I ran across an article this morning about the booming market for low-tech tractors. Farmers are buying up old tractors at auction because the older tractors are cheaper to buy, cheaper to operate, and cheaper to repair.
The article opens with the story of Kris Folland, a Minnesota farmer who bought a 1979 John Deere tractor. The article says he “retrofitted it with automatic steering guided by satellite.” That’s the part of the article I wanted to comment on.
If you suggest that anything new isn’t better, someone will label you a Luddite. But Folland is not a not Luddite. He wants satellite technology, though he also wants a machine he can repair himself. He didn’t buy a 1979 tractor out of nostalgia. He bought it because it was an order of magnitude cheaper to own and operate.