There is not much easier on the eyes than a newly restored tractor. Maybe it is the crisp, fresh paint or shiny metal parts, but a restored tractor has an appeal all its own. Looking at such a thing of beauty makes it tempting to give restoration a whirl, but it is quite an undertaking, both in terms of money and time. If you purchase something and send it to a professional, you only have to deal with the pain of writing the check and waiting for your tractor to be complete. If you opt to do the work yourself, you will have to find the time and energy to put into it, and be prepared to face the setbacks you may encounter along the way, such as an inability to find parts.
There are some very good questions to ask along the way before you get started on your restoration project. Be honest with yourself about your own personal capabilities as well as shortcomings from the get go so you will not be disappointed later and can line up help ahead of time. If you are not the most mechanically inclined individual, prepare yourself for a day to come that you may have to ask for help. A lot goes into the mechanics of a tractor and some of the issues your tractor could have will be easy to overlook. A second set of eyes can go a long way as can having the owner\'s manual for the tractor on which you are working.
Selecting a suitable prospect for restoration is also very important. If you find something heavily damaged, you may need to replace a lot of parts and components, which can be quite difficult to find. If the tractor is rare in that not as many of the same model were made, the job of finding parts will be much harder, not to mention expensive. Consider this when picking out a project and remember that in some cases obtaining manuals will be as difficult as obtaining parts if not more so.
Restoration, in addition to requiring time and money, requires space. Ask yourself if you have a location to keep your project out of the elements for an extended amount of time while you work on it. You are not just going to need room for the tractor, but also for the tools required to work on it. Speaking of tools, do you have what you need or will you need to purchase tools to finish your goal? If more tools are needed, figure that into your cost upfront so it won\'t come as a surprise later. Also remember that paint will be expensive, running around $30 per gallon. Signage and lettering appropriate to the era of your tractor may also be hard to come by or recreate.
Restoring a tractor is a big undertaking, but a rewarding one, especially if the tractor you restore is something that has been in your family for generations and/or will be for generations to come. When it comes to the end result, rest assured that you will get out what you put in and it will be worth it in the end. After all, there is nothing more profound than giving life back to a fine old machine that deserves to live to shine another day.