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  •  Around here the typical tractor is used (16+ / 0-)

    for orchard work, so they're in the 30-50HP range. I bought a 1954 Ferguson TO-35 abut 17 years ago - basically the same as exlrrp's Ford tractor above (both designed by Harry Ferguson), but a little more horsepower and a beefier loader on the front.

    I paid $3500 for the tractor and have spent a little more than that over the years on repairs and maintenance. The big stuff - clutch and rear seal, head gasket, pump refurb and new hoses for the loader - I had done, along with a few tuneups and oil changes, but the small stuff - generator and ammeter, fuel sediment bowl, plugs and wires  - I did myself.

    I use mine for grading our driveway and private road in the spring, skidding logs and hauling brush (with a sling made from a tarp) spring through fall, hauling firewood from the woodshed to the house in winter, and snowblowing driveways and 1/2 mile of private road during the winter.

    The greatest feature on my tractor is the hook on top of the bucket. I can  just drop a logging chain link into it, or a loop in 100-200 ft of 9/16 inch rope, and pick up or skid logs going backwards, or stack them or set them on a sawbuck (the latter keeps me from running the saw chain into the dirt and also saves my back when cutting wood)  I can also hang the aforementioned 8x10 tarp sling off the hook and load a lot more brush (especially long stuff) than will fit in the bucket.

    .

    No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

    by badger on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 08:20:30 AM PDT

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    •  Mine's a Ford 8n, 25 hp (9+ / 0-)

      Its my first tractor and I didn't know what t look for. Now I do. The next tractor I have will be 4wd, I need it on the hills. also a rollbar.
      One of the main disadvantages to the Ford 8n is no parking/emergency brake. Imagine that on a hill. I didn't think to look---bought it from  guy who lived in the flat.
      The scraper in the back works pretty well for that, also to get more traction in the back..
      Even when, not if, I get a newer one, I'll probably keep this one---works fine and easy to understand and fix. This is like the VW Bug of tractors. Parts are still readily available. I've already replaced 3 hydraulic hoses on it, no problemo.

      Happy just to be alive

      by exlrrp on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:02:51 AM PDT

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      •  yeah that hook on the bucket (9+ / 0-)

        Gives it a small crane capacity. Just wish I had a good helper

        Happy just to be alive

        by exlrrp on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:05:05 AM PDT

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      •  My first was an 8N too - there's lots around (10+ / 0-)

        The '8' is for 1948, the first model year. My neighbor has a 9N  from 1939, the 2N is from 1952. Don't recall - there's no lock/ratchet on the brake pedal to hold it down (as a parking brake)? I always use the blade and bucket as anchors anyway, and leave it in gear - rarely use the brake for that.

        The biggest problem I had with the 8N was that it would stall and I wouldn't turn off the ignition key - fries the coil every time, and they're a little hard to get at to replace. Otherwise, I needed 35HP to drive the snowblower or I would have held on to my 8N.

        You can probably sell it for the same or more than what you paid for it if you ever decide to, especially with the loader.

        I didn't have the loader or any weight on the front, and it was really easy to pop a wheelie when pulling a log (going forward) if the log got stuck somewhere.

        No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

        by badger on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 09:23:59 AM PDT

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        •  Don't have trouble stalling (6+ / 0-)

          No, there's no latch to hold the brake down. I could get a strap to hold them together instead of braking each side individually but I learned to hold my foot sideways.
          This starts up smooth every time with no choke. First vehicle I ever had with a hand throttle (besides Motorcycles)
          The loader makes it one mother bear to turn the wheel---if you're not moving, you won't be able to turn it. Mrs e can't drive it, she wants one she can.

          You can see the weights I have wired to the blade. REALLy helps with traction. I'll probably get the wheel weights for the back.

          Happy just to be alive

          by exlrrp on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:06:01 AM PDT

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          •  my very first 3 point hitch (6+ / 0-)

            Ferguson's gift to the world. still getting used to it. Only works with the clutch out, makes it challenging to use the scraper while driving. I coast down the hills in neutral when I'm dragging the blade so I can control the blade.

            Happy just to be alive

            by exlrrp on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:09:57 AM PDT

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            •  Yeah - the newer tractors (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              exlrrp, CJB, Unknown Quantity

              (like mine) have a toggle to lock both brake pedals together, and a toggle and ratchet to hold the brake on. I also have a 2-stage clutch - all the way out and the engine drives the wheels and PTO/hitch, halfway in just the PTO/hitch are powered.

              That's definitely great for snowblowing when you run into a drift or heavy snow. You can clear the blower while the tractor is stopped just by depressing the clutch halfway.

              I finish-graded my house, did my driveway, and pull logs out of slash piles with my 8N and it was a great little tractor, but it had carburetor adjustment problems and would stall on me sometimes. Also, someone didn't put the E-ring back that held the fan in place and it ended up in the radiator, but replacing the radiator was easy and not too expensive.

              No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

              by badger on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 02:25:32 PM PDT

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        •  Yes... there iS an 8N pkg brake (6+ / 0-)

          LQQK at this site --Lott'sa pictures too....

          ~A govt lobbied, campaigned and selected by corporation... is good for corporation. Bad for people.~ -8.88 -8.36

          by Orj ozeppi on Sat Sep 21, 2013 at 10:33:44 AM PDT

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