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Tractor hours

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I was thinking about this while warming up my tractor today, how can there be these 40 year old tractors with such low hours?  Are guys just letting them sit in a shed and never start them?  Mine sits and idles while warming up or when doing odd jobs it probably idles at least 100 hours a year, not counting any use I put about 700 a year on my tractor and it doesn't get used that much a few chores and haying is about it.  I just don't see how a person can have these old tractors with only 2000 to 3000 hours on them total

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You can't say your tractor doesn't get used much and still put 700 hrs a year on them unless you are from the south.  We had a JD 7410 from 1998 to 2013.  It left the farm with just over 5,000 hrs.  Used to for haying and feeding mostly just like you.  Our two big 4 wheel drive tractors are 2015 models and are just now approaching 1,000 hrs.  It took us 10 years to put 3,500 hrs on our Versatile 950.  Our 240U has around 2,000 hrs.  Grandpa bought it new in 1960.  All we used it for was fencing and running an auger at harvest time.  The hours don't pile up when doing that kind of work.  Plus we retired it 20 years ago.  Then there is CRP.  Some guys put their whole farm into CRP when it first came out but never sold their machinery. 

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And then there are guys that have a tractor that does only one job and always stays hooked to the implement. Even I have a 1977 model 686 with only 2000 hours. It has the 2250 loader on it and does only loading jobs. I also have a 2000 model MX120 with only 1900 hours on it. It only does corn planting. Plus I have a Farmall 656 that is hooked to the Mott mower all summer.

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heard of a guy that bought 2 5488.s parked one away. wonder how many times that happens?

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My 666 diesel only has 1300 hours on it. It came from Nebraska and was only used on a mower conditioner.

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1 hour ago, pt756 said:

heard of a guy that bought 2 5488.s parked one away. wonder how many times that happens?

There is also the rich guy with a sand box scenario.  Have a neighbor that owns a oil/gas pipe laying business and builds oil pads for drillers and other construction work.  Been at it for over 40 years, owns gas wells too, and runs up against the income cap at FSA.  He farms 1,400 acres with half in crop and half in fallow each year.   But he did it with a Cat 865B and STX 535 quad track both tractors over 10 years old.  I think each tractor has about 800 hrs on them.  And he hasn't use them the last two years because he hires us to do his seeding and spraying his no-till fallow.  He would use the STX for a couple of years and then switch to the Cat just to keep the hrs about the same.  He also had 5 loader tractors that get used for rock picking and mowing grass around the buildings and grass trails out to his gas shacks.  I'm willing to bet none of the loader tractors have more then 300 hrs on them and they are all over 10 years old. 

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I found my 2200 hour 966bs in a barn where it had sat for years.  It was the "big" tractor on a farm run by five bachelor brothers.  They had another 12 smaller ih tractors that did the lions share of the work, only used the 966 for plowing.

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Another thing to remember is that those old mechanical tachs don't rack up the hours at idle like the electronic ones. An hour on a 56 tach at idle is a lot closer to two in real time. I have checked it out more than once.

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Yeah we do have a 6788 and it only gets used to run silage chopper, stalk chopper, and grain auger, it's a pita to use.  So it only gets about 250 hours a year.  A lot of idle time on it when on the auger start it in the morning and it just idles all day

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We have a 1066 with 4,000 hours, bought it off a neighbor' estate about 15 years ago with 1,900 hours.  He bought it new and a couple years later he let go of his rented ground so it was only used on his 120 acre farm which was 40 acres pasture, 40 acres hay and 40 acres crop ground.  For 30 years all he did with the 1066 was some tillage and moving round bales of hay, he had a 560 and an M for the light work.

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17 hours ago, George 2 said:

And then there are guys that have a tractor that does only one job and always stays hooked to the implement. Even I have a 1977 model 686 with only 2000 hours. It has the 2250 loader on it and does only loading jobs. I also have a 2000 model MX120 with only 1900 hours on it. It only does corn planting. Plus I have a Farmall 656 that is hooked to the Mott mower all summer.

My dad would love to find another low hour mx 120! None in Pennsylvania! 

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Around here there are lots of small farms, horse farms and also private estates. It is still not that uncommon to find older tractors with low hours. 10 years ago I worked on a farm with a 560D with around 1800 hrs, a good friend has a Farmall 240 that came with his place when he bought it that was just shy of 1000 hrs and I doubt has gone more than 200 hrs since. My 48 H was found in a falling down barn where it had been for years, the clutch and brake pedals show almost no wear and the drawbar hole is all but perfectly round. They are getting harder to find but there are still a few out there. My 684 I got a few years ago at this time has 2851 hrs, it came off a 30 acre farm near me.

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I guess in a way we are the same we have a 2001 case 60xt we bought new and just hit 1000 hrs this winter

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On 12/30/2017 at 8:07 AM, INTERNATIONAL 1466 said:

Another thing to remember is that those old mechanical tachs don't rack up the hours at idle like the electronic ones. An hour on a 56 tach at idle is a lot closer to two in real time. I have checked it out more than once.

X2, and even then how accurate are they one from another?

Our 4320 only shows 9000 hrs, but when I do the math figuring average use over the 35 yrs Dad has owned it the least number I can figure is 14k.

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I have a 684 with a 2250 loader with 800 original hours.

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Another thing to remember is that those old mechanical tachs don't rack up the hours at idle like the electronic ones. An hour on a 56 tach at idle is a lot closer to two in real time. I have checked it out more than once.

x3   and there are variables to the electrical type, 30 year old tractor used 80% has just turned 10K

while 20 year old that does 30% of work turned 10K and they never intended it to last as it reads 100 again

dozer is actual clock,idles 30-40 minutes each end,never timed but seems to record 70%   ,at 4K after 60 years

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My dad bought a Steiger Cougar that was used at the '76 Farm Progress Show. The IH dealer in Sparta talked dad into driving that tractor at a field day after he wanted to trade the 1466 on two 1486s .

It had about 100 hours on it when he got it. In 2001 at dads retirement sale it had about 4000 hours on it. He was farming about 1400 acres when he bought it, then in 90's the ground he was renting started getting sold off. The last three years before he retired we were covering 200 acres.

Alan

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The new hour meters are just clocks,  stupidly simple, they sense voltage and add up time.

The old mechanical tach/hourmeters are not much more complicated.  Say an engine runs 2400 rpm,  an hour is 144,000 revolutions.  Idle the engine down to 800 rpm and it takes three hours to add an hour, idle at 600 rpm, takes four hours.

There may be small errors due to lack of lubrication in the drive cables but if there was too much drag the cable would snap.

     I remember Dad commenting on some of the neighbor's SWAGS about how many hours a year they put on their tractors. When they finally got something new enough that had a tach/hour meter they didn't put near as many hours on anymore.

Back in the 1960's guy Dad drove for bought a new GMC tiltcab, think a 401 V-6, in fine print on the tach it explained elapsed hours were 100,000 engine revolutions, which in round numbers means an hour only took 30 minutes at 3330 rpm.

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I had mc105 McCormick that put a hour on in about 40 minutes started having a lot of other troubles changed alternator fixed it .

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My in laws bought a CIH 585 last spring with 200 original hours from a hobby farmer who bought it new and hadn't used it for over 10 years. They now rent the land. I saw it this fall and it now has over 300 hours on it. Mainly grain auger duty.   

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My mother-in law has a CaseIH 395 with less than 300 hrs on it, high 200s. Her uncle bought it to mow in between CRP pine trees in about 1991. I run a Vector 300 at work that gets 1000+ hours a year. Just finished its fourth season and has 4300 on it. 

If I get over that way today I will take some pics of the 395 and post them later.

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