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We are thinking of putting our old Ford 8N, used mostly for mowing/brush cutting out to pasture. The old gal works a remote property we maintain, not our residence (where we have other equipment we might trailer there). Thus we don't want to purchase a new tractor.

Since I do work on hills, I'm considering any tractor that would come in at under $7K and had ROPS (roll bar and seat belt) plus easily available parts. Diesel would be ideal. I have good mechanical skills and lots of experience on older equipment, but as I get older...I fret more about safety.

Until we find the right used tractor, our almost new JD 3038, with ROPS and 4WD, might be towed up for the occasional mowing. We have another machine up there already, but it's too big and clumsy for mowing; works better for scraping the roads, using its loader, and skidding logs.

The whole Red/Green thing does not matter. We have lots of JDs, Fords, and an Allis-Chalmers in the family. What have been your experiences with various tractors built after 1970? Priorities would be ROPS, availability of parts, price, and diesel (in that order).
 

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You can get a retrofit ROPS kit for most tractors of that era fairly cheaply, just get a few quotes locally and you'll know what you should pay with vs without. Also the retrofits, if they're labelled right, SHOULD be up to more recent standards than the OEM. The only tractor we had from the 70s with a factory ROPS was a JD 2130 which was a great tractor but not sold much in the US south of Vermont and NY.
 
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