look around and see if you can find a ford 55+ that gets you OUT of a NAA and INTO the 00_ series.
much better parts support for 55+ than the 53-54 naa.. especialy when it comes to hyds.
I have done some searching both here and other forums and have found some similar questions but nothing that pertains to my exact situation so I figured Id ask again sorry if this one comes up a lot around here. I just (this past October) purchased an old house on about 14 acres in the Mad River Valley in vermont. I am in the market for a tractor to do a number of task on the land. The land is fairly hilly, soil is mostly clay and is very rocky. There's a brook running through the front of the property and the majority of the property is on the far side of the brook, house and most of the grass is on the front side. I am looking to do a few tasks:
1. Mowing grass, there is only about an acre of grass which is long and narrow very narrow in spots like between the pond and the brook in a section its not much more than 10 feet across. Theres about an acre more that could become a grassy area, and possibly and orchard if I had a suitable tractor to work it with. (I have a mid mount mowing deck from a Bolens tube frame tractor I think with a little modification I could turn it into a rear mount finish mower fairly easily, its 48")
2. Harvesting firewood. Id like to be able to skid logs out of the woods which are fairly hilly and wet in places. Nothing huge most of the trees I am harvesting are only 14" wide or so and can be cut to any length suitable.
3. Some small plowing or tilling. Id like to till or plow about 1/4-1/2 an acre into a large garden/food plot.
4. Snow Removal, Id like to be able to clear the driveway by means of FEL or maybe a back blade. the driveway is more or less level and not that big. I shoveled it by hand all last winter which takes about an hour on average. But we get a lot of snow around here and if its deeper than a foot or so shoveling gets old quick.
5. Landscaping/grading. Theres some spots I'd like to make more level, and Id like to slope the land away from the house for drainage. Theres also a considerable portion of the sides of the brook that got really torn up in hurricane Irene that I would like to move some land to restore. There are some stumps Id like to pull out etc... general land improvement tasks.
6. Theres some decent size rocks Id like to be able to move around the larger ones are about 3.5' in diameter I don't think Id attempt to move anything any bigger than that, most are considerably smaller but too big to attempt by hand.
So finally heres the question. Theres a MF TO-35 with FEL and rear lift and tire chains in great shape I was looking at, the owner is asking $2100. There are a couple other Ford NAA or Ferguson tractors of similar vintage for around this same price range. These tractors I could afford to buy outright in cash. I understand they are 50+ years old and they will require work. I restore vintage volkswagens, and ride old motorcycles I know all about points and early ignitions and lack of power steering etc. The maintenance side of things doesn't bother me. Nor does lack of modern conveniences so long as it can get the job done.
The other option would be to buy a brand new piece of equipment utilizing the 0% financing for 60-84 month deals all the big names seem to be offering right now. Looking at something along the lines of a Kubota B series or similar MF/Mahindra/Deere version of the CUT also looking at some Sub Compact tractors like the BX series but they seem like they may be a little small for the work I plan to do correct me if I am wrong here (except maybe the Mahindra max 28hp this one seems to be more of a small CUT than an sCut).
Either way I want a FEL as part of the deal for sure. Id love a backhoe too but don't know if I can swing it. If the land was all level I don't think there would be a question I would go with the old american Iron. I have fears about the 2WD being up to the tasks on my terrain. On the other hand I have read the small 4wd lack the weight and tire size and are more tippy on hills than these old Utility tractors so there seems to be conflicting viewpoints on the matter. With loaded tires and chains do you think the 2wd can handle the tasks I need it to do?
Basically it comes down to is it worth it to spend close to 10x more for a new tractor if it means I have to finance it for the next 6-8 years. Power is also greater on the older tractors although I think they make it at a higher rpm, but the Ferg TO-35 I am looking at is 35hp vs the new tractors I could afford would be in the lower 20s. I know there will be headaches with the old machine but how many of these New tractors do you think will be operating in 60 years?
So whats your vote and why.