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Country Discussion Topics
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Live PTO or not Live?? (In market for tractor)
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Mike    Posted 06-23-2004 at 10:59:59       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Which is safer when using a brush hog. It seems to me that a 'Not Live" one would be. i.e. the PTO quits when the clutch is depressed. You need a slip clutch, of course.

What are other advantages/disadvantages when using a brush hog?

I'm looking for a Ford 9N or 8N and a 5' brush hog. Both those tractors came standard with Not Live PTO's.

Ray    Posted 06-23-2004 at 19:54:39       [Reply]  [No Email]
Don't buy anything without live pto,and don't buy
an 8N.There a toy,but not much of a tractor,very
expensive to overhaul (pressed in thin sleeves),
don't have live hydraulic (3pt doesn't work with
clutch pushed down),old obsolete flat head motor.
At least buy an 860 to get live pto and hydraulic,even better spend a little more and
get PS.

Mike    Posted 06-24-2004 at 19:42:51       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Toy? Hmmm, well when I was a kid I sure plowed lots of 'farm' land with the toy. My dad would be on the Allis cutting 3 furrows and I'd be right behind him cutting two. Just as deep, too. Was always working on the Allis but never on the 8N. The only reason he kept the Allis was to pull the combine and the hay baler.

Ray    Posted 06-23-2004 at 19:54:00       [Reply]  [No Email]
Don't buy anything without live pto,and don't buy
an 8N.There a toy,but not much of a tractor,very
expensive to overhaul (pressed in thin sleeves),
don't have live hydraulic (3pt doesn't work with
clutch pushed down),old obsolete flat head motor.
At least buy an 860 to get live pto and hydraulic,even better spend a little more and
get PS.

hay    Posted 06-23-2004 at 14:43:21       [Reply]  [No Email]
old ford "N" series are popular, but not the best choice for bushhog work. for one thing, they were built as a garden tractor and don't have a live pto or live hydraulics. any tractor with live pto/hydraulics would be a better choice. as far as slip clutch goes, i would not have one because they can and will lock up in the wintertime and that means they have to be readjusted. just a PITA. the shear bolt, IMHO, is the better choice.

not really    Posted 06-23-2004 at 17:04:45       [Reply]  [No Email]
The old Ns were designed and built as 2-bottom plow farm tractors, hardly "garden tractors." Mine will haul a 2-14" plow busting sod all day long, and it's 56 years old. Live PTO hadn't been invented yet, so no they're not the *best* bush hog tractor, but they're pretty decent at most jobs. Parts and repair knowledge readily available and inexpensive. Tractors themselves are readily available and not expensive.

As far as shear pin versus overrunning clutch, it isn't an "either-or" sort of thing, you really need both because they serve entirely different functions. Shear pin saves the mower when you hit a rock or stump; overriding clutch keeps you from running into trees and fences, lets you stop in a hurry when need be, and saves gas too.


steve19438    Posted 06-23-2004 at 13:12:01       [Reply]  [Send Email]
what the other guys said plus; if you can afford a tractor with "LIVE" pto buy it, you won't regret it.

James(Ga)    Posted 06-23-2004 at 12:13:39       [Reply]  [No Email]

Mike, I have a 52 8N and used it for over 30 years without a overrun clutch. Got one a couple years back and dont know how i got by without it. gettya one at TSC about 65.00. James(Ga)

Bkeepr    Posted 06-23-2004 at 11:23:58       [Reply]  [No Email]
I bush hog with a 48 8N. Went for the first 2 years without an overriding clutch. Finally broke down and bought one, and wouldn't be without it now. Not only safer, but makes life easier, too. Consider that mandatory.

Live PTO isn't essential, especially not for bush-hog. Makes something easier, but you can live without it. I love my little N tractor, and really believe that for the money it is the best thing around.

Tom A

Bob/Ont    Posted 06-23-2004 at 11:09:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
Don't think you can rig up a live pto to an old ford like that. The important thing is an overrunning clutch.It will let the mower free wheel when you put down the clutch to stop. If you don't have one the mower blade will keep spinning and can drive you into something by the blades momentum driving the trans through the pto.
Later Bob

Pitch    Posted 06-23-2004 at 16:03:38       [Reply]  [No Email]
I would definetly spend the extra to get something with live. I have an 8n and am real fond of it but if I were to do it again I would get something a bit newer. The biggest problem with non live and a brush hog is when you lift it up with the hydraulics those blades are spinning as the clutch has to be out to operate the 3 pt. As to the above comment on the n series being garden tractors I take offense. They were designed and manufactured to free the small farmer from staring at the back side of a horse all day long. Put them beside any other tractor of their era of similar HP and they will hold there own or surpass the other machine.

Sid    Posted 06-23-2004 at 17:33:53       [Reply]  [No Email]
I agree while they where a littl light and did not have the traction a lot of other tractor you put a ford 8N with a three point plow and it would plow all day long with the others. Pound for pound it was a scrappy little tractor. I have also read that Henry ford told them to build it sturdy build it simple so that they can fix it themselves. I understand that just two or three wrenches a pair of pliers and screwdriver will be all that is needed to make any repair on an 8N. I know a few of them that are still paying their way today on real farms.

Mike    Posted 06-23-2004 at 16:56:40       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Ok, let see if I understand this right. With a 8N or a 9N, stepping on the clutch pedal stops the tractor and the PTO. So, if you want to go forward without the blade turning, you have to first disengage the PTO lever? Is that right? Will the hydraulic lift still work with the PTO lever disengaged?

What about a Sherman step up transmission? do those prove a "Live" PTO?

Also no one has yet said why a LIVE PTO is good? Any examples?

Sid    Posted 06-23-2004 at 17:24:24       [Reply]  [No Email]
OK you can start the PTO powered equipment and let it get up to speed before before you start moving the tractor. This is good because it is less strain on the tractor. You can stop ground travel and let the PTO keep going when you get into a heavy load and avoid the possibility of plugging the equipment and or stalling the tractor. This is good because again less strain on the tractor and the equipment being used. It is also good because you are not tempted to use those words that get your mouth washed out. The fact that you can stop the ground travel and let the equipment catch up is good because you will get more done at the end of the day. So to sum things up Live power is less strain on the equipment and the operator and over a period of time is more productive. I am not familiar with a sherman transmission so I can not answer that one. Yes you have to put the PTO out of gear when you want to travel without the brush cutter or whatever you have on running, and if memory serves me right you can not use the lift without PTO in gear. Many do unhook the PTO shaft and put the PTO in gear so you can use the three point lift. Some of the later N series may have had a live lift I am not sure. I am sure the guys on the Ford N board can answer you questions better than I. If you find out different that what I have said let me know.

Bkeepr    Posted 06-24-2004 at 04:41:19       [Reply]  [No Email]
Sherman transmission is like a hi-low range addition to the standard/normal tranny, so the existing 4 gears (on an 8N) become 8, the new 4 are much lower than the standard ones.

You can do much without live PTO, you just have to be a little smarter. Not a problem on a small place; I've got 19 acres and do fine. I believe the Ford Jubilee tractor (looks a lot like an 8N, but made in '53) was the first with live PTO.

If I had a bigger place, and a lot more money I'd probably get a newer tractor. Unfortunately I have to watch the bucks and *for the money* the N tractors are the best for the cash. If you're reasonably handy, you can keep it running with just a few tools...I watch some folks around here with modern (and expensive) "compact tractors" broke down while my old thing just keeps plugging away. No it isn't perfect, and no you'd be hard pressed to farm a big farm with just an N, but they still make a good second tractor even on big farms around my area.


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