In the next few weeks, once the last bits have arrived (the new rims) and when we have a bit of time, the old tractor will be getting its rear end rebuilt: new brakes, new rims, new tires. It needs a little work on the front too, which we may get to.  It runs beautifully, but right now it really isn’t any good for heavy work.  The tires can hold air for perhaps half an hour and the rims are delicate…fine for mowing a flat field, not fine for anything else.

This project, by the way, is not being done by me…..I’m the enthusiastic cheerleader on this one, with joy.

So before pictures:

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The bush hog, siting behind the tractor, is also going to get some judicious welding done to it….that dark line you see was caused by a bent blade making like a can opener in sheet steel.

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New tires, with tread! Purists will grumble about switching from the original tread pattern (there is a subtle difference), but this is a working tractor not a show tractor, so we went with solid tires rather than pretty Chinese/Thai. The aim is to be able to keep open some areas that otherwise are impossible and, with this tractor largely out of commission, reverting to brush (mostly bittersweet and barberry), plus there is a reasonable possibility that the near future may involve more work in the woods. And the Fergusons, with a high ground clearance but a paradoxically low center of gravity, are ideal for the firewood/bush hog trade in rough ground. They’re not much good for things that need hydraulics: front end loaders, backhoes, snow plows, etc. But as iron mules….they’re just fine.