WE DID IT! I took a deep breath and traded off the old 8630 today. That's the tractor Zack was disking with in an earlier entry. We traded the old green thing for a pretty red one.
It wasn't exactly what I wanted, but there are about 193,000 reasons we didn't get exactly what I wanted ... and they ARE all green. This one I think I can cash flow without borrowing any money. And if I do have to borrow a little it won't be nearly as much or as long. At the same time we traded the old 4800 field cultivator we hadn't used in 3 years for a 24 ft 496 disk. (this is a stock photo of a 28 ft 496, but it will be similar)
I know, we just bought a Sunflower a couple years ago. We still have it and will use it ... a lot. But the Sunflower is too heavy and too valuable for disking in ruts. And we have a couple hundred acres of ruts. We discussed buying a cheaper disk, even found a some. One old Krause we could probably have bought for $2000, put $3000 of blades and bearings in and still had a $2000 disk. Another one was a Deutz Allis disk we found along the road for sale. Imagine this disk painted orange ... not factory orange but painted orange by a machinery jockey. With a little lime green showing through in spots.
For some strange reason the front center blades were new. None of the other blades had been replaced, but those 2 sections had. It might have been OK ... it was a lot closer to my plans than the $2000 Krause I looked at. We talked it over and decided if we were going to buy a disk, buy one that when we got done using we could probably sell. And if we decided to keep it, get one that would amount to something. The orange painted DA would have been here until Vern cut it up for scrap.
I really had not planned on trading tractors. But the old 8630 turned over 7000 hours shortly before we finished this year. And every time we would discuss it with someone knowledgeable of Deere's they would say something like "It still has the original engine in it?" We ran it for several years with very little cash put into it, but our feeling is we were running on borrowed time.
One downside to this tractor is no PTO to run a grain cart. We will either need to get a hydraulic drive for it or use the 7120 to pull the cart. But that is a future decision. I've made enough decisions for one day.