Tractors Are Good For the Soul!

Lauran Paine

Our tractor wasn’t just about work on the farm. It was about hayrides and picnics, too. I can’t think of those things and not smile. Now I use it for parades and teaching the grandkids about old tractors. But I recently restored my harrow – a Dearborn-Towner Model 11-29 – and now when I drive my tractor, the sights, sounds, vibration and even the rattle of the harrow take me right back to 1961. “Magical,” I say. “Old tractors are good for the soul!” Continue reading

Workers: A 9N Movin’ Feed & Snow

Daniel Howe's 1940 9N takes a breather.

In the summer of 2005, we picked up a 1940 Ford 9N to help out around our 15 acre farm. I knew we needed the tractor to carry round bales to feed our horses, but I also needed it to plow snow. Front mounted snow blades seem to be as scarce as hens teeth and they also use the 3 point arms to get their lift. I set out to design my own reliable plow. Continue reading

1969 2000

These days, Steve Domkowski makes his living as a welder/fabricator, but he comes from a long history of farming. Steve’s great-grandfather, Vincent Domkowski, moved to their home place over a hundred years ago and started a small truck farm and beef operation. Steve’s grandfather Anthony took over the operation, followed by Steve’s father, Anthony Jr. Ford tractors have always been the primary power on the farm and though Steve is not farming the home place now, he is honoring that tradition by working his way through the restoration of several Ford tractors, all of which started out on the farm or in his father’s collection. Continue reading

My 1942 9N

Steven Fairfield's 9N

The tractor is a 1942 9N, Ferguson System with a Sherman Transmission. When the 9N was launched, it became evident that a more versatile transmission would be a big improvement over the standard 3 speed. Restoring this tractor back to a more original condition began in 2003. After being torn down, the engine was rebuilt, new king pins installed, clutch, and general mechanical repairs. Continue reading

Workers: Ford-Funk Truss Boom

The poles were 6×6’s twenty feet long. The metal trusses spanned thirty feet. I was building a pole barn to house tractors and combines at a peanut farm. Most of the work I’d do myself, but Fred Catabia, a friend, volunteered to help when he had time. The first problem I needed to solve was how to set the heavy posts and install the metal trusses. Fred recalled that I had a Ford tractor with a front end loader. Continue reading

Inspired – a Lift Disc Restoration

When I received my N-News Vintage Tractor calendar last year, the picture of the 8N tractor and lift-type disc (May 2013) caught my eye. I had acquired a lift-type disc, but in very rusty and worn condition. I didn’t know anything about the disc, but I read on the metal plate that it was a Dearborn with a model number of Lift-E. As I own a 1958 Ford 861 PowerMaster, I thought this disc should be worth rebuilding and would be a good match with my Ford tractor. Continue reading

641 Diesel Workmaster

It’s always nice to have a project waiting in the wings. In the summer of 2008, I had started to work on my 740 (see Volume 26, Number 4, Autumn 2011), but I was already thinking about my next restoration project. It was during one of my web searches that I saw an ad for a 1962 Ford 601 Diesel. The tractor was at a dealership in a small town SE of Austin, TX – not far from where my son and his wife live. The asking price was a bit higher that I was prepared to pay, but on a whim, I made the call. Continue reading

Transmission Woes

When my wife took me on my first trip to her home state of Maine, I was hooked. Growing up in the Southwest leads to a bit of green envy and water lust. Maine is just the state to satisfy both of those wants. In time, I was able to convince her to move back to her home state. We bought an old farm, and what’s a farm without a tractor? Continue reading

Ford One-Row Picker

I was raised doing farm work in the late 1940s through the early 1960s when I graduated from Sabetha Kansas High School. My granddad was my mentor for everything – mechanics to woodworking – and he had a great shop. At age 7, he had me driving his two 8Ns. One, named “Tuffy,” had a loader on the front and the other, “Bessie,” was unencumbered. Gramps usually ran Bessie since it was easier for him to get on. It didn’t really make a difference which tractor I drove, so long as I got to drive one or the other. Continue reading