Old Farm Tractors Are HOT!

David Trammel's picture

I can remember helping my father repair the family car when I was younger. Hard to imagine that today, what with all the electronics and computers running them. And then don't get me started about "right to repair" laws and the way companies are using laws designed to prevent digital piracy to prevent an owner from repairing own car, instead forcing them to go to an expensive dealership.

This goes along with the $40 printer/copier I just bought with the $20 ink cartiage that doesn't last.

I found this article rather pleasing.

For tech-weary Midwest farmers, 40-year-old tractors now a hot commodity - Tractors built in 1980 or earlier cause bidding wars at auctions.

"Kris Folland grows corn, wheat and soybeans and raises cattle on 2,000 acres near Halma in the northwest corner of Minnesota, so his operation is far from small. But when he last bought a new tractor, he opted for an old one — a 1979 John Deere 4440. He retrofitted it with automatic steering guided by satellite, and he and his kids can use the tractor to feed cows, plant fields and run a grain auger. The best thing? The tractor cost $18,000, compared to upward of $150,000 for a new tractor. And Folland doesn’t need a computer to repair it.

“This is still a really good tractor,” said Folland, who owns two other tractors built before 1982. “They cost a fraction of the price, and then the operating costs are much less because they’re so much easier to fix,” he said. Tractors manufactured in the late 1970s and 1980s are some of the hottest items in farm auctions across the Midwest these days — and it’s not because they’re antiques."

Sweet Tatorman's picture

Older tractors rock. Some of the smaller ones of the type a rural homeowner might own or wish to own have what could be described as a cult following. Some of the old "grey market" Yanmar models come to mind. It's hard to sell most 40 year old autos for $1000 but definitely not so with 40 year old tractors.

Blueberry's picture

Have a Ford 3910 purchased in 1983. 45Hp. what is called a 2 row tractor have planters, harrows, bottom plow, turning plow, culativators, middle busters, dish hillers, mower and a log splitter. Being 71 sure makes live easy.

alice's picture

I grew up on a smallholding with a Fergie 20, lots of these little grey tractors are still going strong all around the world. Hurray for Retrotopia.

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Blueberry's picture

Great tractor, After Mr Harry Ferguson and Mr Henry Ford went there separate ways. The fergie was born has a 30Hp overhead engine vs the 8N or 9N with a 18Hp flat head engine. Mr Ferguson was the brains behind the 3 point hitch and draft control. A fergie can go from $4000-$9000USD in todays market.