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Author Topic: what tractor?  (Read 4853 times)

c day

  • Joined Mar 2010
what tractor?
« on: May 28, 2011, 07:20:12 pm »
Im looking at selling my kubota compact tractor and getting a bigger tractor id love a massy 135 but they are a bit out of our price range, just wondering what kind of tractors people would recommend, im also looking at the ford dexta,david browns i dont know much about tractors we have alot of bad ground and we need to get it into shape so it would be for ploughing rotovating harrowing and topping. thanks conor
Voss Electric Fence

belgianblue

  • Joined Jun 2010
Re: what tractor?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2011, 07:29:57 pm »
i recommend trying going onto fwi.co.uk (farmers weekly) forumns, there are people on there who will advise you what type of tractor to go for and types to stay away from,

VSS

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Pen Llyn
    • Viable Self Sufficiency.co.uk
Re: what tractor?
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2011, 07:45:48 pm »
Grey Fergie?
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waterhouse

  • Guest
Re: what tractor?
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2011, 08:18:09 pm »
Grey Fergie?
MF 35 maybe, but you need a flat 'at with a grey fergie and a bed booked at A&E.  Lovely machine but look don't touch, and certainly don't farm with one. 

Bigger Kubota?

Fieldfare

  • Joined Feb 2011
Re: what tractor?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2011, 01:45:12 pm »
Hi Waterhouse- why would a MF35 be better (and safer) than grey fergie? I'm also looking to get a tractor and sstruggling to decide on the right one (classic/Jap/Alpine).

cheers

waterhouse

  • Guest
Re: what tractor?
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2011, 12:53:35 am »
I keep meaning to write an article on this subject every time I see yet another crap article in a smallholder comic addressing none of the practical issues.  There isn't a right answer, but there's a powerful lot of wrong ones.  I know, I've bought a few.  

If you have better than average mechanical skills then an old tractor can be a lot of fun but there's a lot of tractors for which bits are hard to get.  Even some of the popular ones.  So if hours searching eBay and scrapyards is preferable to fixing the fences don't let me stop you.   As with cars the tractor manufacturers have made unpopular models.   If it sold badly then bits will be hard to find.  Low demand means little stock and this is particularly true of manuals.  For the smallholder these tractors are pieces of poetry that were justifiable by being cheap and readily available.  Now they're expensive - there's an "off-farm" 35 on eBay at the moment at £3k ready for restoration...

Safety is an issue for farmers and their families.  Cars have got hugely safer over the last half century and so have tractors.  That's why we don't drive Ford Prefect any longer.  My grey Fergie ran on petrol and had 6 volt electrics, but it could have run on tractor vaporising oil, a witches brew which has been unavailable since 1974. It had 3 forward gears and a single stage clutch so the PTO only goes when the tractor moves.  Crucially the hydraulics only work when the PTO turns, so to lift your topper the blades have to be spinning.  Nice.  The MF35 has great diesel engine (which the later fergies also had), six forward gears and a double clutch.  

Alpine tractors are great.  Low centres of gravity mean they don't turn over as easily as conventional machines and there's some good engineering in them.  I suspect that being low to the ground may limit the number of implements which will fit - perhaps someone else knows the answer?  If you have the money look at the Avanti - very clever and versatile.  Rare secondhand, all of them.

Japanese tractors have the reputation for being boring and depressingly reliable.  It is impossible to get emotional about a Yanmar as the thing carries on doing its job.  But bits are expensive and lots of the small ones are parallel imports. Some may never have been sold here which can make maintenance tricky.  Kubotas particularly hold their value and have good (and expensive) dealers.  John Deere use Yanmar and Kawasaki engines, Massey Ferguson sell Iseki tractors built to match their own

Chinese tractors are cheap.  A neighbour has had one for six years and says it's great.  Another says it leaks oil and he can't get it fixed.  This needs a thread of its own.

Some final thoughts
* if you have 4wd you may be able to use turf tyres or R4s which do less damage to the ground
* 4wd on older tractors often gives a poor turning circle
* bigger tractors take more space and manoeuvre worse than little ones while chewing the ground more
* ploughing needs power, so big can be better
* a loader is damn handy but puts a lot of weight on the front.  A quick release bucket reduces the weight and makes turning corners a lot easier.  
* a shuttle gear box (swaps between forward and reverse) is a real boon
* when you put something heavy on the back that loader's weight comes in handy
* roll over protection (ROPS) could save your life.
* please go on a tractor course: tractors open up all manner of ways of maiming and killing people, and not just the driver.





 

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