Where to Keep Tractor

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mml373

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Southern Missouri
I am a new farmer...and the past few years I've had someone else cut hay for me, which I keep for winter stockpile for a modest sheep operation I'm running. I am having an awful time getting someone to cut hay for me this year, and am considering just biting the bullet on a tractor and implements.

Unfortunately my farm did not come with a nice, enclosed shop with concrete floor where I could store a machine and implements. Having such a shop constructed is not in the budget for at least another few years. I do need a way to cut my hay and do other farm chores such as spreading fertilizer, so if I had that money available it would go to a tractor. I'll probably end up setting aside some acreage to produce hay for market to help pay down a tractor loan, though may need to improve pastures a bit to produce hay that's more marketable. (My sheep and cows love my grass...but maybe something different is more marketable? I need to do that research).

Is it acceptable to house a shiny, new, $80,000 tractor in an open-face shed for a few years till I can afford to have a proper shop built? Building already exists on the property, and I can afford to do fix-ups to help keep things dry and out of the weather, as much as possible. My main concern about leaving the tractor in a relatively open building is rodents chewing on wires/plastics. I have cats. Wondering how I can further mitigate this and what other issues I need consider. No climate control in the facility--it's a rock floor but is subject to temperature and humidity fluctuations as weather changes. Thanks for any helpful replies.
 
Unfortunately my farm did not come with a nice, enclosed shop with concrete floor where I could store a machine and implements.
Our sheds have dirt floors and no heat. And none of our machinery requires DEF.
(My sheep and cows love my grass...but maybe something different is more marketable?
Ask a hay auction yard what sells in your area. I have seen hay yards sell everything from pure alfalfa to ditch hay (baled road ditches). Like stock auctions, you should be there and ready to buy it back if you don't like the price. One guy sold a hay load and thought he did okay. He took another load to the next sale and thought he was ripped off.
My main concern about leaving the tractor in a relatively open building is rodents chewing on wires/plastics.
Not an issue in my opinion. Unless you leave food, wrappers, cans / bottles in the tractor cab. Clean out crop residues (hay, corn stalks, etc.) from under the hood and around the tractor. Then there won't be anything encouraging rodents to take up refuge.
Question about the open-face shed with rock floor. That shed sounds great for storing hay. If you store your machinery in the open-face shed, where do you store your hay?
 
Not an issue in my opinion. Unless you leave food, wrappers, cans / bottles in the tractor cab. Clean out crop residues (hay, corn stalks, etc.) from under the hood and around the tractor. Then there won't be anything encouraging rodents to take up refuge.
Question about the open-face shed with rock floor. That shed sounds great for storing hay. If you store your machinery in the open-face shed, where do you store your hay?
Unfortunately, that's not the case. Rodents chewing on wires has nothing to do with any food left around, they simply like chewing on plastic coated wires. There are several theories why, whether any are actually true or not I'm not sure. But it happens all the time. I have a friend that has a house back in the woods a bit, he works on cars in his spare time. If he leaves one outside for a week either squirrels or chipmunks will get in the engine compartment and start chewing. It happens every time.
 
I am a new farmer...and the past few years I've had someone else cut hay for me, which I keep for winter stockpile for a modest sheep operation I'm running. I am having an awful time getting someone to cut hay for me this year, and am considering just biting the bullet on a tractor and implements.

Unfortunately my farm did not come with a nice, enclosed shop with concrete floor where I could store a machine and implements. Having such a shop constructed is not in the budget for at least another few years. I do need a way to cut my hay and do other farm chores such as spreading fertilizer, so if I had that money available it would go to a tractor. I'll probably end up setting aside some acreage to produce hay for market to help pay down a tractor loan, though may need to improve pastures a bit to produce hay that's more marketable. (My sheep and cows love my grass...but maybe something different is more marketable? I need to do that research).

Is it acceptable to house a shiny, new, $80,000 tractor in an open-face shed for a few years till I can afford to have a proper shop built? Building already exists on the property, and I can afford to do fix-ups to help keep things dry and out of the weather, as much as possible. My main concern about leaving the tractor in a relatively open building is rodents chewing on wires/plastics. I have cats. Wondering how I can further mitigate this and what other issues I need consider. No climate control in the facility--it's a rock floor but is subject to temperature and humidity fluctuations as weather changes. Thanks for any helpful replies.
You need to add your location to your profile. Where you are located has a lot to do with it. I have never kept one under anything but a pole barn with dirt floors., some lights and an outlet or two.
 
Our sheds have dirt floors and no heat. And none of our machinery requires DEF.

Ask a hay auction yard what sells in your area. I have seen hay yards sell everything from pure alfalfa to ditch hay (baled road ditches). Like stock auctions, you should be there and ready to buy it back if you don't like the price. One guy sold a hay load and thought he did okay. He took another load to the next sale and thought he was ripped off.

Not an issue in my opinion. Unless you leave food, wrappers, cans / bottles in the tractor cab. Clean out crop residues (hay, corn stalks, etc.) from under the hood and around the tractor. Then there won't be anything encouraging rodents to take up refuge.
Question about the open-face shed with rock floor. That shed sounds great for storing hay. If you store your machinery in the open-face shed, where do you store your hay?
An old double-stall horse barn. :) Tractor won't fit into there, but it is good for about 225-250 square bales, which is sufficient for winter stockpile for my current size flock of sheep.
 
All my tractors spent years sitting outside before I had any sort of roof at all.

Instead of a shiny $80,000 tractor, why not spend say $25,000 on a tractor and then have money for implements and a roof.
Thought about that, as well. It seems as though $25k tractors in very good condition are tough to find in my area. Concern is that I'm new enough to this kind of equipment that I could buy a real problem tractor and end up spending substantially what I'd have spent for a new tractor with warranty. Most things I don't mind buying used. Tractors are one thing where buying used worries me just a little. Still, worth a look.
 
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Unfortunately, that's not the case. Rodents chewing on wires has nothing to do with any food left around, they simply like chewing on plastic coated wires. There are several theories why, whether any are actually true or not I'm not sure. But it happens all the time. I have a friend that has a house back in the woods a bit, he works on cars in his spare time. If he leaves one outside for a week either squirrels or chipmunks will get in the engine compartment and start chewing. It happens every time.
I heard you should spray pepper spray around the engine bay when you're parking it for a while.. keeps the rodents out!

Also I think storing machines indoors makes it MORE rodent inviting
 
Unfortunately, that's not the case. Rodents chewing on wires has nothing to do with any food left around, they simply like chewing on plastic coated wires. There are several theories why, whether any are actually true or not I'm not sure. But it happens all the time. I have a friend that has a house back in the woods a bit, he works on cars in his spare time. If he leaves one outside for a week either squirrels or chipmunks will get in the engine compartment and start chewing. It happens every time.
I would say rodents chewing on wires is possibly related to how wooded your area is then and how close to the treeline you are. More trees = more curious rodents because a great deal of farmers leave tractors outside or in open sided sheds all year round with no problems.
 
Thought about that, as well. It seems as though $25k tractors in very good condition are tough to find in my area. Concern is that I'm new enough to this kind of equipment that I could buy a real problem tractor and end up spending substantially what I'd have spent for a new tractor with warranty. Most things I don't mind buying used. Tractors are one thing where buying used worries me just a little. Still, worth a look.
One more time.....where is your area?
 
Unfortunately, that's not the case. Rodents chewing on wires has nothing to do with any food left around, they simply like chewing on plastic coated wires. There are several theories why, whether any are actually true or not I'm not sure. But it happens all the time. I have a friend that has a house back in the woods a bit, he works on cars in his spare time. If he leaves one outside for a week either squirrels or chipmunks will get in the engine compartment and start chewing. It happens every time.
In about 2000, car manufacturers started coating their wires with a soy product, thereby inviting the vermin to chew on wires. There have been some class-action lawsuits, but I don't think any resulted in liability on the part of the manufacturers. They make some products with capsaicin (hot pepper) such as coated electrical tape and sprays.
 
I am a new farmer...and the past few years I've had someone else cut hay for me, which I keep for winter stockpile for a modest sheep operation I'm running. I am having an awful time getting someone to cut hay for me this year, and am considering just biting the bullet on a tractor and implements.

Unfortunately my farm did not come with a nice, enclosed shop with concrete floor where I could store a machine and implements. Having such a shop constructed is not in the budget for at least another few years. I do need a way to cut my hay and do other farm chores such as spreading fertilizer, so if I had that money available it would go to a tractor. I'll probably end up setting aside some acreage to produce hay for market to help pay down a tractor loan, though may need to improve pastures a bit to produce hay that's more marketable. (My sheep and cows love my grass...but maybe something different is more marketable? I need to do that research).

Is it acceptable to house a shiny, new, $80,000 tractor in an open-face shed for a few years till I can afford to have a proper shop built? Building already exists on the property, and I can afford to do fix-ups to help keep things dry and out of the weather, as much as possible. My main concern about leaving the tractor in a relatively open building is rodents chewing on wires/plastics. I have cats. Wondering how I can further mitigate this and what other issues I need consider. No climate control in the facility--it's a rock floor but is subject to temperature and humidity fluctuations as weather changes. Thanks for any helpful replies.
I'm sitting here wondering why anyone would buy a brand new $80K tractor and not be able to afford a building to put it in...

For that matter, tractors are parked outside all the time, but I like mine under cover when not in use too.

I know prices are higher than they were, but have you considered buying a less expensive tractor and spreading your money out to buy other equipment? I recently built (last year, 2022) a 24x24 garage, ten foot ceiling, wired, and concrete floor, for less than 15K. I bought a new four wheel drive MF with a bucket for 25K in 2006 and I doubt they have doubled in price. I'd bet that tractor could be bought used for a lot less and do everything you need to do.

Just some random thoughts...
 
And also, not that I'm a tractor expert, but if he's running square bales then he doesn't have to split the difference so harshly. Most square balers iirc operate somewhere between the 60s and 70s for HP (I haven't cut and baled squares since I was younger and single and every pretty girl in the county owned a horse) and there's plenty of tractors of maybe not new but recent enough year model with good parts availability that wouldn't cost 80k at all. If all he's doing is baling squares for sheep then hell, I'd go as cheap as I could without buying something ancient (we have a 70s MF, buying parts isn't always an option so we traded some coon dogs for a spare similar year model for a parts tractor), and then just build a damn basic covered top structure to store it in. If you're anything of a carpenter, it ain't overly expensive or challenging to whip one up. You can even rig walls or half walls fairly cheap.

As far as the worries of lemons and maintenance @mml373, there hasn't been a tractor made yet that won't break, and you will not avoid parts failure. You just won't. You can buy new and the only difference is that you will pay for parts while still paying off a very expensive tractor. I will never tell a body what to do with their own stuff, but you have to sit down and ask yourself if the juice is worth the squeeze. You've expressed in past posts a desire to grow your operation, and the pencil is sharpest where money is saved vs where it is made, and unless you're running a good passel of sheep, I'd try this opportunity to save it. The other reality is that seeing as how you will have to work on any tractor you buy anyway, might as well just get ready for practice.
 
I'm sitting here wondering why anyone would buy a brand new $80K tractor and not be able to afford a building to put it in...

For that matter, tractors are parked outside all the time, but I like mine under cover when not in use too.

I know prices are higher than they were, but have you considered buying a less expensive tractor and spreading your money out to buy other equipment? I recently built (last year, 2022) a 24x24 garage, ten foot ceiling, wired, and concrete floor, for less than 15K. I bought a new four wheel drive MF with a bucket for 25K in 2006 and I doubt they have doubled in price. I'd bet that tractor could be bought used for a lot less and do everything you need to do.

Just some random thoughts...
Well, for starters, have you SEEN the cost of any sizable acreage with a home in good shape on it, the past several years? The previous owners of our property neglected the house, which we're now having to gut and rebuild due to moisture/crawlspace issues. So that's why I'm not willing to have a shop built at this time. And the shop we need is larger than 24x24. It must serve a number of purposes including rehab/gym space, storage space, work space, and working space for ag-related endeavors during colder months. My builder is quoting a 40x60 at around $56k right now. 14' walls, concrete. Looks like I can store the tractor under the shed just fine till I can get the shop built.

At any rate... I was quoted the following cash prices this morning for some cabbed tractors... Kioti 7320, $47k, NH WorkMaster 75, $55k, USED WorkMaster 105, $59k (new, $67k), PowerStar 110, $80k, Kioti HX115, $81k. While I was out looking, the PowerStar 110 I was looking at sold for $2k more than I was quoted due to delivery date of that machine vs another at the dealer's other lot that has a different delivery date. The PowerStar 110 units coming in/future delivery are pushing/over $100k, now.

A cab is a necessity for me. Time is money and I don't have time to go through a used tractor and figure out what must be addressed. I especially don't have time for much downtime and related travel time, for repairs, either. So reliability is important and I'm willing to buy new with the expectation of reliability and the dealer service that takes care of any issues at no expense/time demand from me. Buying now, trading up later, is not really something I want to do--I'd rather buy once and be done with it. That Kioti 7320 looks hard to beat for most things but I'm concerned about outgrowing it especially when it comes to moving/spreading fertilizer. The worst thing I did, growing up, was buying pickups that were undersized. It put me into a rut of trading up every few years, till eventually gave up and bought a new truck that is what I needed. I've had that truck 17 years and won't ever let it go. I don't want to get in the same situation with a tractor.
 
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