leaks in the hydraulics, which include the tranny, brakes (maybe), 3 point hitch and front lift... that's the big unknown. How available are parts/price for the hydraulics?

Something to keep in mind.
 

Spikedriver

Awesome Friend
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Nov 27, 2017
Messages
2,816
Location
Midwest
Something I forgot that could be important - these older utility size tractors are becoming collectible. People are buying them at auction to restore them. Don't be surprised if prices get pushed up because of this.

Conversely, some larger tractors (100-150 HP) from the early 70s to early 80s are going for fairly low prices. They are not so collectible as the smaller, slightly older ones. Last fall I saw a JD 4630 (155HP) go for $11000 at an estate sale, in cosmetically rough but mechanically fair to good shape. An Oliver 1850 in "well worn" shape brought $3300 at the same sale. The paint was shot and the front end needed work as the steering was terribly loose. But the driveline, hydraulics, and PTO were good. Keep in mind that right now the farm economy is a dumpster fire. Farmers are not spending money. That is driving used prices down, and could help you find a good deal. And if you choose a larger tractor, you won't feel a need to upgrade.

Another thing to think of is access to a dealership. How far is it to the nearest dealer? When you need parts you dont want to have to go 60 miles for them. That can be an issue with some of the discontinued brands like Allis Chalmers and Oliver. Parts are available but is there an Agco dealer around to sell them to you, or to fix what you can't fix yourself? JD and Case/IH/New Holland dealers are pretty common across the country.
 

Patchouli

Patriot
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Dec 20, 2017
Messages
6,449
Was it in Grit, @Flight ?

This forum link has good suggestions. But you didn't say how big your acreage is...
I'm sorry I looked for that magazine and could not find it.
I found a Grit magazine article on tractor selection as well as a tractor forum with advice, which seemed sound enough.
 

SheepDog

Awesome Friend
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Dec 3, 2017
Messages
4,832
Location
SE Washington State
Whenever you are buying equipment always buy more than you think you will need. This goes for vehicles as well as machine tools. Once you start using it you will suddenly presented with bigger jobs than you had considered. You can always use a larger tool for a small job but you can't use a small tool to do a big job.
 

Flight

Just a Canadian trucker...awesome one
Neighbor
HCL Supporter
Joined
Nov 27, 2017
Messages
1,062
Location
Ontario
@Patchouli no it was not, it might have been from Mother Earth news, I dont remember.
 

Latest posts

Top