About a year and a half ago we picked up a non-running 1936 Farmall F-30 tractor from someone over in Eastern Idaho. The F-30 is the predecessor to the popular Model M tractor. Where I already have a Model M and the successor Super M, I thought the F-30 would be a good addition to the lineup.
The F-30 is a hand-start only tractor with no battery or lights. It also originally shipped on all steel wheels, so the four speed transmission tops out at around 5 MPH. It’s not exactly the tractor to take if you want to get somewhere in a hurry… However, it was considered a big tractor for the time–almost too big, as the smaller Model F-20 was the top seller (by a long shot).
The John Deere tractor that competed with the F-30 was the Model G. The earlier G did not sell as well either, where the smaller Model A has significantly higher sales. The John Deere A was even outsold by the even smaller Model B. I guess farms at the time just weren’t ready for the larger equipment yet.
Anyway, I’ve been slowly working on the machine for the past year. I finally took the plunge and purchased new back tires, which was the last thing it really needed to be able to get it out and use it some. Where tires are so expensive I was procrastinating the purchase for a while.
In this video I use the 1951 John Deere model A to feed cattle. I feed with a custom built feeder (it was once a home-made round bale plastic bagger). As much as I hate talking on video, I tried to explain some of what was going on and a bit of the hardware.
The model A is one if my favorite of the two-cylinder machines, as it is a great machine that feels “two-cylinder” as it gets. Okay, personal opinion there, but it’s mine to give. 🙂
Mowing hay (a mixture of alfalfa and grass) with a John Deere Model A and Number 5 sickle mower. We have a nice rotary swather, but thought it’d be fun to spend some time and shoot some video of the A and No. 5.
I was a little later getting to the feeding tonight, but it gave me a good opportunity to use my newly installed LED lights. They are a lot brighter than the originals, yet still fit in the same housings (and look “original”). Also, the snow is getting deeper. It’s been pretty cold lately, so the tractor still goes through it okay. It was around 10 degrees F when I was feeding.
Last year, I used the 630 to feed with. However, I thought it would be fun to try the A as well. I think the A is one of my favorite two-cylinder models.
In this video I’m feeding beef cattle (Herefords and Angus) with the A and a custom-made feeder. The feeder used to be a round bale bagger. I converted it to work with the 3x4x8 large square bales. Bales are loaded with a 3020 PowerShift.
Recently, I had the opportunity to purchase a 1953 International Harvester Farmall Super M. The tractor was in a non-running condition. It had a stuck (seized) engine, and was missing a few other components.
Although I am mostly a Deere person (meaning, I prefer to purchase and use John Deere equipment), I have a respect and admiration for all classic pieces of farm history. The Farmall line of tractors is no exception. Although my paternal line was mostly Deere (with the exception of having a few Ford N series machines), my maternal side often had Farmall tractors. The tractor posted here, left, is a Farmall M that was purchased by my great-grandparents on my mothers side. Farmall tractors were also very popular in the valley, although I believe my particular town was mostly Deere.
The other thing I enjoy about restoring these old machines is seeing them come back to life again. One of the most enjoyable moments is having that first fire. Although it took a while to fine tune its running, I was able to learn a great deal and believe I have it running well now.
Here are a few videos I put together of the restore of the tractor, along with taking it out and letting it stretch her legs for a bit.
This video is a compilation of different days feeding cattle and driving through the snow. The 630 makes a good feeding tractor, and with the extra weight of the bale feeder on the back end, it handles the snow nicely. That being said, this year we are nowhere near normal snow levels–had we received the snowpack we normally receive, I would have most likely had to switch it up to a bigger tractor.
This video is a summary of the activities on the farm for 2017. It covers cultivating the Alfalfa, disking, sprinkling, cutting hay (swathing), raking hay, baling hay, hauling hay, and feeding the beef cattle.
Tractors in use are a John Deere 4230, 4640 FWA, 4020 Diesel PowerShift, 3020 Diesel PowerShift, 630 gas, and 730 Diesel. Also shown are models 420 Utility, 435 Diesel, and a Model A.
Videos are shot with an iPhone and DJI Phantom 4.
2017 was a very busy year, with a lot of accomplishments, and a few failures. This was also the first full year with the new Reinke center pivot, which greatly increased the farm yield.
Hopefully, 2018 will be a successful year, filled with many new adventures and prosperity.
If you make a path in the snow once it starts to melt, where the tracks are melts out a lot faster. Also, where possible, the use of the blade also assists in its melting. As you can see, it was very deep!