Sunday, February 24, 2008

Buying a Tractor - When You Know Nothing About Tractors...

So after about 7 months on the farm we began to say to ourselves, "We need a tractor."
And since I knew absolutely nothing about Tractors, I started by going on the internet, and after a few hours of research, I was more confused that before I started.

So my next step was to go to the Kubota Dealer in Issaquah, WA.
I looked at a few tractors there, and the salesman was very nice and informative.
I thought if I went new, I was going to buy a 20-24 horse power tractor with the front end loader...something close to this:

But without the back-hoe.

After looking at that, and a Chinese Tractor, and the New Holland, I decided that for what I need to do around the farm, that spending $16,000 was a bit too much. It's hard though, I definitely got caught up in tractor fever at the dealer.

So I started looking on Craigslist.
I went out and looked at a 23 horsepower Kubota, and offered to buy it, then the man got cold feet and decided not to sell it to me.

Then I found a 19 horse Mitsubishi with a front end loader for $4600.

It only had 490 hours on it. Yes tractors are like boats, you measure them not by miles, but hours. So this tractor is from the early '90s and 490 hours is very low. The man I bought it from seemed to take very good care of it. (You can always tell when someone keeps their garage really clean, that it's probably a good sign.)

I decided to pull the trigger on it, and it seemed like I was getting a good deal for a tractor with a loader for under 5 grand.

It was pretty easy loading it onto my friend Doug's flatbed trailer.
Getting it off was another story. It was the first time in my life I had ever driven a tractor and I was trying to back it up on two boards that seemed to be about the size of pencils as I was looking back at them. I was sure it was going to fall off the trailer, but we finally managed to get it off.

So here it is in front of the barn. So far it's done everything I need it to do. We're looking at getting a post hole digger attachment for the back. They seem to run about $500-$600. We'd also like to get a box blade and a brush hog eventually.

Here it is in action... I'm not that good at scooping things up yet, but I'm getting the hang of forward and reverse. And moving the bucket up and down.

Moving a little cargo to the back.

Here's The Cowgirl trying out the new ride. I figure that we'll see if it will do everything we need it to do. If not, it doesn't seem like they lose their resale value very much, and I figure that I can upgrade if I find that I'm constantly struggling to get things done. But so far, it seems like it's working out fine.

So I ended up spending about 1/3 the price of buying a new one, we'll see if it was a good buy.

See you on the farm

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