Buy an old tractor – seriously

By beststuff  

Old tractors are incredibly reliable, and are amazingly cheap, for what you get.

1959 Ford 861 tractor, 48 HP, can run a whole farm

If you own more than an acre or two of land, you know all kinds of stuff can happen… trees fallling, digging post holes, blizzards, etc.   We have less than 3 acres, and in that small space we have a year-round stream, a wooded area, a mini-orchard of fruit trees, a marshy area, small field, woodpile, and garden.  That’s a lot of work to do that requires heavy machinery once in awhile.

Hiring someone to do it can cost buckets of money.    So, most people go down to their “big box” store, and get a sleek looking mower that can do a lot of other stuff, but their shells are thin sheet metal, and the frames are very weak.     I was at one of those stores recently at looked at one costing 2,500 dollars.     It make me laugh out loud.      It’s a joke, piece of junk, compared to what I got for the same price.      I bought a 1959 Ford 861 tractor WITH a front tilt bucket loader and a powerful 3 pt. hitch.   It had new tires and a new clutch, alternator, starter.     In 2 hours on my land, I did what would cost me over 500 dollars if I hired someone to do it.    This type of tractor could manage a 50 acre farm, year after year, using dozens of standard 3 pt. hitch and Power Take-Off ( PTO ) machinery.

This tractor is fully supported in parts, too, because a lot of smart people keep these things running.   They know how good they are.    Other great tractors are made by International Harvester, John Deere, Ferguson, or Massey Ferguson.   Do some research.  There are thousands of these things all around the country, many sitting in barns, fully functional, after decades of use.

A modern machine with enough power to do what my 1958 Ford tractor can do would cost up to 5 times more.   Plus, parts for those tractors cost much more than the ones on my tractor.   They are much more complicated, too, so they have more parts that could fail.   Now, if you are a full time contractor, builder, or excavator, then it can make sense to buy a really good new machine and keep it maintained by the dealer.

But, if you are like most people who own a few acres, up to 500 or more, then consider buying a hard working antique tractor.   They hold their value extremely well, too.     You should figure that a good one, fully functional and with one working implement, such as a plow or blade, will cost from 1500 to 5,000 dollars, depending on size and condition.    Compare that to modern glorified mowers made out of tin, for 2,000 to 4,000 dollars.    It’s a no-brainer.

The Ford 8n, 2n, 9n, and Ferguson series, 20 and 30, are excellent bargains.     Get one with a wide stance for stability, and wheel weights are recommended for stability and pulling power.