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Discussion Starter #1
Looking at purchasing a tractor. Ive got my eye on one that looks great, but it's on ebay and not sure if I feel super comfortable shelling out that much money without sitting on the thing first. Am I paranoid or would you run away too?

I'd love to have an all around tractor, something to move snow off my 150 ft drive as well as mow, maintain an acre of pasture and general work around the house.
 

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In '98 this tractor listed (according to Tractor Data) at 18K. If this is the one in Tennessee, it does appear to be in real nice condition and hrs aren't bad for the age. If it is indeed that tractor, it's being sold by a company that has been on ebay for 2 1/2 yrs, and there are 30 positive reviews from customers, with three of those being for purchases similar to the one you are considering. They say free shipping but note it could take a while as they say upwards of mid Dec delivery.
You would have to contact them for all details, questions etc. and first get a gut feel for how they answer, and do you feel comfortable with how they answer. Then comes the "pucker factor!" Can you get comfortable? As you say
not sure if I feel super comfortable shelling out that much money without sitting on the thing first
Can you get past that? Me, I'm the type that always wants to feel, touch etc. Because of that I have probably missed out on many deals/purchases of things I'm looking for. Here a link to recent discussion on this very topic. https://www.mytractorforum.com/320-shed/1337617-tractors-auctions.html
Others will probably weigh in of the merits of this particular JD and whether worth it or not.
Good Luck,
MikeC
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah that’s the one. Just wondering if spending that money would be better on another newer tractor like a used 1 series or something else altogether. My craftsman gt is falling apart and I want something that will last
 

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Yeah that’s the one. Just wondering if spending that money would be better on another newer tractor like a used 1 series or something else altogether. My craftsman gt is falling apart and I want something that will last
That's the decision many of us have to struggle with. I happened upon a BX25 for 13,000 with 61hrs so to me that was a no brainer. (especially since wife said you'd better... or else) But then again it was there, I got to use it and make sure it all worked and that I was comfortable. A newer machine could be accompanied with carry over warranty so that's a plus, and if more local, would give you piece of mind that you were able to try it out. As for the price, I'm not familiar enough with the JD models to know if there are any idiosyncrasies to be aware of that make it a deal breaker. I'd also take a look at other dealers to compare the price. This is one of several that have 955's for sale. https://www.tractorhouse.com/listings/farm-equipment/for-sale/list/category/1111/tractors-less-than-40-hp/manufacturer/john-deere/model/955
MikeC
 

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I can say the entire 55 series compacts were very reliable and still sought after by many. According to the pictures, this one appears to be a sweet machine, but any time you by something without trying it out for yourself and checking it over, there is always risk. The mower deck looks practically unused. Everything looks almost too good for an older tractor, but it does not appear to be a repaint. Appears to me to be a very clean low hour tractor that was well cared for.
 

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I have the "baby" of the 55 series. (655) It is used for mowing, snow removal, tilling and even stripping a section of the yard and then spreading 14 yards of loam for the new lawn. It's a beast. They are definitely made to be worked.
 

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It only Tennessee go for a drive and take a trailer. They may even reduce the price to compensate for the cost of your fuel. I am also a try before you buy guy unless I know exactly what I am buying.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It only Tennessee go for a drive and take a trailer. They may even reduce the price to compensate for the cost of your fuel. I am also a try before you buy guy unless I know exactly what I am buying.
My wife liked that idea. Only 10 hrs, right? Well, if only I didn't have that thing called a job and kids...

I did locate a 955 locally, like 10 minutes away, and I'm looking at it this week, only 184 original hours. I have a feeling it's not going to be near as well taken care of based on photos, but at least I'll know if I like the 955s and 184 hrs is less than my current mower. At that point I can make a better decision to go with this one, the one in Tennessee or something else....oh, and I'm sure I'll be reporting back here too :)
 

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I have had our 98' 955 for 9 years and have put about 1200 hrs on it. I can say that it has served us well. A good part of that has been snow removal, some tilling and some mowing, as well as a fair bit of general loader work around the yard. Have been very pleased. It now has a total of 2200 hrs. As far as the tractor is concerned I would have no problems. I’m also one who like to touch and feel, so sight unseen would not be for me. Good luck and looking forward to hearing how you make out.
 

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Is it this one? https://www.ebay.com/itm/John-Deere-955-Tractor-70A-Loader-4x4-HST-855/174067380997?hash=item2887397305:g:wTYAAOSwuWpdp2E2
Contact the seller and ask your questions...discount if you pick it up?....or make your own shipping arrangements?...get prices from uship and fastenall
You can pay by Paypal ( they state 2.9% fee for that) and you are protected...they say they accept returns, but you would pay for that...what is the difference in price between this one and the one closer to home?
The other thing to do would buy new locally ...check dealers for End of season discounts, or wait till Spring when it sounds like they all have discounts...instead of laying out a big pile of cash now....make a down payment and get lower monthly payments...all that being said....if you found one 10 minutes away ...I would give that one a lot of thought...184 hours sounds like it was barely used at all
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Is it this one? https://www.ebay.com/itm/John-Deere-955-Tractor-70A-Loader-4x4-HST-855/174067380997?hash=item2887397305:g:wTYAAOSwuWpdp2E2
Contact the seller and ask your questions...discount if you pick it up?....or make your own shipping arrangements?...get prices from uship and fastenall
You can pay by Paypal ( they state 2.9% fee for that) and you are protected...they say they accept returns, but you would pay for that...what is the difference in price between this one and the one closer to home?
The other thing to do would buy new locally ...check dealers for End of season discounts, or wait till Spring when it sounds like they all have discounts...instead of laying out a big pile of cash now....make a down payment and get lower monthly payments...all that being said....if you found one 10 minutes away ...I would give that one a lot of thought...184 hours sounds like it was barely used at all
Specs on the tractors:
1. Ebay-13,700, 606 hrs with loader and deck-obviously looks to be well maintained
2. Local-14,000 184 hrs with enclosed cab, snowblower, power brush, and deck-doesn't look as well kept but low hours might make it worth it.
 

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I don't think too much can happen to it in less than 200 hours...if it were my choice, I would save the wear and tear on my vehicle and the expense of renting a trailer, fuel, tolls an buy locally...only 300 dollars difference....and you may be able to negotiate that in your favor....good luck with it
 

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Discussion Starter #16
And just to note, the listing says "item no longer available."
MikeC
Yeah I called yesterday to get some more info on the one in Tenn. and they had sold it that morning. I'm looking at the local one this evening. I'd love to have the loader option, but this local 955 doesn't have it, so as long as the tractor is in good shape I won't make it a deal breaker. I agree a cab would be well worth my time with it during our winters.
 

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I own one for my 50 acres, but no snow here, TX. Had it for 5 years. Do not buy it before you look at it. Sounds like it may be a good one. Got mine on Craigslist, but drove 5 hrs to see it. It was beat up except engine, tranny, hydraulics and tires were good. No mower either. Easy to work on. I couldn't find the one you are talking about on ebay. You didn't state any cost, but the ones I saw were in the 9-13K range, some with a lot of extras. Some had less less than 1000k hrs. All better than mine. It is a great tractor and will do you well for what you want, but go see it first!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
So I looked at the local one last night. Lots of attachments and only 184 hrs, but the tractor didn't look like it only had 184 hrs. For something that really only has a year or two worth of work it showed like it had had plenty more. Tires were worn low on the rear, rust near and on foot rests and overall just looked like it has been worked (which is weird based on hrs). I don't know if it sat outside for it's lifespan or what but at this point I don't think I'll move forward with it. I hate to base a tractor off of "looks" because I know ultimately that doesn't impact how it operates, but I just didn't get a good feeling...so on to the next I suppose.


Also, wanted to ask about smoke on start up....it puffed black when started. Maybe that's typical for diesel, but wanted to see from others what is "normal".
 

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I have been using a 955 on our 65 acre horse farm for over a dozen years. I got it with a backhoe, mm 72"mower and the loader and a Woods posthole digger. I added the front 59" snowblower later. The snowblower has locked up with a rock in the impeller about 3 times in the last 5 years; so the engine went from max rpms to zero in a nanosecond. Restarted immediately; still running. Unsure how many hours on this tractor but well over 2000 I would estimate(I bought it second hand and the hour meter was broken. I have had some repairs (I managed to break the cast stub axle on the front wheel) and the reversing gear came off in the transmission) as well as other repairs( broke the power steering top cap/wheel from grabbing it too much to climb on). The snowblower addition cost $2500 for the snowblower; another $900 in the transfer assembly and the PTO shaft, and hydraulics. The mm mower has some bearing issues so I use ear protection when mowing. I have used the backhoe to bury horses, dig up the bones of old ones, dig foundations, trenched 350 feet of buried electrical service plus dug up a few stumps. This year I added haying to the use list: running a 7 foot sicklebar mower, small tedder and rake as well as a 273 New Holland square baler. The 955 has done all of these. Some have said the 55 series compacts are the best steel to come out of Moline. I think many newer compacts are probably easier to operate(less changeover work) than the 955. I have done much of the work myself in repairs; the parts are not cheap but the local dealer gets them reasonably quickly. If you are absolutely not mechanically handy this may not be a good tractor choice; but I am also not sure you will like the newer Deeres with their very limited repair options for the user and the exhaust treatment systems.
 
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