1936 Farmall F30

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.

I hope you can enjoy this old piece of history.

Feeding the beef cattle with the 630

If you just read my post about the 730, then know that the 630 is the little brother to the 730. It came in only two fuel types–“all-fuel”, which is for lower-grade fuels, and gasoline. This machine is a gasoline only model, 1958 model year.

The 630 was the direct replacement for the “Model A”. I’ve always enjoyed the A, and the 630 is basically a late-style A.

In this video I’m taking a hay bale over to the beef cattle with our custom made bale feeder. It’s a conversion from an old round bale bagger (which would put the round bales into plastic sacks).

John Deere 730 Diesel

The 730 Diesel is a pretty impressive machine. It was Deere’s largest row-crop two-cylinder, and also happened to be the last series to feature the two-cylinder before their introduction of the “New Generation” machines in 1960. The 730 was about the same size as the 3010, which according to Deere literature at the time, was its direct replacement.

Driving a 730 Diesel is unlike any other machine, before or since (with the exception of the 720). This particular machine is a direct-drive electric start. The 720, which was a near-identical model before it, had more pony engine starters than electric starters. The Pony, or cranking engine, was a small gas engine that you would start up first, which would then be used to turn over the large diesel engine. The electric starters were large 24 volt starting systems.

Since not everyone will have an opportunity to drive a 730 Diesel, I thought I’d share this video to replicate the experience as well as I can.

Summer 2015 Update with Videos

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve updated the blog last. Basically, as far as farming goes, my spring/summer can be summarized as the following.

The first project was the restoration of the 1957 John Deere 420 Utility. I went to Utah and picked up another 420 parts tractor. I was pretty fortunate to stumble across one online for a good price, so I jumped at the opportunity to take it. I brought it home, and used it to fix my current 420 utility. They were both the same year, too, so it worked pretty well.

After that, the crank of my 1959 John Deere 630 was finally fixed. I brought it home too, but then had the 420 project come up, so I spent time getting that done instead. Once I was finished with the 420, I spent some time working on the 630 and was able to get it working as well. The 630 project was completed after spring planting and alfalfa cultivating, which cut into the projects time, but was a priority.

Afterwords, it rained. It rained and it rained. The good thing was, we never had to use the sprinklers for first crop. It did stop raining, and instantly went to very hot/dry temperatures, so I was able to cut the alfalfa with the John Deere 4230 and 945 MoCo (mower conditioner, aka swather). We then waited about 3/4th of a week, then raked the hay. I used the newly restored 420 Utility for most of the raking–and it worked great! It was fun spending some seat time on a machine that I spent so much time with the restoration process.

After the raking came the baling. With all the rain we had, there was a very good high yield of bales. The yield was much higher than last year. I used the JD 4640 and Hesston 4790 3×4 big baler for the baling.

Anyway, that about sums it up. I’ll post some videos here and in future posts. Enjoy.

 

Feeding Beef Cattle December 2013 GoPro

Here’s a video I recorded with the GoPro mounted to the back of the feed wagon.  Sorry about the loud sounds–the GoPro is pretty bad about picking up bangs and such.

Here we’re feeding 3×3 Alfalfa and grain hay bales to a heard of Herefords and Angus.  The wagon is being pulled by a John Deere 4020.  The cows are mostly Herefords, but the bulls are Black Angus, so it’s starting to get a mixture of both.

John Deere 630

My grandpa helping me load the 630
My grandpa helping us load the 630

Doing some work on the 630
Doing some work on the 630

Nephew on John Deere 630

John Deere 630 Front

1959 John Deere 630

I’ve always enjoyed the look of the 20/30 series two-cylinder John Deere tractors.  Once upon a time (before I was born), we had a 630 on our farm.  I believe they had a loader on it, and used it to load hay with, but I’m not quite certain.  Because of this, the 630 has always had a special interest to me.

A quick history on the 630.  If you know me, you know I enjoy the John Deere Model A.  The A was replaced by the 60, and the 60 was replaced by the 620, and the 620 was replaced by the 630.  In other words, the 630 is basically a late-fifties Model A.

I knew I would like to own a 630, I just didn’t think the opportunity would present itself quite as quickly as it did.  My dad has a co-worker that was talking about selling a 630, and knowing that I enjoy the two-cylinders, dad mentioned to me that he was selling one.  It wasn’t running at the time, and had been sitting for quite a few years.

Of course, I had to jump on the opportunity.  Who wouldn’t, right?  I ended up purchasing the tractor, and was fortunate that my grandfather was also able to go with me to pick up the tractor.  As much as I enjoy spending time with grandpa, it’s even more fun getting an old tractor with him! He also grew up on and spent his entire life on a farm, and as such gives us opportunities to talk about the “good old days” when these tractors were in their prime.

To spare you the boring details, I had to do quite a bit of work on the tractor throughout the summer and fall.  I don’t mind a good project though–that’s the best way to learn about a machine and become acquainted with it.

Although the project is not completed, as you can see from the photos and video, the project paid off.  I now have a nice 1959 John Deere 630 to enjoy.

Till the next big thing…

Planting with the John Deere A and LL-A Grain Drill

This year I took the opportunity to have a little fun with planting oats in one of our smaller fields.  I used the 1947 John Deere Model A that I recently restored, as well as our old grain drill (aka planter, late 1950s).  It may not have been the quickest way to plant the oats, but I, and the dogs, had a lot of fun doing it!

The three videos here show us getting the drill ready and making sure everything on it works.  The second video shows the John Deere 4230 disking the field.  Last year we used the Model A as well as the John Deere 2010 to plow the field.  Since it was plowed last fall, you disk it before you plant it to break up the larger chunks into a more fine powder, so the drill can do accurately seed the crop.  The final video shows the actual planting process.