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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do I test the hydraulics?

Can I lift the tractor with the box blade/3 point? Do i just pick something up with it? Do I lift the tractor with it? Both?

I can check for leaks and the like. I know engine noise but I'm not that familiar with diesels. I can look at oil/fluids and see bearing material, water, ect.

I wouldn't care if it leaked a little hydraulic fluid as long as everything functions. I've certainly had cars and trucks that did it.

Ill be bushhogging, grading a driveway, moving gravel/dirt, pulling my boat/trailers, and hauling logs but mostly just running the bush hog or finish mower around 4-5 acres.

I've used some pretty janky equipment, 4 wheelers with 3 wheels, motorcycles.


I'm looking at $5-10k though I could go higher and I can finance a new one with no real issue. Im not a farmer though so this is just for maintaining the yard.

Ive only been on a tractor a few times. I'm in now way an expert or even competent in tractor usage. I am nostalgic though and a old tractor would be my preference but I'm not sure how a 8/9n rides in comparison to something with live/independent PTO as I've no experience there. I can certainly learn to drive anything though and I won't know what I'm missing.


What is a reasonably priced older tractor with good manners that I can find relatively easy and has available parts?

Thanks in advance.
 

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I have an 8n and a B414. Both were inherited and I use both. I use the B414 the most. I have used the 8n for over 40 years and the B414 for six. I have six acres and mow with a finish mower and a brush hog as well as maintain a 300 foot gravel drive with a box blade, with the B414. I also use a two bottom plow, with the 8n, and a tiller with the B414. My suggestion is to get a diesel with live power and power steering and no electronics in the 30 HP range.

Also get a quick hitch. I use one from Harbor Freight. I did have to modify my implements to work with it as they are all old. The mowers and box blade were easy to modify, the tiller not so much. But it was worth the effort. I used to finish mow with the brush hog or cut tall grass with the finish mower. I burnt up a belt or two doing this. Anything to avoid changing implements. With the QH I don't give it a second thought, I just change them.
 

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Tractors do not have "down pressure" with the three point, You cannot lift the tractor with a box blade. The lift should pick up the box blade without delay. Check that the lift works. Check that the PTO and power steering work. Check for leaks where the PTO shaft comes out of the rear end. Check for oil leaks underneath just behind the engine. Check for leaks from the rear axle onto the rear wheels and brakes. Good Luck.
 

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If you're "starting from scratch" as it appears, I would suggest you worry less about testing tractors for now, and more on finding the one that fits you and you fit it. In more ways that one. Price is important, yes, but so are size, capability, power, features, and just plain old "fit". If you're a big man, you won't be happy (or comfortable) on a small tractor. On the other hand, a small guy may have visibility problems on an old tractor with a lot of hood.

I'm as nostalgic as the next guy, and MUCH prefer the older tractors to ANYTHING built after 2014, but then to each his own. If I were you, I would be out looking AT tractors, not just asking about them. Visit some sales yards. Sit on some, drive some around, get to know something about those that are for sale near you. Get a first hand feel for the difference between power steering, manual steering, and some of the multitude of hydraulic, transmission, and other assorted options that have developed in tractors over the last fifty or so years. See for yourself which ones suit you and your needs (for the price) more than others.

DON'T believe anything a salesman tells you about any specific units or their respective conditions. DON'T agree to anything until you've been to at least more than one place. Once you've gotten that far, then start asking questions, both here and elsewhere. You will be in a much better position to evaluate the answers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If you're "starting from scratch" as it appears, I would suggest you worry less about testing tractors for now, and more on finding the one that fits you and you fit it. In more ways that one. Price is important, yes, but so are size, capability, power, features, and just plain old "fit". If you're a big man, you won't be happy (or comfortable) on a small tractor. On the other hand, a small guy may have visibility problems on an old tractor with a lot of hood.

I'm as nostalgic as the next guy, and MUCH prefer the older tractors to ANYTHING built after 2014, but then to each his own. If I were you, I would be out looking AT tractors, not just asking about them. Visit some sales yards. Sit on some, drive some around, get to know something about those that are for sale near you. Get a first hand feel for the difference between power steering, manual steering, and some of the multitude of hydraulic, transmission, and other assorted options that have developed in tractors over the last fifty or so years. See for yourself which ones suit you and your needs (for the price) more than others.

DON'T believe anything a salesman tells you about any specific units or their respective conditions. DON'T agree to anything until you've been to at least more than one place. Once you've gotten that far, then start asking questions, both here and elsewhere. You will be in a much better position to evaluate the answers.
I drove a 60-70's tractor once. It was ragged out and used about a gallon of hydraulic fluid every couple hours for the FEL. I didn't use the bucket, just drove it around.

I never believe what a salesman tells me. I've been to my local AGpro. My friend has a John Deere 1025 with a FEL. It feels like a toy to me but was plenty comfortable. I am not a small man, 6' and close to 300lb. I'm not willing to spend 20-25k on a riding mower with a bucket though. I looked at the RK24 lawnmowers, they are 15k new without a bucket and I can finance those 0% interest. It seems to be almost the same as the 1025r. Another couple thousand for a belly mower or a little less for a tow behind finish mower. I'd be about at 17k/$250-275 a month.

I see a lot with FEL between 5-10k though that are closer to 50hp. There is a John Brown 990 for $5500 for instance. I assume the implements will be easier to find for something like this than a cat 1. I watched a guy in a big kubota try to level my driveway with his bucket. I know this isn't the right tool but it really surprised me how useless the bucket was for digging.

The best deals sell pretty fast. In hours sometimes on Facebook. I might find myself in a position where time is of the essence and that is why I'm asking about the testing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I have an 8n and a B414. Both were inherited and I use both. I use the B414 the most. I have used the 8n for over 40 years and the B414 for six. I have six acres and mow with a finish mower and a brush hog as well as maintain a 300 foot gravel drive with a box blade, with the B414. I also use a two bottom plow, with the 8n, and a tiller with the B414. My suggestion is to get a diesel with live power and power steering and no electronics in the 30 HP range.

Also get a quick hitch. I use one from Harbor Freight. I did have to modify my implements to work with it as they are all old. The mowers and box blade were easy to modify, the tiller not so much. But it was worth the effort. I used to finish mow with the brush hog or cut tall grass with the finish mower. I burnt up a belt or two doing this. Anything to avoid changing implements. With the QH I don't give it a second thought, I just change them.
Should I be looking for a certain cat hitch?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Tractors do not have "down pressure" with the three point, You cannot lift the tractor with a box blade. The lift should pick up the box blade without delay. Check that the lift works. Check that the PTO and power steering work. Check for leaks where the PTO shaft comes out of the rear end. Check for oil leaks underneath just behind the engine. Check for leaks from the rear axle onto the rear wheels and brakes. Good Luck.
I'm obviously new to tractors. Thank you for the no down pressure. I assumed it did because I see people talking about have a bucket on the back of the tractor. Thanks for the spots to look at.
 

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A category I hitch would probably do you well. I have a 45 HP tractor with one. The tractor you mention would be a David Brown 990. If you do go for a front end loader, make sure you have 4 wheel drive / MFWA to help you steer the thing. Mine has Front Wheel Assist and it a hydrostatic drive with a front end loader. I don't do any actual farming but more along the lines of what you are going to be doing. My tractor is comfortable, easy to operate and maintain and does what I need it to do. I also have a few older late '40's and early '50's tractors that are handy for some chores, but do not hold a candle to the newer tractors.
 

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My first question before i make any recommendations to you is what is the general lay of your land? Hills, no hills. wet areas, very rocky areas, that type of stuff..
This can make a difference on what size and general type of tractor you need....

Then you need to figure out just how much horse power you need to both the wheels and the PTO based on what you are going to be hooking to it and what you are going to be using it for. For example, if you want a rear PTO powered bush hog type rough cut mower 7 foot wide you need more PTO horse power then if you go with a smaller bush hog type mower. Same goes for plows, grader blades and most other rear 3 point implements.

Then you have to decide how much weight you want the front end loaded to be able to lift and how much capacity you what the bucket on the front end loaded to have and what max. height you want the front end loader to be able to reach to.

Something else to consider is how you want to mow with it. Do you what to use a belly mount mower like a riding mower has of just go with a rear PTO mount type mower. The reason this is important is not all tractors have a mid mounted PTO to power a belly mower.

Another question is gas or diesel motor. Gas will be cheaper but diesel will last longer and most likely have more torque and horse power pound for pound then a gas motor.

Once you know the above information then we can help steer you to find the right tractor for you. You came to the right place since there are many hundred of years experience with tractors on this forum......LOL
 
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