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new tractor reliability?


pt756
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hello, so last night after chores stopped in at local corner for awhile, along comes in is a 2k diary farmer, my age we all grew up togthter, we got talking about tractors he was happy just got a 4620 john deere, well then he mentioned he bought a 8400 last year, 12oo hours on, said about 110k for it, i then asked about all his new stuff, lots of new holland artics and fwd drives, said i try to not keep them past warranty, had 2 new holland artics fail just after warranty was off engine problems, only about 3 k for hours, so i will probably not be able to have tractors that new, are the newer ones that troublesome,

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Just more maintenance required and letting them sit idling isn’t good on emissions although it was never good on the old mechanical pump once’s as it led to fuel dilution in the oil on them.

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In my experience engineering technology has its advantage in the closer tolerances and reliability afforded if they would quit adding all the other computers and "junk" with which to make them function. It is/has become way to complicated and the person with average understanding of mechanical things cannot work on them anymore. It's all specialist related. 

I'll take the older more heavily built stuff over the modern stuff any day. At least I can work on them and keep costs under control. New technology, in itself is not necessarily better, only different. You trade one thing for another. IE: no matter what technology you use, you still plant, harvest, spray, from one end of the field to the other. Does it really matter all that much how straight your rows are or even if some of them overlap, or if you can do any given job in a half hrs difference I time? But then, thats just my view. 

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My favorite story to tell regarding technology in tractors is from a problem that arose on an 8000 series Deere tractor. This problem happened probably ten years ago on an 8100 Deere and a Kinze planter. It is a vacuum planter and the scv was supposed to be able to control flow to the vacuum fan without a needle valve. It did for years, but it got to where the flow control was not fine enough. It went from minimum to maximum with not much in between. The dealer was out and decided the scv just needed to be recalibrated. He got in the cab for a few minutes and then asked if there was a problem with the turn signals. I said that they hadn’t worked for a while and that I had never attempted to fix them because it just didn’t seem that important to me. He said I wasn’t going to believe this, but we can’t do anything until we fix the turn signals. Apparently the turn signal switch was integral to being able to navigate through some screens to be able to perform the calibration. I said so basically we can’t plant because the turn signal won’t work and he said yes. It took an extra day to order a new switch and put it in. This tractor is primitive by today’s standards and it has technology problems.
 

Newer Diesel engines seem to be headed backwards in terms of reliability. In my opinion emission components are a lot of the problem and the reason for high maintenance costs. This seems more evident in new diesel pickups than anywhere. Several farmers around here have gone back to gas engines in their trucks because of bad experiences and long waits for problems that nobody can seem to diagnose. We don’t have wide availability of No. 1 diesel in my area, but it still occasionally gets very cold. The fuel filters are so fine on some of our newer equipment that we know if it will be well below zero for even one night there is nothing we can do with any amount of additives that will make them run. You better have an old machine on the mixer wagon or our cows will not be fed. 
 

Many new tractors and trucks have run many miles/hours when still relatively new with few problems. It just seems like our experience has been that years, not necessarily hours or miles is what causes problems. They become ten years old and sensors and especially wiring can be a real problem, many times without the ability to diagnose a problem ourselves. I know it’s a bit of a rant, but I can’t even count the man hours that I feel we have wasted fixing problems that I don’t think should have had the opportunity to even exist. I sometimes think that there are three criteria for new engine control systems. 1 - It’s unreliable 2 - It’s expensive 3 - When you have a problem it’s impossible to diagnose 

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farm equipment is becoming more complex and with more parts more things can break. Also some parts are designed to breakdown after a certain time period, to keep the sales of new equipment and spare parts running.

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I keep wondering if any of the little compact tractors are gonna switch to a gas engines because of emissions issues, I know last time I went camping people are switching away from diesel trucks due to reliability and emissions. 

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Last week the heater/AC blower fan quite on the wife's JD 6605. Hooked up the round bale monitor - nothing no power. All I could find on the fuse panel was a blown fuse for the horn. Checked the horn and is was inoperative as well. Replaced the horn fuse and guess what? The fan and monitor were back in service again. Go figure.

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Neighbors across the road got their Kioti 5010 buried in a horse manure pile. Came over and asked me if I thought I could get it out.

Fired up the 350 and never spun a wheel... These smaller homestead models don't have much weight to them, especially with "turf" tires. No experience with any others like Mahindra or Kubota but I imagine they are on the "light" side as well. The more add on gizmos, the more that can go wrong and leave you hoofing it to the house. Seems to be a lot of "safety" disconnects on equipment anymore that shut the whole operation down. Hard to replace common sense with electronics.

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14 hours ago, Dirt_Floor_Poor said:

My favorite story to tell regarding technology in tractors is from a problem that arose on an 8000 series Deere tractor. This problem happened probably ten years ago on an 8100 Deere and a Kinze planter. It is a vacuum planter and the scv was supposed to be able to control flow to the vacuum fan without a needle valve. It did for years, but it got to where the flow control was not fine enough. It went from minimum to maximum with not much in between. The dealer was out and decided the scv just needed to be recalibrated. He got in the cab for a few minutes and then asked if there was a problem with the turn signals. I said that they hadn’t worked for a while and that I had never attempted to fix them because it just didn’t seem that important to me. He said I wasn’t going to believe this, but we can’t do anything until we fix the turn signals. Apparently the turn signal switch was integral to being able to navigate through some screens to be able to perform the calibration. I said so basically we can’t plant because the turn signal won’t work and he said yes. It took an extra day to order a new switch and put it in. This tractor is primitive by today’s standards and it has technology problems.
 

 

I ran into a similar situation with a Case skid steer several years back.
Part of the repair required some configuration that required cycling the seat switch to enter configuration  and signal commands during the configuration.
Problem was, the customer had chopped off the connector plug on the harness that connected to the seat switch to bypass it. Seat switch was also missing. Customer was a little peeved about the delay as now he is losing money to downtime. 

Our company also had a policy at the time that any non functioning safety devices would be repaired to proper function no matter what.

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A neighbor has a few new and late model 200+ he row crop tractors. He is having problems with electrical, emissions, etc.

They are all under warranty but unreliable. He hs a rainbow farm and has troublewithall of them, red, green, blue and orange. It seems his most reliable tractors are older.

Thx-Ace 

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I don't know about farm equipment but perhaps if we look at automobiles there's some hope. Rarely do you see a newer car broken down by the side of the road. The electronics are maturing and way more reliable than in the past.

Having said that: If one does break down there's no roadside fix; it's going to need a scan tool to find out what stopped it. Even then it's unlikely that a single sensor failure will stop them as the computers are smart enough in many cases to use a substitute value to keep going albeit sometimes in limp mode .

One would hope that the manufacturers of machines costing hundreds of thousands will incorporate enough redundancy to not be stopped by a single sensor. In modern aircraft critical systems often have backup sensors or the sensor itself is a dual unit, and alternate computer channels. A malfunction occurs and often it's a push of a button to recover. Engines are controlled by dual channel computers. The controlling channel swaps at each engine start and automagically if one fails. There seems to be little reason not to incorporate the same redundancy in an expensive tractor even if it pushes the price up a little bit. Most airlines learned that a long time ago. Little hurts business more than a 100 million dollar machine loaded with passengers being stopped by a hundred dollar part or a single chip failure in a computer. It screws up everything down the line.

Is it planned obsolescence or short sighted cost controls? Sadly the bean counters get in the way sometimes and decide to save money and not use the best materials available, say not using the best wire and connectors that live in a terrible environment. Perhaps while the engineers are seeking to make the best machine the stockholders are demanding higher dividends and increased profits become more important than the machine's reputation. Maybe?

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13 hours ago, 101Pathfinder said:

Neighbors across the road got their Kioti 5010 buried in a horse manure pile. Came over and asked me if I thought I could get it out.

Fired up the 350 and never spun a wheel... These smaller homestead models don't have much weight to them, especially with "turf" tires. No experience with any others like Mahindra or Kubota but I imagine they are on the "light" side as well. The more add on gizmos, the more that can go wrong and leave you hoofing it to the house. Seems to be a lot of "safety" disconnects on equipment anymore that shut the whole operation down. Hard to replace common sense with electronics.

heavy tractors tear up the lawn, and you can't have that.

Also they never are willing to buy what they need to weigh the tractor down to do the job, they are more interested in ordering the tractor with a stereo with blue tooth that syncs with there phone instead of wheel weights

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For example a tractor with mechanical linkage hydraulic valves will still function when the linkages are worn out, it won't be a nice to use but will work, when a solenoid valve or wiring harness goes bad it throws a fault code and often the hydraulics won't function at all.  

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My favorite story to tell regarding technology in tractors is from a problem that arose on an 8000 series Deere tractor. This problem happened probably ten years ago on an 8100 Deere and a Kinze planter. It is a vacuum planter and the scv was supposed to be able to control flow to the vacuum fan without a needle valve. It did for years, but it got to where the flow control was not fine enough. It went from minimum to maximum with not much in between. The dealer was out and decided the scv just needed to be recalibrated. He got in the cab for a few minutes and then asked if there was a problem with the turn signals. I said that they hadn’t worked for a while and that I had never attempted to fix them because it just didn’t seem that important to me. He said I wasn’t going to believe this, but we can’t do anything until we fix the turn signals. Apparently the turn signal switch was integral to being able to navigate through some screens to be able to perform the calibration. I said so basically we can’t plant because the turn signal won’t work and he said yes. It took an extra day to order a new switch and put it in. This tractor is primitive by today’s standards and it has technology problems.

 

Y'all be right. Thats funny right there I don't care who ya are. Not being able to plant cause the turn signals on the tractor don't work is just asinine engineering taking 1st place. Much like winning a trophy for showing up even if you were't playing the game, what's the point? Whats next? Not being able to plant cause you didn't take a dump at the proper time as authorized by some feral agency.

As simple as possible is always the best route for anything. anything above ground is subject to gravity, as in seeds in a planter, water in a sprayer or anything else. Gravity is your friend. 

Same goes for my preference in analog gauges, with a quick glance I can scan everything thats important without having to poke a stupid button to scroll through a menu of crap to find the info I'm looking for, 90% of which is unimportant and generally useless drivel anyway.

Besides, ifn ya don't walk the fields and visually see the spots lacking whatever from time to time how are ya ever gonna find that gold stash that your tilling finally turned over dropped by that lost Spanish Conquistador wandering the hinterboonies of present day Nebraska all those eons ago.

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2 hours ago, AKwelder said:

heavy tractors tear up the lawn, and you can't have that.

Also they never are willing to buy what they need to weigh the tractor down to do the job, they are more interested in ordering the tractor with a stereo with blue tooth that syncs with there phone instead of wheel weights

agreed, you need what you need and yes def built lighter for the market and price points needed for customers, this isnt about getting things done its about selling more tractors and making money - i have a smaller cut for yard work because my skid steer tears it up and I dont want a lil skid steer cause I cant afford 2 and i need a bigger one for most jobs of clearing trees, lifing logs and bales. 

regarding older tractors/traction - neighbor buried his duramax CC 4x4 in his yard trying to get out a trailer - all the way to frame

no one in our neighborhood had a tractor other than an N ford and a CUT 4x4 30hp new holland, never so much as moved it. 

I had my old 1944 A deere I used to move big bales around for horses. 

I said well I can try to pull you out but I will leave LOTS of ruts - call a wrecker your choice 

It took me a half hour to drag it out to solid ground about 100 yds. 1st gear, putt putt putt it just creeped in the mud making ruts about a foot deep or better while spinning - by the time i got it out a small crowd had gathered in the road to watch the nonsense. People thot I was out of my mind driving a tricycle front end they said how do you keep that thing from tipping over LOL. People in my neighborhood are mostly from the burbs/city. Google Farmers is what i call them. 

Anyone in their right mind would have never driven off into the yard where he was at. He did fine till he had to stop/turn around. I guess that is how i learned but I also got a full blow donkey chewing and boot up my backside and the stupid idiot no good son of a female dog speech.

 

15 hours ago, 101Pathfinder said:

Neighbors across the road got their Kioti 5010 buried in a horse manure pile. Came over and asked me if I thought I could get it out.

Fired up the 350 and never spun a wheel... These smaller homestead models don't have much weight to them, especially with "turf" tires. No experience with any others like Mahindra or Kubota but I imagine they are on the "light" side as well. The more add on gizmos, the more that can go wrong and leave you hoofing it to the house. Seems to be a lot of "safety" disconnects on equipment anymore that shut the whole operation down. Hard to replace common sense with electronics.

my green cut broke 1 yr in, first time in high side roading to neighbors to help them, guessing some kind of clip or spline wasnt fully engaged or ujoint/gear on front diff, it literally stopped instantly at around 12mph, nearly threw me over teh hood if it had not been for seat belt, broke a lot of stuff from the drive shaft twisting off the pinion shaft clean in two, shaft beat on deck, broke deck lifting mechanism/motor, deere fixed it all under wty, only had about 30 hrs or so on it if i remembber right, i reported it here when it happened. 

My electronics have been fine just a couple mechanical issues so far. 

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One plus to electronics, they have greatly lowered the "failure by operator error" rate. Engine gets hot, cuts the power. Try to shift from road gear to reverse.... not happening.

I would say electronic control has been responsible for a 20-40% increase of lifespan in engines and powershift trans, at least in heavy equipment. As to expense, the electronic components are less expensive to produce than the multiple precision parts required to do things manually.. (though I know they don't sell them cheaper!)

Where things are going wrong is on the emissions control. Manufacturers are having to introduce technologies before they have been fully engineered and tested/proven. Just like EFI in the automotive field, this stuff will mature and become more reliable as time goes on. Hopefully the regulators don't move the goalposts again before that reliability comes to fruition. 

 

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13 minutes ago, Cattech said:

One plus to electronics, they have greatly lowered the "failure by operator error" rate. Engine gets hot, cuts the power. Try to shift from road gear to reverse.... not happening.

I would say electronic control has been responsible for a 20-40% increase of lifespan in engines and powershift trans, at least in heavy equipment. As to expense, the electronic components are less expensive to produce than the multiple precision parts required to do things manually.. (though I know they don't sell them cheaper!)

Where things are going wrong is on the emissions control. Manufacturers are having to introduce technologies before they have been fully engineered and tested/proven. Just like EFI in the automotive field, this stuff will mature and become more reliable as time goes on. Hopefully the regulators don't move the goalposts again before that reliability comes to fruition. 

 

^^^Yep.^^^

But, when it's broken and won't go and it's just a sensor or solenoid they don't seem to care that this stoppage could have been preventing a complete internal failure of the transmission.

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15 minutes ago, Cattech said:

Hopefully the regulators don't move the goalposts again before that reliability comes to fruition.

I think we all know the answer to that. We’re on the road to utopia here, there’s going have to be some sacrifices. 

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6 hours ago, N S said:

Much like winning a trophy for showing up even if you were't playing the game, what's the point?

A different line on trophies.

There was a certain winery here in Oz whose rating was

"First prize in a raffle - One bottle

Second - two

Third - three"

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14 hours ago, Maynard said:

Our company also had a policy at the time that any non functioning safety devices would be repaired to proper function no matter what.

My shop business insurance agent highly recommened, almost to the point to say it was required to do this because of liability...................With that said there was acouple places I did do just that, most though did not have an issue.  Shields for example.............Only tomato harvesters I know with the proper shields over the shakers are new ones off the assembly line, they are the first thing unbolted and tossed as honestly their is not much point in a shield where no one can be without alot of climbing...............If you working on 3 to 5 machines a year, you think I am going to tell those guys to put them back on, they would have told me F-You I will get someone else!:lol:

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We started loosing ground when equipment stopped coming factory with a crank, and electric start stopped being an option. 

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54 minutes ago, vtfireman85 said:

We started loosing ground when equipment stopped coming factory with a crank, and electric start stopped being an option. 

Ha! Yup!  Have a skid steer loader that twice in a year has been down cause the ‘lectric starter crapped out.  Coulda kept right on using it if it had a crank.  

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1 hour ago, vtfireman85 said:

We started loosing ground when equipment stopped coming factory with a crank, and electric start stopped being an option. 

 

4 minutes ago, Gearclash said:

Ha! Yup!  Have a skid steer loader that twice in a year has been down cause the ‘lectric starter crapped out.  Coulda kept right on using it if it had a crank.  

I know or used to know too many older timers that started out on hand crank tractors that would strongly disagree with both of you.  

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Bought a new Pipe Pro 350 welder a couple of years ago with the Mitubishu engine. If it gets down in the 30* range it will not start, the engine has to be turning X number of RPMs before the fuel pump will turn the fuel on. After about 4 starters in a month it disappeared. We have a couple with Kubotas and if they will turn over they will start. 

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