7 reasons today's farmers buy older tractors

Buying a classic-era tractor to be a working tractor has gained a lot of attention lately. Many farmers are choosing tractors old enough to have been used by their grandfathers instead of modern tractors with a dizzyingly array of high-tech features. Interestingly enough, these farmers are choosing older tractors as in-the-field, get-the-job-done tractors, not just as nostalgic models kept for the memories. Because of this trend, older tractors are finding a whole new lease on life doing what they were built to do: work the farm.

Here are 7 reasons older, classic tractors are getting another chance:

1) Gets the Job Done
Times have change, but many of the tasks needed on the farm have not. A used tractor can perform the essential tasks of plowing, planting, cultivating and harvesting today just like it did decades ago. These tasks really haven’t changed so much, and classic tractors are just as up to the job as they were decades ago.

2) Easy to Maintain
Older tractors are relatively easy to maintain for anyone with a mechanical aptitude. If you need to install a new water pump or alternator, a most do-it-yourselfers can successfully complete the job. That’s not the case with modern tractors that are highly computerized. Often only trained technicians with specialized equipment can work on technology-rich tractors. The complexity of the technology often takes the self-reliant do-it-yourselfer out of the picture.

3) Affordability
Farmers can save in two ways with classic tractors. First, the cost to buy used is generally less with no big hit due to depreciation. Second, because it’s easier for do-it-yourselfers to repair older model tractors, there is a cost saving on maintenance. Affordability is one reason more farmers are considering older tractors.

4) Tractor Replacement Parts
Even for tractors that first rolled onto fields in the 50s, 60s, or 70s, replacement parts are still readily available. That’s because aftermarket parts suppliers have continued to provide parts even when original manufacturers have stopped. It’s still possible to buy starters, radiators, solenoids, thermostats and many other parts for tractors that went out of production years ago.

5) Built to Last
Tractors of past generations are solidly built machines made to last. By simply swapping out part like carburetors and clutches, you can expect to get years of continued service from older model tractors. These tractor were manufactured at a time when machines were meant to last and be passed down to future generations.

6) No Frills
It may seem counterintuitive to consider this a benefit, but some farmers prefer a tractor without all the bells and whistles that come with modern tractors. Some farmers don’t feel a need for a touch-pad computer screen or automated gadgets. Today, the talk is turning to self-driving tractors that run without a farmer behind the steering wheel. However futuristic that may seem, some farmers prefer a simple machine on which they can sit in the tractor seat and do their job of tending a field. v

7) Charm of Older Tractors
There’s an eternal charm with the older tractors that transcends through time. Sitting on top of a Ford 8N, John Deere 4020 or Massey Ferguson 35 conjures memories of yesteryear. Many farmers recall these tractors from their childhood while growing up on family farms. The fact that today’s farmers can still use these tractors for real farming in the modern era gives a sense of satisfaction.

How long will the classic tractors keep working? No one knows for sure. As long as replacement parts are available, it’s likely that the tractors that have farmed for generations will keep on doing so well into the future.

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Old red tractor