THIS WILL TAKE A COUPLE OF POSTS
I don't imagine I'll be able to accomplish this in one post because I've got a lot to share. If you're one of those people that only like meme-sized posts, you may want to pass on this one. I think we've been spoiled by memes in some ways. We have much of the knowledge of the day at our finger tips, but we only want it in 14 second long bytes of information. We like memes. We believe they say so much. This won't be a meme because I'm going to potentially save you a few thousand dollars and 3 years of kicking yourself by sharing my experience.
As I frequently remind you, I'm not an expert. I'm just a guy with some hard-earned experience, a reasonably good ability to judge things and a logical approach to things. Ok, I'm not even that and you'll agree when I'm done with this post.
54 Ford Jubilee (NA) with a live PTO). It's supposed to be grey and blue as I'm sure some enthusiast will comment, but I bought it blue.
WHY DO YOU WANT A TRACTOR?
People buy tractors for all kinds of reasons. People buy all different kinds of tractors for even broader (and stranger) reasons. I can't tell you the reason to buy a tractor, but if you're reading this you may have been thinking about buying one. If you have I want to encourage you right now to take the time to write out the reason. Actually make a LIST of the reasons that you want the tractor. In fact this is so important I'm going to number it... (to make it official).
#1) Make a list of why you want a tractor. <-- See THAT is official!
I won't flat out tell you not to buy a tractor if your reason is "We need it to be a farm or homestead" but I will tell you that you don't need it to be a farm or homestead. People farmed for many millennia before tractors existed... and may farm for many after they do.
Here are some reasons that people may give. None of them are more legitimate than the other. Some people may disagree with that, but those are the same people that tell you you're not allowed to drink over 32 oz's of soda. Don't pay attention to them, they aren't buying your tractor for you and they won't be over to help you anyway.
- I want to cut hay.
- I want to use it to clear land.
- I want to plow fields with it.
- I like tractors and want to own one.
- I want to plant with it.
- I want to pull things with it.
- I want to use it for landscaping and homestead maintenance.
- I've got a John Deere belt buckle and I want a tractor that matches it.
- I need something to make my labor easier so I can be more efficient.
- [insert your honest answer here]
Do any of these fit any of your reasons? Do a bunch of them? Well, good, I'm glad you're thinking about it now. Now go make that list. Yes, it's important.
MY EARLY LIST - NOT SO MUCH
If I'm honest, my early list was not very well thought out. I had some experience on a Ford 8N. I thought that I wanted a Ford 8N. I knew it was better than the 2N and the 9N. I even had some preferences around why. I had cleared a lot of land at our church with the Ford 8N that Mr. Williams had bought (fully restored even!) and donated to the church because we had 14 acres and a lot of clean up and potential for projects for a tractor. It was his money and he loved 8N's. They were new and exciting when he was new and exciting... We even had the overrunning clutch so we could brush hog without it jerking the tractor back and forth when we sped up or slowed down.
So after that experience (and being the now-knowledgeable-in-all-things-tractors) I bought my first tractor. I asked people about 8N's and I got some good advice... which was basically... they were a great tractor in their day but a modern tractor will serve you far better. I wanted an 8N though. So not only did I buy an 8N, I got a smoking deal on one that had a Sherman clutch in it (basically changing it to an 8 speed and offering neutral shifting to disengage the PTO making almost like a Live PTO, but it was NOT a LIVE PTO! Oh, and it had a slight gear problem that would require me to split the tractor in two to replace it, but I got it for only $500.00 (write that down because it's the cost of tuition). That particular tractor sat in the garage on jackstands and I ended up selling it for about $400.00 because of the Sherman Transmission. I actually got lucky that I didn't lose more.
I STILL DIDN'T LEARN AND LISTEN TO OTHERS THOUGH.
About that same time my dad and I came across an auction deal (another tuition note... don't go to auctions to buy your first tractor unless you've made that list we've talked about and you know EXACTLY which tractor you want at the auction, WHY you want it and how much it's worth in the open market) of a Massey Ferguson Industrial 202. It had a loader. I always wanted a tractor with a loader! So I bought it. It was yellow... not the normal red of a MF. Why? Because that Industrial moniker meant it was for using strictly as a loader. It didn't have a PTO. It was handy for a lot of things, but it was big, heavy and didn't have a PTO. I got that thing (even with the bucket on it) so stuck that a 110 HP Dual Rear Wheel New Holland had difficulty pulling me out. It was a great deal at $5,000.00, it helped convince me that a loader was an important tool, but it didn't meet my needs. I sold it when I moved to PA.
I FINALLY DEVELOP A LIST
Once I moved to PA, I had a better idea of what I really wanted and needed. I made my list. I'll share my list with you and why I basically disregarded the list totally and bought the Ford Jubilee that you see above in the pictures and why that was still a stupid thing to do. I still own the Jubilee by the way, but it's just because I like it... not because it's the tractor to meet my needs.
More to come soon... but in the meantime... do you want a tractor? Are you looking for one or do you one one already and wish you would have bought something else? Share with me in the bottom.
Remember... make a list. I'm saving you money by telling you that!
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GROW WHERE YOU ARE