So even after I'd agonised about tractors and whether I should get a new/different one in an earlier post I still didn't know what to do. Should I get a new Chinese tractor or should I try and find a restored oldie? Or should I stick with my very old and tired Massey Ferguson 35 (1959 vintage) which to be honest I considered too tired to do what I wanted of it.
My arguments to myself were along these lines. Pro. Get a new one and it is going to be under warranty, will have after sales service etc. Con. BUT how long will it last, what is the quality control like, what will the spares situation be like in 50 years (If you know me and my age please feel free to laugh at the last concern!)
So looking through the classifieds in Classic Tractor magazine I noticed a local phone number. This led to me and other half viewing not one but two restored Massey Ferguson 135s on a very cold morning. This I felt was a cruel twist of fate, I had just about come to terms with getting a restored machine and just about decided on the MF135, but then to have to decide between two seemed unfair! However I did make a decision and here it is, after having the front end loader fitted which I need for turning all that compost I will be making.
Great now I can get on with the ploughing! Well the old 2 furrow plough needed a bit of fettling and a polish, I'd tried to use it behind the old MF35 and it was basically a bit of a disaster. Mainly my fault, but it taught me a lot about how not to plough, starting with a rusty plough is a no-no. Likewise blunt coulter disks. I just ended up with a load of turf tangled round the frame.
Right, everything is polished and sharp, lets get to it! The weather is fine and rain is predicted soon, don't want to make a mess (of the new tractor as well as the land) Hitch up plough and..... The hydraulics wont lift it!!!!!! I wont bother to type what I said, but you know I was a bit fed up.
This is odd I thought, fiddling with the front end loader, when all of a sudden as I lowered the loader the plough came up. Ah, something is wrong with the plumbing NOT the tractor. Major sigh of relief. But what to do?
I wanted to do the ploughing NOW so it had to be the old MF35. After the usual sniff of the yellow can (the tractor not me, this time) it started and kept going and did the job and I'm strangely glad it worked out that way. It feels like honouring an old friend for a service rendered, which neither of us really knew if it was in their power to achieve. It reminded me that things were made to last 50 years ago and don't have to be shiny to be functional. However I do think the 35's earned a coat of paint next winter, it sure needs it!
Oh yes, the MF135 problem was solved by putting in the diverter valve which should have been there in the first place. Hmmmm?