Saturday, April 12, 2008

Old Iron: Antique Tractor Prices on the Rise

This morning I found an interesting Podcast on the WHO Radio Farm website titled, "Old Tractors-High Prices". This isn't really related to cattle, hogs, sheep, beginning farming, but it is somewhat related to buying equipment. I mean it is about tractors and farms use tractors. Actually, it is of some interest to me because I am interested in old tractors and because I am currently looking for an older tractor (some would even call them antiques) to use on the farm for haying and other farm work. In this interview Ken Root talks with Jonathan Welsch, a reporter for the "Wall Street Journal". Click on the link above to listen to the interview.

One more thing on the "Old Iron" front. Yesterday I came across a Farmall 450 with a loader. This tractor was made in the late 50's and is in the HP range we would need to use our new hay equipment. There are a few of nice things about this particular tractor. First of all, it was painted in the last few years, so it looks fairly nice. Also, the loader is an all hydraulic instead of having a trip bucket which can often be found on tractors of this size and age. Finally, most of these older IH Farmall's came with a 2 point fast hitch, but this tractor has been upgraded to an after-market three point hitch. That would come in extremely handy!

Of course I'm still not sure if a tractor is even in the cards right now, but we do have some back up plans, so we don't have to rush into anything. Right now we are still focused on closing on Monday and getting the building up ... tractors are somewhat on the back burner, unless I see one that interests me!


Rich said...

Older and/or antique tractors will only continue to get harder to find and more expensive to buy due to a lower supply of available tractors.

Many old tractors and implements are going to the scrapyard, regardless of their practical value, sentimental value, collectible value, or historic value.

The price being paid for scrap iron and steel has gotten significantly higher recently. A ton is worth about $250, which doesn't sound like much, but that old eyesore of a tractor that has been sitting in a fencerow out on someone's property might weigh 3000 lbs., so it could be worth almost $400 at the scrapyard.

The same thing happened during the scrap metal drives of WWII, when historic agricultural equipment was scrapped to build tanks and fight the war. Of course, we needed that metal to fight the war, now we ship the scrap out of the country to steelmills around the world.

By the way, my father owns a Farmall H (an older and smaller version of a 450), and it is a pretty reliable, easy to work on tractor.

Ethan Book said...

Rich - I hear you about tractors and equipment going to the scrap yard. The prices are really getting up there for scrap and it is really starting to fuel a rush to clean up the back barn on farms around the country.

I do appreciate people who are willing to work on and restore old tractors. It is a special passion for a few in my family and I hope to pick up on it over time.

Glad to hear you father has an H. That is a neat little tractor (my cousin has one also).

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