by Jerry Eltzroth CVT Contributor
Our 100 acre Kentucky farm has been in the same family for 111 years now.
Of course everybody wonders how some Yankee came to own it since I was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio. My great grandparents bought this farm in 1904. My wife, Bonnie, and I live in an area of eastern Kentucky called the Knobs or where ‘the Bluegrass kisses the mountains.’ About the only thing we grow on the farm are trees, gardens and grandchildren. About 50 acres of the farm is forest.
I bought my 8N tractor from a fellow in the next county nearly 20 years ago. It had a few problems, but with the help of my mechanic son-in-law, Louis Potts, we soon had it in good operating condition—new rear tires, rear wheel seal, new wiring harness, plugs, points, a little paint, etc. The 8N has a serial number that indicates it was manufactured in 1948. I read in an issue of N-News that if it had a certain part it was really made in 1947–which it does. Since I was born in 1947 we are the same age. It is humbling to know that the tractor will probably outlast me. I have had very few problems with the tractor and maintain it on a regular basis. About the only alteration I have made to the tractor is the electronic ignition which replaced the points, condenser, and magneto. I bought the ignition kit from one of the N-News advertisers. It was guaranteed for two years and it lasted six years before I had to replace it with another. The tractor runs and starts better with the electronic ignition.
My 8N is a working tractor and does not get babied very much; however, it does get sheltered in the barn. In warm weather the tractor is used for bush-hogging, to plow/disc-ing the gardens, grading the lanes and other general duties. During cold weather, I use the tractor to drag logs that will become our firewood for the next winter season. I utilize the tractor carryall to resupply my firewood that I keep in the basement wood rack. Our heat pump never runs in the winter months.
I use the straps shown in the attached pictures to pull logs with my 8N. The straps are the type that truckers use to secure their loads, with a 15,000 lb. rating. There is a triangular iron on one end that fits perfectly over a 2” trailer ball hitch. The other end I have sewn into an eyelet big enough for the triangular iron to pass through. I loop the strap around the log, attach the iron to my ball hitch and drag the log to a more accessible area. I made straps of various lengths to accommodate different diameter logs. By using the short straps I can utilize the three-point hitch to raise the end of the log off the ground. This method requires less effort to drag the log and I plow up less ground. A short strap makes it easier to snake the log around obstacles. I have pulled logs up to 36” in diameter in this manner. If the log is too heavy for the 8N to pull, I cut it into 2 or 3 pieces. I can also attach tongs to my draw bar to lift the end of the log off the ground. To keep the draw bar from rotating I added a device to it that I also ordered from one of the N-News advertisers. I can combine 3 or 4 straps (each about 25 feet in length) together with short loops of chain if I have a long reach to bring a log from a hillside. The 8N grumbles if the pull is uphill with a large log. One piece of safety advice: always make sure the strap is attached to a belly hitch when trying to pull anything. My son-in-law worked at a company that serviced tractor trailer rigs. If the straps were the least bit worn they were thrown in the dumpster and replaced. He salvaged dozens of these straps for me and had the idea for their use. It sure beats handling heavy chains.
I look forward to every issue of N-News. The maintenance and repair tips are very helpful. The stories by other tractor owners are very interesting. Keep up the good work.
Originally published in the N-News–the magazine for the Ford Tractor &Implement Enthusiast
N-News Magazine/Robert Rinaldi, Jr.
PO Box 275
East Corinth, VT 05040-0275 USA