Antique Tractors vs. Modern Tractors: How to Decide

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Antique Tractors vs. Modern Tractors: How to Decide

Even though it may seem that modern tractors are common sight on lands across the country, the reality is that there are still numerous antique tractors to be found everywhere. Antique tractors are nothing like other types of used vehicles and buyers who are interested in purchasing a tractor for their farm are often put in the situation of having to decide between a vintage or modern machine. Buyers can choose to purchase a new tractor or have a look at some of the antique tractors, including those from Ford, John Deere, Allis Chalmers, and Farmall that are still in use.

Choosing between an antique and a modern tractor is often a matter of preference, but buyers should also make sure the item they buy is suitable for the specific type of work they need to do. By learning more about the pros and cons of both antique and modern tractors, buyers can make sure their choice is right and their money well-spent.

The History of Tractors

The history of tractors goes back to the 19th century and they quickly became essential tools that revolutionised agriculture. The development of traction engines made these tools more present on the fields of the country and gradually made horses and oxen essentially obsolete.

Gasoline-powered tractors were first built at the end of the nineteenth century and became a common sight in the first decades of the twentieth century. As technology evolved even further, the more powerful internal combustion engine took over and farmers could choose from tractors produced by several manufacturers. Nowadays, farmers can choose from a wide range of modern tractors, each of them with various technical specifications. Alternatively, farmers can choose to use antique tractors productively in farming or business.

How to Decide Between Antique and Modern Tractors

Making a decision between antique and modern tractors is not as simple as it may sound, so buyers should take their time to do some serious consideration. Some of the most important aspects to be taken into account include the type of work one intends to complete with the tool, as well as maintenance and safety issues. There are situations in which one cannot use an antique tractor. For example, an antique tractor may not be suitable for organic farming, as transmission, engine, or hydraulic leaks may occur. On the other hand, a modern tractor may not be a good choice for a farmer who is looking for a replacement and is not ready to take the plunge to a very modern piece of equipment. As a consequence, buyers should weigh in carefully the pros and cons of owning an antique and a modern tractor and make their choice accordingly.

Pros and Cons of Using Antique Tractors

The first thing one need to be aware of when shopping for antique tractors is the fact that these pieces of equipment are very likely to require frequent maintenance and repairs. The good news, however, is that buying an antique tractor usually means saving up to 90 per cent of the price of a brand new machine. In many cases, full scale modern farm tractors are more powerful and can perform more work than their predecessors, but this comes with a price. Buyers should consider carefully the type of work they plan to complete with a tractor and determine whether the extra cost is justified.

Security Features

Another important thing to take into account when deciding between antique and modern tractors is the fact that antique models often lack the security features one can usually find on modern machines. This may be a problem for a novice driver, but the good news is that it is often possible to update antique tractors with safety guards and roll-over protection. Buyers should, however, take into account the fact that certain types of attachments may be harder to find in the case of antique tractors.

Certificate of Authenticity

One of the extra things one should be cautious about when shopping for antique tractors is getting hold of the authenticity certificate of the machine. This is a good way to make sure the tractor is the same model and make in the product description. Moreover, it is the only way to tell the true age of the machine. The condition of the machine is also important and buyers should check out the condition of the tyres and of the engine, and test the responsiveness of the hand operation hydraulics.

Pros and Cons of Using Modern Tractors

The principal benefit of buying a modern tractor is the fact that a buyer does not need to worry about the condition of the machine. Additional benefits include extended guarantee and a range of technical specifications and features that may not be available on antique tractors. The resale value of a modern tractor can be considered another benefit. Those who would like to own a modern tractor, but pay less for the privilege, may consider buying a used machine. This often costs less, but does the job just as well as a brand new tractor.

The principal thing that deters buyers from buying a modern tractor is the price. These machines tend to be very expensive and many farmers end up paying more on something that do not really need, especially when it comes to sophisticated functions. Modern tractors may indeed come with a range of functions that are not present on antique machines, but this does not necessarily mean users really need all of them. A benefit of shopping for modern tractors instead of antique ones can be the fact that there are more models and sizes to choose from.

As it can be seen from above, there are pros and cons for both antique and modern tractors. Buyers who have a hard time making a decision may find the table below helpful. Some of the things to consider are the price of the tractor, its features, and its maintenance costs.

Tractor Type



Modern Tractors

Large variety of models

Come in new or like new condition

No need to consider repairs

Come with guarantee

Sophisticated features

More powerful machines

May come with a high price tag

Extra features may not be needed

Antique Tractors

Lower price tag

Can be easily updated

Ideal for those looking to replace another antique model

May need extensive repairs

Maintenance can be expensive

May not perform all the functions of a modern machine

The summary above may help buyers make the right choice when deciding upon which type of tractor they would like to buy for their farm. One should keep in mind that specific models come with specific characteristics, so it often pays to be flexible when shopping for a new tractor. Having a look at as many models as possible, both antique and modern, is a good approach to this type of investment.

How to Shop for Tractors on eBay

Shopping for tractors is not a very easy task, especially when one has to decide between antique and modern tractors. Most buyers prefer to shop around before spending their money on a tractor, particularly because these machines tend to be expensive. If you are interesting in investing into an antique or modern tractor for your farm, you can choose to do so on eBay. The website offers a good selection of both antique and modern tractors and buyers can select to shop for a tractor in their area.

One of the main benefits of shopping for tractors on eBay is the ease of use of the website, which makes it possible for any buyer to find the right model without having to spend too much time doing so. Typing the words 'antique tractor' or 'modern tractor' into eBay's search bar brings you numerous results to choose from. You can choose to refine the results according to your budget, condition of the machine, technical specifications, and more. If you know exactly what type of tractor you are looking for, you can type the model and manufacturer's name into the search bar in order to save some time. As tractors cannot be easily delivered, you should try to buy one from a local seller. This way you can also check out the machine in person before paying for it on eBay in order to be certain of the tractor's condition.


Whether one is looking to buy an antique or modern tractor, there are multiple things to take into account when making the purchase decision. Choosing the brand is an important factor to consider, but buyers should also pay close attention to the condition of the machine when buying an antique tractor and the technical specifications when buying a modern one. Buyers who decide to buy an antique tractor should also make sure there are enough spare parts available for their selected model.

The decision of buying a tractor for a farm should be a practical one and buyers should keep in mind the value and the safety of the machine when making a purchase. Some people consider that buying antique is a guarantee for quality, while others appreciate the fancy technical specifications of modern tractors. As a result, the decision should be made according to buyer's preferences and budget.

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