What kind of tractor will €20,000 Buy?
You want a reliable second-hand tractor, you have a €20,000 budget and you can't go a penny over. Derek Casey looks at what that type of money can get you.
It's a common scenario -- the engine on your 20-year-old tractor has kicked the bucket and you are now faced with two options: either go all out and buy a new tractor or look for a decent second-hand one that will give you seven or eight years of reliable service.
While new tractor sales have been steady this year, anecdotal evidence suggests many farmers still favour the buying used option.
Typically, these buyers are looking for a decent second-hand workhorse tractor in the 100/110hp power bracket that will do all the usual jobs on the average dairy or beef farm like feeding, slurry spreading, fertiliser spreading and bale handling.
Such customers are usually not willing to spend more than €20,000 max and preferably want to get a bargain for less than that. From a bank loan point of view, €15-20,000 is the type of budget a lot of farmers are dealing with in these days of tightened lending criteria.
To get a feel for what might be available I gave myself an imaginary budget of €17,500 and made some enquiries to dealers. I had a few targets in mind before picking up the phone. I wanted to get a tractor in the early noughties that doesn't have huge hours clocked (an average of around 600 hours a year would be okay, anything more would be a bit high).
I also preferably wanted just one or, at most, two previous owners -- the more drivers a tractor has had the bigger the chance that one of those drivers was careless. As you can see, I spoke to two dealers based in Leinster and one each from the Munster and Connaught regions.
Dealer 1: Leinster area
I outlined my criteria to this well-known dealer and he suggested something like a New Holland TS 115, of which he had a few in stock.