Green Tractor Talk banner

1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,687 Posts
It wasn't much,, compared to then farm income,,

My BIL bought a 1950's CAT D-2,,, decided it was too small,, and replaced it after 4 hours plowing in mud.

The old D-2 sat at the side of the field for over a decade,,, until he gave it to his brother.

So price is relative,,, if the JD cost $1,000 then,, it was like the average guy paying $100 for a tractor.

Money was like water on the farm in the early 1950's,,,

Crop prices,, like wheat were crazy high,,,
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
740 Posts
New, a 530 cost around $2,400 plus any taxes and dealer setup fees. That actually isn't very much for such a small machine when you consider that it was more capable and better equipt than a Model A from just a few years earlier; live hydraulics, live pto, power steering, and a float-ride seat were standard features. At 35 horsepower it wasn't exactly a toy either. Fuel efficiency isn't bad at around 3gph at full power. In the days before giant bales and mega acreage, a 530 would have been the perfect fit for even a decent sized hay farm. Large vegetable farms and small corn operations liked them too. Really the only thing outside of its capabilities is heavy tillage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,207 Posts
According to TractorData.com, in 1960 a 530 MSRP was $2400. A 520 in 1958 was $2300.
That is probably just under the annual salary of the mechanic who worked on them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
740 Posts
By my rough estimates, and very rough because I'm no expert in economics, $2400 in 1960 is somewhere in the neighborhood of a little over $19,000 today. Considering that now they are worth between $6000 to $10,000+ in good to showroom condition, I'd say they have they held their value pretty well! Bear in mind that my figure is strictly based on rough USD inflation percentages and does not take into account the consumer price index, interest rates, crop prices, the market value of chicken gizzards, etc, etc...

When you compare a 530 with its modern counterpart (a 3-series perhaps?) it is amazing to think about how far tractor technology has advanced in the areas of safety and ergonomics. That being said, I'd love to see a 3-series and a 530 battle it out with a weight sled.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
754 Posts
BTO I worked for summers & weekends in high school and off & on summers in college used his 520 to pull his homemade #690 bean planter, 6 30" rows over 250-300 acres every spring, also pull his fully loaded 494 4-38 corn planter over 400-500 acres. When the beans were up he put a front mounted 6-30 cultivator on the 520 and cultivated all the beans at least once. When cultivating was done the 520 hauled in haylage & corn silage to fill three of his 4 Harvestore silos, two 20x60's and two 16x45's. The 4th one got wet corn. That's lots of loads of silage in BIG Deere forage wagons. I don't think a 3-series would keep up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thankyou gentlemen. On our 160 acre farm it was a central workhorse on a AC round baler, 4 row cultivator, hauling corn, hay, mowing, and thru the winter it sat in an open on one end corn crib alley and started every morning in the coldest of conditions to run an auger wagon to feed cattle every morning. It was used most every day for something. On occassion it was hooked up to a JD 70 to help pull the plow thru some tough sledding. If you've ever run an "M" without power steering you know how deluxe the pwr steering is. It was a great little tractor. If it only had a foot clutch!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
720 Posts
If you've ever run an "M" without power steering you know how deluxe the pwr steering is. It was a great little tractor. If it only had a foot clutch!
I can relate...been there done that! However it was because the hand clutch on our old 60 (LPG) that was a great fit on our farm as it allowed us young boys (e.g. short legs) to help at a younger age by standing on the operators platform and being able to reach (and use) the hand clutch. It does take some getting used to.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I'm a wee bit on the short side myself and yes, getting a foot on the clutch would have been out of reach when I started using it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,207 Posts
BTO I worked for summers & weekends in high school and off & on summers in college used his 520 to pull his homemade #690 bean planter, 6 30" rows over 250-300 acres every spring, also pull his fully loaded 494 4-38 corn planter over 400-500 acres. When the beans were up he put a front mounted 6-30 cultivator on the 520 and cultivated all the beans at least once. When cultivating was done the 520 hauled in haylage & corn silage to fill three of his 4 Harvestore silos, two 20x60's and two 16x45's. The 4th one got wet corn. That's lots of loads of silage in BIG Deere forage wagons. I don't think a 3-series would keep up.
I agree. (and probably not a 4-series either)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
740 Posts
And this is why I find horsepower to be a bit of an arbitrary number.

I was actually looking for a 520/530 when I found my M. The price was too good to pass up so I got it instead. For as good a little tractor as it is, I do wish it had power steering.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
754 Posts
I can relate...been there done that! However it was because the hand clutch on our old 60 (LPG) that was a great fit on our farm as it allowed us young boys (e.g. short legs) to help at a younger age by standing on the operators platform and being able to reach (and use) the hand clutch. It does take some getting used to.
First serious fieldwork I did just a few days past my 10th B-day was plowing with an R diesel. I was MUCH more comfortable on the FARMALL Super M-TA I'd run the spring/summer before but Dad said the R was my tractor. I did most of the 120-130 acres of plowing that spring. The R got sold before we were done plowing. I did the last 16 acres with the SM-TA and 4 bottom plow Dad got with the R. I pulled an IH #8 3-14 with the R all except the first 40 acres of sod we plowed. The R really struggled with 4-14's in sod, I was down in 1st gear on some hills. 2nd on the flats. In old corn ground 3-14's was a good load in 3rd gear. If I tried to run in 4th I had to downshift on hills.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,207 Posts
First serious fieldwork I did just a few days past my 10th B-day was plowing with an R diesel. I was MUCH more comfortable on the FARMALL Super M-TA I'd run the spring/summer before but Dad said the R was my tractor. I did most of the 120-130 acres of plowing that spring. The R got sold before we were done plowing. I did the last 16 acres with the SM-TA and 4 bottom plow Dad got with the R. I pulled an IH #8 3-14 with the R all except the first 40 acres of sod we plowed. The R really struggled with 4-14's in sod, I was down in 1st gear on some hills. 2nd on the flats. In old corn ground 3-14's was a good load in 3rd gear. If I tried to run in 4th I had to downshift on hills.
Two great old tractors in one paragraph.:thumbup1gif:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
754 Posts
Two great old tractors in one paragraph.:thumbup1gif:
The M-TA was, the R, not so much. Township road commissioner hounded Dad to buy the R until Dad finally sold it to him. Road Commish wanted it to pull a heavy-duty PTO rototiller to chew up scarified oiled dirt roads. Also to drag roads to smooth them out. Running the rototiller the township knocked the PTO out every spring for the three years they ran the R. They replaced it with a 770 Oliver diesel that I ran about 7-8 years later. The Oliver was totally trouble-free.

The R with only a 2-cylinder pony engine didn't start as well as ANY other pony start Deere that all used the V-4 pony. In warm weather the 2-cyl pony was O-K, but in cold weather really struggled to roll the big diesel over even with the decompression lever pulled.

Another weak spot of the R was it only had two main bearings, like the gas engines. All the other 2-cyl diesels had a center main and two outer mains. R's didn't like to lug down, which they tended to do a lot. Deere service tech warned Dad not to lug the R down, broken crankshafts were known to happen.

Year after the R Dad stepped up to a 450 gas Farmall. It would pull 4-14's anywhere in old corn ground in 3rd, 2nd in sod. Took three tanks of gas to run over 10 hours but got a lot of work done. Put a LOT of hours on that tractor! One spring break I ran over 300 gallons of gas thru that tractor in about 6-7 days! At the start of spring break we had no fieldwork done. By the end we'd planted 40 acres of oats, plowed over 120 acres and was only a day or two away from starting to plant corn.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top