I’ve heard of the 8850’s issues regarding water and engine temperature (basically the same issue the 903 had), and that an overhaul will cost around $ 30,000. The last time we called Cummins to check a 903, two years ago, they gave us a budget of over $ 20,000. My problem is that I can and have reviewed a 903 myself for $ 2,500 for the kit below, so the 903 has never scared me. But I can’t find a overhaul kit for a 955 JD engine. The beauty of an 8970/8960 is that with the 855 Cummins, in case you go to hell, a overhaul kit only costs about $ 1,200.
Currently, I drive the grain cart with a JD 8640 that has 8,000 hours on it that I paid $ 18,000 for two years ago. It’s okay in the car, but I’d be SOL if my air seeder tractor fell off, and the 8640’s pants are filled with some of the tillage we do. There are currently several 8,850 in the area with similar hours w / PTO that could pick up for ~ 25,000. The 8970/8960 are above $ 70,000-80,000 with TDF in the area.
I guess if the engine breaks down in my 8640, I would spend about $ 15,000 to get it running again. So my question is: for a secondary tractor whose main function is to pull a grain cart (but I wish it had enough HP to put the crop with it, worst case), would it be better to buy cheap HP w / PTO on an 8850, or spend more money for a “back-up” tractor than I did on the tractor that I trust to put in most of my crop?
We have had 8850s for several years and will always have a soft spot for these tractors and they are cheap horsepower. From what you describe the 8850 would do everything you need, until 2 years ago they were our main tractors since 1996, we have pulled a 62 ‘chisel plow with a coil packer, a 57’ flexi-coil hoe in No-till stubble with 345 bushel carts and right now we have one on a 61 ‘JD 1820 with a 430 bushel cart and they have a lot of power to do everything we’ve tried to do with them. We also used one in a Kinze 1050 car for several years and we really liked it, we had a repowered Kinze 8850 and we liked the v-8 better although the cummins performed better in the car due to the low rpm torque. I don’t think the 8850 is anything to fear, they are like a lot of other computers, if they are well maintained and cared for they will be good for you, I hope this helps.
I will try to address your issues with my opinion (s)
Although the 955 and 903 have their similarities, the differences are numerous
- The overhaul kit for the 8850 would be over $ 10,000.
- The labor would be much more complicated on the 8850, remove the front end, roll the front axle out, and so on, not as simple as the Versatile (what tractor is it?)
- That said, the 8850 versus the 950 is like comparing a Mercedes to a Chevrolet, the 8850 will have more power, better cabin, better hydraulics, and unmatched handling.
While I personally think the 8850 will outperform the 8960/8970, you have to really want the 8850 (for its ride and power), if you had one to “drop” you could easily get to the price of the 8960/8970 in no time. If you are diligent in your search for 8960/8970 you can find 8960 for $ 45k (one in the ND role right now for that price) and you can add PT0 for $ 11k max, and less if you find a PTO accessory used. (The main components of the PTO are the same from 8960 to 9620)
Since you don’t need the tractor today, I would personally shop far and wide, and take the time to find an 8960 with more hours, well maintained, and put a PTO on it. The 8850 is a good all-wheel drive machine, which the gear water pump only annoys me with the high priced motor.2wd 50 series, if the gear water pump failed and took away a crankshaft bearing, it doesn’t take much to get to the engine.I was looking for a cheap 8960 last year (much bigger than I really need) to replace my old 8630 JD which is the main horse and tractor grain wagon, ended up with a 946 vers.for 15k to 20k less than an 8960 and kept the 8630 for the car.Sure I don’t need 2 4wd’s, but the old 8630 is worth scrap.