Tractor Question

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by SouthWesteader, Oct 21, 2005.

  1. SouthWesteader

    SouthWesteader Gardener

    Messages:
    245
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    CA
    Hi, guys,

    I'm thinking of getting a tractor for bush-hogging, grading, dirt moving, ditch digging, and possibly lawn mowing, and I have a couple of questions... Whats the safest/easiest brand of antiques? 20-40 hp... I was thinking of an 8n, but I heard they had too many limitations, and are unsafe... :shrug: Alice C? John Deere? Ford? Farmall? Also, are FEL's worth the trouble?

    Thanks! :)

    John
     
  2. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,084
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    If you like the 8n except for its limitations look for a MF 35 which has more gears a live PTO and 3pth. Otherwise they're very similar. Not sure I'd lable an 8n unsafe, all tractors are unsafe to some degree! I'd avoid Allis tractors simply because parts can be hard to get, same is true for some IH's and off shore MF's
     

  3. SouthWesteader

    SouthWesteader Gardener

    Messages:
    245
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    CA
    Hmmm.... MF35's look pretty good, but also pretty expensive. I noticed that Farmall, Allis Chalmers, and J. I. Cases are the least expensive, but I like the looks of John Deeres best (although looks aint everything). So I was thinking of getting a John Deere A or B, or a Farmall C, H or M. Anything I need to know about 'em?

    Thanks!

    John
     
  4. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    7,154
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    The tractors you listed are all to outdated to opperate the equipment you'll need to have for the things you want to do. IH didn't have 3 point hitch until the 60s. Look for three things. 1, 3 point hitch 2, Live PTO 3, At least 40 HP to handle the tools properly. If the cost isn't out of reach for your budget, a tractor with a loader is twice as good as the same tractor without one. There is no end to the uses you will find for the loader.
     
  5. seedspreader

    seedspreader AFKA ZealYouthGuy

    Messages:
    11,456
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2004
    Location:
    NW Pa./NY Border.
    pishaw... an 8n would easily handle all you mention except the ditch digging. But I can't imagine you will be digging too many ditches eh???

    The main problem with 8N's around here is EVERYONE wants them and they are priced about 1000 dollars more than their actual worth.
     
  6. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    Messages:
    13,084
    Joined:
    May 9, 2002
    Location:
    Ontario
    Keep in mind cheap tractors are cheap for a reason, try finding parts for some of them! I rebuilt the engine on my Case 580 CK backhoe.......... boy do i wish I had bought the Ford! Don't know much about older Deeres except i think they lack a 3pth. Parts should be easy they're very popular with restorers. Just a side note, avoid those tricycle configurations, they can be very unstable. Great row crop tractors and fine with sensible handling but if your a novice they could be a handful.
     
  7. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    8,323
    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    MN
    What you want is a tractor with:

    Live pto & hydraulics.

    Wide front end.

    3pt hitch.

    Power steering.

    A loader.

    That will cost you about $4000 - 5000.

    An Oliver 550, a Ford 660 or 860, and so forth. Mostly tractors from the mid to late 50's into the 60's will do what you want.

    The N is not good for a loader, does not have live pto or hydaulics.

    Most of the other cheap tractors you listed do not have 3pt hitch.

    --->Paul
     
  8. Arborethic

    Arborethic Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    186
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2005
    Location:
    Texas
    John, I'm a 'Kubota man'. LOL... I grew up on a Poppin' Johnny' (John Deere Model B tricycle). What was said about the tricyle is true...it can be a dangerous tractor, even in the hands of an experienced operator. The other tractors I used as a youngster were Ford 8/9n's. They were good tractors...FORTY YEARS AGO! But now they suck!

    Twenty-five years ago I bought a tiny 12HP Kubota with a front loader, backhoe, and 4' shredder. I paid $1800 for it, which was about the same as a bare bones, good, Ford 8N sans equipment. I discovered that it had a bad head gasket, and would use water at a rate of a gallon an hour. Rather than tear it down, I just carried a five gallon can of water with me. I worked that tractor HARD for at least five, maybe six, years. Except for having to replace a battery, and a couple of hydraulic hoses, it never let me down. But what was most impressive was that it competed with tractors with two and three times the HP, and won! Where others bogged down or overheated, that tiny Kubota got the job done.

    I've since owned 3 other Kubotas. The latest, a B21, can outwork a Ford or John Deere of twice the size. None of the Kubotas I've owned has ever lost a day of work due to a malfunction or failure, with the exception of a B20 that blew a powersteering seal...but the dealer brought us a B21 to the jobsite and picked up the B20 for repair.

    My 'puny' B21 will pull a five foot shredder over 3" diameter trees and turn them into mulch. It's backhoe will dig 7.5' deep...even through soft limestone! But, as tractor folks will do, I lust after a new Kubota 30/30...which has a fully enclosed cab with A/C! LOL... But then, I'm getting old and lazy.... Hmmm...forgot to check to see if Kubota is offering the optional DVD.

    If you check around, you'll find that a late model tractor can often be had at prices equal to or lower than the 'antique' tractors. Dealers will sometimes 'wholesale' you a late model tractor in order to get your long term business.
     
  9. michiganfarmer

    michiganfarmer Max Supporter

    Messages:
    6,615
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2005
    Location:
    Near Traverse City Michigan
    A John Deere 720 diesel with a pony is all you will ever need. They are around 59 horse power, have 3 point, live PTO, have good hydrolics, a wide front end that you can put floatation tires on for a loader, and they run forever. Ours has 20,000 hours on it, and the only engine work we have every done is replace one broken piston when we had a cold snap in the early 80's. The temp got down to 30 below, and a piston cracked. I also have an alice chalmers D-19. It has tons of power, but the 3 point is half on the tractor, and half on the impliments. I would never buy another alice chalmers.