-----In 2004 we bought a falling-down house and 30 acres. This blog documents our progress-----

Saturday, October 18, 2008

buying a tractor (perhaps)

Dad emailed yesterday to say he'd found a secondhand tractor he recommended that we buy.

We've toyed with the idea of getting a tractor a while. It would mean we could do all the excavations needed ourselves and save a ton on labour and equipment rental. And once finished, we could sell the tractor on again to recoup some of the capital outlay.

It is a B21 Kubota, 4 1/2 years old but has only 860 hours on the engine clock. It comes with a bucket and a backhoe, but not a posthole driller (although it is possible to buy them for it). Before selling, the dealer will be putting on new front tyres and replacing a bush in the front bucket, along with a new pin to lock the backhoe apparatus mechanically for safer transporting. We'll be getting a mechanical test done on it before decided to go ahead, but assuming that gives the all clear then it looks like I will soon own a tractor!!

From the description in the dealer's book:
"Extra heavy duty machine; For contractors requiring a heavy duty machine capable of handling long hours of operation in punishing conditions, the B21 is ideal. Specifically designed for the construction industry, the B21 has a reinforced frame, steel bonnet, cast iron front axle, heavy duty transmission and a 4 post rollover frame with steel roof. Features 4 wheel drive, self-levelling loader mechanism, industrial tyres, wet disc brakes, optional vertical stabilizer and optional 4-1 bucket (although the one we are looking at has a standard bucket, not the one that has a splitting capacity to more quickly fill it). HP 21, Engine 3 cyl diesel, Transmission is Hydrostatic, Backhoe has a max dig depth of 2330 and a reach of 3080. The Loader lift height is 2250 and lift capacity of 420 kg.

Priced new 18 months ago it was A$49150 + gst. The one Dad found second hand is A$25000. Still a pretty hefty sum, more than I've ever spent on a machine (I can see I am doomed to never have a new car!!) but given it's $500+ per day to rent the darn things that is only 50 days worth of rental... I am sure we will have more than 50 days worth of digging to do with all the excavation work needed for the garden, house, tanks, trenches for electricity wires, etc etc.

Apparently the hire firm selling it bought it new in order to rent it to one customer, a gas maintenance firm in Shepparton. It has been used by one team since new, has had all dealer services as required. Has had a new clutch plate installed 10 engine hours ago. The engine has only 860 hours total work time in the 4 1/2 years. It has been placed for sale because when it was returned from this firm for whatever reasons it meant there were too many in the yard for hire than the usual business pattern.

It weighs 1.2 tonnes, so should be okay for Dad to transport on his tandem trailer, meaning that it can be stored securely in town rather than left at the block. Dad assures me too there are ample service depots in Ballarat, and probably even in Marysborough, given it is a popular, tough machine.

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