Why a John Deere
One trait that I picked up from my father is that we both meticulously research any purchase to the nth degree. We have to know that whatever we invest in is highly rated/reviewed/revered and that we can get it at the best possible price.
So, in a way it was good that it took us 13 years to finally purchase one, because that gave me a LOT of time to research and obsess.
I spent a number of weekends visiting local dealers (because I read online that a local dealer was very important to have) and looking at different “colours”. Not that I wanted my tractor in fuschia, but rather colors represent the different brands. Green=John Deere. Orange=Kubota, Other Orange=Kioti, Blue=New Holland, Red=Massey Ferguson, Yellow=Cub Cadet. In my initial research, the Kubota and Massey Ferguson were in the top two. Kubota because the dealer was the closest, and Massey Ferguson for purely sentimental reasons – my grandfather had Masseys. I had kind of written off the John Deere as the online grumbling said it was expensive. However, one day I looked up the not-to-far-away dealer and lined up a test drive.
First off, the dealership (Premier Equipment in Smithville) looks like an Apple Store inside and the techie/nerd in me fell for the beautiful displays. It was also 1000 years from the original flea-bitten establishment that I had first gone into years ago. Second, the dealer was smart enough to have a similar Kubota model on the lot which was used for side by side test drive comparisons. It was obvious after a few minutes of using both that the John Deere was for me.
The biggest thing I have learned from tractor ownership is the incredible online community that loves to share tips, advice, hacks and great stories. My personal favourite are the “boys” (and a few girls) over on greentractortalk.com. Tall tales are welcome but “pics or it didn’t happen” is a common phrase.
If you are thinking about getting a sub-compact tractor, I can tell you right now that you will use it a LOT more than you initially think you will. They are the Swiss army knife of land ownership and you will never tire of using them.
So, get out there and find your “colour”.
No, I am not trying to attack my wife. In this case, we were moving a very prickly Juniper to a new location. It was heavy and we just couldn't get close to it, hence the use of the tractor.