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September 16, 2021

Best Old Tractor for Small Farm

Whether you’ve been in the farming industry for years or you just bought some land, you might be looking for used tractors for sale. From plowing a field to feeding animals hay, this big piece of equipment is essential on most farms and ranches. Although tractors have been vastly improved in convenience, versatility, and comfort over time, there are many beloved, classic tractors that farmers love and cherish.

Many people ask, "What is the most reliable old tractor?" or "What is the best tractor for 10 acres?" Let’s discuss four classic tractors that are reliable and fitting for your small farm as well as qualities to look for when buying an older tractor. 

What to look for in an old tractor

Although there are a few old tractors that are great for a small farm, there are many tractors out there to choose from. There are a few qualities a tractor can have that can make them better for first-time farmers. When doing your research, look out for these qualities in an older tractor:

  • 1960s production data and onward: Aim to get a tractor made in the latter part of the twentieth century, around 1960 onwards. Many tractors older than this are nostalgic but lack the safety features needed to operate securely.
  • Diesel engines: Look for a tractor that has a diesel engine. Older tractors with gasoline engines can be aggravating and don't run smoothly.
  • Three-point hitch: It's mandatory to have a three-point hitch, since a lot of farm equipment only uses this hitch style. 
  • Under 5,000 hours: When looking for an older tractor, finding one with less than 5,000 hours on the hour meter would be ideal. After this mark is when malfunctions may start to happen, and repairs can be expensive. 

What is the best tractor for a small farm?

Massey Ferguson 135

Overview: This tractor was built between 1964 and 1979. It has a Perkins 2,502cc engine with three cylinders and 47 horsepower (hp). 

The Massey Ferguson is claimed to be one of the most popular tractors out of all decades. The Ferguson System hydraulics and AD3.152 engine make for a great and compact tractor. It has a heavy-duty front axle and a safety cab to meet safety regulations. 

Ford 4000

Overview: This tractor was produced between 1968 and 1975. It has a Ford 3,294cc engine with three cylinders and 62 brake horsepower.

The Ford 4000 took on the new 'Iron Build,' square engine design of the decade. This tractor was also immensely popular. This tractor's constant-mesh transmission is commonly found, although you can find a 10-speed for those looking for an added extra. This tractor also commonly has power-assisted steering and a pick-up hitch. 

International 454

Overview: This tractor was built from 1970-1977. It has an IH 2,934 cc engine with three cylinders and 48-52 horsepower. 

This German-built tractor was first released at 48hp, although sometimes you can find versions that were later updated to 52hp. This tractor has good torque and a synchromesh transmission controlled by hip-level levers to the driver's left. The gear levels being positioned this way means that the driver can enjoy a smoother ride, thanks to the platform being in front of the rear axle. It also has wet disc brakes and an integral safety cab. 

John Deere 3130

Overview: This tractor was built from 1972-1979. It has a John Deere 5,391cc engine with six cylinders and 89-92 horsepower. 

This John Deere tractor is a good all-around tractor that is still in use today. It has a smooth, six-cylinder engine. The New Generation model produced 89hp and the Generation II prosecuted 92hp. This tractor is known for its good transmission and encased cab. The cab is similar to other tractor cabs made in this decade but is more spacious and has good noise protection and visibility. The Generation II models have four-wheel drive. 

Buy a nostalgic tractor for your small farm with Machinery Pete 

Have you searched for, “Used tractors for sale near me?” Machinery Pete is an online marketplace for sellers and buyers to connect, view, and purchase agricultural equipment, including classic tractors. Our website is clear and accessible so that you can gain marketing information and pricing. We have a vast inventory of used farm equipment with innovative search tools that allow you to find the equipment you're looking for fast. 

At Machinery Pete, we work hard to provide the best platform because we care about our customers. Start searching for your classic tractor