Friday, July 31, 2015

The Motley Crew of Old Hay Implements and Tractors

My circa 60's era hay setup. Since the posts I did while acquiring each piece were kinda spread out over a year or so here's a post listing them all in one. I didn't count the two tractors in the overall cost of the hay operation because I use them for so many other endeavors it didn't seem fair to the hay bottom line to make it eat the entire cost.

The 8N - This tractor cost the Small-Hold exactly nothing to acquire. She was purchased brand spanking new from a local Ford dealer in 1949 by the Father of my Mothers best friend. He used it for well over forty years around his farm and eventually parked it in one of his outbuildings were it basically set for about a decade.

About 2005 my Dad, who happens to have been best friends with the husband of my mom's best friend. Funny how that works. Made an offer on this little gem, bought it, and then delivered it to the Small-Hold. Why? Well I am not 100% sure what his actual motive was except he has always loved Ford tractors and still wishes he hadn't sold the sister to this old girl. The sister 8N, which was bought on the same day at the same place by my Grandfather was sold when my dad sold the farm. I learned how to drive on that tractor and since we kinda take care of the old place I still use it occasionally.

Anyway so this 8N became the general small tractor for the Small-Hold. She is 100% original parts having only had a few repairs needed in her lifetime and those all before about 1980. Her paint is faded and she has a slight bit of rust on the top of the front cover and that's about it. Still a 6 volt system and everything else.  I have had a couple of 8N purest pull into the driveway and ask to buy her outright since original 8N's seem to be hard to come by, or so they say. I see em everywhere for sale but apparently those with working 6 volt systems and original front rims are kinda rare.

The 1962 Powermaster 861 Diesel. - I paid a whole $2,650.00 for this baby and she was worth every dime and then some. She is covered with surface rust in a  few spots I know but runs like a top.

Last Winter while I was looking for the sicklebar mower the guy I bought the mower from had this sitting in his outbuilding. At first I thought it was a Jubilee until I saw the faded old decal on it and saw it was a diesel. Ya know there are a few old local farmers that have told me this tractor was never actually produced. Oh I know they are wrong because you can pull up the information on them but more than a few have admitted they never saw one before and thought they were a myth.

I can kinda relate because supposedly there is also an LP gas version I have never seen either.

When the guy selling the sickle mower told me he would let it go for 2650 I said sold and went and cashed in some stocks and went right back and bought her. She is scheduled for a little body and over haul love this Fall but I need her to get through the hay and fence projects first.

So those are the two tractors I use. The 8N for wagon hauling and raking. The diesel for mowing and baling.

The Sickle Bar Mower - This is an old Massey Ferguson Dynaflow 31 sickle bar. I have read it was the first model introduced that didn't use the wooden drive shaft thing. I believe they were produced in the 40's and the 41 came out in the 50's.

Whatever the case this mower has seen some use and been put away wet or left out in the elements for years. Her breakaway coupler is permanently fused to the hookup bar by rust. I have tried over and over to free it up with no luck. I have to be very careful since I know it might not work if I hit something. There are several small parts missing. The ones relating to leveling and balancing the mower have been field repaired with baling wire and chains but there is an attachment on the right side (looking at it from the picture) of the three point hookup that is completely gone that was used to seat it a bit more solidly on the sway bars. Someone removed it and ran a category 2 pin through the hole. With a little ethnic engineering and a trip to Tractor Supply I managed to fit a category 1 pin back into it but the unit still sways a bit too much for my taste.

At a mere $275.00 I can't complain much though. She works and the teeth are sharp but I think the guide housings are a bit reamed out and need replaced. This is actually the weakest link in my haying make up and I am currently looking for a better mower. The advantage to her is that she runs smooth since she is at least belt driven. If I hadn't had went to look at her I would have never found my 861 diesel either so there is that.

The Rake - This is an old 60's to 70's era Ford five bar side rake. They were actually made by New Idea and painted blue with FORD put on them.

This one is in pretty good shape although not as good as it was advertised as I noticed once I got it home. There is actually a broken support bar across the top I am pretty sure happened when someone tried to turn to tight with it. A little surface rust but otherwise a good rake.

I picked up this rake for $500.00 which is a steal for rakes around here. Old New Hollands and such that are covered in rust go for over a grand sometimes. What scares everyone away from this rake is the belt used to run it off the ground drive. That belt runs about $100.00 to replace. Thing is it also lasts a long time unless you leave it out in the weather and is still available as a part. The one on this rake was in good shape and looked almost new so I took the plunge. I have to say the rake performed admirably raking up the little Alfalfa field.

The Baler - This is a Ford 532 Square Baler. I believe they were made from 1968 to 1975. Not my first choice of baler to be honest. I really wanted a John Deere 14 or 24T baler but the only one I could find for under 2K also had a bent PTO shaft.

The Ford balers are not bad balers and several people swear by them but they are hard to find parts for. I went ahead and got this baler for $1000.00 because it was owned by a guy I work with and it kinda retained the Ford thing I had going on.  I have seen these balers sell for under $700.00 so I kinda feel I paid too much for it but if it works for a couple of years it will more than pay for itself.

Hay equipment in general around here is a pricey thing anyway. There are still lots of farmers who bale square bales every year and a huge market for old implements to use as backup or to put helpers on in a pinch.  Occasionally even me and the old Ford tractors get recruited to move wagons and the like for the neighbors when they get behind.

This search for 60's or earlier era equipment has kinda been a bit of low level entertainment for a few of the locals too. They ask me about it when they see me in town often and just today one old guy I didn't even know made a comment about how he saw my field had been baled. I secretly think some of them didn't think I could do it without some outside help.

It's a bit early to call this endeavor a success though. After all I have only baled one small field. I would say I need to get at least the large field baled once before I can call it even a marginal victory. Still the old equipment did pass the first trial.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!


  1. I think it's damn fine how you purchase and work with older equipment. Kinda my thing too. I like anything vintage...well, almost.

  2. i have NO idea how you got all that working together - you are the king!

  3. One victory at a time! Things will break on the old equipment but then you don't owe anything on it and the government didn't confiscate other people's money to buy it for you. Patch it to get the job done and then fix it right in the off season.

  4. Great post! Thanks for the info.

  5. Anyway of getting my hands on the drive unit of the MF Dynaflow sicklebar mower? or telling me where I can get such parts? I borrowed my neighbor's to cut a small field ,late june (2016), a chain link on my tractor sway bars broke and the whole unit rode up the rear tire, cracking the cast iron center lever that moves the sickle bar back and forth. Tried bracing it but it broke off on the 1st dry run. Given someone got shot recently for returning a damaged lawn mower, I would like to return this one in good working order

    Andy, near Ottawa, ONT (Canada)


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