Farm Ireland

Friday 23 March 2018

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.

Buyers are managing to find a good quality used tractor with a front loader for under e20,000 including VAT
Buyers are managing to find a good quality used tractor with a front loader for under e20,000 including VAT
Typically farmers looking for a decent second hand workhorse tractor in the 100hp power bracket want something that can do all the usual jobs like feeding, slurry spreading, fertiliser spreading and bale handling
Derek Casey

Derek Casey

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.

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The TS 115 has a name for being a nifty little performer with plenty of power in its four cylinders. Because the tractor wouldn't be doing that much ploughing and it wouldn't be hauling more than 10t, the TS 115 would probably have done the trick. However, they tend to hold their value very well and most would be at the upper end of my budget.

This dealer also told me about a six cylinder 1997 Ford 7840 he had in stock with 7,500 hours on the clock.

This tractor had just one previous owner and it had been well kept. Without mentioning what my budget was, I was quoted a price of €12,000 including VAT for the Ford 7840.

Dealer 2: Munster area

Next up I spoke to a Case IH dealer based in Munster with a good stock of clean second-hand tractors in the yard.

This dealer mentioned a 2000-registered Case CX 100 fitted with a loader and with 6,000 hours on the clock for €15,000 including VAT.

He also mentioned a 2000-registered New Holland TM135 with 9,000 hours on the clock for €13,500.

This tractor would be sold fully serviced and would even come with a small warranty -- perhaps a month or two depending on negotiations. It looked like good value.

Dealer 3: Connacht Area

For my next port of call I spoke to a Landini dealer with a good range of second-hand vehicles. I was quoted a price of €12,500 including VAT for a 2000-registered 100hp Landini Blizzard with 6,200 hours clocked.

This tractor comes with a loader and that is included in the price. Going up in the years further, he quoted a price of €16,000 for a 2003 Landini Vision with 3,000 hours and €17,500 for a 2004 version of the same model tractor.

The 2003 Vision sounded a good buy to me. Landini are a good tractor for the buyer who wants solid power at an affordable price and they are popular.

Dealer 4: Leinster area

For my final call I spoke to a dealer with a lot of second-hand tractors that would be trade-ins from repeat customers.

The advantage of that is the dealer will know the tractor's history well and will often be willing to offer a decent three- or six-month warranty.

This dealer mentioned a 1999-registered John Deere 6310 with 9,500 hours on the clock and fitted with new tyres for sale at €18,000 including VAT.

Meanwhile, on the same dealer's website I saw a 2002-registered 115hp John Deere 6610 with 11,500 hours on the clock for sale at €13,500 plus VAT. Also on the website was a 1998-registered 110hp Deutz Fahr Agrotron, with 9,000 hours on the clock for €14,000 plus VAT.


Be under no illusion -- there is still good value to be had in the used tractor market if you are willing to look around. Compared to 2009 or 2010, there aren't as many second-hand tractors sitting in dealers' yards, but there are still a lot of bargains out there.

It doesn't matter what you're looking for -- tractor, tillage kit or grass machinery. If you take your time, set yourself a realistic budget and price around at a few different dealerships, you can find a deal with good back-up and, in some cases, up to a six-month warranty.

Irish Independent