Katie's Journal

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My First Tractor

by @ 6:10 pm on April 6, 2011.

So I wrote this post up once, and much to my chagrin my phone ate it. I used the WordPress App for my iPhone and didn’t quite get it finished, so I saved the draft. When I went back to finish and publish it, all that had been saved was the title. Bummer. So while it may not be as masterfully written as my first attempt, here is the gist of it again.

A while back I got into my head that I needed a tractor of my own. In my occasionally oddly ambitious way I decided I needed to actually learn something about the internal workings of tractors and figured the best way to do that would be to get a project tractor to restore. My main goal for a tractor of my own was to have something with a cutter bar that I could leave on all the time and use to go mow fence rows with. Deciding exactly what I wanted was tough.

A couple years ago Ern and I went to the Antique Tractor Show in Kingwood. I saw a Farmall Cub there, which was just adorable. I got in my head that was what I wanted.

Ern was worried about the stability of such a small tractor on the hills around here, and also pointed out that a Cub would be useful for nothing besides doing the fence rows as it would be too small to do anything else. So I looked around for a while, and became quite attached to the idea of a Farmall BN.

Okay, so they’re not supposed to be pink, but this one just made me laugh. Anyway, Ern again was afraid it wouldn’t be quite big enough for me to be happy with and he encouraged me to go up to something like an H.

Well, this was getting to a size tractor I just didn’t really want. I can drive a big tractor, don’t get me wrong. I’ve driven Ern’s big 190hp International and done just fine. But what I was really after was, as I described to Ern, a “little put-put” tractor. I kept looking, but just really hadn’t settled on what I was after.

It so happened that we went up to Shrock Farm Equipment to get a loader installed on the 5105. While driving past his equipment lot to turn the trailer around Ern says “look there!” Lo and behold, there was my tractor. An adorable little Ford 2000 with a mid-mount cutter bar. Sweet! Of course it was raining and totally nasty out, so I couldn’t take as good a look at it then as I’d have liked. But it spoke to me. I’m all about vibes – when you find the right thing, you just know. And this tractor? It had vibes. It took a couple days for Ern to get phone calls made. Turns out Shrock didn’t own the tractor, just had it on the lot for another guy. It had been sitting around up there since last fall. Despite several trips up there we hadn’t noticed it. Which really worked out – by the time Ern made an offer for me, the owner agreed to take $2000 for a tractor he’d been asking $3500 for. Score!

The engine was rebuilt a couple years ago, as was the carburetor. It needs paint, new tires, some gauges and new wiring. But on the whole it’s a really nice tractor I can use as is until I get around to fixing it up. Tracing the serial number shows it to be a 1971 model. Although it’s now blue, yellow paint shows through which means it actually started out life as a state road tractor. The cutter bar on it is hydraulic and very heavy built. I’m just tickled to death with my new baby. 🙂

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