Steiger cougar or JD8640 or 8630

Give us some more details. Does the Steiger have a Cummins or Cat engine? Size? Transmission package? Are the Deeres equipped with the 50 series engines? Has the Hi-Lo in the Quad Range been updated? Work done on any of the mentioned tractors done by shade tree mechanic or trained professional?
A Deere with the upgrades would appeal to me the most. Hard to beat the Sound Guard cab when in good condition. My 2 cents.
It is open as to option for I am just starting to look at them and I was wondering what to ask and look for. So a little hard to give more details
Where can you get parts for the Steiger, would be my first question.
I think most people have a Deere dealer in their vicinity.
We got a Cougar 3 with the Cat. Sometin about this new fuel, it doesn't pull as good. If your buying a steiger i'd go one with a cummins. Just my opinion.
Repair history and documentation would be my most important criteria. Things to look before on the Deere besides what I previously mentioned would be does it jump out of any gears, wear on axle bearings, hydraulic pump noisy? There are guys on this site that can cover these things in more detail. Things the Steiger does not have are optional draft sensitive 3 point hitch and fully integral independent PTO. I've operated a Steiger and a Deere 8640 (and 8430) and find the Deere more operator friendly and comfortable.
Depending how the Steiger is outfitted in terms of engine and transmission it may have more raw power and maybe a tad more durable than the Deere.
Just make sure you ask all the questions the responders bring up here. Steiger drive trains sometimes are quite modified from what came from the factory and lots of upgrades were available for the Deeres. I think an upgraded 8630 with good records is the best value for the money.
It depends somewhat which series Steiger Cougar ?
Steiger series I --II--IIV--IV or 1000 series.

The Steiger tractors are heavily built and very reliable. They are a unit built tractor, in that drive axles, power divider / drop box, and transmission are seperate units that can be removed individually for service, unlike JD's unitized trans/drop box / rear axle that is also the rear frame, so no units can be removed. Also JD had engine problems resulting from using the engine block as a structural member of the front frame.

The early Steiger series(I--IV) use a lot of construction / heavy truck parts in engines, transmissions drive axles, so parts avalibility and price is driven down by the avalibility of new /rebuilt / used construction / truck parts.

While the cab and open center hydraulics of a series I--IV Steiger are not quite as good as a JD closed center hydraulics and sound guard cab, The 1000 series Steiger has pressure and flow compensated closed center hydraulics and cab, AC,air seat, that is equal or superior to the 30-40-50 series JD.
Steiger parts are no problem at any Case/ IH dealer or the several independant suppliers like "Big Tractor Parts" that specialise in new or remanufactured Steiger parts, often for far less than the dealer price.

I have two, an 84 model series IV Panther KM325 and an 85 model, 1000 series Cougar KR1225.
They are great reliable tractors.
"Things the Steiger does not have are optional draft sensitive 3 point hitch and fully integral independent PTO"

That is true of the Steiger Series I--IV, but the 1000 series Steigers starting with the 85 models do have a fully integral independent PTO
Then for the proper comparison would be the Deere 8560 or 8760 or 70 series against the Steiger 1000 series for features and price. The older Steigers and the 8630/ 8640 should be in the mid-teens price wise to start and I was working under the basis the poster was looking for the best value in that range. The Steigers have their merits. I have a higher comfort level with the Deeres but that is me.
Yes, the first 1000 series Steiger with PTO and better cab/ hydraulics came out in 85 which would align with the JD 50 series.
My farming partner just traded his Steiger Cougar after having a few OH NO moments when the dealer said the parrticular part we needed toget it going again were no longer available. We had to get a replacement rear end from South Dakota when a bearing went out. Them last spring the splines on the hydaulic drive shaft stripped. The mechanic found an after market source in MN. He was afraid of not being able to find the parts he would need for the next breakdown.

It was a great tractor otherwise. Good power to weight and pulled everything we hooked to it. Drove nice and had a decent cab and controls. It was replaced by a Versatile from Buhler.
I would stay away from the 30 series very $$$$$$$$to fix you ought to look for a 50 series better built units esprcially with a cummins repower .But if you can find a 30 series that got a new 50 engine that mother deere replaced for free you might get lucky
bought a new steiger cougar back in the era with cummings, that machine would just flat out pull anything you gave it. loved the unit i had,would have been really nice thou if they would have had pto back then. Nowdays any tractor you buy should always have 3pt and pto on them big units. deere units in that same time frame fron what I was around were no where near the pullers that the steigers were
We use a couple of them. One os a 325 panther and plays with a 30 foot sunflower disk with nn egg beater behind it. The other is a Cougar with a 310 3406 in it. Will pull the same disk playing with it. I can't find a bigger chisel plow for it that I can afford so still use the 1600 JD with 16 teeth just plays with it a gear faster than the disk.

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