Our first two summers here, we paid a local tractor mechanic to cut our pastures and yard. He lived close enough to drive his tractor and bush hog (rotary cutter) over without a trailer. It wasn’t cheap, but it was was actually cheaper than having our little yard kept up in Texas.
After generations of putting down roots here, his family up and moved two counties away. So the dream of someday owning a tractor came rushing to the top of our to do list.
After weeks of Internet research and interviewing my favorite farmer’s market farmers, I began the unenviable task of tracking down tractors for sale across the closest four counties.
After three days of driving, testing, and chauffeuring three lovely kids, I was ready to be DONE. The reality is that shopping for a used tractor can be much more challenging than car shopping because the selection is so sparse and the distance between each option so great.
I was about to travel out of state to check some options in Kentucky, when I came across some brand new Craigslist ads. Thankfully, this one tractor reseller had four different tractors that I was interested in!
The Massey Ferguson 250 is the tractor I chose. The sellers know the previous owner personally and could vouch for how he took care of it. The tread on the tires were still great, and they made sure the lights and gauges were fully functional.
This Massey Ferguson 250 is an early 80s model. It’s a 40 horsepower diesel that can easily pull a seven to eight foot rotary cutter. The rule of thumb is you need 5hp per foot wide rotary cutter. I ended up choosing a 6′ rotary cutter, so 6 x 5 = 30hp needed. I have plenty of juice.
We have some steep hills on our property, so I needed to know that the tractor could make it up the hill with a rotary cutter in tow. We may still have to rig some front weights on occasion to balance the load. We’ll see.
Most if not all used tractors I looked at had no functional lights. I guess it’s one of the first things to go. I negotiated a good price on a 6′ bush hog to go with it. So now we’re good to go!