Ford N-series tractor
This article is about the N-series tractors of 1939–1952. For the earlier Fordson model N tractor, see Fordson. For the later Ford NAA tractor, see Ford NAA tractor. For the car of 1906-1908, see Ford Model N.
The Ford N-series tractors were a line of farm tractors produced by Ford between 1939 and 1952, spanning the 9N, 2N, and 8N models.
The 9N was the first American-made production-model tractor to incorporate Harry Ferguson's three-point hitch system, a design still used on most modern tractors today. It was released in October 1939. The 2N, introduced in 1942, was the 9N with some improved details. The 8N, which debuted in July 1947, was a largely new machine featuring more power and an improved transmission. By some measures the 8N became the most popular farm tractor of all time in North America. Over 530,000 units of 8N were sold worldwide; the Fordson Model F had sold over 650,000 units worldwide, but in North American sales the 8N surpassed it in popular acclaim and units sold.
Development of the Ford-Ferguson tractors
The first genuine Ford tractor was called the Fordson because a misleading Ford brand not related to Henry Ford was squatting on the Ford name at the time (Ford Tractor Company). The Fordson was a tremendous success in North America and Europe from 1917 to 1928. Ford of the U.S. left the tractor business in 1928. Ford Ltd of Britain continued to thrive with the Fordson from 1928 onward. Some British Fordsons were imported to the U.S. during the following decade. Henry Ford continued tractor R&D in the U.S. after 1928. During the 1930s, experiments were made at Ford's Dearborn, Michigan and Richmond Plantation, Georgia facilities, creating prototypes of row-crop tricycle Fordsons, V8-powered tractors, one-wheel-drive tractors, and other ideas. But Henry Ford waited to reenter the market, planning to have the right new tractor at the right time to achieve a market-changing success.
In Ireland, businessman Harry Ferguson had been developing and selling various improved hitches, implements, and tractors since the 1910s. His first tractors were adapted from Model T cars. In 1920 and 1921 he gave demonstrations at Cork and Dearborn of his hitches and implements as aftermarket attachments to Fordson tractors. The hitches were mechanical at the time. By 1926, he and a team of longtime colleagues (including Willie Sands and Archie Greer) had developed a good hydraulic three-point hitch. Ferguson put such hitches on Fordsons throughout the 1920s and early 1930s. In the mid-1930s, he had David Brown Ltd build Ferguson-brand tractors with his hitches and implements. In 1938, Eber Sherman, importer of Fordsons from England to the United States and a friend of both Ford and Ferguson, arranged to have Ferguson demonstrate his tractor for Henry Ford. In October 1938 the Ferguson tractor was put through a demonstration before Ford and his engineers. It was light in weight relative to its power, which impressed Ford. Ferguson's successful tractor demonstration led to a handshake agreement with Ford in 1938, whereby Ford would manufacture tractors using the Ferguson three-point hitch system.
Ford Motor Company invested $12 million in tooling to finance Ferguson's new distribution company. The investment resulted in the production of the 9N tractor which was introduced on June 29, 1939. It was officially called a "Ford tractor with the Ferguson system", although the name Ford-Ferguson was widely used. It sold for $585 including rubber tires, power take-off, Ferguson hydraulics, an electric starter, generator, and battery; lights were optional. Ford's 9N further improved the cantankerous Model F by updating the ignition with a distributor and coil. An innovative system of tire mounts for the rear wheels and versatile axle mounts for the fronts enabled farmers to accommodate any width row-crop work they needed. The 9N weighed 2340 pounds and had 13 drawbar horsepower, which could pull a two-bottom plow. It was designed to be safe, quiet and easy to operate. Ford once said "Our competition is the horse."; the 9N was intended for farmers who were not mechanically minded.
An immediate success, the 9N's configuration became an industry standard, which was followed by other tractor manufacturers for fifteen years. Henry Ford passed leadership of his company to grandson Henry Ford II in 1945. By 1946, the younger Ford discovered that, despite its success, the Model N lost Ford Motor Company over $25 million in six years. He reacted by forming Dearborn Motors in November 1946, which took over tractor distribution from Ferguson. Ford informed Ferguson that after July 1947 they would no longer supply tractors to his company. Ferguson sued Henry Ford II, Dearborn Motors and Ford Motor Company and others for $251 million in damages on the basis of patent infringements and conspiracy to monopolize the farm tractor business. Ford Motor Company claimed the patents had already expired by the time of Dearborn Motors' incorporation. Approximately 750,000 9Ns were built, and it was estimated in 2001 that nearly half of these were still in regular use.
Harry Ferguson had understood that the handshake agreement had included the manufacture of the 9N in Britain. World War II intervened and prevented this, although one explanation was that Ford UK was uninterested in the plan.
The first tractor of the series was the 9N, the first tractor to have both three-point hitch and a rear power take-off (PTO). The 9N was first demonstrated in Dearborn, Michigan on June 29, 1939. Its model name reflected a model-naming system using the last digit of the year of introduction and a letter for product type, with "N" for tractors (hence 9N). Like the Farmall, it was designed to be a general-purpose row-crop tractor for use on smaller farms. An extremely simple tractor, the 9N was fitted with the Ferguson system three-point hitch, a three-speed transmission, and featured footpegs instead of running boards. The 9N's relatively tall and wide-spaced front wheel design resulted in somewhat sluggish steering and reduced maneuverability compared to competing machines such as John Deere's Models A and B, and the Farmall "Letter series". The 9N had variable front track, a valuable feature for row-crop cultivation, via front half-axles that could be slid in and out and pinned in place. It also had variable rear track via the reversible offset of the rear wheel design (flipping the rear wheels around 180°, moving the formerly inboard side to the outboard side, widened the rear track). Uniquely, the exhaust was routed underneath the tractor, much like an automobile. All 9N tractors were painted dark grey. This tractor has a rear PTO, which could be used to drive three-point or towed implements. The Ferguson hitch was designed to solve some of the problems found in the earlier Fordson tractors, such as flipping over if the plow hit an obstruction. The upper link also would adjust the hydraulic lift to use the drag of the plow to improve traction. This was known as draft control. During the Second World War, the US Navy used the 9N onboard their aircraft carriers for towing aircraft and was nicknamed the "Moto Tug". The United States Air Force and RAF also used it for towing aircraft.
The original 9N engine was a four-cylinder engine and was designed to be powered by distillate fuels. The engine shares the same bore and stroke sizes as one bank of the Ford V8 automobile engines. A few standard Ford auto and truck parts, such as timing gears and valve tappets, were used in this engine.
The ford 9N engine was a side-valve, four-cylinder engine, with a 3.19-inch (81 mm) bore, 3.75-inch (95 mm) stroke, providing a displacement of 120 cubic inches (2,000 cm3). The transmission was the standard three-speed.
The finished tractor weighed 2,340 pounds (1,060 kg), and initially sold for US$585. This was an advantage, as tractors from other manufacturers cost almost twice as much.
The 9N was revised a number of times, until being relaunched as the 2N in 1942. The 2N still came in dark grey, but now had added improvements, including a larger cooling fan and a pressurized radiator. However, the 2N, like the 9N, still had only a 3-speed transmission, a disadvantage compared to many tractors at the time, such as the Farmall A and M. By this time, wartime regulations had imposed manufacturing economies, and some 2Ns can be seen with all-steel wheels. Batteries were reserved for the war effort, so the all-steel wheel tractors came with a magneto ignition system instead of a battery and had to be started with a hand-crank.
Introducing a new model name also allowed Ford to raise the price of the tractor. Wartime price controls prevented the raising of prices on existing models, but they could not determine the price of a "new" model. Despite the model name change, the serial numbers continued to be prefixed with "9N".
After the war the steel wheels and magneto system were replaced with rubber tires and batteries, respectively.
Ferguson and Ford part ways
In 1945 due to Henry Ford's failing health, Henry Ford II, his grandson, took over the Ford Motor Company. Since the original agreement between Ford and Ferguson was sealed with a handshake (versus a written contract) and included the notion that either party could terminate it at any time without reason, Henry Ford II didn't feel the need to continue to honor it. Ferguson was furious and sued Ford Motor Company. A few years later his Ferguson interests were merged with Massey Harris, a Canadian company, to become Massey Ferguson.
Official production of the 8N tractor began in July 1947. Equipped with a 4-speed transmission, this model was destined to become the top-selling individual tractor of all time in North America. The most noticeable differences between the 8N and its predecessors was the inclusion of a 4-speed transmission instead of a 3-speed in the 9N and 2N, and an increase in both PTO and drawbar horsepower. The other big change on the 8N was the addition of a 'Position-control' setting for the hydraulics. This change was made partially to improve flexibility in varying soil conditions, and partially to evade Harry Ferguson's patent on the hydraulic system. The original automatic draft control on the Ferguson system would allow the depth of the implement to vary based on soil conditions, which did not work well for some implements. The new Position Control setting bypassed the draft control and allowed the implement to remain at a consistent position relative to the position of the Touch Control lever. A continued drawback to this series of tractor, was the lack of a "live" PTO. Without a live PTO certain implements such as brush cutters which store inertial energy could send that back into the transmission. This would cause the tractor to surge forward if the clutch were disengaged. This was addressed with the advent of the PTO overrunning coupler.
The 8N was equipped with running boards and was painted lighter gray on the sheetmetal and red on the body. It was the first Ford tractor to feature a clutch on the left side and independent brakes on the right. The wide-spaced front wheel design of the 9N and 2N was retained. In 1950 the 8N design changed to feature a side-mounted distributor, as well a Proofmeter (combined speedometer, tachometer, hour meter) located on the lower right portion of the dash.
Further information: Ford NAA tractor
In 1953 The N-series tractor was replaced with the all-new model dubbed the Golden Jubilee, also known as the Ford NAA. The NAA designation was a reference to the first three digits of the serial style used starting with this tractor. Larger than the 8N, the Golden Jubilee featured live hydraulics and an all-new overhead valve engine. The new tractor was four inches longer, four inches higher and 100 pounds heavier at 2,840 pounds than the N series. The following 600 series and later numbered model tractors were derived from the NAA. The 'N' in the serial number sometimes causes confusion that the Golden Jubilee tractor was a continuation of the N series.
New Holland tribute tractor
Beginning in 2009, New Holland produced a retro-styled tractor designed to resemble the Ford 8N. The tractor was based on the Boomer 3050-series tractor. The tractor featured a hood styled after the 8N and a gray and red paint scheme similar to the 8N. The tractor was produced for three years through 2011. The tractor had no parts in common with the original Ford 8N.
Boomer 3040 (stand-in for 3050)
- ^Peterson & Beemer 1997.
- ^ abcdefghErtel 2001, pp. 54–55
- ^ abcLeffingwell 1996, p. 99
- ^ abJust Between Ex-Friends, TIME, January 19, 1948, archived from the original on October 24, 2012, retrieved May 29, 2008
- ^Ertel 2001, p. 56
- ^Ford Tractors by Robert N. Pripps 2007
- ^"Ford's New Golden Jubilee Model Farm Tractor". The Sandusky Register. January 2, 1953. p. 13. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
- ^"Golden Jubilee Ford Tractor Goes on Display on Saturday". The San Bernardino County Sun. January 3, 1953. p. 3. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
- ^ ab"Serial Numbers". The Vintage Ford Tractor Resource. Archived from the original on 23 August 2012. Retrieved 4 January 2015.
- ^"The Jubilee-NAA 1952-1954". Old Ford tractors. Archived from the original on 20 December 2014. Retrieved 3 January 2015.
- ^"New Holland Boomer 8N". TractorData. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
- ^"New Holland Boomer 3050". TratorData. Retrieved 1 March 2015.
- Ertel, Patrick W. (2001), The American Tractor: A Century of Legendary Machines, Minneapolis, MN, USA: MBI Publishing, ISBN .
- Leffingwell, Randy (1996), Classic Farm Tractors: History of the Farm Tractor, Osceola, WI, USA: Motorbooks International, ISBN .
- Peterson, Chester; Beemer, Rod (1997), Ford N Series Tractors, Farm Tractor Color History, Motorbooks International, ISBN , OCLC 36024051.
The Ford Motor Company was founded in June, 1903. And after a few rough years, the company achieved tremendous success with the famous Model T that was born in 1908. From that time until 1927, more than 15 million Model T cars and trucks were sold.
While Henry Ford was undoubtedly the leader of the era in the automobile business, he was also the son of a farmer and understood the potential of applying some automotive technology to the farming sector. His desire to manufacture a tractor was strong, but efforts to start tractor production were roadblocked by a board of directors that was well satisfied with the sales and profits from the Model T cars and weary of taking a chance on what was an unestablished industry.
|One of Henry's first experimental tractors is on display in the Henry Ford museum in Dearborn, Mi. This tractor was finished in 1907 under the direction of chief engineer Joseph Galamb. It's interesting to note that the name "tractor" was never used for this machine, as the term was not common at that time. It was instead referred to as an "automobile plow," and used many parts from Ford cars in order to cut development and production costs. It would be a decade later before production would start on the first viable commercial tractor model, the Fordson Model F.|
Despite opposition to his plans, Ford continued work on the tractor. But as development proceeded, and it became clear that the Ford Motor Company directors were not at all willing to produce a tractor, Henry decided to form an independent company for his tractor business. In 1917 Henry Ford & Son (Fordson) was incorporated, with Henry Ford firmly in control of it's destiny.
The outbreak of the First World War in 1914 gave the fledgling tractor industry a substantial boost. Food was desperately needed to feed the soldiers, but a lot of the manpower that would normally be employed in crop production had been converted to soldiers. Mechanization and farm tractors were an answer to the problem. Tractors offered the power and efficiency to produce more food with fewer farmers. Ford had not invented the tractor, just as he had not invented the car, but he designed and produced a tractor that was affordable to the masses and revolutionized the farming industry. The days of plows pulled by horses were numbered. Henry Ford & Son built the machine that would change the world of farming forever.
|Fordson Model F|
20 H.P., four cylinder engine
delivered 10 H.P. on the drawbar
3 speed spur gear transmission
Produced from 1917-1928 at Dearborn in America
Produced from 1919-1922 at Cork, Ireland
In 1917 the Model F began rolling out of a plant in Dearborn, Michigan in limited quantities, and production was scaled up rapidly to meet the urgent need for tractors. Ford Limited for automobiles had been establish in England in 1911 so Ford already had a presence there and the British were also in need of tractors. To fill that need, Fordson production was also begun in Cork, Ireland in 1917. At the retail price of $750, the Fordson enjoyed a large price advantage over its competitors and did very well.
The Fordson was smaller than most of the tractors produced by other companies of the time. Other tractor manufacturers seemed to be operating under the belief that bigger is better. But the smaller Fordson design coupled with Henry's assembly line technology made his tractor easier to produce and more affordable. A key factor was that the engine, transmission, and axle housings were all bolted together to form the basic structure of the tractor eliminating the need for a conventional frame. And as a result, there were fewer parts to manufacture and assemble and the tractor could be sold at a lower price. Just as Ford had brought an affordable car to the world through assembly line mass production, the tractor was now also within the financial reach of many more farmers. 755,278 Fordson F's were produced in the 12 years it was manufactured. And dozens of companies made add ons and conversions for Fordson tractors.
When Henry assumed sole control of Ford in 1920, the Henry Ford & Son Company was rolled into the Ford Motor Company, but the Fordson name was retained.
The Fordson F changed the way American farmers got their work done, but it had a reputation for poor reliability and starting problems. Some farmers of the era claimed it could cost $1000 a year to keep one running. And they were noted for tipping over backwards when pulling a heavy load, sometimes injuring and even killing the driver.
Ford Motor Company was undoubtedly the largest and most successful company in the tractor business during that period of tractor history. It is a testament to the importance of these tractors and the dedication of tractor enthusiasts that many of them are still running today.
However, towards the second half of the 1920's, the agricultural market entered a slow down due to declining farm prices. So the decision was made to suspend production of Fordson farm tractors in early 1928. This move was partially reversed when strong demand for tractors by the Soviet Union and an urgent need for spare parts prompted Ford to reopen the Cork production facility. And Ford had now designed a new model that was to be built there, the Model N. The major change being an increase in horsepower which was achieved by increasing the cylinder bore diameter by 1/8 of an inch. All production of Ford tractors was now in Europe.
|Fordson Model N|
27.3 H.P., four cylinder engine
delivered 13.6 H.P. on the drawbar
Featured pressurized water pump
All other specifications similar to Fordson F
Produced from 1929-1932 at Cork, Ireland, until transferred to Dagenham, England
Produced from 1933-1945 at Dagenham, England
It was during this period, from 1928-1939 that Fordsons lost their dominance of the American tractor market. The high cost of importing from Europe, (by then Ford had a tractor plant in Dagenham, England also), and the development of newer models by domestic competitors caused the Fordson U.S. market share to slip to barely five percent. An attempt to improve sales with the launch of the Fordson All-Around, a rowcrop version of the N with a 3-wheel style arrangement was modestly successful in the British market, but met with almost no success in North America, where it was marketed as the Fordson Row Crop.
|Fordson All-Around (a.k.a. Fordson Row Crop in U.S.)|
Modest revision of the Fordson N with tricycle style wheel arrangement
Produced beginning in 1937 at Dagenham
The situation was unacceptable to Henry, who decided to retake the tractor industry for the Ford Motor Company. In the latter part of the 1930's, he started development work on a new model tractor that would replace the Fordson and could be economically mass produced for the American market. Early prototypes looked promising, but as development got underway, Harry Ferguson came to visit Henry Ford and brought with him a Ferguson-Brown tractor, which he was producing in England with David Brown. The performance of the tractor impressed Ford and the two came to a handshake agreement by which Ford would produce tractors using Ferguson's patents and Ferguson, in turn, would also market these machines as Fergusons. Ford engineers, using the Ferguson-Brown tractor as their model, and with the assistance of Harry Ferguson, developed the Ford 9N. The Fordson name and models would still be sold in Europe, but the Ford N-series would grow to dominance in America.
The 9N was a revolution in design when compared to the Fordson it replaced and a big success. Use of the Ferguson System for implement attachment and control was a great improvement over the straight drawbar of the old Fordsons or any other tractor being produced. The three point hitch allowed for the easy attachment and removal of implements and the system of draft control allowed for some regulation of how hard the 3 point hitch implement was pulling and a limited amount of depth control. The tractor was also quieter, more comfortable, more reliable and safer than the Fordsons, which all added to its popularity. And with the efficiency of mass production, the new Ford farm tractors were sold for $585 in 1939. With a price like that and a very competitive product, Ford was soon back on top of the sales charts.
|Ford 9N (a.k.a. Ford-Ferguson 9N)|
23 H.P., 119.7 cubic inch displacement, 4 cylinder engine
Featured standard rubber tires, electrical system w/starter, battery, generator, power takeoff,
large capacity cartridge-type oil filter, and oil bath air cleaner with a cam driven distributor
with integral coil as opposed to magneto ignition. It had a 3-speed transmission
Produced from 1939-1943 at Dearborn, Michigan (until replaced by 2N due to war shortages)
The tractor would have been an even greater success were it not for the U.S. entry into the second world war in 1941. Raw materials for production of tractors (and everything else) became difficult to acquire due to war machinery material demands. So in 1942 Ford was forced to cease production of the 9N in favor of the 2N, a 9N that used materials that were not as scarce. Basically the same as the 9N, but with steel wheels and a magneto replacing the battery and generator. Rubber and copper were particularly scarce commodities.
|Ford 2N (a.k.a. Ford-Ferguson 2N)|
Featured steel wheels
Generator and battery of 9N replaced by magneto
All other specifications similar to Ford 9N
Produced from 1942-1947 at Dearborn, Michigan
Virtually all of the 2N's you will see today have rubber tires
And a lot of them are painted with the later 8N paint scheme
as are 9N's.
Meanwhile, in England, the Fordson still reigned as king of the tractor landscape, and much to the annoyance of Harry Ferguson, no plans were made to introduce farm tractors based on his system in that country. The Second World War had delayed most efforts at producing a new model, but work had began on designing a model to be produced after the war was over. And this new model had many of the design features of the original 1917 tractor that had launched Fordson into the tractor industry. Whereas the Ford 9N in the U.S. represented a major revision, the new tractor developed for the English market would be a less dramatic change and still be badged a Fordson. This upgrade resulted in the E27N Fordson Major which was enough of an improvement to continue the Ford hold on the British market. The primary differences in the new model was the availability of an optional diesel version, a sturdier structure, and the elimination of the inefficient worm wheel final drive. Land Utility, Row-Crop, Industrial, and Standard Agricultural versions of the new Fordson were available.
|E27N Fordson Major|
28.5 H.P., 1100 rpm 4 cylinder mixed fuel engine
delivered 19 H.P. at the drawbar
45 H.P. Perkins P6 diesel engine also available
Pulley and power takeoff optional
Available in Land Utility, Row-Crop, Industrial, and Standard Agricultural versions
Produced from 1945-1951 at Dagenham, England
Back in the States Henry's son Edsel died in 1943, prompting Henry Ford to come back as President of Ford. But due to his age, he was unable to keep up with running the company and in September of 1945 passed leadership to his grandson, Henry Ford II. Henry Ford passed away in April 1947, at the age of 83. The man who had brought the automobile into the homes of average Americans, tractors to the average farmers, and who had pioneered the assembly line and the technology of mass production was gone. but his memory will be with us forever.
With Henry Ford's death, the handshake agreement between Ford and Ferguson collapsed. Henry Ford II disliked the lack of marketing control over the tractor business (since all marketing and distribution was handled by Ferguson in the original agreement) and soon announced that Ford would be establishing their own distribution and marketing company to distribute an improved version of the 9N. The decision to cut Ferguson out would be a very costly one, as he was now in a position to directly compete with Ford. But that would be a few years off, and Ford would be on top at least for awhile with the 8N, an improved version of the 9N/2N, and one of their best selling tractors ever with a total production run of 524,000 units.
27 drawbar H.P. - 4 cylinder engine
Position Control in addition to automatic depth control
Improved brake system with both pedals on right side
New Hydraulic Touch Control
Changes in hydraulic control system to attempt to avoid violating active Ferguson patents
Produced from 1947-1952 at Dearborn, Michigan
The 8N was a refinement of the 9N/2N line and although a lot of the changes were not readily visible, improvements in the product were significant. One of the most important upgrades was a four speed transmission that made the tractor more productive and flexible. The 3 point hitch Position Control System was also a big step forward in that it allowed implements to remain at the same height relative to the tractor, as opposed to the draft control on the original Ferguson system that allowed the depth to vary. But the Ford 8N still used a lot of the Ferguson System that was in the 9N/2N line, and this unauthorized use of the Ferguson patents was one of the main contentions in the Ferguson lawsuit. The lawsuit Ferguson filed after the termination of the handshake agreement, claimed damages for loss of sales because of the ending of the marketing agreement and because of the infringement of his patents, and went on to be one of the most lengthy and costly suits of its kind. The Ford 8N would have had a longer and still more successful run were it not for fierce competition from Ferguson's TO-30 and the lawsuit, which eventually forced Ford to have to design a totally new hydraulic control system to avoid using Ferguson's patents. In spite of that more than 500,000 8N's were produced and it is estimated that at least half are still in operation today.
The new hydraulic system and other improvements including an overhead valve engine were incorporated in the new Ford NAA, often called the Jubilee. The Golden Jubilee logo was used to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of Ford Motor Company at the time of the NAA launch in 1953.
|Ford NAA (a.k.a. Golden Jubilee)|
31 H.P. 134 cubic inch, overhead valve 4 cylinder engine
Changes to hydraulic control to conform to settlement of Ferguson lawsuit
Optional live PTO
All other specifications similar to Ford 8N
Produced from 1953-1954 at Dearborn
But now the E27N was beginning to show its age back in England and Ferguson was on the rise with his TE line of tractors. The dominance that Ford had once enjoyed in the British market was gone. To combat declining sales, Ford Dagenham developed a new engine and tractor to be the successor to the Fordson Major. The engine was available in kerosine, gasoline and diesel versions. With many other improvements, the Fordson New Major was introduced in 1952 and took the lead in the British market in diesel tractor sales. Diesel was popular in Europe because of the greater fuel efficiency of diesel engines, a key advantage in a market with high fuel prices.
|Fordson New Major|
Featured a revolutionary new engine in gasoline-kerosene, gasoline, and diesel versions
Diesel version most popular of the various engine types
Compression ranged from 4:1 kerosene to 16:1 diesel for same basic block
Produced from 1952-1958 at Dagenham
Henry Ford had a deeply held belief that one automobile, if made right, would be good enough for just about everyone. While this made mass production much easier and helped reduce costs, the Ford Motor Company would learn the hard way that one size does not fit all. The Model T was a great machine for its time, but could not be all things to all people. This is why the Ford car division had to break with Ford's philosophy of one basic model and match their competitors with a wide range of models targeted at a wide range of markets. But up until this time the old Ford philosophy had survived in the tractor division. In America, Ford sold one model of tractor targeted at the "average" farmer. And in England the same strategy was followed. New models were introduced, but Ford offered only one model for sale any one time.
This practice of a simplified product line came to an end along with the NAA in 1954. That was the year Ford produced their last one model tractor and the 600 and 800 series with variations were launched. The 600 series was based on the NAA design and aimed at the small farm equipment market, while the 800 was more powerful and focused towards larger farming applications.
The 600 series used the proven 134 cubic inch engine from the NAA. The 640 was essentially the same tractor as the NAA, the 650 featured a new five speed transmission, and the 660 had a five speed transmission and a live PTO (power take off), a feature that had been optional on the NAA. The 800 series featured an improved 172 cubic inch version of the NAA engine, and came standard with the new five speed transmission. The 850 had an independent (engaged with a separate control) PTO, as opposed to the live (controlled by depressing the tractor clutch pedal farther) PTO of the 860.
|Ford 600 Series|
Featured same engine as Ford NAA
640 nearly identical to NAA
650 featured five speed transmission
660 featured five speed transmission, live PTO (power takeoff)
Ford 800 Series
Featured an improved, 172 cubic inch engine
New five speed transmission as standard
850 had dependent PTO
860 featured newer, live PTO
Produced from 1954-1957 at Dearborn
Ford was now interested in pursuing more segments of the tractor market and this meant also having tricycle style tractors. If their competitors offered something, they would match it. Still working with the NAA as the basic design, Ford launched the 700 and 900 series with features similar to the 600 and 800, but with a three wheel design.
|Ford 700 / 900 Series|
Features and configurations parallel to 600 / 800 Series
Featured a three wheel tricycle design
Produced from 1954-1957 at Dearborn
In 1957 Ford decided to spruce up the appearance and identification of their product line. The biggest change being the addition of a cross section of bars across the grille. All existing models were kept the same in terms of specifications, but the 1 suffix was added in place of the 0 at the end of each model. Also, the differences between the engine size of the 600 and 800 Series, now the 601 and 801 Series, was augmented by the addition of Workmaster, designating the smaller 134 cubic inch engine, and Powermaster, which had the larger 172 cubic inch design. Liquid petroleum gas was now also an option on all Ford tractors.
|Ford 601 / 701 / 801 / 901 Series|
Features and configurations similar to 600 / 700 / 800 / 900 Series
Minor changes to appearance, new grille look
Produced from 1957-1962 at Dearborn
As development in America was marching forward with the 600-900 series and the new 601-901 line, England was moving ahead with revisions of their own. The Fordson New Major had been successful, but the tractor was large, and the lack of a small tractor for those with lesser needs was hurting Ford's position in Europe. To address this weakness in the product line, Ford developed the Dexta in 1957, which featured a Perkins three cylinder diesel engine.
Featured three cylinder Perkins diesel engine
Targeted at the small farm equipment market
Produced from 1957-1961 at Dagenham
The next year, the New Major was replaced with the Power Major. The Power Major, as the name suggests, had a more powerful version of the engine that had revolutionized the diesel tractor industry in Europe.
|Fordson Power Major|
Featured a more powerful engine
Diesel, gas, and distillate versions available
Produced from 1958-1961 at Dagenham
Ford then rolled out upgraded versions of each of these tractors. The Super Major replaced the Power Major in 1961, and the Super Dexta replaced the Dexta in 1962. These two models would be the last of the Dagenham tractors, as production was shifted to nearby Basildon, England in 1964. They would also be the last separate British designs, as soon the Tractor Division would become unified world wide.
|Fordson Super Major (a.k.a. Ford 5000 in America)|
Improved version of the Power Major
Produced from 1961-1964 at Dagenham
|Fordson Super Dexta (a.k.a. Ford 2000 Diesel in America)|
Improved version of the Dexta
Produced from 1962-1964 at Dagenham
Also in 1962, Ford introduced the 2000 series to replace the 601, the 4000 line to replace the 801 series, and the 6000 as the top of the line, with a powerful six cylinder engine. The 6000 had a lot of issues, however, and Ford was forced to replace all of them due to mechanical problems. Making moves towards unification, the English Super Dexta was imported and sold in America as the Ford 2000 Diesel, and the Super Major was imported as the Ford 5000. In 1964, a plant was opened in Antwerp, Belgium to provide more European production capacity. The world tractor line that Henry Ford had always favored was now a reality, with the same tractors being sold around the globe. The Ford Tractor Division was no longer separated into Ford and Fordson.
Replacement for Ford 601
4 cylinder series produced from 1962 - 1965
Upgraded 3 cylinder series produced from 1965 - 1975
In 1965, the entire range from the 2000 to the 4000 was revamped, with a new three cylinder diesel engine. The 5000 was equipped with a four cylinder diesel, and the 6000 was renamed the Commander 6000 and significantly redesigned to fix the earlier problems. This tractor series continued expanding until it ranged from 2000 to 9000 in1975.
In 1979 Ford introduced the TW series ranging in size from 105 to 170 horsepower. The last TW bearing the Ford name was produced in 1990.
Ford TW series
A FW series ranging from 150 to 300 HP was also sold by Ford, but was built by Stieger and had Cummins rather than Ford engines.
Ford FW series
After 1982 when CaseIH purchased Steiger, Ford's large tractors were produced by Versatile. Versatile was founded in 1946, but only started producing tractors in 1966 and they were aquired by Ford 1987.
Ford Versatile 976
In 1986 Ford purchased New Holland from Sperry New Holland aquiring a very successful well established product line that included combines, haying equipment and skid steer loaders
The original New Holland Machine Company was founded by Abram Zimmerman in 1895 in New Holland, Pennsylvania. In about 1903 New Holland began producing a line of gas engines ranging in size from 1-1/2 HP to 16 HP. They remained in production until somewhere around 1925. The company also produced a variety of feed mills, rock crushers, wood saws, concrete mixers, side delivery rakes, manure spreaders and more primarily agriculture related equipment.
New Holland Gas Engine
|New Holland Rock Crusher|
New Holland Wood Saw
|New Holland Feed and Cob Mill|
The great depression pushed New Holland almost to extinction, but they squeaked through. And then became very successfull by developing a major improvement in hay harvesting technology. 1941 was a big year in the history of New Holland with the introduction of the first truly successful automatic self tie hay baler. Previous hay balers had required at least one extra person to tie the bales and it was a dirty, nasty, and tedious job. Although the early ones were not flawless and required a lot of maintenance, they were a great improvement over what they replaced.
|Early hand tie baler|
Required two extra men to operate. One to feed hay to plunger and another to tie.
Being pulled by a Fordson F
1946 New Holland Hay BalerFirst successful self tie baler
Produced in New Holland, Pa.
Started production in 1941
In 1947 Sperry Rand Corporation aquired New Holland and the name was changed to Sperry New Holland. The same year the company begin selling the haybine. The first combination hay mower and contioner which dramatically improved the way hay is harvested.
|1947 New Holland Haybine|
Produced in New Holland, Pa.
Started production in 1947
Also the same year, New Holland introduced an automatic bale loader to further increase productivity and ease the farmers tough life a little.
In 1964 Sperry New Holland purchased the majority of Clayes of Belgium who was one of the most successful producers of combines in Europe.
And in 1967 their name was changed to Clayson
|Clayson M103 Combine|
1958 - 1967
|Clayson 1520 Combine|
In 1974 Sperry New Holland introduced the first twin rotor combine and that technology is still used in much of todays grain harvesting equipment.
By this time they were the fith largest manufacturer of farm equipment in the US and quite profitable, making them attractive for aquisition.
And in 1986 Sperry New Holland was bought by Ford and together they became Ford New Holland
The combination of Ford and New Holland created an organization that manufactured a broad variety of agricultural and construction equipment in sizes to satisfy everyone from the city front yard weekend grass primper to the endless plains states mega farmers to huge interstate highway construction giants. And a dealer network covering not only Europe and North America, but a large portion of the world. At that time Ford had about 1,400 North American dealerships and New Holland equipment was sold in 17,000 dealerships of which some 400 were Ford. Although Ford did sell implements, most were produced by other manufacturers. And New Holland, having primarily concentrated their efforts on a few major lines of harvesting machines and implements was a leader in that segment. It was a natural fit. Ford Tractor Operations reported worldwide sales of $1.25 billion in 1984 and New Holland sales that year were close to $750 million. The combination was a powerhouse of products, sales distributions networks and engineering talent.
|Ford and New Holland 5610|
4 Cyl Ford Diesel with 72 HP
New Holland had marketed a model 5610 tractor with it's nameplate in 1982 (before the merger) , but under the name it was totally a Ford 5610. But by 1990 New Holland was selling seven different tractor models that were also sold by Ford with only the name different.
In 1991 due to a weak tractor market and the need to focus more resources on its primary business of manufacturing cars and trucks, Ford sold its entire tractor division to Fiat with the agreement that they must stop using the Ford name by 2000. Ford needed the cash for new product lines and for developing technology that would comply with environmental regulations. In 1999, Fiat removed every bit of Ford identification from the blue tractors and renamed all of them "New Holland" announcing the end of the Ford/Fordson tractor era.
Fiat was already a giant in the tractor business and the biggest producer in Europe. Having started making tractors in 1918, they understood the business and were manufacturing tractors in a number of European countries. By 1980 over a million Fiat tractors had been produced.
Fiat 702 - 1918
A large 30 HP tractor weighing 6000 lbs.
and costing 5 times what the Fordson F did..
Manufactured in Italy
In 1999 New Holland Agricultural and CaseIH were merged to become CNH Global. In 1984 Case had taken control of the International Harvestor Agricultural Division. IH was in serious financial conditon and that merger may have saved both companies from becoming victims of the 1980's farming recession. Fiat is the majority owner of CNH Global holding company.
New Holland tractors are now manufactured in 18 wholly owned plants and 6 more joint ventures around the world including the countries of Turkey, Poland, India , Mexico, Brazil, Yugoslavia, Argentina, Russia, Spain, South Korea, China, France, Austria, Romania, Pakistan and the US.
New Holland now has distribution networks in 170 countries.
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Tractor Identification and History
Paul Smith in New Zealand owns this 9NBN industrial tractor that formerly saw military duty. The industrial model tractors had a heavy steel frame and were designed for pulling only. They had no hydraulics. Surviving industrials are also a rare find.
It's also not unheard of to find N tractors with an engine serial number that begins with A253-xx or a similar variant. These were stationary power unit engines or combine engines. Some will have "Ford Industrial Engine" tags attached. Since they were the same as the tractor engine, many have found their way into tractors as replacement engines over the years.
Note that the "font" used on the number stamps was a little unusual. The uppercase letter "I" was used as number "1", and a lower case letter "b" was used a the number "6". That same "b" was turned over to become the number "9". The NAA serial number was the last one to use the model prefix as part of the serial number. After the NAA tractor, the hundred series and up tractors have a model number stamped above a strictly numerical serial number. You will need both of those numbers to identify your tractor.
Some casting codes on 9N-2N-8N engine blocks, transmission housings, and rear axle housings can also help pinpoint a date of manufacture. A code such as G187 would mean the part was cast on or after July 18th, 1947. D252 would be April 25th, 1952. The hydraulic pump housing on the 8N is aluminum and has the actual casting date on it directly in front of the bottom drain plug. However, pumps have been changed over the years, so this date should only be considered to confirm other dating clues. Below are the serial number ranges and some of the features of the tractors in that range.
In the 20s, Ford had dominated the tractor market in the same way they dominated the car market. When the decade began, there were at least 166 tractor manufacturers building around 200,000 machines per year. In 1921, there was an economic recession, and Henry Ford responded by cutting his prices, first from $785 for a Fordson to $620. Other tractor makers responded. So Ford dropped his price again, to $395. This time, small, independent manufacturers couldn't cut any deeper, and hundreds of competitors went out of business. By the end of the decade, there were only around 10 tractor companies of any consequence left.
Then, technology caught up with Ford. The Fordson, like most early tractors were good at plowing and stationary engine applications, but not much else. In 1924, International Harvester introduced the "all purpose" Farmall. With its high, 30-inch ground clearance and front wheels that would fit between corn or cotton rows, the Farmall could cultivate crops as well as plow. That was a first. Other manufacturers and the U.S. customers responded. Ford did not.
So, in 1928, Ford shifted his U.S. tractor production line to building the new Model-A car, and consolidated tractor production, first in Ireland and then in England where demand for the Fordson Model "N" continued.
Then Harry Ferguson and his revolutionary three-point hitch came into the picture in 1938, and an aging Henry Ford was back in the U.S. tractor business just in time for World War II. Wartime production of tractors was encouraged but limited.
After the war, the Ford Models "9N," "2N" and "8N" began selling well. Just in time for the partnership with Ferguson to end in a long, bitter lawsuit. Ferguson went out on his own for a while and then merged with Massey-Harris.
- Ford Model "8N." In 1947, the "8N" replaced the wartime "2N" with basically the same engine but with a four-speed transmission, the left and right brake pedals on the same side of the transmission and a better steering system. Ford sold more tractors that year than in any of the previous 20 years. The "8N" produced around 21 horsepower on the drawbar and was produced until 1953.
- The "NAA Jubilee." 1953 was the 50th anniversary of Ford Motor Company, and the company celebrated with a completely new model, the "NAA." It had 26 HP and was produced for two years.
- The British "Fordson Major" series and "Ford 5000 Diesel." In Great Britain, a separate design team was responding to European market pressures by building larger diesel tractors. From 1951-58, they built the "Fordson New Major" with 45 HP. That was succeeded by the "Power Major" from '58-60 with 52 HP, and the "Super Major" from '60-63. The Super had the same horsepower but with better draft control hydraulics, disk brakes and a manual differential lock. The "Super Major" was imported back to the U.S. and sold as the "Ford 500."
- The British "Fordson Dexta." In 1957, the "Dexta" was introduced in Europe as a compact tractor with 27 HP. The "Super Dexta" came along in 1962 with 39 HP, and it was imported back to the U.S. as the Ford "2000."
- The U.S. "Hundred" Series. In the meantime, Ford U.S. brought out four models from 1955-56. The "600" and "700" both had around 30 HP on the drawbar with the "600" set up as a utility or plowing tractor while the "700" was a row crop version with high ground clearance. The "800" and "900" both had around 40 HP with the "900" as the row crop tractor.
- The "1" Series. From 1957-62, Ford brought out a series where all the model numbers ended in a "1." The first numeral the 'hundreds' place indicated the relative power and configuration. The second numeral indicated the transmission, hitch and PTO options. The "501," "601" and "701" series all had the same 27-29 HP engine. But the "501" series were offset, high clearance tractors, the "601" series were utility configurations, and the "701" series were row crop tractors. So, if a farmer wanted a row crop tractor with around 30 HP, he chose the "701" series and then chose from the "second numeral" options. For example, the "721" had a four-speed transmission but no PTO or three-point hitch. The "741" had all three. The option choices increased as the numbers went up. So, the "781" had a "Select-O-Speed" transmission, two-speed PTO and three-point hitch. The "801" and "901" series had the same options available and boasted between 35 and 40 HP depending on fuel type.
- The "Thousand" Series. In 1961, Ford brought out a new, higher-powered series of tractors that would see them through to the end of the decade. The first was the high powered, 60HP Model "6000." But the design hadn't had enough testing and developed engine and transmission problems. Ford retooled the design and reintroduced the tractor with a whole new paint scheme. Gone was the red and white paint and in its place was the new trademark blue and white. In 1962, the line was expanded to include the Model "2000" (based on the British Dexta) with 32 HP, and the Model "5000" (based on the British Super Major) with 40 HP. The "4000" was introduced in 1963 with 42 HP.
- The World Tractor Concept. In 1965, Ford consolidated all of its models and eliminated the practice of producing different designs for different markets. They retained the same numbering scheme, but upped the horsepower of most models. The "2000" now offered 27 HP on the drawbar, the "3000" was at 33-35 HP, the "4000" produced around 40 HP, the "5000" around 50, and the "6000" around 60 HP. In 1968, the "8000" pushed the horsepower window up a little producing 86 HP, and a year later the "9000" upped the window again producing 110 HP.
Written by Bill Ganzel, the Ganzel Group. First published in 2007. A partial bibliography of sources is here.
Tractors old ford
The creatures who managed to seize power over his world. And thirsting only for the death of all living things and even the dead. Now the ruler of everything in the world, which he left Voilenfour. Veronika Klimova barely made it to her home in the center of Krasnoyarsk.
She barely got back in her car and took the elevator home.Ford 8N Tractor - Brush Hog
As a last resort, you will help me, right. ", Of course, what the conversation is about !, Igor smiled. Well, what else was interesting at school ?, They chatted about this and that for another five minutes.
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