Buying a tractor? here's what €25,000 will get you
Jamie Casey goes in search of tractors for less than €25,000
Published 10/02/2016 | 02:30
Buying a tractor is one of the biggest investments a farmer will make. Some guys expect to put up high hours and do lots of work with their tractor, and can justify the price tag of a new unit. But what are the options for the small or part time stockman?
Armed with a potential budget of €25,000, I looked at tractors on the market, and also investigated the possible downsides of buying an older, used tractor. To get an idea of what might be available I called into Conaty Tractors, based in Kells, Co Meath. John Conaty had three tractors that interested me, all equipped with a loader, and ready to make themselves at home in any stockman's yard.
The first option was a clean 1996 registered New Holland L85 that had clocked 6248 hours. This tractor is four wheel drive, 85hp and the tyres had about 60pc thread left.
By today's standards the cab is simple but functional. Priced at €16,500 plus VAT, this tractor would suit a small beef operation. The package includes a joystick-controlled Howard loader, and a 12-speed transmission, with a splitter in each gear. Featuring two double acting spool valves and the classic manual lift and return to work switches for the rear linkage, this tractor is more than capable of handling what would be expected of it on a small beef or dairy unit.
When buying a tractor that will spend most of its time on a loader, be sure to look at both the forward visibility and the visibility of the loader when it is lifted to the maximum. There's nothing worse than trying to peer out under the cab of a tractor when stacking those last few high bales.
The second option available to me was a newer Massey Ferguson 5445. Registered in 2004, and with 6037 hours on an 85hp engine, this tractor is priced €22,000 plus VAT. Jumping into the cab lands you on an air suspended seat, with controls for rear linkage, PTO and front loader falling easily to hand.
Features such as air conditioning, three double acting spool valves, electronic lift control and a hydraulically extending pick-up hitch means this tractor can keep up with the big boys on the road and in the field, yet remains nimble enough for awkward jobs around the feeding yard.
The third option was a newer, yet similar MF 5445. This 2007 plated tractor featured the proven Dyna 4 transmission, and had clocked 5464 hours. With a price tag of €25,500 plus vat, this stretched the budget a little, but was a very clean, highly specced tractor.
A few other options that caught my eye in the €25,000 range included:
2004 registered John Deere 6220 with 6200 hours on the clock for €25,000 (not including a loader)
2007 New Holland TL90A with 5,500 hours complete with a loader
2005 McCormick, 7,200 hours complete with loader
Most farmers are simply looking for a decent workhorse that will do the likes of feeding, bale handling and slurry spreading
Of course, the business of checking out tractors for sale is no longer limited to visiting your dealer in person.
Remember to take a look online because many dealerships and sales websites now have an easy to navigate priced inventory of tractors and equipment.
Try to find a website that features a price filtering system so that you can quickly tap into your interest level.
If you come across an item that twigs your interest call the dealer in question and go take a detailed look. Finally, do not attempt to buy a tractor without viewing and inspecting it thoroughly.
John Conaty Tractor Parts, Kells, Co Meath specialises in tractor breaking and second hand machinery. Tel: 046 9241178
More bang for your buck
Kehoe Brothers, Wexford
Heading to the southeast, I located a 2006 plated Kubota ME9000 at well-known dealers Kehoe Brothers of Camolin. This tractor has 4153 hours and is selling for €26,000. Powered by an 89hp engine, it is equipped with the proven Stoll F15 loader and is currently standing on 30pc tyre thread. This is a clean example of a budget priced tractor that is very popular with stockmen.
As often happens with a brand coming from outside of the big three makes of Massey Ferguson, John Deere and New Holland, there is great value to be had for a tractor that is well up in the years. A 2003 plated New Holland TS90 with 6642 hours also caught my eye here. It has 30pc left on the rear tyres, is selling for €28,500 and is fitted with a Tanco loader.
JH Fitzpatrick Ltd, Kildare
Over in Monasterevin Case IH dealers JH Fitzpatrick Ltd have a 1999-registered Case CX100 for sale complete with a loader and electronic lift control. This tractor is priced at €20,500 plus VAT and would suit the average dairy or drystock farmer looking for an all-rounder well equipped for winter feeding duties.
Those with a bit more muscle to flex might be interested in the 2007 Case JX 109U that Fitzpatrick's currently have for sale. It's priced at €28,500 plus VAT but is not equipped with a loader, so the budget would need to be stretched further if one was needed.
Atkins Farm Machinery, Cork
I finished my search in Cork with Atkins Farm Machinery, who currently have a 1996 plated Massey Ferguson 6170 for sale. With just 2,800 hours on a 97hp six cylinder engine, there's plenty of life in this old beast yet.
Not the most manoeuvrable of tractors in a small yard, but it would suit someone looking for a little more grunt from a six-pot engine. It falls well within budget being priced at €19,000 plus VAT, but it is not yet equipped with a loader.