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Range2W
Visitor

Trading Tractors

What to do, what to do.....trying to decide whether to trade my main tractor that is 10 yrs old and 3800 hrs or my 20 yr old tractor that is the tillage work horse ( gets about 250hrs/yr) that has 5650hrs. Both are very reliable and in very good shape....any ideas?

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8 Replies
plowunder
Friend

Re: Trading Tractors

Why do you think you need to trade? If they are good tractors, keep them. If anything I would update the older one.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Trading Tractors

The best reasons to trade tractors is #1 To do it easier, #2 To do it better, or #3 To do more.

I never felt bad about letting the tax man help pay for some of the comforts in life

I have heard many times that someone bought only for the tax benefits. I had better uses for my money that that reason.

A new guarantee helps.

If you buy a used tractor, you may be buying someone's else troubles

Maybe you want global positioning and automatic steering. Well that would make life easier and possibily do a better job

Maybe you want to do a job faster so you can spend more time with your family. That's a good idea. If you want to do more and that puts your neighbor out of business, well thats a bad idea.

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Veteran Advisor

Re: Trading Tractors

I've never traded off a tractor yet, so I really can't speak from experience here (haven't been farming that long), but I think you have to weigh costs vs. benefits.

Not just the costs of a new tractor, but the costs of downtime, if a tractor you already own is getting up there.  If your old one breaks down, and is old enough that it takes a few days to get parts, what will that cost you?

 

However, if they are still solid, and reliable, I'd keep them.  Then again, with my financial position (debt to pay off), I would rather pay a little more in taxes, to get my debt down, in case of runaway inflation.  If in a position to pay cash, this may be the last year you can get the quick depreciation on a large purchase, in case you had a very large income.

 

 

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Veteran Contributor

Re: Trading Tractors

I would say the downtime is more with a newer electronic tractor than with an older tractor with linkages.  I have little reason to trade a 4440 with 10000 hours for anything newer and less reliable.  And the Cat with 6000 hours for the same reason.  Farm 1500 acres in NC IA and these machines will continue to do the job at a very low cost.  Save  the money for farmground!

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Senior Contributor

Re: Trading Tractors

I agree with Mike cash is still king, if you are getting the job done in a timely manner in relative comfort I say keep it. I have been scratching my head lately too on whether to trade. I decided to stay with what I've got, for the simple reason I had some rent raised and why make my margin even smaller with a tractor payment. That being said if you can afford it and you want to splurge a bit, why not life is short.

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Advisor

Re: Trading Tractors

  Are you trying to talk yourself into it? LOL  You know what you have now.   Buying used can be risky.  Especially at this time of year, not being able to put much time on it and expecting it to go full tilt next spring.  After looking over a year for a tractor I bought new.  With used tractors being so high priced and 0% financing on new I decided it was the best way to go.  Farmland has reached the point of being unaffordable in just a year and a half since I bought some more.  Like the 1 poster said, enjoy the fruits of your labors.  Most of us farming 30+ years realize it is unlikely the next 5 years will be as profitable as the last 5. 

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Senior Advisor

Re: Trading Tractors

I was in the same boat a year ago.  After shopping and looking at all the so called financing options, I decided to repaint my existing tractor, install a new cab interior kit and update some of the GPS equipment.  Looking back a year later, I have no doubt I made the right decision.  It might not have all the fancy bells and whistles of a new one, but now it shines like a new one again and it is paid for.  I've got a lot of memories in it and that is something that cannot be replaced.

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Senior Contributor

Re: Trading Tractors

In talking to the service manager at my local dealership. He said most of his calls are about the electronics on tractors, combines, planters, etc. I can confirm that. Seems like it is always the GPS, sensors, monitors that are giving us headaches.

 

Don't get me wrong, we have most of the bells and whistles but like these computers -- they are great.....when they work!

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