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Discussion Starter #1
My wife and I just bought 60 acres in southern IL, with about 25 pasture. The plan is to have someone mow and bail most of the hay, but I'd also like to have a tractor to keep things up that they wouldn't get to. After buying land, we really don't have the cash to drop on big tractor and bush hog setup. I have a friend who has an 8N he would probably sell me, and I'm wondering whats the best bet for a rotary mower to match with it. I'd like to keep the price of the mower under $1k. I know Rural King and Tractor supply both have versions, but I didn't know if they were worth anything. Are they? Or should I look for a used one thats built tougher. I'll mainly be cutting fescue and clover.

Thanks for the help.
 

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I have been using a 5 ft. Howse for a few years. It has held up better than I expected. It is around $800.00.
 

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A 5' brush hog is just about all the mower than an 8N will handle, under most circumstances.

60 acres is a LOT of land to be maintaining with an 8N (not saying it can't be done... it's just a lot of land) even if you're looking at just trimming, etc.

Where, in Southern, IL are you? My (whole) family lives in/around Marion. I have a brother-in-law (and his dad) that cut and bale hay... for hire... as well as a couple of cousins... and well, let's put it this way. I grew up in a farming family, in a farming community.... :hide:
 

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Discussion Starter #4
We live around the Carmi area. Marion is about an hour off. I won't be maintaining the entire 60 with it. Most of it is woods. This would be for the 10 or so acres around the house. Basically I'm looking at a bunch of over grown grass and I want a way to control it. There were some trails in the woods, but I know a 8N isn't the machine to go in and clear those out again. I've talked to some people around here that will cut your hay and their payment is half the hay. They bail it up and take half the bails, leaving you with the other bails to sell. The problem is I've been waiting on someone to come look at the place for a couple weeks now. Oh well. If that doesn't work out, I do some work at a farm and outfitter, and one of the owners said I could borrow one of their bigger tractors and the batwing.
 

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I'm familiar with Carmi... I've got a couple of cousins in the Corinth/Paulton area (closer than Marion, but... still not "really" close) that do hay, as well... If you're interested... I could see if they're interested.

Depending on how overgrown your trails are... an 8N may actually work VERY well... since it's rather low and narrow...
 

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I had an 8N with a generic "bush hog" for several years. It was a usable, but not ideal mowing device. There are 4 forward gears basically defined as (1) a bit too slow for mowing:banghead3 , (2) a bit too fast for mowing:banghead3 , (3) WAY too fast for mowing:praying: , and (4) road gear. The PTO stops when you do, and if it doesn't stop you won't. Accordingly, (A) use an overrunning PTO clutch so you can actually influence when the machine stops. (B) plan ahead so you don't have to back up too often.

Don't take this the wrong way, the 8N has its strong points. It is simple to work on, relatively easy on fuel and has a low center of gravity. For a small tractor, mine was strong, and it was (as Steve mentioned) very capable of clearing an overgrown path in low gear.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I've come across another tractor near here. Its an early 70's Long 445. Its got power steering, a live pto, 45 hp, diesel, and 1500 hrs. The dealer told me for $4500 they'd deliver it to me (1:15 min away). Assuming I could get the 8N for $2k, would it be worth the extra $2500 to go with the Long? I'm not familiar with this tractor (or any for that matter). One thing I liked about the 8N was the vast number of them out there. Parts with them shouldn't be an issue. But what about the Long 445? Is it worth it?
 

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The Long was (by my understanding) more or less copied from the 8N, so... it'd be almost a distant relative.

I've seen plenty of them around, so... I would think that salvaged parts, at least, would be available. New... I'm just not so sure of. Same with reliability. Just not sure.

$4500 doesn't really sound like TOO bad a price... especially if he'll deliver (it sounds even sweeter if there's a mower thrown in with the deal)
 

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Made in Romania, maybe not the easiest to get major repair parts for. They seem to have went out of the way to try and make them look like a Ford, but I have no idea if there is anything in common.

IMHO, unless it is in excellent shape and you have a parts source in the selling dealer, $4500 is high. With 1500 hours on a 35 year old machine it hasn't been used much, less than an hour a week. That could mean several things- It may have spent a lot of time sitting as a "spare" tractor, broke down waiting for parts, or on a dealer's lot someplace, the hourmeter could have been changed or disconnected too. Two of those reasons are not so bad.

On the other hand a live PTO, power steering and twice the power will undoubtedly make mowing less of a chore.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I asked him what kind of a deal he could make with a 6ft bush hog. He said he just got in a 6ft Woods bush hog. He'd sell the two for $4900 delivered. The mower looks to be in good shape from what I can tell in pictures. I'll probably go check it out within the next couple days. Any advice on what to look for or negotiations?
 

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$400 is a decent price for a 6' brush hog, in good shape.

I think I'd see how close he'll come to that original $4500... with the brush hog included... if it was me.

Or... keep looking. I've never even used a Long tractor. I honestly don't *know* anything about them, so... please don't buy it based on my comments.

I know (from personal experience) that there are a LOT of older tractors around that area. There's a guy just north of Marion that seems to ALWAYS have at least one old Ford (whether an 8N, an NAA or a hundred series) for sale... he doesn't really offer 'bargains' but... he seems to sell solid tractors... and seems to know what he's doing.

I think that you will find, probably, more row-crop tractors around there (as far as older tractors are concerned, anyway) than you will utility tractors.

:goodl: and keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I'd like to see how close he could get to $4500 with the mower. I think I'm going to run over there tomorrow and see what kind of deal we can work up.

Thanks for all the input.
 

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Here is a quick and easy way to buy the tractor at your price, if it can be bought for that amount.

Take CASH with you when you go. Figure out what you will pay for the machine before hand, produce the cash and offer it. If the seller doesn't accept, thank him/her, and walk away. If your offer is reasonably close to the actual value of the machine, you are unlikely to make three steps before the seller decides to "do you a favor". The downside of this approach is that you must be willing to walk away if that turns out to be the result.
 

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Here is a quick and easy way to buy the tractor at your price, if it can be bought for that amount.

Take CASH with you when you go. Figure out what you will pay for the machine before hand, produce the cash and offer it. If the seller doesn't accept, thank him/her, and walk away. If your offer is reasonably close to the actual value of the machine, you are unlikely to make three steps before the seller decides to "do you a favor". The downside of this approach is that you must be willing to walk away if that turns out to be the result.
:ditto: :ditto:
 
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