Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Pondering spending money

I know, it doesn't take much thought to spend money.  That's why I am pondering on it.  Mom and I were thinking today about combines.  Dad bought a used John Deere 55 ... long time ago.  I can just barely remember it.  He traded it for the 410 MF, then (as I recall) Gramps traded his year old 510 for a new 510 with a quick attach head.  That was a real innovation.  You could change heads in less than 15 minutes!  Then they traded both for Massey Ferguson 750's (photo is one I found that is similar, not actually ours)

 These were especially memorable for Sue and I.  On our first date I took her to Casey and we looked at Dad and Gramp's new combines setting on the lot waiting for delivery! (She should have gotten a clue what was in store and lit running).  The only thing bigger than a 750 was the MF760.  We ran the 750 for ... had to be about 8 years.  Dad traded for a new International Harvester 1480.  A HUGE combine, even bigger than the 760! (photo is one I found that is similar, not actually ours)

We ran the 1480 for 17 harvest seasons and traded for a used 2166.  The only used combine I really remember Dad buying.
 but the 2166 is showing its age  it is a '95 model and anything grain contacts is wearing.  For example, before harvest started we replaced the elbow on the unloading auger because it had worn the heads off the rivets!

We had Farm Pride inspect it this summer.  When Dale said "replace the elbow"  I kind of laughed ... until it was explained to me if the elbow failed the auger literally fell off the combine.
We have been pondering on whether to rebuild the 2166 or replace it.  We haven't actually figured rebuilding cost yet, but we are told if we do it right it will be at least $10,000.  We'll be putting in things like rotor cones

Which will cost $1500 to $2000.  We know the bottom of the grain tank will need replaced

because we have 2 or 3 holes patched in it already.  Plus augers and bearings and auger tubes and chains and  on and on and on.  $10,000 is probably low, and that is us doing the labor.  On the other hand, here is a used combine for only $239,000

... plus heads.  I turned down a used combine last year for a lot less. I probably should have traded then.  I've been pondering which is the best direction.  Actually, I know what I want to do. The questions are "Can I afford it?" and "Is this really the best way to go?"

I mentioned our ponderings on AgTalk http://talk.newagtalk.com/forums/thread-view.asp?tid=189266 As of a few minutes ago there had been 48 replies and over 25,700 views of the discussion.  And the really amazing thing to me is no salesmen have called!

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