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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys,

I am looking at buying my first tractor for my landscaping business. I have stumbled across what seems to be a good deal but there are some drawbacks I need advice on. A residential client of mine has a mid 90s JD 870 that has been unused and kept for years under a garage breezeway. I'd like to know if it's a good buy and if its worth buying given that it has turf tires.

Here are the good things:
-Only 231 hours
-4x4
-Engine fires right up
-$6,500

Drawbacks:
-Turf tires (chains come with it though)
-Hydraulic lines to power steering and loader need to be replaced

I called a local dealer and they want $2,500 for 4 R1s with rims, labor not included. This surprised me. The tuneup and hydraulic line repairs could be $1500-$2000 with labor. I have a few questions:

1. Is this a good deal for the tractor, given the necessary repairs?
2. Obviously the chains would be good around the yard where we make compost and load trucks, but can they be used on turf at all without tearing it up?
3. At what point (conditions) do turf tires become useless?
4. I've found that R1s are the only Ag tire available. Is it necessary that I factor purchasing these into the price of the tractor given that I do typical residential landscaping work and grounds maintenance/ and clearing around my yard.

Really would like insight into the tire situation, and the purchase in general, with budget and functionality in mind.

Thanks guys! I would appreciate any and all feedback and thoughts! Cheers.
 

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I would keep the turfs if landscaping. Chains eat turf bad.

Price too high if it is already known to need that costly a repair. Project machines in business can be a real time / money robbing loss.

231 hours at approx 20 years? It may have problems from sitting so much.

Just my opinion.
 

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Do hydraulic hoses need to be changed, or hard lines? If just the hoses, these can be made fairly inexpensively at a hydraulics shop and you can remove/install yourself. Just take off the old ones and bring them in with you so all the fittings and lengths can be matched perfectly.

Turf tires are great on, well, TURF. If you plan on using this tractor on grass a lot, keep the tires on it. They will work fine. Chains are for the winter, and if you think the R1's will be better in snow and ice, think again. They may be slightly better in the snow, but not a very measurable difference. Use the chains in the winter and when those turfs need replacing, you'll find somewhere to get a set of R1's guaranteed.
 

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:wgtt:

Are you mechanically inclined? If you're looking at the rubber hydraulic hoses, they're easy to replace and can be custom made by a local hydraulic shop for far less than ordering them from the dealer. Doing a tune up on that tractor shouldn't be too expensive either, just a few fluids and filters. If you're able to do the labor, I suspect you could do the hydraulic lines and maintenance for well under (probably by half) $1,000.

"Ag" tires are R1, "industrial" tires are R4. Turf tires are referred to as "R3". In my experience, R1 tires are the #1 choice for working in mud or deep, loose dirt such as plowing a field. R4 tires usually have stiffer sidewalls and a higher weight capacity which make them more puncture resistant and better suited for loader work. They're not the exclusive for loader use, but do have a bit of an advantage. I can't comment on turf usage, but folks will surely be along that can. :good2:

As for the R1 price, it doesn't surprise me much for 4 new tires with 4 new rims. They're expensive components, especially rims on an out of production machine. Most tractors are ordered with one or the other and never changed.
 

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I'd be tempted to call a tire shop that works on Ag equipment and get a quote from them for tires/rims if you think you really need to replace the tires. I'd be more tempted to go with R4s instead of R1s unless you're "yard work" involves a lot of mud. R1s are going to be ugly on people's lawns.

And... just my view but if I had found an 870 with a loader on it with only 230 hours on it for $6500 when I was looking this past spring I would have bought it instead of buying the unit I did.
 

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Oh, forgot to ask... Does the 870 have any attachments like a loader? The reason I ask is if you wanted to add a loader later it will be very hard to find, if it already has one, then I think the price is pretty good.
 

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Well he did say:

Drawbacks:
-Turf tires (chains come with it though)
-Hydraulic lines to power steering and loader need to be replaced
...so I did assume it has a loader.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
56FordGuy, and others: Thanks for all the quick feedback! I'm not the most mechanically inclined but I know people that are.
I need to find out if it's the hydraulic hoses vs. hard lines that need to be replaced. My buddy that went with me seemed to indicate that "all the hydraulic lines need to be replaced." Given that the work can be done for around a $1,000 potentially, I feel a little better. The catch with the tires is that according to the dealer, R4s aren't available for that size, only R1s. From what you fellas are saying, R1s aren't the right fit for me either. With R4s unavailable (if that info is true), I'd have to think hard about getting the tractor with turf tires. I anticipate enough clear outs and grading-type projects that could be a bit demanding for turf tires from what I'm reading, and not sure I'd want to deal with chains everytime, especially when a trip across the lawn is gonna be an issue.
 

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Considering that it has an FEL, and if it needs only hyd hoses, not "hyd lines", then I may have been a lil low on the money. If you go to a hyd shop and have hoses made, and can install them yourself, you will save a bundle over dealership parts & service.

I would still be concerned that it sat so much. Sitting so much is usually very hard on equipment. Give it a good shake down test before forking over the cash.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'd be tempted to call a tire shop that works on Ag equipment and get a quote from them for tires/rims if you think you really need to replace the tires. I'd be more tempted to go with R4s instead of R1s unless you're "yard work" involves a lot of mud. R1s are going to be ugly on people's lawns.

And... just my view but if I had found an 870 with a loader on it with only 230 hours on it for $6500 when I was looking this past spring I would have bought it instead of buying the unit I did.
Apparently, R4s aren't available according to the dealership. R1s are the only other option.
 

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Apparently, R4s aren't available according to the dealership. R1s are the only other option.
Contact Miller tire, they are a supporting vender here. They are an awesome resource on tire and wheels.

I have R1 tires on my 318. They were not very good in the snow so I added chains last winter, v bar chains to be exact. I had them on all summer and had no issues what so ever with them chewing up my lawn. Spinning a tire is what eats a lawn whether you have R1,3,4 they all eat lawn when you spin them. I chewed up more lawn the year before with turf tires that were always slipping than I did with R1 and chains.


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Discussion Starter #14
Contact Miller tire, they are a supporting vender here. They are an awesome resource on tire and wheels.

I have R1 tires on my 318. They were not very good in the snow so I added chains last winter, v bar chains to be exact. I had them on all summer and had no issues what so ever with them chewing up my lawn. Spinning a tire is what eats a lawn whether you have R1,3,4 they all eat lawn when you spin them. I chewed up more lawn the year before with turf tires that were always slipping than I did with R1 and chains.


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I'll definitely check them out. That's interesting with the chains. So your opinion is that the chains wouldn't need to be swapped on and off? I wish I had some firsthand experience, because I'm sure this stuff would be pretty self-evident with a day on each style of tread.
 

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I'll definitely check them out. That's interesting with the chains. So your opinion is that the chains wouldn't need to be swapped on and off? I wish I had some firsthand experience, because I'm sure this stuff would be pretty self-evident with a day on each style of tread.
I love on a fairly steep hill side. When we first moved in I was cutting the grass and one of my friends was watching and noted that as i was going down one part one wheel was spinning forward the other was spinning backward. That was when I switched from R3 to R1 tires and added wheel weight and filled the tires with RimGuard. I would still slide a little going down the steepest part but it was not nearly as bad as before. This summer with the v bar chains not issue. I think the spots I ripped up last year started to grow back in.


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GardenGrove, Welcome to GTT.
Is there any way you can get some pictures of said tractor and post them up?
Did you take a test drive?
By the sounds of it it may be a fair deal but would be a better deal at $5,500.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
GardenGrove, Welcome to GTT.
Is there any way you can get some pictures of said tractor and post them up?
Did you take a test drive?
By the sounds of it it may be a fair deal but would be a better deal at $5,500.
I agree about the 5,500 price. When I got to the guy's house he had the battery hooked to a charger, and the hydro lines were dry rotted so I couldn't test drive it. The machine started right up, but that's about all I know about it. I don't have pics but I may be able to go over in the next couple days and get pics so I can post them.
 

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