I am getting started back cropping and am trying to decide which way to go for my primary tractor. I am planning on min till and some full tillage for wheat. already have 85 acres spoke for and looking to get to 200 or 300 mark by spring 13. I need to cover acres quickly as I am only part time farm currently. I have a 3020 deere and small tillage equip but need to upsize. The white and the deere are both 11k with roughly the same hours the white is a 79 the deere is a 75. I grew up deere but the white with a kitty under the hood is a cheap big horse. I am not afraid to plant with an articulate 4 wheeler and would like the extra ponies when I do deep till
i had a white 4 185 big piece of junk only had 4400 hrs on it looked nice tires were good but nothing worked right and the v8 cat had no touqe what so ever i paid 5500 for it at auction couldnt keep oil from running out the seals had them fixed for 2000 then sold it for 3500 good riddens on the other hand we still have a 4640 2wd deere will out work that white any time . we truned the pump up put wide spaced duals on it with calcium in all back tires with extra deep tread and that tractor is a bear plus the hydrolics are much stronger on the deere pd 8500 for the 4640 and i could sell it any time for 12000 now .
Never was around a 4WD White so I can only tell you what I've read about them. I can't refute Jeremy's first hand experience however I would question how well the previous owner had taken care of the machine before sending it to auction.
Most comments I've read about 4WD Whites said the owners liked the features of the tractor itself with the low profile and low center of gravity but they weren't crazy about the Cat 3208 V-8. I have read that some people say they lack torque. The engines are dry sleeved and have been dubbed as "throw away" engines. I think because of that pretty much all 4WD Whites are cheap horsepower except for maybe the 4-270. However, White used the Cat 3208 in all their 4WDs from '75-'85, I've seen them in other tractors and combines and I know they were used in a lot of over the highway trucks so quite a few manufacturers had faith in them. I've seen 4WD Whites with Cat 3208's advertised with 8000-12000 hours on them but honestly I'd be a little leery of buying one with more than 4000 hours unless I knew somebody that could work on the motor. I'm not an engine guy so I can't say how much dry sleeves affect the longivity of a higher horsepower V-8. They may last just fine, I really don't know.
I think a 4WD White is better off being an addition to an operation for primary and secondary tillage but if you're looking for a primary tractor to do everything you might be better off with the 4630.
3208 is a junk engine they have bought many tech's house and boat and truck. Go with the 4630 for that reason check the 4630 to see if the engine has been worked on these engines were not that great but far better than a 3208.