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 09-09-2001, 06:18 Post: 31691
Dave Rubin



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 New versus used

I am a first time tractor buyer....I was wondering if new tractors hold their value well, or whether a recent used tractor represents a smart purchase. My basis of comparison is the automobile market, where a car loses much blue book value when it is driven off the dealer's lot!That said...what young used tractors should I be considering (and at what prices)? My property is 10 acres, 7 in grass, relatively flat, but half has trees to dodge. I have a long gravel drive, and I am in Northern Virginia, where I can expect a half dozen snowfalls a year, but generally only one or two that get to more than 6 inches.New dealers have been steering me toward the Kubota BX2200 and B7500. Haven't checked out other brands yet.My wife looked at the price of these, and said that my tractor and I will be buried together....so I am looking for one that will last me a long, long time. Smile Which brings up the "availability of parts" question. Since I am sure the doctors will be replacing some of my parts down the road, I want to make sure I can do the same for my tractor. SmileThanks in advance!






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 09-09-2001, 07:21 Post: 31694
TomG

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There's a lot of reading in the archives you could do that should answer many of your questions. The reading also would slow you down enough to read the operating and safety discussions. I can't emphasize the importance of starting tractoring with a good safety orientation enough. I could have dumped myself and tractor on our noses the first day I had it because I didn't understand ballasting.

Regarding price: The demand for compacts has been high for some years and that puts pressure on the used market. There aren't many used compacts available in many places, and the prices are often close to new prices. Current used prices may be more than the original new price. There also has been very little depreciation. The present insignificant depreciation may not last. recent demand probably is supported by baby boomers who are taking early retirement and fleeing the city. Eventually they'll put their compacts on the market. Of course, you only worry about paper value if the tractor is going to be sold. Otherwise, they last indefinitely and need to be sold only if the nature of the work changes.

Having said all that, going used was the way I got the size and power I needed within the budget I had. In my case, a small tractor would have done most of the work I needed, but I also needed a backhoe that could trench 4' to 5'. A small tractor can't run a 6' hoe very well.

In general small tractors can do most of what bigger ones do, it just takes more time. On the other hand, small tractors are faster at maneuvering than big ones and can work in places where big ones can't go. It's probably a good idea to spend some time getting an idea of of your present and future jobs, how long they take with various tractors and how much time you want to spend. I can't help thinking though that many people with 10-acres want something larger than the BX series. BX's are spoken well of and are especially good for lawns, tight maneuvering and trailering. There are some minor limitations in mounting CATI implements on the BX 3ph.






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 09-09-2001, 07:22 Post: 31695
Bird Senter

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Dave, I'm no expert on prices by a long shot and couldn't give you a lot of detailed specific information, but I can safely say that, yes, a new tractor will depreciate, but not nearly as much or as fast as a new car. Just as one example, I bought a new tractor in '95 and after 4 years and close to 500 hours on it, got about 74% of its original cost back from the dealer (don't know what it might have retailed for). And to answer your other question, you can expect parts to be available for many, many years; at least if you buy one of the major brands. And for most of us, a new tractor, or even a fairly late model used one, will outlast our lifetime. I have one rancher neighbor who has 5 tractors; the newest one is 25 years old. I think most of the owners who sell or trade their tractors are not doing so because the tractor is worn out. It's because they've moved and don't need it anymore, unable to use it anymore, or decide they want to change to a different size or model for newer, or different, features.






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 09-09-2001, 10:14 Post: 31696
Roger L.



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 New versus used

I've got to agree with everything that Tom and Bird have said.
Tractors hold their value differently from cars. Here are some rules of thumb:
There is the initial 10% depreciation from new....then it becomes variable depending on condition over the next dozen years and finally ending with the tractor at between 75% to 50% of its new value. At that point they seem to stop depereciating. From that point it will go down or even up depending on condition. It isn't unusual to find a normally maintained 20 year old tractor running and working just as good as a new one, needing no repairs, and selling for what it cost brand new. And worth it, too. A 20 year old car in running condition might be fairly priced at 25% (or less) of what it cost new. This rarely happens in the tractor market.
Maintenance is everything. A well cared for tractor - even a used one -will outlast the owner. There isn't the pressure to update, because with the exception of hydrostatic transmissions, there have been few if any significant changes in compact tractor design in the last 40 years. Compact tractors are heavily built and under stressed. After the initial break in, it is weathering rather than mechanical wear that is responsible for most repairs. You can expect that dealers of major brands will stock spare parts for decades.






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 09-09-2001, 21:28 Post: 31707
Dave Rubin



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Thanks, guys. Excellent info....it actually makes me feel comfortable that I could go either way with my purchase. I am assuming that Kubota is "established" enough that parts will not be an issue for them. Does anyone know when Kubota got their start in tractors?






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 09-10-2001, 05:17 Post: 31711
Bird Senter

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Dave, according to the link below (Kubota's own web site), they started importing them in the U.S. in '69 "just 8 years after they made their first tractor."






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 09-10-2001, 06:30 Post: 31715
TomG

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I suppose a conservative approach might be to add a couple thousand on to the price of a of a used machine and then compare the price to a new one. There often is a 'dread previous owner' lurking in the background and a fairly immediate need to fix something the previous owner neglected to do. My experience was there were several aggravations like the steering drag link separating from the Pitman arm the second day, and digging a bunch of divots in the drive before discovering that the loader bucket floated rather than the lift. The main aggravations were the 4wd engage linkage that needed to be repaired inside the differential case and the steering sector mounting bolts that needed to be tightened. Both failures resulted from previous abuse and could have been detected before purchase. Wouldn’t have made much difference though. I really needed that tractor at that time, and there weren’t others available. Repair and transportation costs were substantial, but were spread out a bit. I'm probably still considerable below the cost of a new 24 pto hp tractor--mine is mid-80's vintage.






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