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  1. #1
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    Default Lokng for first tractor and liking the Ford 641

    We purchased 70 acres of WRP land and looking for a small tractor for mowing and food plots. Will be mowing 30 acres and 5-6 food plot acres. The 600 series look like a good fit, specifically a 641 i found. Looking for guidance and experience. Being just for weekend playing around, dependability is key. Am i on target for the $3000 range? Also, for implements i am looking at a 6 foot disc and 5 foot rotary mower. From the spec HP, i think i should be covered but would appreciate any comments. thanks

  2. #2
    Gold Member wcampbell47's Avatar
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    Kubota 7510 and B3200

    Default Re: Lokng for first tractor and liking the Ford 641

    If you are going to mow 30 acres with a 5 foot shredder I suggest you look at this chart.
    TractorData.com - Mowing with tractors

    If you plug in your mower size, approx speed and acres it will estimate how long it takes to mow. You are looking at two full 9 hour days according the the chart. There are many variables in the mowing so it is just an estimate. I drove a gas version of this model Ford in 1966 pulling logs out to the loading area from the woods. It was pretty powerful. I now own a one year old 32 hp orange tractor with 4WD with hydro. Modern tractors are much more advanced than a 50 year old tractor.
    Caution: Some of my posts may be politically incorrect.
    Kubota B7510 & B3200

  3. #3
    Elite Member TomSeller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wcampbell47 View Post
    If you are going to mow 30 acres with a 5 foot shredder I suggest you look at this chart.
    TractorData.com - Mowing with tractors
    .
    Nice reference chart. I had not seen this before.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Lokng for first tractor and liking the Ford 641

    Very nice graph. Much like everything else i am running into with this entire project is not understanding my limitations. This graph does a great job of defining time required for the mowing effort. For MPH, what speed would you think i could pull on flat ground with a mower? I guess this would help me understand disking time too, only at a much slower rate. I appreciate your help and found your notes on your orange tractor to be solid. The guy i am looking at buying the Ford from told me to at least think about something more current but understands my interest in the old school unit. Told me to take the Ford and have fun for a couple of years because he knows i will be back for a diesel with 4wd. Must be a pattern of newbies to this tractor owner progression.... Again thanks for the help.

  5. #5
    Veteran Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    Eugene, Oregon
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    Toro D200, Ford 1715, International 884,

    Default Re: Lokng for first tractor and liking the Ford 641

    That is a pretty old tractor, but I think some people have had good luck with the old Fords. The power range looks good, so it should be able to handle a small tiller or brush hog fairly well.

    The Ford that my Grandfather had only had one-way hydraulics on the bucket. I'm not quite sure what that meant for use, but you couldn't do things like lift the tires out of a hole with the bucket, or power yourself forward with the bucket when stuck. It also woudn't be too good for digging, although many of the new wide buckets don't dig well either.

    I'm sure there are discussions of gas vs diesel that are worth looking up.

    It may be easier for the lay-mechanic to understand gasoline engines. And they start quicker (no glow plugs), and better in really cold weather.

    However, Diesel engines may have less problems with things like varnish and carburetor fouling (obviously no carburetor, but...). Anyway, the Diesel engines may sit better for occasional use.

    I'm a fan of 4x4 tractors, but you won't hit those until the 70's and 80's.

    Wetlands?

    A 4x4 could be handy.

    There is a lot of variety in the condition of 50 year old tractors. Some people keep them cherried. Other's just beat on them a bit. Anything can go wrong with a 50 year old piece of equipment.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member wmonroe's Avatar
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    1958 Ford 961 Powermaster

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    I have a ford 961 and I believe it is similar or the same power to he one you are looking at. Is your land flat or hilly? I run a 6' brush hog behind mine and it handles it very well even with my fairly steep hills. Not sure what my speed is but I run at pto rpm in 3rd gear so probably around 4 mph. If your land is flat you could run a 7' model and if you're not cutting heavy brush could probably even handle a 8'. It is all going to depend on your terrain and what you're cutting.
    Kubota L5240 with loader and backhoe

    1958 Ford 961 Powermaster LP

  7. #7
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: Lokng for first tractor and liking the Ford 641

    Quote Originally Posted by wmonroe View Post
    I have a ford 961 and I believe it is similar or the same power to he one you are looking at. Is your land flat or hilly? I run a 6' brush hog behind mine and it handles it very well even with my fairly steep hills. Not sure what my speed is but I run at pto rpm in 3rd gear so probably around 4 mph. If your land is flat you could run a 7' model and if you're not cutting heavy brush could probably even handle a 8'. It is all going to depend on your terrain and what you're cutting.
    not even close. a 961 has a 172ci engine vs the 641's 134ci engine. figure almost +46% hp.. ie.. 33 vs 48

  8. #8
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    ym1700, NH7610S, Ford 8N, 2N, NAA, 660, 850 x2, 541, 950, 941D, 951, 2000, 3000, 4000, 4600, 5000, 740, IH 'C' 'H', CUB, John Deere 'B', allis 'G', case VAC

    Default Re: Lokng for first tractor and liking the Ford 641

    to the OP.. mowing 30ac with a 33hp machine and a 5' shredder, if it is open area.. it will be a dark to dark job.

    ZI'd get something larger and move up to at least a 6' shredder.

    if you hd the room.. I'd go to an 8' shredder.. but I don't know what you are maneuvering around.

    If going 6.. then move up into the ford 8xx / 9xx / 4000 4 cyl range and you will have plenty of power to pull a 6' mower thru just about anything.

    the 9xx and 4000 4 cyl rowcrops will let you set up a tad higher.. easier to see. there were wide front ends available for those machines if you don't like trikes.

    I love mowing on a rowcrop personally. even with a 6' mwer.. plan on a long full day of mowing.

    If you can swing an 8' cutter and a ford 4xxx 3 cyl model.. you can hack it down to some more managable time... a 4xxx 3 cyl will probably set you back in the 4000-6500$ range. Might find a 5000 model in that price as well.. it will pull a 10' mower.

    the ford 55-64 00/01/000 4 cyl models should all be able to be had in your 3000$ price range. maybee with a mower as well.

    for the gear trannies on the prior models, you will see 4spds and 5 spds. some of the 5spds are dual clutch.. which isn't particularly needed when mowing.. just use an ORC on the mower. 4 spds are a lil more basic.. but both cut. 59+ you will also see 10spd SOS powershift they will mow just fine.. it's just finding one that runs good and stays running good may be a tad hard. they were ok trannies, IF maintained.

    the 65= 000+ models generally had 4, 6 or 8 spd trannies.. though you also saw the 10spds. those later SOS were more refined than the prior models.

  9. #9
    New Member
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    House Springs,Mo.
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    Kubota M7040

    Default Re: Lokng for first tractor and liking the Ford 641

    I grew up on a FORD 661 WORKMASTER tractor that my dad had from new 1958 until 1972 the 661 was 35 HP 5 speed trans.with live power.It was a workhouse in its day at the time we farmed 300 acres ran it nite and day rebuilt it twice in it's history while we owned it up until 72.After that we traded it for a 4000 FORD DIESEL what an upgrade from the 661.The 641 is baseitly the same but if i recall was a 4 speed trans. and no live power i may be wrong on that anyway, it was the same engine as the 661 both 134 cu. in. So to be honest and yes it will do what you have in mind and if you take your time with it it will serve you well.

  10. #10
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    Branchport NY
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    Kubota MX5100, Kubota M9540, Allis Chalmers G

    Default Re: Lokng for first tractor and liking the Ford 641

    If $3000 is your budget, then an older ford or MF will suffice. We have pulled a 6' bush hog with our ford 3000 diesels ('65 and '73) and as long as it isn't super over grown really dense grass it is fine.. that is with 8X2 trans.
    What is your time frame for mowing? Are you going to be trying to get it all done in one day? or can you chip away evenings and weekends? How many times a year are you going to mow it? As others have asked is it wet?

    If you can spring it go newer diesel 4WD, but only if you need it.. I grew up on old fords, and there is a reason I have been replacing them with newer kubota's, not that they are bad tractors, but after 40-60 years of farming tractors are TIRED. You can't plan on mowing for 8 hours straight with a 50 year old tractor and not expect a break down.. Also if you are new to brush hogging, make sure you watch your thermostat! The radiators on older fords will fill up with seeds! Dandelions will plug a radiator and over heat you.
    If it is 6 volt be ready to change points and plugs and wires, and cap and rotor, and be able to trouble shoot.. We had an 8N my great uncle bought new in '51 that you would literally change the points in before trying to start each spring...
    hth
    Jonathan

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