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Old 01-17-2009, 10:53 AM
 
9,807 posts, read 13,761,838 times
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Broken Tap-------I hate to disappoint you , but that picture is NOT a Ford 900.

I , for a short time, owned a Ford 960 and it nowhere resembles the tractor in the picture.

The Ford 600,700,800, and 900 were built from 1955-1956 and were white in color and had more "rounded" of a shape.

In fact the 800 was the regular Ford and the 900 was the row crop model.

The Ford in your picture is dark grey and resembles more the old 8N /9N models.
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Old 01-17-2009, 12:15 PM
 
1,291 posts, read 2,612,912 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenTap View Post
When I went looking for a small tractor to work around the house, I was looking for a Ford as that was what we always had for a tractor in this size range. Obviously Ford no longer makes tractors so ultimately it came down between New Holland and Kubota.

I must say I was very leery of Kubota, but its hard to ignore a 5000 dollar price difference on the same size tractor. The salesman told me it was "too small", but I bought it anyway mostly because its all I had money for.

The original poster asked if anyone regretted buying a small unit, and I must say that isn't the case with me. I really thought the smaller tractor would be useless, but its incredible where this tractor will go and what it will pull. I must admit that I have beat on this tractor at times, but its always held up, and after 10 years, I have yet to break anything on it. As hard as I have used it, that really is a testament to its strength.
I wish I had your log skidder attachment...I have a 150' elevation change on my 50 acres and lots of timber that needs thinning. I get puckered just thinking about trying to drag a heavy log up a steep incline.
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Old 01-17-2009, 03:04 PM
 
12,686 posts, read 17,110,440 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marmac View Post
Broken Tap-------I hate to disappoint you , but that picture is NOT a Ford 900.

I , for a short time, owned a Ford 960 and it nowhere resembles the tractor in the picture.

The Ford 600,700,800, and 900 were built from 1955-1956 and were white in color and had more "rounded" of a shape.

In fact the 800 was the regular Ford and the 900 was the row crop model.

The Ford in your picture is dark grey and resembles more the old 8N /9N models.
The tractor in the picture appears to be a Ferguson, possibly a TO30. Here's a pic of one.

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Old 01-18-2009, 04:41 AM
 
1,297 posts, read 3,169,624 times
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Sorry for the confusion as I did not label the picture properly. I should have said that this picture was NOT of my machine, but that I was simply trying to show people on here who had never seen them before, what tracks looked like. Unfortunately our tracks were stolen when a scrap metal dealer came by one day and asked about some scrap metal. After he left we noticed a lot of steel items had turned up missing which were not part of the deal.

As for the 900 Marmac you are close but not entirely right. We had a 1958 Ford 900 so the dates of manufacture you list were not quite right, but I think I can explain it. What my Grandfather bought was an experimental tractor by the Ford Tractor Company. First off it had a diesel engine to it. Another interesting feature was an all hydraulic loader. And finally there was the wide front end.

When a front wheel bearing gave up the ghost, my local dealer and I had it out on this. Like you, he said the tractor never existed. I said it did and this went back and forth for a bit. Now we have known him for generations and us in turn so this was all friendly. Finally he looked it up on microfiche and apologized. Ford had indeed made 1500 of these experimental tractors in 1958.

Now none of these features were new to tractors in 1958, but they were unique to the size and class of tractor. I think the N series tractors had hit their peak and Ford was trying to keep the momentum going in regard to sales. In any case I was silly to trade it in when I did. In another life perhaps I would have kept it and rebuilt it. With so few in existence, it would have been worth keeping.
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Old 01-18-2009, 07:38 AM
 
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Did it look anything at all like the tractor you had in the picture or did it look like a Ford 900 but with a diesel engine?
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Old 01-18-2009, 10:03 AM
 
Location: NE Nebraska
84 posts, read 364,402 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
I bought a Kubota BX23 a couple of years ago and sometimes I find that I'm pushing it a little too hard or asking more than it was designed for.
In the case of my BX23 pushing it too hard = mowing the lawn. The tractor is a piece of crap and so is the dealer where I bought it.
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Old 01-19-2009, 11:55 PM
 
Location: Jewel Lake (Sagle) Idaho
28,846 posts, read 18,423,666 times
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The things I regret are not buying sooner, and not buying bigger (at least more HP). I just got a Kubota L3240HST a month ago, it's been great so far at clearing snow, but I already wish I had more HP on hills. Otherwise I love it, the HST Plus transmission that Kubota has is really nice.

It's too bad no "US" brands make small tractors here any more. The New Hollands are made by Shibaura in Japan as far as I know. Most small Deeres I believe are Yanmar, also Japan (though this might only be the 790). I think Kubota has a US plant, I believe I read in Georgia. My first tractor was a grey market Shibaura, I broke the ring gear and haven't been able to get a replacement, decided to go orange the second time around.

Last edited by Toyman at Jewel Lake; 01-20-2009 at 12:03 AM..
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:34 AM
 
1,297 posts, read 3,169,624 times
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I believe you are right. I was told JD tractors under 100 hp are made overseas and my Kubota says "Made in USA" or "Assembled in USA", which as you point out is better then most makers.

As for your knock-off, I was real iffy about buying a Kubota because Belerius Tractors were all the rage here in the 1990's and one guy broke his rear-x after a few months of work and could never get another part for it. After hemming and hawing for awhile, I figured Kubota had been around enough so that this was not a problem.

Another farmer I know bought a Duetz-Allis tractor rated at 120 hp but our silage chopper he hooked onto would bring the machine to its knees. Our 120 hp JD took it without complaint. Even the other farmer admitted that the true HP was not the same even though it was rated as such.

I am not saying Kubota or large hp JD's are perfect, I am simply saying that a person really has to be really up on things when comparing tractors to get the right one for his application.
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Old 01-20-2009, 04:50 AM
 
1,297 posts, read 3,169,624 times
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To go a step further, I might add that a person should be color blind when buying tractors too. I know my Great Grandfather was a Farmall Man, but in 2009 we can not be that blind-sided. With prices for tractors being stated as "you can have that for a ¼"...the quarter meaning a quarter of a million dollars, you must really make sure the purchase pencils out with reduced fuel consumption, draw bar pull percentage and available work for the machine.

Maybe some of you have a spare ½ million kicking around, but for us we have to finance. Financing a ¼ million dollar machine means a .5% reduction on the interest rate really adds up and keeps the farm in the black! We shop around a lot for financing and recently found a guy that is a wheelier and dealer. He is the real deal, but he can work amazingly low interest rates for equipment. He tends to do well with New Holland so we have been getting this equipment lately. I like the machines but lets be honest, the comfort level of a 2009 New Holland and a 2009 John Deere are virtually the same. So are the capabilities of a 400 hp tractor. What it really boils down to is service and parts. Our NH dealer is 5 miles away. Our JD dealer is 20. When the hay is down and the tractor is down too with rain approaching, those extra 30 miles (round trip) can be costly. But the down side can be, if the dealer 5 miles away never stocks parts, its better to go the extra 30 miles and get what you need.

When we got our silage chopper, the local dealer said it would never work in Maine and would not get us one. So we went 170 miles away and got one and proved him wrong. Now other farmers are catching on to self-propelled choppers and the dealer is scrambling to get back a lost reputation.
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Old 01-20-2009, 05:28 AM
 
1,297 posts, read 3,169,624 times
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I've mentioned Draw Bar Pull Efficiency several times and thought I would explain it now. Its nothing complicated, but basically states that most tractors in the US use only 50% of their rated drawbar pull (or hp). This is VERY inefficient as studies have shown that the percentage should be more like 85%.

Now to get that, you can either scale your tractor down, but the real choice is to scale your implement up. This is expensive as you are talking lost more implements rather then one machine. Last year we did this by buying two pieces of equipment. We replaced a 10 foot haybine with a 16 foot haybine, and a 20 foot disk harrow with a 33 foot disk harrow.

The required hp went up, so instead of putting 50% of that hp out the stack in wasted fuel, we were able to get more done with less fuel. Consider the haybine, for every 3 trips around field before, it takes 2 now. Assuming a field takes 25 trips, that is the same tractor covering the same ground in 16 trips instead.

The disk harrow is even more impressive. Since we plant 800 acres of corn, to disk that much sod before our tractor would have traveled 318 miles to do it. Now it takes 169 miles, a difference of 149 miles. Wow!

Of course you can only scale your implements up to a certain level. A lot of people found that out around here when they bought small tractors and tried to bale hay with them. You can move those bales around, and you can even bale them, but baling and wrapping those green bales takes a lot more tractor. It would be easy to say "then to heck with balage then", but don't be so quick. Green hay, or balage as it's called, can give up to 30% more protein. If you have milking cows, a bigger tractor is quickly paid off in a bigger milk check every 2 weeks. For the sheep farmer, it can mean feeding less hay to the sheep AND at the same time getting a better fleece from the sheep as high protein hay makes for better wool. That's saving money and making money from one farm managment change. Then there is the health benefits, its easy to see that quality feed saves money in vet bills, replacment animals and mortality levels. Because of this, 100 hp 2 wheel drive tractors are flying off dealers lots as people get into balage at least around here...and for good reason!

Finally there is the adage that everyone has heard about who has ever grown up on a farm...Gear up, Throttle down.

Drawbar pull is not entirely hp. In fact I dislike hp as a measuring tool as torque is a better way to deal with it. If you cannot up-size your implements easily, or scale down your tractor, you may still be able to dial in your drawbar pull effeciency by better matching your gear selection with throttle position. Lets say you have a smaller 25 hp tractor with a 2 bottom plow. It has 8 forward gears so you can plow in 3rd gear and use a higher throttle position to give you the ground speed you want, or you can gear up to 5th gear and throttle down. You are thus getting your ground speed that you are after, but your throttle is lower saving fuel, but not so low that you stall when you hit a big rock. That's how it works. In fact there probably is a combination of gears and throttle that gets you close to that 85% range. You are rewarded with less fuel consumption and the same amount of work accomplished per given hour.

Gear up, Throttle Down. Its also why the bigger tractors have 20 foward gears or more, and why you should never put a 120 hp JD tractor pulling a 2 bottom plow. As farmers we owe it to ourselves to be:

1. More professional and use fuel resources wisely
2. Grow food as effeciently as possible
3. Don't pollute the air with carbon dioxide emmisions that are not needed to get the job done.
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