Plastic tractors, Oh boy!

   / Plastic tractors, Oh boy! #1  


Super Member
May 12, 2013
I had a few extra minutes today so I stopped at the green tractor place, just to compare apples with apples. I started looking at the small tractors first, kick the tires, for some reason I knocked the fender, plastic, yeah ok went down the line to the bigger ones, plastic fenders everywhere, guess it's been awhile since I looked at John Deere, I wasn't impressed. I know plastic is ok for the hayfield in warm weather, but it's been my experience in cold air, if I sneeze it cracks, let alone the narrow 2" fender clearance, that's a good thing for JD cause I wont be able to fit tire chains on them, if I did get them on, one slap in January and kiss those pretty green plastic fenders good by.

So this makes me wonder in todays tractor colors, who wins the most plastic on a tractor award.... I mostly focused on 3033R and to be somewhat fair, the rear ends looked rugged, on all, but the front end housing on most of JD, to me looked really light duty, might be strong but didn't look it to me, until I got to the big tractors.
   / Plastic tractors, Oh boy! #2  
Yea, it's funny how some manufacturers advertise plastic hoods and fenders as a positive selling point. They say that metal dents and rusts, but everybody knows that in 20 years that plastic is gonna be cracked and faded.

At least with metal I can remove it, strip it, weld it, repaint it, and make it look new again with a little elbow grease.
   / Plastic tractors, Oh boy! #3  
Just about all the newer tractor have good share of plastic showing and pricy also.
Tire chains hear that,added cost for spacers,last thing you want getting good size stick caught in tire chain than hitting feender $$$$'s OUCH!!!
Far as cleaning just can't beat plastic or less rusting.
   / Plastic tractors, Oh boy! #4  
All the plastic makes me glad I got one of the last good ones... my 3005 has steel fenders, hood, grill... and the next bigger tractor I'll be getting isn't likely to be less than 15 to 20 years old when I get it in a few years.
   / Plastic tractors, Oh boy! #5  
There is a bit of plastic on my 2009 Kubota B26 tractor. Hood and fenders are all steel but the canopy top is plastic. My LS has plastic fenders but the hood is steel as is the roof of the cab.
   / Plastic tractors, Oh boy! #6  
The outer rear fenders, "mud flaps/tail lights", headlight surrounds, instrument panel and lower panel on my Mahindra 2540 (TYM?) are all plastic; some are complex shapes that couldn't be formed in metal. Hood, engine side panels, main parts of the fenders, all steel.
The two mud flaps in the back have both broken, mostly because they are in an awesomely handy place to put a hand when getting on the backhoe, and also because the QH nicks 'em when it's all the way up. IOW, not the sturdiest things. I'll replace them with metal bits that are a bit less shapely, and perhaps go to LED lights at the same time.
But still, less plastic overall, percentage-wise, than you'd find in, say, a Bentley. Certainly nothing that worries me.
   / Plastic tractors, Oh boy! #7  
I have no preference.

Alot of the plastic cracking, depends on just what the plastic is.

And painted plastic fades no more than painted metal.

Metal rusts and dents. Plastic "can" crack. Downsides to both. I have a Kubota with a metal hood, metal fenders, plastic grill, plastic handles, plastic steering wheel.

Look at all the plastic on cars and trucks. Under the hood, inner fender wells, freaking door and tailgate handles, bed liners, plastic bed sides and dually Flair's, bumper covers on cars, etc. Heck, I drive a plastic Saturn SL1.

Pros and cons to both, I don't let it be a factor in any of my decisions though.

Would be curious to glimpse 30-40 years into the future though. And do a comparison of how many plastic fenders are cracked vs how many metal ones rusted out. I'm betting it's a wash.
   / Plastic tractors, Oh boy! #8  
My telehandler is mostly plastic. Two if not three of the fenders have sizeable cracks. IMG_1499.JPG

   / Plastic tractors, Oh boy! #9  
My '52 8N is 65 years old, all metal, and has no cracks or rust.

Well OK, it has a little rust, but I could fix it if I wanted to...:)
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   / Plastic tractors, Oh boy! #10  
My telehandler is mostly plastic. Two if not three of the fenders have sizeable cracks. View attachment 518414


And the alternative had they been metal fenders?

Perhaps they would still look like new? Or perhaps whatever cause the cracks would have dented a fender bad enough to chew the h3ll out of a tire before you realized it?