I have been offered a John Deere 670 compact tractor with 5ft topper for £2,500, including delivery. Does this sound good value?

The tractor has done 2,568 hours and appears to be in good condition, with electrics and PTO working. I have two questions.  Also will the tractor be man enough to use on five acres of hilly paddock and pull a half-size roller?

A: With the help of John Deere's publicity team, and particularly Steve Mitchell at ASM Public Relations, along with Horticulture Week archives, I have managed to track the JD 670 back to 1990.

It was first introduced to the grounds care industry at the IoG Sports & Leisure World Trade Exhibition in Peterborough in September 1990. Articles at the time said it had a three-cylinder diesel engine developing 18.5hp and a new two-range synchromesh transmission with eight forward and two reverse speeds, with straight line shift from forward to reverse. Fuel capacity was 24 litres and tractor weight, field ready, was 995kg.

Hydrostatic power steering and a 540rpm rear PTO were standard, as well as mechanical front-wheel drive. A mid-mounted 2,100rpm PTO with brake was available as an option.

"Operator comfort is an important aspect of the new styling. There is a roomy, open platform, with new instrumentation and a deluxe seat, and single-lever control of the hydraulic system makes operation of the implements fast and simple.

"Safety features strongly, with a lock on the hydraulic system's selective control valve and automatic PTO shut-off when the operator leaves the seat. The JD 670 will accept a variety of midand rear-mounted implements, including loaders, mowers and snow blowers."

The 2,568 hours your offered tractor has done sounds a lot, but if it is a 1990 model then it has been used for about 128 hours a year - fewer than 2.5 hours a week.

Is that value for money? Certainly JD tractors were, and are, of strong build, which is why they tend to retain their value. There are lots of JD tractors of this age still being used on golf courses and in market gardens, indicating their robustness and sound engine.

Providing that the model offered to you has been properly maintained and serviced, and in view of the fact that it comes with a 5ft topper, then I think it is a sensible price. When it was first introduced more than 20 years ago, the 670 had a price tag of £7,700 + VAT.

Will it cope with hilly ground and pull a half-roller? It is difficult to say without seeing the site - assessing the hilliness and bogginess of the ground - and inspecting the roller.

Being geared rather than hydrostatic should make pulling implements easier and the 670's four-wheel drive should be an advantage to you. The tractor's specification states an at-hitch lift of 417kg.

Email your questions to sally.drury@haymarket.com

Sally Drury has been reporting on product developments and testing kit for 29 years. The advice given in this helpline is independent.

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