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Advisor

Re: advice from the older farmers

   I would never think of putting 200 hrs. on my kids tractor he just bought and is proud of.  There's no good solution to this now that it is in motion.

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Advisor

Re: advice from the older farmers

   A similar problem in my family over a big old wood extension ladder.

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erollins
Friend

Re: advice from the older farmers

I guess I would approach this differently depending on how the borrower treated me when I borrow things.
I might approach it if the subject of high fuel prices or high land rent etc. comes up between you that you "don't know if you can afford to keep that tractor this year." After a song and dance about how tough things are ask if he would like to buy half of it since you each use it about 200 hours a year. He might bite on that, or might pass it up

I might approach it from a "just calling in the rent on the tractor" standpoint anytime you need anything from someone to run after parts to some extra help in a busy week. I wouldn't try this approach if you expected any monetary compensation, since the first time you say it they feel off the hook for the $ end of things. I also wouldn't try that with someone quick to get angry or hold a grudge, like my own dad, but it would work with my father-in-law.

I also might just bite my toung until something really expensive breaks and lay the guilt trip on him. "Gee, I don't quite have all the $8,000 for parts this will take right now, can you help me out?". In his mind you aren't out anything if it doesn't break down, and you may get lucky and have a good trouble free run with it that will benefit you both. If he is a decent man that will work. If he has a "tough luck" attitude then.I would take the "at the dealers for some work" approach outlined in one of the early responses.

Good luck.
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Senior Advisor

Re: advice from the older farmers

It's really kind of sad when children are afraid to speak to their parents about something like this. Of course, it requires a gentle approach, but if I owed my kids something I would not be offended if they brought it to my attention. Parents are capable of not paying attention to something that ought to be  obvious to most anybody.

 

My son and son in law are aways doing things for me and I ask them what I owe them. Most of the time nothing but even then I like to pay them something. After all it would cost me to hire a professional to fix my car or do something around the house.

 

Of course it may be touchy if old dad has been generous in using his money or his equipment for your benefit. I can remember the days of doing stuff for my dad. Inever billed him for anything because I never expected anything. Some things you do just because you are family and you want to help each other./ But if I had wanted to be paid, I would have asked him in a minute. Parents are grownups and business people and they ought to understand the situation.

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Contributor

Re: advice from the older farmers

I think this go around will just let it go.  Hope for no major break downs this spring. Family tiff is not worth it.  If subject comes up again next winter will discuss the situation in greater length and handle it better.  Good communication is essential, of course with family is sometimes taken for granite.  Thanks all for your inputs.  What I like about this site is it appears most contributors are very family friendly.  Not to get all mooooshy and such!!!!!!

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rfmgis
Reader

Re: advice from the older farmers

If the older tractor was in good shape when you purchased it, then 200 hours should not have hurt it.  If your father will pay for a change of oil and filters.  And any other repairs that need to be done because of the 200 hrs of operation that should all that needed.   There isn't a reason to upset the whole family about this.  Maybe your father can give some labor during the year to help you out.

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Senior Advisor

Re: advice from the older farmers

Assigning a value to an existing piece of equipment is not intuititve to many farmers.  Let's say you have a tractor that you use to mow and rake hay and run the auger.  It costs you such and such an amount of money per hour, you fitgure.  Then, you decide to add another enterprise.  Let's say you decide to raise cattle and are going to use this tractor on the grinder.  How much extra does it cost?  Nothing, ofr course.  It's already bougth and paid for.  Oh, a little fuel, but the rrest is free.

Think I'm kidding?  I bet most farmers on this board think that way and it's one reason why Extension machinery costs always seem ridiculous.  The tractor is already here and paid for.  It's free.

If you dad looks at machinery costs like that, maybe one thing you could do is sit down with him over a budget some time.  Work up a budget with machinery costs and be sure that when you do the budget you don't include his use but do have the rental rate sheet nearby.  Have him go over the budget with you and see what he says about the numbers.  Then make sure that sometime you bring up that the Extension and finance guys assign a value ot everything, and even dribving that tractor around moving snow or pulling a truck out of the ditch would have a cost of $XXX/hour.  See if that brings any light to his eyes.  Even if it doesn't, you'd laid the groundwork if you want to bring it up.

I would not mousetrap anyone with anything.  That will make for hard feelings.  But, you somehow have to get out iin the open that his use has some value.

Another thing you might say is that you've figured out that according to machinery expense experts, his use of the tractor is worth $XXXX but you are not worried about it and have no intention of billing him - just want him to know.

Having said all that, I'm flabbergtasted by all the weasle-wording and **bleep**-footing around.  I was just raised different.  In my family, this would all be up front and out in the open from the start.  No hard feellings because it would never have gotten to be an issue.  Borrowing the tractor once or twice - no big deal.  But, after the first week, someone would have said something, although, again, in my family, "dad" would have asked in the first place.   Nothing personal, just business.

 

Edit:  Well, I guess you can have a tom cat, a big cat, a wild cat, a civet cat and many other kinds of felines, but you can't have a cat that walks softly.  I guess I'll take a break and have some chicken white meat for dinner.  God forbid I allow any feathered bosoms to touch my lips.

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Advisor

Re: advice from the older farmers

Exactly, Jim.  You deal with something up front, or at least when it starts to pass the point of "incidental" use. 

As I read your reply, it occurred to me that we have noticed one thing about one yougner person we know, who is an only child: To that one, everything the family has is "his." Then again, everything he has or even has use of that belings to someone else) his parents seem to assume is theirs, too, so maybe it's a different mindset. 

In our family, with three kids, everything they have is clearly owned by one or another, and they know to ask to borrow something.  I fostered this when they were young, making it clear that family property was for communal use, but personal possessions were theirs to direct for use, to share or not as they felt comfortable with....

It's a complex issue, and there is a lot of opportunity for many hurt feelings...and they do not easily heal. 

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Advisor

Re: advice from the older farmers

Up front and out in the open is good policy.  The difference is whether you choose to humiliate them, p*ss them off and hold a grudge for ever, which when the shoe is on your foot, you get a double dose of revenge coming back, or you choose to say what you think in a way that makes them feel like you're not stomping all over them in the process and still value them as a person.  Generally, one can pretty much guarantee the outcome with either approach.

 

As the saying goes, one can catch more flies with honey.

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Advisor

Re: advice from the older farmers

   It's physics, for every action there is a reaction.

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