View Full Version : Part time farmers: gas or diesel tractor?

04-24-2003, 02:47 PM
Virgin poster here - my first one, been a long time lurker.
Alright, need opions on buying a used farm tractor.
I'm looking to up grade our tractor that we have, father and I, at your property we own. Currently we have an old Ford 9N, had it a long time, 20+ yrs, but it's getting older and weaker and we ( i ) are out growing it. I think we spend more time on the weekends "working on it" then "working it", he don't seem to mind, but my time is always in short supply, i want something i can just get on and go. We don't use our equipment that much, maybe ........30.....40 hours a year, maybe not even that. General use is: some backblade work on the gravel driveway, some ditch work with just a single bottom, we use it to pull logs/firewood out of our woods, and probably our biggest use is for brush hogging. We have a 60" now, and when the grass/weeds get tall (above the grill) in early July, that 9N just doesn't have the HP to spin it. We cut about 15 to 20 acres, (big field in front of cabin, small one in back, and lots of woods trails).
Now, for driveway work and pulling logs out the 9N is ok, but it sucks for hogging, only 3 gears and we gotta' keep the thing revving high to get any kind of PTO speed out of it. We basically use it just from now till November, and then it sits thru the winter. So, we've (i) been looking, checking the classifieds and the swap sheet, did a few farm auctions but they are like a whole day thing, and the big stuff always gets auctioned off last.
But i'm really undecided on what to upgrade to? Whatever we get is going to be a few years old,('70's - 80's ish) but don't know if it should be a gas tractor, like an early 1970's Ford 2000, (or the like, ) or go with a diesel tractor?
For our use, i'd like to be in the 25 to 30 PTO HP range.
It's got to be a catorgy 1.
To give an idea on what i looked at: Massey Ferguson 1030 and a 240, J D 885, Ford 1510 (but if i remember that was a little on the small side) seen a nice Case, i think a 885, a Ford 4230, and Cub Cadet 7274 and some Ford gas models, 2000 and a NAA , but that was a bit on the old side for me. Kubota 's are nice, but haven't seen one in the $3500 to $4500 range, that what we're looking to spend.
So, I've come out of lurking to hear what you guys have to say on the pro's and con's of either a gas tractor or diesel tractor.
Will post if any questions come up.

04-24-2003, 08:10 PM
If it was me i would always get desiel when possible. The power will always be better, fuel econmy better, and it i will last longer. To bad you are in New york, I have a mid 80's Kubota i am trying to seel right in your price range. Moderstaors i am not trying to seel anything i am just making a comment so please don;t delete post. Anyway good luck with your tractor.

04-24-2003, 11:23 PM
We had a couple of 8N fords for years. I traded them for a 2040 John Deere about 20 years ago. I have been real happy with the diesel. They start easier, even when it's damp out. Make sure you get a tractor with a live PTO. They work much better on a mower. You don't have to get a catagory one three point hitch. I used bushings on the links to use the old ford attachments on my Cat 2 John Deere. Utility tractors bring good money. If you spend a little extra and buy a John Deere, Kubota or Ford they hold thier value well. I just traded my 2040 for a new 4710. The dealer gave me more than I paid for it new. Most of the gas tractors will be rather old. I just sold an old 1650 Oliver that belonged to my uncle for $3200. I think you would be ahead to spend more in the $8000 range a buy a little later model diesel. remember to the old saying, if you buy something with to much quality you waste part of your money, buy something with poor quality and waste all of your money. If you had a tractor with power steering and live pto you will use it more.

04-25-2003, 01:38 PM
Weed burner : What's a "live PTO?"
And how will i know if a tractor has one? What's the "term" for the PTO on a 9N? (but are "live PTO's " common on all fairly newer units?)
For brush hogging, am i in the right horse power range? for "regular" brush cutting / field/ goldenrod cutting, do i need more then 25-30 HP, to make a 5' cut in one pass?
I know what you're saying on price, and i do fully realize that tractors hold their value real well, but we're not at our cabin all the time and get kinda worried about the stuff we keep there.
What about the warm up time on a diesel?
and then maintenance, we know **** about diesels.......filters, fuel, fuel additives, oil, ............(are they fairly self-explantory?)

Longview: I wish you were closer, how much weight can your trailer carry. LOL!

On that note: does this site (Can i type/ask this?) have a classified section? Or any links to sites where people sell equipment over the net?

I would just like to get an idea of what's out there and to what's it going for, with pictures would be nice also, cause what's happening is when i look thru the local papers ads, some model numbers i'm familar with, but most, i really don't know how the numbers relate to the size of the tractor. I don't want to make a hour/two hr. drive to go look at something and have it be to small or to big for our use. I (myself) am leaning toward a diesel tractor, i think if we get a good used model, we'll have it for a long time.

Thanks guys!!

04-25-2003, 02:57 PM
get somehere in the 30-50 hp range and you will be fine. We pull a 15' trideck finishing mower with a 45 hp tractor. To 30-40 should do you fine.

04-25-2003, 04:59 PM
Go diesel I have a 2040 JD and it runs a 6 foot mower with plenty of power to spare. When it comes to maintenance get a manual with your tractor or buy one shortly afterwards.

Alan Reagan
04-25-2003, 09:48 PM
I have a Massey 231 diesel. Love it. Sips fuel unless I'm pulling the Woods 6' double harrow. It pulls my Woods 372 finishing mower great, too. I can mow 15 acres on less than 5 gallons of fuel. I bought it new about 8 years ago. The only thing I've had to do is replace the fan belt and hoses.

Live PTO doesn't use the clutch to engage. Just shift the lever to engage. My brother in law has a Ford with it. I don't like it because it snatches the heck out of the bush hog and finishing mower. My Massey uses the clutch to engage. For normal operation, push the clutch in to the nuetral position. For the PTO, push the clutch all the way down, engage the PTO and release the clutch back to nuetral, then it's ready for gear engage. It's a lot easier on the equipment, especially the auger where you can use it to slowly engage.

My personal choice is diesel.

04-26-2003, 09:14 PM
Drifthopper- A 25hp diesel tractor will handle a 5' brush mower just fine. IMO diesel tractors are much more reliable, powerful and fuel efficient than gas ones. I warm mine up for about 5 minutes before I work it hard. For tons of info on tractors, go to tractorbynet.com.

04-27-2003, 12:17 AM
The biggest advantage to a "live PTO" is that it doesn't want to push the tractor when your mowing in close areas. The PTO on my 2040 is 2 stage. Push the clutch all the way in and the PTO stops. Half way in and you can change gears with the PTO running. its real handy to change direction and gears without stopping the mower. Most larger tractors have a seperate clutch lever for the PTO. My diesel is much cheaper to maintain that my gas tractors were. The only fuel additive you will ever need is a little conditioner if you plan to use it in real cold weather. With the hours you run a filter would last a long time if you kept the fuel clean. A diesel pump requires much less fussing with that plugs, points and carberators. Your fuel burn will be less than half that of a gas tractor. Warm up time is about the same as a gas tractor. Do you have a building at the cabin to lock your stuff up? I have a 6 foot mower for my 2040. It has around 40 HP, no problem with power.

04-27-2003, 02:05 PM
We have a 69 cockshutt 1550 (aka Oliver in the states) its about 55 hps I blow snow with it and use it for a 6 foot rotary mower its basically a bush hog and it has tons of power for that kinda stuff. that case 885 is a good tractor also look at the david brown (case) 990s there is alot still used around here go here www.agdealer.com u can do a search of used utlility tractors in ur area.

04-28-2003, 02:29 PM
Hosejockey, Thanks for the link.

Weedburner, yes we have inside storage, our cabin is half living space and half barn, a couple years ago, we were broken in to, along with other seasonal places in the area, bad bunch of punks running around back then, we been good since then, they really didn't take nothing, just damage, dad had the 9N torn apart, something with the radiator, they didn't mess with it, but we still worry about our stuff and equipment.

CML Lawn, wife's got family in Port Colborne/ Wainfleet area, and last year was seriously thinking about going to one of Bryan's auctions in Guelph, about a 2 1/2 drive for us , but started thinking about trucking and distance so we never went, but always thought about bring one home me on one of our trips over, no duty on farm equipment.

I didn't spend that much time on the sites given, but it seams that to do a search, you have to type in real specific info, and basically, i'm open to anything in that HP range. But the little bit that i seen on there i like, it gives me a good source to see whats out there. Thanks.

04-28-2003, 10:12 PM
On that site u can just put in tractor on the list and ur price range thats the best way to do it. Go to bryans its amazing all you do is when ur comming down hwy 6 all u see is like 100 acres of just equiptment the every time i go down there i want to sh!t:D :blob3: :blob4: :cool: its great. man i could stay there for days
heres the web site http://www.bryansfarm.com/ go down there when they has his auctions, they always have trucking to new york and the web site has prices for it , also some times there is also other equipment jockies that will truck for you , I think brindley auctions that buys stuff down there will also truck to new york cuz they always take stuff from canada down there. Cantoo is into that kinda stuff he might be just as good of person to talk too. have fun and good luck..... I might even see u down there some time who knows

04-28-2003, 10:14 PM
all right i exagerated its only 20 acres but its still an awsome site:blob4:

04-29-2003, 10:58 PM
I subscribe to a site that searches auction prices for farm equipment. if you know the model of tractor your interested in, I will run a search. At least you will have a rough idea what they are bringing.

04-30-2003, 01:18 PM
Weedburner, i really appreciate you offering to do the search for me, but we really don't have one brand or model in mind. As posted up top, we'll most likely stick to the more popular brands, Ford, Kubota, J.D and maybe Massey. Its kinda hard to pin point one model when buying used, we just what a good unit in decent condition. I was on Bryansfarm site, and they list the prices on what tractors sold for, it gives me an idea on pricing, but tough to gauge without seeing the actual condition of'em. And if we do the auction thing, we kinda limited to what they're auctioning off.
Dad likes the auctions, but i'm more inclined to buy from a private seller, that way, at least i can see what his place is like and what condition his other equipment is in.
In the past couple days, looking on the net, papers, and swap sheets, there's not to much out there in this area right now. there's stuff for sale , but (by just the ad) either older equipment or in the $10,000 range. This time of year is not the time to be looking for a deal on a small farm tractor, we suffered with that 9N for this long, so whats a couple more months. I'll keep looking.
Thanks again.

07-16-2003, 12:04 PM
I have owned both and prefer the diesel. More power and better fuel consumption.

07-17-2003, 10:51 AM
Drifthopper, I sent you a PM on this post.

07-17-2003, 01:16 PM
Chief.....did ya e-mail me??

For whom ever else is following this:
Did anyone ever deal with Corriher Implement in Newton, NC.
Just looking at the web site, seams that he gets quite a few imports.
Just wondering how they compare to Blue, Green, or Orange?

07-17-2003, 01:22 PM
Yes, PM = Private Message. Check your private messages here on this web site by clicking on the PM box or go into your profile.

07-17-2003, 01:47 PM
Thanks Chief.
I agree on the tractor choices.
The county fairs are coming up in this area. It'll give dad and i a chance to get out and look at different ones, all new ones at the fairs, but at least it'll give us a reference on size to model #'s. when we look thru the papers, sometimes we don't know if its a 25 hp tractor or a 60 hp one.
Any good used ones in your area?

07-17-2003, 01:58 PM
Here is a tractor that just may fit your needs. The ad is wrong on the hp. 790's are 30 hp. They are darn good straight forward gear shift tractors, not many bells and whistles but a great dependable tractor for the dollar spent.

Link to 790 (http://www.ironweb.com/detail.asp?IWNO=204820)

I think the price is a little high on this one as you can buy a new one for not much more.

07-17-2003, 03:09 PM
Ya.......that's just what we need. That's a nice one.
But dad is afraid to spend that much and leave it at our cabin, since we're only there on the weekends.
He still likes that junky (for lack of a better word) 9N we got, i just wish that thing would just go "BOOM" one of these days, was argueing with him last week over it, again!!!
I'm trying to convince him to sell the 9n for about 2000, put in another 3000 or 4000, and get something that we can just have out there, put fuel in it and go, and not have to mess around with it every weekend.

07-30-2003, 12:04 AM
talk to the local john deere dealer they are always getting trade's and some are real nice 1 owner machines.
get diesel and get at least 35hp machine it is better to have a little to much power than not enough.
i have a JD 4500 4+4 39 hp it has more power than i need most jobs and i will lift a 2000lb pallet of rock salt
GO GREEN:waving:

09-20-2003, 03:24 AM
My folks bought a JD 950 4X4 back in 1987. We have no where to put it under cover so it's spent it's entire life outside. It starts everytime, even when the temp got down to 8 degrees. I put a west bend bucket on it and it does everything I ask of it and more! Diesal would be a must if I bought again! It's awesome