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Discussion Starter #1
Hi,

Just found this forum, and the chatter sounds polite and helpful.

I am about to embark on ownership of my first JD machine. I located a used 955 compact tractor with a loader and 7' backhoe. It has about 1410 hours on it. We ran it for quite a while, dug some holes and generally made sure it was OK. I have a small property (~8.5 acres) and alot of work to do, so we decided to go for a workhorse. Hopefully this will fit the task.

I have found precious little information on the net about this machine. I cannot find specs. It appears that the current model 4310 is roughly equivalent, or a derivative(?)

Can anyone give me a point to some specific information? Anything to be aware (or afraid) of?

I do not have the S/N's yet for the tractor or the attachments, but will have them after I pick it up next weekend.

Expect more questions in the coming weeks! Hopefully I can return the favor(s) someday.
 

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The 955 was manufactured between 1998 & 1990. With that many hours on it, I would guess that it is an older model 955, perhaps a 92 or 93 model. Hard to tell exactly depending upon how it was used or whether it was a private use or commercial use machine.

They are good machines with a fine reputation but again the condition and mechanical soundness of the machine is dependent upon the previous owner's level of care and maintenance.

Basically they come with a 3 cylinder Yanmar. About 27 or 28 hp and hydrostatic drive transmission. Pay VERY close attention to the pins and bushings in the backhoe. If they are worn and sloppy, this is a bad sign and can be quite costly to replace and repair. How much wear is on the bucket and teeth? Another good indicator. Same goes for the FEL. Ask for receipts to verify maintenance and establish a good maintenance background history. If none are available and the maintenance appears to not be what you would approve of; replace all of the fluids and filters to establish a good maintenance baseline.

Check all of the cylinders to verify whether they leak down excessively fast and do this with the machine and oil at full operating temp. Leaks or seeps???? These do not get better with time.

Is the machines paint faded and rusted or in good condition? This is a good indicator as to whether it was stored indoors or at least under cover. Tire rubber condition? Does the differential lock work? Does it shift properly between speed ranges? Does the front axle engage and disengage 4WD properly?

How does it start cold??????? (this is a BIG deal) If the engine was warmed up for you when you got there insist on the first start of the day first thing in the morning. My reason for mentioning this is that ether will destroy a diesel engine over time with repeated use and make it very difficult if not impossible to start in cold weather. Ask the owner if he has ever used ether. If the glow plugs work and it starts easily, I would be inclined to believe him. If they don't and it is a hard starter, suspect either and plan on a rebuild or at least an in frame overhaul/ring job.

These are tough, long lasting machines but as with any machine, if it is not maintained well; it will decline rapidly with age, just like the rest of us. :D ;) 1,410 hours is not that much time on the machine and if well cared for, it should last a long time to come and serve you well. Good luck on your purchase! Post some pictures if you decide to buy it!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Chief,

Thanks for the prompt and thorough reply!

The tractor was started cold, and started immediately. In fact, this particular tractor had not been started in weeks or months by the look of the grass around it. The battery was toast, and it had to be jump started. This tractor is at a large used farm equipment dealer in Berks County (Hamburg), PA.

I had read several for sale ads for 955s on the net that listed the engine HP at 33, and the PTO HP at 27. It has the Yanmar diesel, which ran smooth, quiet and strong. No smoke.

The tires are turfs, with about 50% remaining.

The loader looks original to the tractor, which has been clearly stored outdoors for most if not all of it's life. The paint is faded, and parts have been re-sprayed. The loader bucket is straight, as is the rest of it. No repairs anywhere, and no weeping cyls. It readily lifts the whole front of the tractor off the ground.

The backhoe was tight EXCEPT for the bucket link pins. They are loose and will need bushings and/or pins. The bucket has been repaired (or strengthened), but the teeth look almost new. The upper end of the dipper arm (near the boom) has been repaired as well, but very professionally. In fact, I almost suspect that it never failed, but a long, wide strengthening bead was welded into the corner of the stamping. It is a sub-frame mounted hoe (not 3pt).

After running it for 30 minutes, it did not leak a drop of fluid anywhere. However, one of the front axle seals appears to be weeping.

The seller is doing a full service (fluids/filters) as well as attending to a few minor things like a new battery, repairing the PTO actuator (it is magnetic and does not engage without help) and lubing up the hydro pedals (they are a little stiff).

I'll post some pics after I get it. I dont have a dig cam, so it takes a little longer for me to scan and post.

Thanks for any additional thoughts.
 

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Sounds like you found a diamond in the rough. Please forgive my manors and let me be the first to welcome you to Tractor Forum! :friends: :cheers: Great to have you aboard! I'll be looking forward to your future posts and pictures on this machine. Have you been able to get a price from that seller yet?
 

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Thanks for the welcome and kind words. :peace:

Chief: The tractor price is $13,500, + tax (since I am not a "real" farmer, I don't qualify for the state exemption). It seems like a fair price for the tractor, loader and BH. It does need some cosmetic help, and a knob or two are missing. I tend to get anal about that stuff, so will probably be scrounging for small parts and ordering decals and green paint :thumbsup:

I hope to get some manuals with it, but if not I will buy some from JD or somewhere.

Once I get the unit home and spend a few hours on, under and around it, I will post a more detailed summary. After the BH bucket and pins are fixed, I have some serious digging to do in the next couple of weeks :cowboy:
 
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