When Arick first started dickering with the guy in Kansas, there were six tractors from which to choose. Later they decided there were only four they would part with, and by the time we headed off to see them, they were only willing to trade the two Minneapolis Molines. The pictures looked great, but when purchasing or trading for a tractor, there are more things to consider than outward appearance. Arick asked about the condition of the tires, and the guy said, "Oh, they're good for a long time yet."
I should stop and mention that there were actually two brothers and their dad involved in this trade, the tractor collection having been owned by Grandpa, who was deceased. Dad and both brothers were supposed to be there, but for some reason, the one Arick had talked to and emailed with... didn't show.
The grandson had told them he was bringing his grandpa, because he knows a lot about old tractors.
Before we even got out of the truck, we could see that the tires on the biggest tractor were dry-rotted and in horrible shape. One tire would cost $1,500, and both the big ones were bad.
They started them up, and test-drove them.
On the tractor in the above picture, here's a list of things that were wrong:
1. Front and back tires were dry-rotted.
2. It missed on start-up like it might have a cracked head
3. No power takeoff shaft.
4. No power steering
5. None of the gauges worked
6. Had brand new oil in them, which always worries Cliff
The other tractor, a Five Star.
1. Jumped out of fourth gear
2. Hydraulic oil was screaming out of it, and it was NEW hydraulic oil, meaning they had just filled it up.
3. Front end needed attention.
4. The control quadrant wasn't right on the three-point hitch.
5. The power takeoff clutch was inoperative
This man had misrepresented the tractors. Both were fixable, but that would cost money. They wouldn't consider letting the guys look at any of the other tractors.
He did give Arick $200 for gasoline, as he had promised.
Arick figures they took him for a dumb kid who wouldn't know what to look for in a tractor.
The four of us pretty much wasted a whole day on the road. Arick figured the one thing that might make him feel better would be a fabulous meal at that Brookville Hotel in Abilene. One good thing might come out of the road trip.
(to be continued)