New to tractors

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Melancholy Bear

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I will eventually be looking at buying my first tractor, likely used, 25-50 hp range. I'm reading the forum about what to look for and consider how I will be using it.
Where do y'all suggest searching for used tractors? Dealer, tractor sites online, craigslist, auctions? All of the above or something else?
Should I expect to also need to get a trailer to transport it? Or are there options with transport services or with dealers where you just pay them to deliver it? Or are those not worth it compared to a trailer?
Do you suggest searching only near my local area, or do you find it worthwhile to search far away for deals?
 

backlash

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You can rent a Uhaul car trailer to move it. Having your own trailer would be very handy but that has a downside also. People wanting to borrow your tractor or better yet can you come over and do a small job? If you have time and can charge them then it might be OK.
I bought one on Craigslist. I'm thinking about selling it because I really don't need it.
 

CountryGuy

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I will eventually be looking at buying my first tractor, likely used, 25-50 hp range. I'm reading the forum about what to look for and consider how I will be using it.
Where do y'all suggest searching for used tractors? Dealer, tractor sites online, craigslist, auctions? All of the above or something else?
Should I expect to also need to get a trailer to transport it? Or are there options with transport services or with dealers where you just pay them to deliver it? Or are those not worth it compared to a trailer?
Do you suggest searching only near my local area, or do you find it worthwhile to search far away for deals?
It can really depend on things like what's your budget? Is there a dealer of the brand your looking at close to where you live for when you need to buy parts? Sometimes private party can be a great deal and you can get a package with implements? It's like a car, there are +/- to buying new or used. How mechanical are you? If used and you're not real up to speed on things do you have a friend in the know that can go with you to look and lend opinion?

Obviously dealers will be the most costly option but with them your looking to get warranties; you can finance and sometimes you can wheel and deal with them to sweeten the deal. Though often times a lot of dealers can be complete pains to deal with, be it before, during or after the sale. Dealers can be difficult to deal with, especially when there is an issue needing resolved.

On the trailer I'd say you should have one. If you get a used tractor and then need to take it to the dealer or other shop for work you're gonna pay a chunk of $$ for them to both pick it up and to return it on top of the cost for what other work they do. Depending on the size of the tractor, that will determine the size of trailer and the weight of both will impact what you're towing it with. Not sure a 50hp tractor on a tandem axle trailer on a bumper mount is going to go down the road very well behind a half ton pickup.
 

Melancholy Bear

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On the trailer I'd say you should have one. If you get a used tractor and then need to take it to the dealer or other shop for work you're gonna pay a chunk of $$ for them to both pick it up and to return it on top of the cost for what other work they do. Depending on the size of the tractor, that will determine the size of trailer and the weight of both will impact what you're towing it with. Not sure a 50hp tractor on a tandem axle trailer on a bumper mount is going to go down the road very well behind a half ton pickup.
Very good points. I'll have to weigh the options. For a 50hp tractor, are you saying it'd be better to have a three-axle gooseneck type trailer? A truck I'm considering has a 10K towing capacity, but it is a bumper type hitch.
 

Bacpacker

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I have a Toyota Tundra and a Installed Tow hitch, not a bumper hitch. It's tied to the frame. I use a dual axle trailer to haul my tractor, but have also hauled my dads John Deere 5103, which I think is something like 54HP. I had no problem with it. Gooseneck might have some advantages, but it isn't required for that weight, just the right trailer for the weight you will tow.
 

CountryGuy

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Very good points. I'll have to weigh the options. For a 50hp tractor, are you saying it'd be better to have a three-axle gooseneck type trailer? A truck I'm considering has a 10K towing capacity, but it is a bumper type hitch.
To be honest it will a lot depend on the actual weight and combo. I mean is it just a bare bones tractor? Does it have a cab? A loader? A brush hog, discs, tiller or other implements that will also be being hauled? Will it be a 2wd or 4wd as this impacts weight. I mean the total load weight plus the weight of the trailer compared to the tow specs of your truck. But for that much weight you might want to consider going to a 5th wheel type hitch. [When I said "bumper mount" I should have clarified I meant a frame mounted receiver hitch like a class 3 or 5 from Curt.] There are 5th wheel hitches that mount in the bed both fixed and removable and then there are ones that mount under the bed and have a cover in the bed so as to not take up the entire bed. Look around as there are lots of different designs out there today.

Having a heavier tow capacity truck and going with a 5th wheel will give you a much steadier and surer ride when pulling, but these all cost money. You might need to look at it and decide, are you really thinking you'll take it around to others places or hire out to work it or are those more fantasy thoughts? If you only are going to need it to go to the dealer once a year for a PM or something, might be most cost effective to just pay them to come out and pick it up and return it.
 

Spikedriver

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What do you plan to do with the tractor? I can say with confidence, bigger is better, within reason of course. A tractor that's "just big enough" is a recipe for frustration. Everything goes better when you've got plenty of power. Of course you don't need 100 hp to mow the yard, but I'd plan on 10 hp more than what you think you'll need.

For trailering - a regular 3/4 ton with a frame mount receiver hitch should be good to pull a trailer plus a tractor weighing about 8000 pounds or less.

For example: a Farmall Super M tractor, which is a simple and reliable old tractor, has about 45 hp and weighs about 5600 pounds. That would fit your criteria pretty well, if you're ok with a tractor that could be considered an antique, and may or may not have features you want or need like live hydraulics...

In a newer more capable tractor, John Deere 2150 is about 40 hp and 5000 pounds. They were built in the mid 1980s. It would probably have all the features you need but cost could be a factor...

I STRONGLY recommend a diesel engine...
 

CountryGuy

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Something to consider too are the tires. You may not want Ag tires depending on what you want to use it for. I'd never thought about that till years ago my Dad got a Ford New Holland 25 hp at the time and he spec'd for them to put construction tires on it. They won't dig in to the ground like an Ag tire and being wider and "fatter" tend to float more in soft ground and to be more stable when using a loader. The construction tires have more traction and bite than a "lawn" tire also. A few years back he upgraded to a 45hp and again did the same.

As SpikeDriver, mentioned there are a lot of great deals out there on classic and antique tractors and they have advantages like they tend to be simple, easier to work on and to maintain and repair. They don't have all the electronics and computers of a new tractor to go wrong or cause issues. But, you also need to know what you're buying as some of the old tractors lack things like a live PTO and also there are few with 4wd. New tractors often give you the advantage of hydro-static drives and options for loaders and quick connect accessories.
 

hiwall

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I have been thinking about getting a tractor. I could really use one maybe three or so days of the year. I would rent one but that is not a viable option for me at my location. Also I have a pretend pickup and it would not be able to pull that kind of weight.
 

CountryGuy

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I have been thinking about getting a tractor. I could really use one maybe three or so days of the year. I would rent one but that is not a viable option for me at my location. Also I have a pretend pickup and it would not be able to pull that kind of weight.
Hiwall, what kind of work do you need it for? Might be other options for you?
 

hiwall

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Hiwall, what kind of work do you need it for? Might be other options for you?
I would like to blade my driveway a couple times a year. And I would like to have a brush mower to mow some of my property a couple times a year. And maybe once every three or four years I might need it to blade off some snow. So obviously I do not 'need' a tractor but I would like to have one for a couple days out of the year.
Yes a neighbor has offered me his tractor to borrow (he has a brush mower and a back blade) but I do not like to borrow things.
 

CountryGuy

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HiWall - Ever thought about something like this, Ventrac. There is a shop nearby that deals and works with them and they are a powerful and flexible machine. Not cheap but small, powerful and lots of options from mowing, brush hogging, power brooms, snow blowers, power rakes and so on. Could grade out your drive and plow or blow your drive and then mow or add a brush hog for heavier stuff. Steiner is another brand but I think they went out of business maybe or Ventrac might have bought them up. not sure look around. There are a few other companies that do these articulated power units. I think the accessories are all hydraulic driven.
 

hiwall

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HiWall - Ever thought about something like this, Ventrac. There is a shop nearby that deals and works with them and they are a powerful and flexible machine. Not cheap but small, powerful and lots of options from mowing, brush hogging, power brooms, snow blowers, power rakes and so on. Could grade out your drive and plow or blow your drive and then mow or add a brush hog for heavier stuff. Steiner is another brand but I think they went out of business maybe or Ventrac might have bought them up. not sure look around. There are a few other companies that do these articulated power units. I think the accessories are all hydraulic driven.
I had already purchased a DR walk-behind brush mower which did not work out here. Though I did change the jets in the carb it always ran way too rich because of the high elevation here (almost 8000 ft). Finally the company took it back and refunded me (good company!)
For $5 or $6 thousand I can get a well-used local full-sized tractor with the attachments I want. Or I could just use the neighbor's tractor, we are good friends and he is a little miffed at me because I won't borrow his tractor.
 

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