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#1 middleageddeere OFFLINE  

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Posted March 08, 2011 - 08:34 PM

I am gonna try to start a tractor restoring business. I see a lot of guys buy these tractors and part them out, I honestly think it is a little sad. So, to try and help the situation I am going to buy up these old broke tractors fix em up and sell them. Try to show people how these old tractors are so much better than what they are making these days. If anyone has any suggestions or knows where to get a lot of old tractors in the Michigan area, let me know. Thanks.
Adam

#2 NUTNDUN OFFLINE  

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Posted March 08, 2011 - 08:53 PM

I am gonna try to start a tractor restoring business. I see a lot of guys buy these tractors and part them out, I honestly think it is a little sad. So, to try and help the situation I am going to buy up these old broke tractors fix em up and sell them. Try to show people how these old tractors are so much better than what they are making these days. If anyone has any suggestions or knows where to get a lot of old tractors in the Michigan area, let me know. Thanks.
Adam


I think it is a great idea but I honestly think you will have a hard time making any profit. I think you might be better off advertising restoration services for those that want to restore their tractors but might not have the means to. The people that part tractors out are not bad guys, if it wasn't for them we wouldn't be able to get parts to fix the ones we have.
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#3 middleageddeere OFFLINE  

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Posted March 08, 2011 - 09:10 PM

You are very right about that, I know one of them here in MI fairly well and he is a great guy. I didn't mean to say they were bad guys, I just meant I hate to see these machines disappear. I am really less worried about profit and more worried about keeping them around. I know it sounds kinda dumb but I can only try.
Adam

#4 Tmo OFFLINE  

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Posted March 08, 2011 - 09:16 PM

It's a great idea, but really there's not much money in it. I have a friend who works on these and tries to sell them. People want to trade junk for them or they want to low ball him. Very hard to make any money on these old things. The market is limit, just guys like you and me and the rest of these type forums. The average guy will compare the price to the cheapies at Walmart and try to see if you will give them away.

#5 massey driver OFFLINE  

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Posted March 08, 2011 - 09:29 PM

Your right about not doing it for money.I've restored a few over the years and haven't made anything on them.It's more of a hobby and gives me satifaction seeing them brought back to life.Anyone who buys them always want to get them for nothing.I never let them go if I can't break even.I'll use them for a yr or two before letting them go for less then what it's cost me.So to be honest with you there not a money making buisness if you have to put time,effort,money into them.Just my two cents worth.Larry

#6 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted March 08, 2011 - 09:31 PM

:ditto: the above posts

#7 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted March 08, 2011 - 09:54 PM

I have to agree with the above...just no money to be made. Now if you win a major lottery, then it'd be something to do!

#8 daytime dave ONLINE  

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Posted March 08, 2011 - 10:01 PM

Perhaps you can fix them up and donate it to a charity for a raffle/lottery. Maybe you could write it off your taxes.
I know of one school that raffles a restored corvette every year. They do well at it.

#9 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted March 08, 2011 - 10:36 PM

I have to agree with the above...just no money to be made. Now if you win a major lottery, then it'd be something to do!


:iagree::ditto:

#10 FirefyterEmt OFFLINE  

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Posted March 08, 2011 - 10:38 PM

Keep in mind, for those that get parted out, many may profit to be brought back to working, or original condition. Just think, for the loss of one tractor, 20 or 30 might live on as complete working tractors. My neighbor bought a beat to death MF-12 and a non running, but clean MF-10. That beat up one has helped complete three tractors and may serve as a platform to build a custom narrow front. Using the parts frame as the platform, I will retain a perfect frame to retain the ability to return it to stock.
I do get tired of seeing all "parts sellers" made out to be bad guys. Imagine if everyone who needed one part, had to buy the whole tractor.... Many more would be parted out, and there would be a lot more in waste.

Also, I echo the others.... the need is there, but the market is a dirt cheap floor to work off of.
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#11 dryrun OFFLINE  

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Posted March 09, 2011 - 04:12 AM

MIDDLEAGEDEERE, If I might offer a few thoughts here, I decided to try this a few years ago.

Thought number one. The time involved to do a restoration was something I was not prepared for. You must realize that guys who do restos are prepared to spend years if needed to attain what they want.

Thought number two. If you advertise a tractor as RESTORED, unless it is right, buyers will tear you apart on details. everything from an incorrect bolt or fastener to a tiny speck of rust or grime around a bolt head.

Thought number three, see thought number one.

Thought number four. You will need to maintain a large stock of donor tractors to obtain the required correct parts.

Thought number five, see thought number one.

Thought number six. As an alternative, explore something that I and others have found. When you find a tractor, do the same thing that a restorer will do when they find one. Pick it apart. See if any major things have been changed. This will make your job easier in the long run, but the seller will recognize that you know what you are looking for, and the price should agree with that.
Once you have acquired this "jewel", Don't make any changes. See if you can get the engine running, or at least freed up and turning over. Restorers will respect an engine that will turn over, more than the "rebuilt engine story" unless the story is backed up with all the paperwork for a proper rebuild. Remove all after market items, weird seats, strange headlights, etc, any thing that will stand out in a picture ad that will tell the buyer that the changes may run a lot deeper than that. Don't paint, sandblast, or primer anything. Use only penetrating oil, lubricating oil, and grease. If you attract a serious buyer to your place, and he can start, drive, or at least give the machine a good looking over, they will be impressed, if not by the condition of the machine, but by your honesty.
Give the customer what they want, a solid, un-modified original as possible machine, reasonably cleaned up and freed up so inspection can proceed easily. You can command a good selling price in this way. This is where your stock of donor machines comes in handy. If your machine is missing a part or two, offer to throw in an part or two off a donor machine.

Didn't mean to run off at the mouth here, but you can realize a little profit here, while providing a good service to the hobby. You will meet some of the greatest people in the world. And, this can turn into a good Hobby in itself.

By all means, follow your dreams, for a man who does not dream is lost. Just be informed and do your homework.

Just the thoughts of an old man, and my opinions only.

Best regards, George
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#12 Bolens 1000 ONLINE  

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Posted March 09, 2011 - 06:09 AM

Very well said George
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#13 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted March 09, 2011 - 03:15 PM

As much as I enjoy my Garden Tractors, I have to agree that there is not enough money in selling Restorations.
But if your good with your hands and want to do it, there is a niche where you just might make some money.

It seems most people, even many in the city making big money(Expendable income) long for their days on the farm growing up or riding with Grampa on the tractor in the 50's & 60's.
Something of a fad market is going with small to medium size farm tractors and their being shipped to metro areas for collections. Many Retired Farmers are also collecting.
Our Local Radio Station WHO sponsors two Tractor Rides each year.
Where the collectors meet and ride their tractors within a days ride of a central point for a full week.
Funny thing is there are always more wanting to ride than the organizers can accomodate.
If I was not working full time, I'd love to get an Avery model A(like I drove when 14) and go along myself.
Selling to those who have not got the ability or facility to restore , just might be the way to go.

#14 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted March 09, 2011 - 03:27 PM

Very well said George


:ditto:

George, That the best advice anyone could have offered here, Well done..

#15 dryrun OFFLINE  

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Posted March 09, 2011 - 04:44 PM

JD DANNELS, Ithink you are on to something there. That sounds like the best of two worlds, on the one hand you would not have to worry about a complete "good as new resto", just get in good running order, good tires, and a sharp paint job. On the other hand, if a restorer wanted it, a lot of his work is already done, and he can test drive, and check it out easily.

I have noticed around large supermarkets at different times of the year, some promotions that involve garden tractors and "farm looking" wagons. Halloween, fall harvest etc. Guys wanting something to drive in local parades, maybe pulling a "train" of cut out barrels loaded with kids. Like you said, lot of people around cities, with little time and some cash to spare who would like a parade or attention getter.

MIDDLEAGEDEERE, If you want to restore, and have the patience to do such work, I certainly applaud you. And I will add that we here at GTTALK stand ready to help you with any advice or research you need. I think all the guys responding here gave very honest opinions gained from no little experience.

As for your question about where to find GTs, simply scour the countryside. Take long Sunday drives with the Missus through the back roads. She will think you are just being nice, when all the time, in your devious mind you are on the hunt. You can even stop at some small Mom and Pop restaurant for dinner or supper just to add icing to the cake. Always keep a good digital camera near at hand, and take notes of addresses, landmarks etc. Don't be afraid to talk to people. always ask about guys who work on mowers in their garage, or barn, or even "shade trees", as a lot of these guys have large stocks of old iron out back. Don't be too concerned about buying off Craigs, or Evil Bay, most of these people are trying to make money too. I am not an expert, or a successful business man, so all of this is some things I have noticed. If you want to talk further about the Art of Scrounging, simply PM me and I will be happy to expound on the George Method of finding junk.

Best regards and good hunting, George.




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