Monday, May 10, 2010

Tractors on the Homestead

I've noticed in my time reading magazines aimed at homesteaders, that many suggest purchasing new equipment. However, most of the newer tractors that are the appropriate size for most homesteads can cost between $15,000-$30,000. Personally, my goal in homesteading is not to spend as much money as I can, but to do things for myself. I thought it was important to share, that a tractor does not have to be this big of an expense for a homestead.

Having never even driven a tractor prior to moving to our homestead, I had my work cut out for me. After becoming discouraged by magazine articles that pointed to these more expensive tractors, I got online and dug a little deeper. I evaluated our homestead and what we planned for it in the future. I took that and then decided to find a tractor that suited our current and future needs within a smaller budget. I found the Yesterday's Tractor forum. I was able to peruse this forum to get a really good idea of what I needed and what I wanted.

After I had a good idea of tractors that would work for me, I looked for weeks through Tractor Trader ads trying to find the perfect fit. I finally settled on a 1965 Ford 4000.

Before Pic (shortly after purchase)

You can see by the picture, she wasn't so sharp looking, but she had potential. I was able to learn along the way about fixing her up, and making her run smoother than when I bought her. I spent time in the barn over the winter giving her some TLC and a nice coat of paint. The paint not only makes her look sharp, but protects her from rust.

After Pic (after working on her over winter)

This tractor can handle anything I might need to do for our current homestead, without breaking the bank. I think most small homesteads can easily find a suitable tractor in good working order between $3,000-$5,000.

I've been able to learn a lot about tractors and their maintenance. Not only have I learned a lot, but I've also found a new hobby.


  1. I'm with you on not spending a lot of money and doing things for myself. It's not necessary to spend $15,000+ on a tractor. I have less than that amount in three tractors, all older but useful. I don't need three -- the first one was my grandpa's, the second one was my general purpose tractor until I got the third one with more power and a loader.

  2. Nice tractor. We were looking at something similar but decided to go with a smaller, used Kubota. In most cases the smaller tractor is a better choice for us. About the only thing I wish I had a bigger tractor for is making hay. Right now we have a neighbor hay for shares.

    Great blog!

  3. I get aggrivated a lot when I see people recommending you NEED new equipment! New breaks down, too, and is WAY more expensive to fix! I have a 1972 Ford 4000. It's a wonderful machine. I have 3 tractors (one being restored), sickle mower, haybine, plow, planter, brush hog, Post hole digger, rake, hay rack, grain wagon, one horse trailer, manure spreader, blade, and more. I have about $8,000 TOTAL invested.