Sunday, July 19, 2015
Sunday Reading - To Buy or Not to Buy
Since it was pouring down rain again this morning it turned out to be a good day to travel the fifty some-odd miles down to look at the baler my co-worker wants to sell.
As the crow flies I am betting he is less than 25 miles from the Small-Hold but there is a big old muddy river in between us so going down to the bridge and then backtracking around to his side of the shore line adds the extra mileage.
The baler was actually in better shape than I expected. The paint was hardly faded, all the original warning stickers were still as bright as the day they put on. There was only some minor surface rust here and there. Hell the hitch hole didn't even show any wear, it was still perfectly round with a sharp inside edge.
This isn't the actual baler although it is the exact same model and about the same condition externally as the one I was looking at. The specific one was still in a shed and it was too dark to take any pictures and raining outside the shed. We did hook his tractor up to it so I could see all the moving parts like the ram and pickup head etc. working. All the teeth were intact and the knotters looked good to my inexperienced eye. For what that is worth.
There are a bunch of pro's and con's to this deal though.
Con side is although this baler is in excellent shape he is asking a bit more than what I have seen similar one's go for. Not much more, only about 200 bucks more so maybe the condition offsets the price some. Parts is the biggest con-side to this though as these old 532's are not common around here and although I think OEM parts can be found they are pricey.
Like with the old Ford rake I bought some people love these old Ford balers some people say they are junk. The seller claims he used this baler every year to put up 200 to 300 square bales for his daughter's horse and never had to adjust the timing, replace a tooth or had any trouble with it. Manuals are still available for this model and these 70's era balers were almost tailor made for my old Ford tractors.
On the pro-side of things it is still relatively cheap and compact enough for me to drive it home with little issues even across the bridge and through some road construction. The knotters are supposedly universal between the JD and NH balers of the same time period so those parts should be easy to come by. As I said above the PTO drive with the large flywheel is pretty much custom made to work with the higher torque lower horse power tractors of the day. I could even run this baler with the 8N if I absolutely needed to.
From a strictly cosmetic and brand matching point of view I must admit I kinda like the fact it is a Ford only to match the name brand to the my tractors even if it is in the blue paint scheme. I know that is a silly reason but it kinda takes my fancy a bit.
Bottom line is I bet I buy the thing and try it out. Even at the sellers slightly elevated price tag I will be getting the three hay baling implements for under $1800.00 total and if I have no other issues those should pay for themselves by the end of the second year easily. Especially if I use them to put up the Alfalfa and get enough that I don't need to buy it for lambing season. That's a rough estimate and does not include fuel, time searching, the tractor cost or anything else.
The largest bonus is though that I will not have to wait and wonder about having someone else come in and get the hay cut and baled nor need to borrow someone's equipment. That to me is worth a couple of years of overall loss in itself. Also this time of year if I want to even attempt to get my own hay up by the end of July I would need to jump now and any hay implements this time of year are going to go at a premium regardless. If I wait even more than another week I am done for and only have these last few weeks because of allt he rain we been getting anyway.
So there we have it. To buy or not to buy...... That is the question.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!