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Hello.
I'm a total novice to the world of tractors. Going to be in need of one in the next year, maybe sooner. We work down in Mozambique Africa and are helping start a farming operation for business, local education and employment. A friend owns a Fiat, and he is not a tractor guy either. I think it is a Fiat 1000 Super or other 1000 model (it's not printed on engine cover). He would like to sell, and maybe I would buy it. He came by it when he was given a section of land with all its buildings and equipment. The tractor has been made operational and he rents it to a guy who helps local farmers when they need a tractor. Seems to run well. I have a local guy who can give me a hand in assessing, but I don't want to drag him around to each and every tractor that might be an option.

Ok. So I'm interested in the reputation of the Fiat tractors and particularly this model. I'll add a pic to see if anyone can help identify. I have looked at a lot of images from Google search to identify. I'm also interested in what brands are considered to be high quality. I know that people think oft-times what they own is the best. And, of course, what you have is what you have, you make it work. So I'm looking to know which brands are durable and reliable. Are there any that have an excellent reputation? I know there a number of questions that arise, but I don't know to how address the characteristics of the land we must prepare and the crops we are going to grow to start deciding what size/class tractor to buy. So I'm beginning from scratch. Questions welcome to help me clarify.

Ready to start. But not sure which area of the forum to get going in. Thanks for thoughts, questions, etc...

Peace,
David

Tire Wheel Sky Vehicle Tractor
 

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The Fiat tractor is in my opinion, as reliable as anything I've worked on. Many tractor makers in business at that time are dead and gone. Fiat lives on.

I can't speak for that particular model, as I don't believe it was marketed in North America (but I could be wrong on that). The one in your photo appears to be in remarkable condition. Tires, sheet metal, paint, etc. If all that is original, it looks like a "find" for a fifty year old machine. I"m much more familiar with the three and four cylinder versions Fiat built during that time frame, as well as the six cylinder 980 and 100-90 that were imported in the following years. Many of those are still in use today, although very few look as good as this one. Reliability would not be my main concern.

I know NOTHING of life in Mozambique, so product/parts support would be a question. World wide, support from Fiat is good. Most parts for that tractor are probably available somewhere, but shipping would most likely be involved. All things considered, I wouldn't be afraid of it from that standpoint.
 

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Welcome to the forum. You can post your queries in the "Buying and Pricing" section. I'm sure some folks would be glad to offer some advise. The issue would be as Fedup mentioned, parts availability etc. There seems to be plenty of Tractor parts dealers in and around Johannesburg.
Here's the link to "Buying and Pricing"
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The Fiat tractor is in my opinion, as reliable as anything I've worked on. Many tractor makers in business at that time are dead and gone. Fiat lives on.

I can't speak for that particular model, as I don't believe it was marketed in North America (but I could be wrong on that). The one in your photo appears to be in remarkable condition. Tires, sheet metal, paint, etc. If all that is original, it looks like a "find" for a fifty year old machine. I"m much more familiar with the three and four cylinder versions Fiat built during that time frame, as well as the six cylinder 980 and 100-90 that were imported in the following years. Many of those are still in use today, although very few look as good as this one. Reliability would not be my main concern.

I know NOTHING of life in Mozambique, so product/parts support would be a question. World wide, support from Fiat is good. Most parts for that tractor are probably available somewhere, but shipping would most likely be involved. All things considered, I wouldn't be afraid of it from that standpoint.
Appreciate you for taking the time to share your experience. I thought the same thing, that it is in very good condition - though at the time I didn't know how old it was. I have seen it personally, didn't ask many questions because it was before I had interest in it. Since it was used in the area I assume it had characteristics that made it good for the farm work done there.
 

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Welcome to the forum. You can post your queries in the "Buying and Pricing" section. I'm sure some folks would be glad to offer some advise. The issue would be as Fedup mentioned, parts availability etc. There seems to be plenty of Tractor parts dealers in and around Johannesburg.
Here's the link to "Buying and Pricing"
Thank you for the direction. I'll head over there to start the conversation. Thank you again.
 

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Hello!

I wouldn't look just at availability of a tractor per se, as to availability of replacement parts/service in that country. You see, when someone selling you a tractor which is currently running fine, because it was used to occasionally tow something from A to B, doesn't mean it will survive the agricultural efforts by people who have recently started farming. Let me provide you some obvious tips?

Tip 1.

There are universal tractors, there are specific tractors. Universal tractors are usually fine for most of tasks even beyond agriculture, but they're not extremely good at some tasks. Agriculture tractors usually have increased clearance. Wheel size plays a role and defines your inter-row distance. Weight and wheel formula defines which terrain you can work and which not. Some tractors have hydraulics, some don't

Tip 2.

Pick size of your tractor accordingly. If you want to tow a 12 meter plow, 60hp tractor wouldn't be nearly enough. You wouldn't also want to plow in one row with 300 hp one. Field size is important. If you need just 1 ha for entertainment, tiller or small tractor might work. If you have 1000 ha, you'll need a whole station of tractors, harvesters, workshop and couple mechanics.

Tip 3.

Equipment is as important as tractors. For bare minimum, you'll need plow, harrow, sowing machine. In case of Africa there's probably a need for watering equipment and after some harvests - fertilizer spreaders, depending on which is available. Really, without you telling us type of crops or agriculture type you're going to establish, it's hard to say what you need.

Tip 4.

Maintainability and repairability > reliability. Even the best tractors, especially old, break down. Hard to tell without motor-hours counter readings, history of service or by inspecting it whether it's still any good. Really, top John Deere are exceptional, technological, comfortable, reliable tractors. Dream of many. I wouldn't give them any chance in Africa, because some error in electronics would mean you now have exceptional, technological, comfortable, reliable real estate without service agent to come with laptop to fix it for you.

To me, this one looks like one of New Holland/Fiat 800-900-1000 series made in Pakistan, so 80-90-100 hp, which is average but enough for your average day.

P.S. I would (as my nickname suggests) suggest you consider MTZ Belarus tractors, because they might have dealeship in Mozambique or nearby Zimbabwe (or even setup factory there already), but honestly I wouldn't sponsor them these days for a well-known reason. But if you find some model from those approved for purchase by UN for humanitarian relief measures, you could give it a try. They're crude, but boast fuel economy, primitive maintenance efforts and somewhat very cheap.
 

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Ok, I was wrong, there is John Deere dealership in Mozambique. In fact, there are few used tractors dealerships there, like New & Used Tractors for Sale in Chimoio, Mozambique | Tractor Provider Mozambique which seems to be a dealer of used Massey-Ferguson, which would be my personal choice, and they're highly sought after.
Thank you for taking a look into the Moz side. And thank you for the tips above. At present, I'm in the US. Will be back in Moz within the month. I have seen the JD dealership there, but I don't see many JD tractors in the fields. I suspect they serve large contracts with large industrial farm operations and those that are being sponsored by the UN and other global orgs. There is a MF dealership about 15 km from where I live. I see the tractors on the lot. I'm not fully committed to the Fiat and willing to consider other options. Having been a stone mason and worked in construction for many years, I'm familiar with equipment of different varieties - loaders, excavators, etc... All run on essentially same premises you mention...get the equipment appropriate to the task.

I don't know how long MF have had their presence there, new equipment pricing in a country like Moz is almost prohibitive for a project like I am considering. I tend to look at used more than new. I might buy used from another country and load a container and ship to Moz. I'll have to pay the duties, but it will cost far less than new. And buying used in Moz also has significant hazards. You can't really trust even dealerships to provide you with honesty in the transaction. I've had many friends get burned. And I do what I can to avoid that scenario, even if it means wait for a while. Also, I can tear one down to parts, ship in separate containers and then reassemble - duties are less.

Regarding your Tip #3 in first post: I understand that advisement is limited based on the factors you mention. Currently, we have 15 ha and looking for the another site that could be an additional 400ha. The location is viable to grow many root vegetables, all standard vegetables, fruit trees, nut trees, maize, soy, bananas, pineapples, etc... Our approach will be to research viability of various crops for both local and export markets. Once the research gives us our options, we will decide. Am fairly certain that we will end up with several tractors and other heavy equipment.

Thanks again.
 

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Thank you for taking a look into the Moz side. And thank you for the tips above. At present, I'm in the US. Will be back in Moz within the month. I have seen the JD dealership there, but I don't see many JD tractors in the fields. I suspect they serve large contracts with large industrial farm operations and those that are being sponsored by the UN and other global orgs. There is a MF dealership about 15 km from where I live. I see the tractors on the lot. I'm not fully committed to the Fiat and willing to consider other options. Having been a stone mason and worked in construction for many years, I'm familiar with equipment of different varieties - loaders, excavators, etc... All run on essentially same premises you mention...get the equipment appropriate to the task.

I don't know how long MF have had their presence there, new equipment pricing in a country like Moz is almost prohibitive for a project like I am considering. I tend to look at used more than new. I might buy used from another country and load a container and ship to Moz. I'll have to pay the duties, but it will cost far less than new. And buying used in Moz also has significant hazards. You can't really trust even dealerships to provide you with honesty in the transaction. I've had many friends get burned. And I do what I can to avoid that scenario, even if it means wait for a while. Also, I can tear one down to parts, ship in separate containers and then reassemble - duties are less.

Regarding your Tip #3 in first post: I understand that advisement is limited based on the factors you mention. Currently, we have 15 ha and looking for the another site that could be an additional 400ha. The location is viable to grow many root vegetables, all standard vegetables, fruit trees, nut trees, maize, soy, bananas, pineapples, etc... Our approach will be to research viability of various crops for both local and export markets. Once the research gives us our options, we will decide. Am fairly certain that we will end up with several tractors and other heavy equipment.

Thanks again.
I was looking into their stocks (MF), and they import from where available, there were some from Japan which had my attention. But for fruit production, it seems that this FIAT will do the work, which will mainly be transporting crops. Plowing duty wouldn't be extremely hard, I think, but there will be manual labor to dig treeholes, because specific attachment would probably cost more than this FIAT.

If I had 15 ha with perspective to enlarge a bit, I would try to take 2 smaller tractors 35-50hp than one bigger of 100hp, especially if total price is the same. Yes, service would require more funds and time, but you have 2 tractors which back one another up should something happen. But that's me, it's not a universal advice.

One really important thing I see is understanding people which will work on these tractors. I've seen enough people I wouldn't let closer to anything but most basic used tractors (like MTZ/Belarus). But if they're capable of constructing their own tractors from available car parts, everything'll be fine.
 
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