With my ideal tractor in mind, I was able to cut the list of 60 or 70 tractors for sale down to 20 or so. Before I got into seeing what those 20 fetched online, I dug into tractor forums looking for hands-on reviews. The New Hollands in the size class I was after, I found, were actually rebranded LS tractors, made in South Korea. A neighbor loaned me an LS awhile back and I wasn’t in love with it. The old Allis-Chalmers was a great machine, but parts were hard to find. A couple of the John Deeres had really positive chatter, as did the L3750, which a couple of guys on the Kubota forum said might be the best tractor Big Orange ever made. Before I started pricing the tractors out, that list of 20 or so was cut in half.
I called my pal, Kyle, who runs Van Galder Family Farms in Alpine, New York, and my friend and mechanic Bill Phelps, of Phelps Auto in Lansing, New York. I told them what I was up to and they gave me a punch list of things to look at. Kyle, I found out, would be at the auction and could kick tires with me. That night before the auction, I typed out the accompanying checklist of things to look at before the bidding started.
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