Have tractors now passed their "golden years" ?
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Thread: Have tractors now passed their "golden years" ?

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    Have tractors now passed their "golden years" ?

    This isn't just for medium CUTs but all tractors in general. When I refer to "golden years" I am using it in reference to a time when the manufacturers just seemed to have everything right.

    For me it seems like the 90's through the mid to late 00's is when everything on the tractors just all came together. What I mean is the tractors just seemed to be built very well and rugged, none of all this emission garbage, tractors weren't so overloaded with electrical components that you were afraid to let them sit out in the rain and they weren't completely buried with safety switches so you couldn't run a PTO without being in the seat or have the PTO cut out if you decided you needed to back up.

    I must admit a lot of innovation has come along in the line of quick attachments like the MMM and the FEL. I was kind of wondering if I am way off base here. A lot of these older tractors built in these years that I see listed for sale are not much lower in price than a brand new one. So are they retaining their value because of the quality and simplicity of the tractors of those years.
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    In my opinion, the golden years were from about 1940 till 1960. You mechanically shifted gears into and out of engagement. No complicated electrical wiring with multiple safety interlocks. Some models had factory power steering, others had shift-on-the-go speed reducers, live hydraulic was common after 1950.

    No plastic used on these old machines at all. And nothing is harder on a tractor of any vintage than sitting out in the weather!
    Last edited by POWERSTROKE; 01-10-2015 at 02:40 AM.

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    Bonehead Club Lackey Levi's Avatar
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    I like the new stuff such as the QC. Not so much all the safety stuff. Yes there are people out there that like them and for some, should have them. As long as I can bypass this stuff I'm good with it. (Talking about the smaller tractors here and garden tractors) In the pre 60's tractors I like to be able to do the shifting but after that with the tractors getting bigger, hydrostatic transmissions is a good thing. Just like some cars, there are some that should have a manual trans and some more in the auto type. Watching the videos on these big 4x4 with 6 to 8 wheels, I'd have to go to collage to learn how to operate one. With the computers and where you don't even have to steer them while plowing, seeding or anything by pushing buttons on a computer screen they say it's easier but to me it's more complicated. My personal favorites are the 720's to 780 JD's and the 560 Farmall. But like all things it's a personal opinion thing and this is just mine.
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    Levi - What's a 780 JD? A typo while typing 730?

    Those two series of tractors, the 720/730 JD and 560 Farmall were the start of much complexity in farm tractors.

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    I do agree with you powerstroke. My 1957 oliver super 55 has a total of 3 circuits. There's is something to be said when you can start a tractor by rolling and popping the clutch or by running a screwdriver over the contact points on the solenoid.

    Personally Im not a big fan how all these new tractors use push buttons and solenoids to engage 4wd and PTO's. I would much rather have mechanical levers to engage stuff even if it wasn't in the most ideal or easy reach location.

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    Bonehead Club Lackey Levi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by POWERSTROKE View Post
    Levi - What's a 780 JD? A typo while typing 730?

    Those two series of tractors, the 720/730 JD and 560 Farmall were the start of much complexity in farm tractors.
    Yep, was thinking of the 530, 720, 730, 830, in that line. Sorry. Hopefully these numbers are right.
    Last edited by Levi; 01-10-2015 at 09:52 AM.
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    Levi - the differences between the X20 and X30 tractors was purely cosmetic. The 30-series tractors were never tested at Nebraska testing station. But I always thought the 30-series looked better with the rounded corners and flat top fenders.

    However..... Flash forward about five years and I quickly learned to NOT Like ANY 2 cylinder tractor. I was nine-ten years old when I started doing field work on a JD R diesel. I'd get off that thing after plowing or disking eight ten hours and my ears would ring till the next morning! I never had that problem on a 4-cylinder Farmall.
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    Super 55 is onto something.

    Our 96' Landini came with an electronic display for PTO speed, ground speed, tach, and slippage. Difflock is electro mechanical but is a simple servo.
    That was enough to concern me.
    Everything else was old school mechanical levers, and gears, but solid and overbuilt like would be expected of a high quality sub 100hp tractor, that I could keep running for as long as there were parts available.

    Deere had a bunch of electronic gizmos as options back then as well, but they were optional.

    Now, the movement is towards plastic crap, Hydrostat trannys, and electronic gizmos, and a guy with basic tools in his shop, can't break a tractor down and do an overhaul in two days.

    Manufacturers have gone to the "Modern doesn't break down or wear" mode of thinking, largely because they expect everyone to upgrade every 10 years or less. Good luck rebuilding a hydrostat tranny on a couple screw jacks, with a basic Craftsman tool set. LOL!!

    Mahindra and some of the third market manufacturers from former eastern block countrys, still offer old school Iron, but their build quality is less than Steaming terd level overall, and the parts support will NOT be there in 20 years.

    I'd call the Golden age over, in the late 80's to early 90's before the market was flooded with junk from India, and the eastern bloc, and before Ford went New Holland.

    Just my .02.

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    rgd
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    I personally wish someone still made a small garden tractor such as the farmall cub... and such. Ones with tall skinny adjustable tires....and enough ground clearance to be able to cultivate through most of the growing season. I know of several people that still plant 1/2 acre + gardens. I would think there would be enough market for someone to offer something along that line
    Last edited by rgd; 01-10-2015 at 03:23 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rgd View Post
    I personally wish someone still made a small garden tractor such as the farmall cub... and such. Ones with tall skinny adjustable tires....and enough ground clearance to be able to cultivate through most of the growing season. I know of several people that still plant 1/2 acre + gardens. I would think there would be enough market for someone to offer something along that line
    Hiya,

    Just one company left in the USA making them as far as I know, Ingersoll Ah-up, waiupin Maine.

    Tom
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