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This buds for you!


acem

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The largest John Deere dealer in the state of South Dakota became a Big Bud dealer in 1978-79. In addition to being a Deere and Big Bud dealer, he was also one of the largest dealers of green Steigers at that time as well. They sold several Big Buds in the area where I grew up, which was almost 100 miles away from the dealership itself. They actually had two field mechanics in our area at the time for all the equipment they sold around us....they sold far more equipment in my neighborhood than the closer Deere dealers did.

In 1979-1981, Big Buds were a status symbol of a progressive farmer that was expanding rapidly....the sky was the limit. A few years later, Big Buds became a status symbol of another kind....they usually were owned by farmers that became overextended and got buried when crop prices fell and interest rates were in the 15-20% range in the mid-1980s. Now, I don't remember Big Buds being referred to as "white tombstones" like you guys in the corn and dairy country talk about Harvestore silos being called "blue tombstones" as they too often marked the location of a failed farm, but they were about the same effect around here. Several Big Buds were sold by their original owners when they were probably 2-4 years old....mainly to get them out of some serious debt issues that many farmers had at that time. 

I remember one of our neighbors had a 525/50 that he had either bought secondhand or through repossession in the mid-1980s. Some hydraulic pump went out on it, and you couldn't get parts from Big Bud at the time as they were going through bankruptcy. He just farmed around it for the year...the Bud was left right in the middle of the field where it died. 

Seemed like most of the ones around here were 525/50s. They had the Allison automatic transmission....and a top speed of 7-8 mph or so. My brother worked for a BTO in the early 1980s that had bought 3 525/50s from another large farm that was going through reorganization from financial problems. He used to joke about the fact that it took them an entire day just to move them from their previous owners to their new owner....about a 50 mile trip one-way. They pulled big Friggstad chisel plows with those things...he did like the air brake system they used as you could use it for using air impact wrenches for changing sweeps on those chisel plows out in the field....this was long before the days of cordless impact wrenches of any kind.

I can remember CaseIH had a service bulletin out in the late 1980s warning you that you could receive Steiger transmission parts marked in Big Bud boxes since they both were using the same transmission.

When CaseIH resurrected the Steiger Tiger in the later 1980s into the model 9190 tractor, they put a stipulation on it that probably caused its demise. The 9190 became a "batch tractor"....it required the customer to put 25% down on the tractor...and they would only build them when they had 25+ orders. How many people would put 25% down on a tractor they may not get for a couple years? Not many, I'm sure. My understanding is that just about all of them went to Australia.

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The Series 3 Big Buds used Twin Disc 6 speed or 9 speed transmissions.  The exception would be a few were made with the Fuller RR 13 speed.  The 6 speeds are the ones that didn't transport speeds that only went around 8 mph.  The TD transmission used a torque converter so they performed like an Allison.  The main advantage I would guess the TD had over the Allison is the Allison needed a drop box/range box just like my Steiger whereas the TD was one component.  I know one farm that went broke over Big Buds but the reason they went broke too was because they bought a couple of Yielder drills for no-tilling.  They were over $100,000 a piece and add in the Big Buds to pull them, they lost the farm.  Sold it to the Mormon church and leased it back.  But I also know other farms that made it through the 80s with Big Buds.  One guy I know bought two new 450/50s and retired with them about 15 years ago.  I don't count Welkers because their Big Buds were Series 1s and 2s bought before the 80s and were much easier to keep going.  

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51 minutes ago, SDman said:

The largest John Deere dealer in the state of South Dakota became a Big Bud dealer in 1978-79. In addition to being a Deere and Big Bud dealer, he was also one of the largest dealers of green Steigers at that time as well. They sold several Big Buds in the area where I grew up, which was almost 100 miles away from the dealership itself. They actually had two field mechanics in our area at the time for all the equipment they sold around us....they sold far more equipment in my neighborhood than the closer Deere dealers did.

In 1979-1981, Big Buds were a status symbol of a progressive farmer that was expanding rapidly....the sky was the limit. A few years later, Big Buds became a status symbol of another kind....they usually were owned by farmers that became overextended and got buried when crop prices fell and interest rates were in the 15-20% range in the mid-1980s. Now, I don't remember Big Buds being referred to as "white tombstones" like you guys in the corn and dairy country talk about Harvestore silos being called "blue tombstones" as they too often marked the location of a failed farm, but they were about the same effect around here. Several Big Buds were sold by their original owners when they were probably 2-4 years old....mainly to get them out of some serious debt issues that many farmers had at that time. 

I remember one of our neighbors had a 525/50 that he had either bought secondhand or through repossession in the mid-1980s. Some hydraulic pump went out on it, and you couldn't get parts from Big Bud at the time as they were going through bankruptcy. He just farmed around it for the year...the Bud was left right in the middle of the field where it died. 

Seemed like most of the ones around here were 525/50s. They had the Allison automatic transmission....and a top speed of 7-8 mph or so. My brother worked for a BTO in the early 1980s that had bought 3 525/50s from another large farm that was going through reorganization from financial problems. He used to joke about the fact that it took them an entire day just to move them from their previous owners to their new owner....about a 50 mile trip one-way. They pulled big Friggstad chisel plows with those things...he did like the air brake system they used as you could use it for using air impact wrenches for changing sweeps on those chisel plows out in the field....this was long before the days of cordless impact wrenches of any kind.

I can remember CaseIH had a service bulletin out in the late 1980s warning you that you could receive Steiger transmission parts marked in Big Bud boxes since they both were using the same transmission.

When CaseIH resurrected the Steiger Tiger in the later 1980s into the model 9190 tractor, they put a stipulation on it that probably caused its demise. The 9190 became a "batch tractor"....it required the customer to put 25% down on the tractor...and they would only build them when they had 25+ orders. How many people would put 25% down on a tractor they may not get for a couple years? Not many, I'm sure. My understanding is that just about all of them went to Australia.

The Series 3 Big Buds used Twin Disc 6 speed or 9 speed transmissions.  The exception would be a few were made with the Fuller RR 13 speed.  The 6 speeds are the ones that didn't have transport speeds that only went around 8 mph.  The TD transmission used a torque converter so they performed kinda like an Allison.  The main advantage I would guess the TD had over the Allison is the Allison needed a drop box/range box just like my Steiger whereas the TD was one component.  I know one farm that went broke over Big Buds but the reason they went broke too was because they bought a couple of Yielder drills for no-tilling.  They were over $100,000 a piece and add in the Big Buds to pull them, they lost the farm.  Sold it to the Mormon church and leased it back.  But I also know other farms that made it through the 80s with Big Buds.  One guy I know bought two new 450/50s and retired with them about 15 years ago.  I don't count Welkers because their Big Buds were Series 1s and 2s bought before the 80s and were much easier to keep going.  

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I can think of 2 different operations that still run Big Buds after all of these years. One is about 4-5 miles straight north of the farm I grew up on. They have 2 or 3 of them yet to my knowledge. One of them is a later one that uses the Fuji transmission that the 9100 CaseIH Steigers used.  The other operation is 4 brothers that farm together but separately(not sure how else you would describe that operation). They had theirs refurbished by Big Bud a few years ago....it got updated with improvements in the hydraulic system, updated engine/transmission, etc. Our GPS guy put a Trimble Autosteer system in it a few years ago. 

Other than that, I can't think of any Big Buds still going around here anymore. The first CaseIH dealership I worked at in the early 1990s had nearly a dozen Buds around when I was there, but as those owners retired, most of those Buds left the country. 

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I've never seen a big bud but supposedly a few were bought in Arkansas.

Here's some pics and an article about one owner. According to the thread at newagtalk, he went bankrupt in the 80s.

They also mentioned the low ground clearance was a problem for use in mud. The rice and cane tires dig in wet ground and the buds got stuck when the frame sat on the ground. 

Lots of other 4wd tractors in eastern Arkansas.

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11 minutes ago, acem said:

That one in the article is a Series 2 just like the one you started this thread with except its a KT meaning it used the KT 1150 cummins.  

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52 minutes ago, SDman said:

I can think of 2 different operations that still run Big Buds after all of these years. One is about 4-5 miles straight north of the farm I grew up on. They have 2 or 3 of them yet to my knowledge. One of them is a later one that uses the Fuji transmission that the 9100 CaseIH Steigers used.  The other operation is 4 brothers that farm together but separately(not sure how else you would describe that operation). They had theirs refurbished by Big Bud a few years ago....it got updated with improvements in the hydraulic system, updated engine/transmission, etc. Our GPS guy put a Trimble Autosteer system in it a few years ago. 

Other than that, I can't think of any Big Buds still going around here anymore. The first CaseIH dealership I worked at in the early 1990s had nearly a dozen Buds around when I was there, but as those owners retired, most of those Buds left the country. 

With the exception of the Welkers of the world, the number of guys running Big Buds fluctuates around here.  I know most of the time when my dealer gets one in on trade, someone 2 states away will buy to use and for a collector.  Big Equipment's inventory is changing all the time so someone is buying them.  

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Something in the article doesn't add up to me. 

The big bud was pulling two 40ft disks, covering 80 ft, and replaced 5 tractors.

80 decided by 5 is 16.

I doubt he was pulling 16 ft disks.

I must be missing something or it's fake news!?!?

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12 hours ago, acem said:

Something in the article doesn't add up to me. 

The big bud was pulling two 40ft disks, covering 80 ft, and replaced 5 tractors.

80 decided by 5 is 16.

I doubt he was pulling 16 ft disks.

I must be missing something or it's fake news!?!?

He “claims” he was pulling those discs with the Bud at 7 mph.  Perhaps those 5 tractors were pulling 20ft disks at 4 or 5 mph.  My opinion when people make claims like that, doesn’t necessarily mean it was the same amount of work is getting done by the newer bigger machine over a specific given time.  My neighbor’s father replaced two JD 820s each pulling 16ft chisel plows with one 5010 pulling a 25ft plow and he was happy to claim he replaced two tractors with one even though both 820s running together would out work the 5010.  One less tractor to maintain and hire a driver for. 

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20 hours ago, SDman said:

I can think of 2 different operations that still run Big Buds after all of these years. One is about 4-5 miles straight north of the farm I grew up on. They have 2 or 3 of them yet to my knowledge. One of them is a later one that uses the Fuji transmission that the 9100 CaseIH Steigers used.  The other operation is 4 brothers that farm together but separately(not sure how else you would describe that operation). They had theirs refurbished by Big Bud a few years ago....it got updated with improvements in the hydraulic system, updated engine/transmission, etc. Our GPS guy put a Trimble Autosteer system in it a few years ago. 

Other than that, I can't think of any Big Buds still going around here anymore. The first CaseIH dealership I worked at in the early 1990s had nearly a dozen Buds around when I was there, but as those owners retired, most of those Buds left the country. 

There is one (maybe 2, maybe it's a parts tractor) 3 hours south of you in Atkinson, Ne. 

I saw it in the field last spring working

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The only Big Bud near here was used with 3 D8H direct drive crawlers. They had 42 foot JD offset discs, 60 field cultivators, and 60 foot press wheel drill hitches. The word was on leveler ground would run away from a D8. Put it up on the sidehill and it struggled to keep up. They fell in the Yielder drill thing, until the bank told them to pull the plug on it. They leased a new D8 L high track to pull the 20 foot drill. The D8 did not like the tongue weight, it would eat up the rear carrier rollers. 

 

There where at least 4 maybe 6 of the Yielder drills here. This one was parked at 2 maybe 3 seasons. The rest lasted until the CRP in 1985. One advertised on Craigslist last winter. I think a 15 foot for $20,000 maybe. For those that never saw or heard of Yielder no till drill, the 20 foot model had a seed and fertilizer  boxes to hold better than 25 ton of products.  Never made sense to me to drag all the weight around the field.

 

The operation is still farming on the 4th generation. Of course the first was not even close to BTO they became. 😉 But some of you are helping more than others to keep them going. About 20 years ago they got hooked up to JD and generally have a big experimental JD tractor of some kind. Even though it is 10 to 12 inch rainfall country. JD planted 1000's of acres of corn into their summer fallow with the supper high speed corn planter all spring and summer in the testing years.

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I'm sure there are still at least a handful of Big Buds still operating in SD somewhere. I'm just remembering all the ones that were in my neck of the woods back in the 1980s, and how most of them were gone by the 1990s...especially when the air seeder craze happened in the early/mid 1990s in my area.

The whole bankruptcy scenario shied many potential buyers away from Big Buds at that time....if Big Bud were to disappear, who would be able to pick up that line for parts support in the future? There weren't exactly a lot of machines out there to make it worthwhile to begin with; certainly not enough to entice somebody not familiar with them to get into the business for sure.

A true story from when I worked at my first CaseIH dealer in the early 1990s involving a Big Bud. One came up for sale on auction....don't remember the model # exactly, but it had the KTA1150 Cummins engine, which was just freshly OH'd. The only problem with it? It needed 8 new 30.5x32 tires as you could almost see the air in the tires. The tractor, as it was, brought just short of $30K at auction. First thing the owner did was bring to the dealership to get all new shoes installed on it. That bill was over $20K by the time they were installed(they were radials, which generally made a tire that size much pricier at the time).

Sure, Buds have pretty much achieved "cult status" in the last nearly 20-25 years, and their values in recent years reflect that. I think they will continue to be worth good $$$ for as long as my generation is alive. Big Buds are alot like the IH 70 series 2+2s.....there are a lot of people looking for them for different reasons. Half the people that want either tractor want them for a collector tractor/novelty item, and the other half want to buy them to use them for what they were built for...a tractor to get work done. And there are not a lot of either one to choose from in the first place.

Guess I am not familiar with a Yielder drill...around here in the mid/late 1980s there were several Haybuster 107 no-till drills. Those things were a hard pulling SOB. One neighbor had a 20' setup(2 10-footers) that he pulled behind a 310/325 Steiger for several years. The drill wasn't any wider than the tractor with duals installed...and it was all that tractor wanted to pull. Once the air seeders hit in the early 1990s, the Haybusters faded away from popularity in a hurry.

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I understand those K-block Cummins are pretty costly to rebuild. At least 10 years ago that was the story.  Maybe with r the extreme cost of everything new and emissions stuff, that gap has closed.  That was comparing to N14 Cummins in Steigers and Fords.  
 

I heard those KT Cummins needed inframe rebuilds in the 5000hr range?  We had more 1150 Versatiles in our area (SE Sask).  Big Buds were only something you dreamt to see as a kid growing up in the 80’s around home. 
 

Some Big Buds had big Detroit’s and even Komatsu engines on some later ones as I understand it too.

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2 hours ago, ray54 said:

There where at least 4 maybe 6 of the Yielder drills here. This one was parked at 2 maybe 3 seasons. The rest lasted until the CRP in 1985. One advertised on Craigslist last winter. I think a 15 foot for $20,000 maybe. For those that never saw or heard of Yielder no till drill, the 20 foot model had a seed and fertilizer  boxes to hold better than 25 ton of products.  Never made sense to me to drag all the weight around the field.

The guys I used to know who bought the Yielder drills were about the first to try no-till so I give them props for being about 20 years ahead of everybody else but it cost them the farm.  

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46 minutes ago, SDman said:

 

Guess I am not familiar with a Yielder drill...around here in the mid/late 1980s there were several Haybuster 107 no-till drills. Those things were a hard pulling SOB. One neighbor had a 20' setup(2 10-footers) that he pulled behind a 310/325 Steiger for several years. The drill wasn't any wider than the tractor with duals installed...and it was all that tractor wanted to pull. Once the air seeders hit in the early 1990s, the Haybusters faded away from popularity in a hurry.

Just google Yielder drills.  They are the size of a freaking house.  Way way way overkill.  A Haybuster drill would fit inside the box.  

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26 minutes ago, Sask466 said:

I understand those K-block Cummins are pretty costly to rebuild. At least 10 years ago that was the story.  Maybe with r the extreme cost of everything new and emissions stuff, that gap has closed.  That was comparing to N14 Cummins in Steigers and Fords.  
 

I heard those KT Cummins needed inframe rebuilds in the 5000hr range?  We had more 1150 Versatiles in our area (SE Sask).  Big Buds were only something you dreamt to see as a kid growing up in the 80’s around home. 
 

Every Big Bud that I've seen the last 20 years or so always got a different engine swapped in after the KT let go for that reason.  I mentioned the guy in my other reply who farmed with the two Big Bud 450s.  Well he swapped in a QSX engine in one of his.  There was a few of the 1150/56s around here.  One neighbor of mine had a blue 1156 and I know our local Versatile dealer sold 3 of them to one farm at the same time.  

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On 12/4/2023 at 11:13 PM, Big Bud guy said:

With the exception of the Welkers of the world, the number of guys running Big Buds fluctuates around here.  I know most of the time when my dealer gets one in on trade, someone 2 states away will buy to use and for a collector.  Big Equipment's inventory is changing all the time so someone is buying them.  

Excuse me, but I'm lost when you refer to the welkers  of the world. What do you mean?? I would love to see a Big Bud some day, there just aren't any here in mid Michigan. All small farms by out west standards. Thanks for all your knowledge on these beasts.

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2 hours ago, mrfred54 said:

Excuse me, but I'm lost when you refer to the welkers  of the world. What do you mean?? I would love to see a Big Bud some day, there just aren't any here in mid Michigan. All small farms by out west standards. Thanks for all your knowledge on these beasts.

There is one on M46 near Frankenmuth, don't know anything about it. There is also one in the Sansusky/Melvin area with a tile plow in it, nicely cared for unit.

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7 hours ago, JaredT said:

There is one on M46 near Frankenmuth, don't know anything about it. There is also one in the Sansusky/Melvin area with a tile plow in it, nicely cared for unit.

Wow, didn't know that but I don't get up that way very often. Frankenmuth bout 35 miles north east me.

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12 hours ago, mrfred54 said:

Excuse me, but I'm lost when you refer to the welkers  of the world. What do you mean?? I would love to see a Big Bud some day, there just aren't any here in mid Michigan. All small farms by out west standards. Thanks for all your knowledge on these beasts.

Just google welkers and watch their YouTube videos.  Start with the first ones that feature Big Buds the most.  Also there was a JD dealer in Michigan that also sold Big Buds I think Keller implement.  

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