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IH 656 for our new farm? Or which would you recommend?


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Wife and I close on our new Farm next week. 47 acres in NE Ohio with about 25+/- flat tillable acres. I need to make hay for our livestock, Grass mix no Alfalfa or clover. Looking at IH 656 Hydro with a NF. My big question is will this do the job or would a different model be better? All other equipment will be purchased after the Tractor choice has been made. 

Im new to this forum, so if I asked this question in the wrong section please let me know. 

 

Don

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That size and hp would be just fine for that scale operation. Make sure the hydro is good. They can get pricey to repair. Back in the day a hydro 656 was the big tractor on a local dairy. Did all the plowing, tillage, mowed and baled. One thing to consider is are you making round or square bales. A narrow front will run over the windrows when making round bale

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1 minute ago, 885 said:

That size and hp would be just fine for that scale operation. Make sure the hydro is good. They can get pricey to repair. Back in the day a hydro 656 was the big tractor on a local dairy. Did all the plowing, tillage, mowed and baled. One thing to consider is are you making round or square bales. A narrow front will run over the windrows when making round bale

The dealership ASSURES me that the Hydro is very good as the Tractor was redone top to bottom. I am looking for a wide front end to replace the NF, but they seem to be "scarce". But in truth I was looking for one because I feel it to be a safer option. The windrow part never occurred to me :o 

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Probably will get flamed for this, but for what those little ones bring, you could almost park yourself in a 8/9/1086 and have a nice cab...............Granted I am not a 86 series fan, but even so a cab with heat/ac is better than a open 656 IMO.  

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A dealership assurance and $1 will get you any size cup of coffee at McDonalds. That's how much they're worth.

Unless they state in writing that they will either take the tractor back with a full refund or they will pay to have the hydro repaired should it fail within the first few months of ownership, you are buying the tractor as is where is. Standard buyer beware stuff, you know...

 

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3 minutes ago, TP from Central PA said:

Probably will get flamed for this, but for what those little ones bring, you could almost park yourself in a 8/9/1086 and have a nice cab...............Granted I am not a 86 series fan, but even so a cab with heat/ac is better than a open 656 IMO.  

I haven't looked at a cab because of their cost too...Plus I felt the fuel cost would go up exponentially with the larger platform and A/C and tugging a round baler...But that could be my lack of knowledge taking me down the wrong fork in the road...

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25 minutes ago, Matt Kirsch said:

A dealership assurance and $1 will get you any size cup of coffee at McDonalds. That's how much they're worth.

Unless they state in writing that they will either take the tractor back with a full refund or they will pay to have the hydro repaired should it fail within the first few months of ownership, you are buying the tractor as is where is. Standard buyer beware stuff, you know...

 

That is great advice....I will ask and see.

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1 hour ago, RedOhio said:

Plus I felt the fuel cost would go up exponentially with the larger platform and A/C and tugging a round baler

I have a 1086 and their fuel consumption isn't near what you would think it is. Besides you won't be pulling a 6 bottom plow in hard clay from sun up til sun down either or a wide heavy disc and big implements is where your going to burn big fuel. I wouldn't rule out something with a cab if it is within your budget. You'll appreciate it in the summer when your baling in the a/c and not breathing in all the dust, etc.

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2 hours ago, RedOhio said:

I haven't looked at a cab because of their cost too...Plus I felt the fuel cost would go up exponentially with the larger platform and A/C and tugging a round baler...But that could be my lack of knowledge taking me down the wrong fork in the road...

Might burn a bit more, but myself would prefer to buy a few extra gallons of fuel than to sweat it out and eat dust, especially if the bigger tractor didn't cost a whole lot more.

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Is the tractor a gas or diesel?  The gassers are thirsty little animals. I have a 756 (291 gas) and I think it burns twice as much as my 806 diesel. 

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Go to the trouble to find a wide front, shouldn't be that tough. Wish we were closer. 

You will want the wide front when you put a loader on it. 

656 hydro I had (?till the man down at the bank took her from me?) (he got the tractor but I kept the girl)?

1415686513_656anddual340.jpg.5cfac53a084a1d82b56367b09bda198a.jpg

and the 656 hydro I have

573758081_656andloader2.jpg.ad31801490f8f5013f74e36a5bf46e00.jpg

Great tractors, I am a fan?

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3 hours ago, RedOhio said:

The dealership ASSURES me that the Hydro is very good as the Tractor was redone top to bottom. I am looking for a wide front end to replace the NF, but they seem to be "scarce". But in truth I was looking for one because I feel it to be a safer option. The windrow part never occurred to me :o 

Well don't be afraid of it at all.If it's in  good repair for the age (50 maybe?),it will be a wonderful choice. As far as repair labor is big in anything you have to split or overhaul and a Hydro will out last a clutch in a gear driven tractor if maintained and operated properly. As far as narrow front I love a narrow fronts being nimble,turn radius ect.I have steep hills and narrow front tractors were all I had until my first 1066. If your aware, know what you can do and can't they are just as safe as the operator. A crazy operator can kill himself just as quick on a wide front verse narrow because he might think he is unstoppable. 

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I have or had a 666, 806, 1066, 1486.     I prefer the larger frame (706->), its so much more capable.

1) make sure the 656 is diesel and has 3pt, not 2pt.   Don't buy any tractor w/o a 3pt hitch.   Severely limits the implements you can use, unless you do an expensive conversion.

2) I love the 666 for raking/mowing roads, small equipment.  I would not want to use it to run a round baler.   The PTO & HP etc would be marginal, I think.  The large frame  are just so much solider, PTO is heavier, etc.   I'm sure others on here will tell me I'm nuts, that they use theirs for this all the time.    I respond that the 806 was even a little small for a big round baler, the 1066 was much better.  An 8' Bushhog really loads the 666- it overheats if I'm not careful.

3) If you want a loader, don't get too large a one on that tractor.   

4) Does the 656 have 2 remotes?   If its only got 1, thats a big minus, as most newer implements need 2 hydraulic functions.  A loader sure does.

5) Honestly, the larger tractors may use LESS fuel if you are running it hard.   My 806 would sip fuel planting, the 666 burned a 1/4 tank replanting last year.  It just had to work harder.  

6) I won't buy a tractor with narrow front.  I have never understood why some guys like them (Sorry Jacka!)  Grew up on a 400 with narrow front (with PS), I celebrated the day it left for an 806 with wide front.   So much better stability and easier steering.  FYI- I live on flat land.   

7) TIRES - tires are expensive.  A good set of tires may be worth almost the cost of the tractor, if comparing 2 tractors, one with newish and one with worn out tires.

Don't get me wrong, the 656 may work out GREAT for you.  They are a little smaller, nimble, and really nice to run.  If its already got 3pt & 2 remotes, even better.   4 row or 6 row equipment, smaller mowers, raking, small square balers.... Just be aware it may have some limitations. 

If you do choose the 656, consider adding a roll bar for safety.   

Just a comment - I live in "big farm" IL.  It always makes me smile when I hear about how a 656 or similar was the "big tractor".   The 5xx/6xx tractors were almost non-existent around me.  Even the small family farms went straight from a 400 to a 806 in the 60's.  By 1980, a 1066 was considered a "small chore tractor.   Now I'm surrounded by Quadtracks pulling 24-36 row planters.  I run a 9230--which is considered old and tiny.   I had to go clear to central IA to buy the 666 (its kinda my toy - small enough to work on easy, big enough to actually use in the field if needed).

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45 minutes ago, FarmerFixEmUp said:

Is the tractor a gas or diesel?  The gassers are thirsty little animals. I have a 756 (291 gas) and I think it burns twice as much as my 806 diesel. 

It is a gasser, yes.

 

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Ouch.   Plan on LOTS of trips with gas cans.   And you will want to use Premium, NOT 87 octane.  Those engines were designed for leaded fuel, which was a higher octane. 

Of course, it  might be a great 1st tractor.....Ahem! 

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For what you are looking to do on that size property a 656 gas would be fine. The diesel 656 had a 282 that was common to have head gasket issues. My brother has a 656 gas gear drive and with electronic ignition added it's a good little tractor. His has fast hitch and we like that for the things we use it for. Only thing that I would change on his is add a ROPS canopy for shade 

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My in-laws had a M, 656, and finally got a 1066 their first wide front diesel in the mid 70's . They have steep ground. They did custom forage harvesting back in the 50-70's with the M and 656 

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7 minutes ago, Jeff-C-IL said:

I have or had a 666, 806, 1066, 1486.     I prefer the larger frame (706->), its so much more capable.

1) make sure the 656 is diesel and has 3pt, not 2pt.   Don't buy any tractor w/o a 3pt hitch.   Severely limits the implements you can use, unless you do an expensive conversion.

2) I love the 666 for raking/mowing roads, small equipment.  I would not want to use it to run a round baler.   The PTO & HP etc would be marginal, I think.  The large frame  are just so much solider, PTO is heavier, etc.   I'm sure others on here will tell me I'm nuts, that they use theirs for this all the time.    I respond that the 806 was even a little small for a big round baler, the 1066 was much better.  An 8' Bushhog really loads the 666- it overheats if I'm not careful.

3) If you want a loader, don't get too large a one on that tractor.   

4) Does the 656 have 2 remotes?   If its only got 1, thats a big minus, as most newer implements need 2 hydraulic functions.  A loader sure does.

5) Honestly, the larger tractors may use LESS fuel if you are running it hard.   My 806 would sip fuel planting, the 666 burned a 1/4 tank replanting last year.  It just had to work harder.  

6) I won't buy a tractor with narrow front.  I have never understood why some guys like them (Sorry Jacka!)  Grew up on a 400 with narrow front (with PS), I celebrated the day it left for an 806 with wide front.   So much better stability and easier steering.  FYI- I live on flat land.   

7) TIRES - tires are expensive.  A good set of tires may be worth almost the cost of the tractor, if comparing 2 tractors, one with newish and one with worn out tires.

Don't get me wrong, the 656 may work out GREAT for you.  They are a little smaller, nimble, and really nice to run.  If its already got 3pt & 2 remotes, even better.   4 row or 6 row equipment, smaller mowers, raking, small square balers.... Just be aware it may have some limitations. 

If you do choose the 656, consider adding a roll bar for safety.   

Just a comment - I live in "big farm" IL.  It always makes me smile when I hear about how a 656 or similar was the "big tractor".   The 5xx/6xx tractors were almost non-existent around me.  Even the small family farms went straight from a 400 to a 806 in the 60's.  By 1980, a 1066 was considered a "small chore tractor.   Now I'm surrounded by Quadtracks pulling 24-36 row planters.  I run a 9230--which is considered old and tiny.   I had to go clear to central IA to buy the 666 (its kinda my toy - small enough to work on easy, big enough to actually use in the field if needed).

Well post has me rethinking my position...

It does have a 3point BUT only one remote, Narrow front, ( seen one wide front for sale but it is not awesome looking for 850.00).

I do want to get a loader or buy a tractor with one on it already....I will widen my search to some of the other models mentioned...BUT folks seem to feel these are worth a mortgage :P

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The other thing a 656 will grind feed,run a rotary mower depending on how fast and high your mowing will depend on what size,me I like bigger and go slower (I pulled a 15 ft bat wing with my hydro 70 and it was 5 ft high weeds,just didn't go real fast and kept her wide open but you can't go fast off you can't see anyway)..I round baled thousands of 5×6 bales and a little 52hp 574 was the the tractor hooked up to it and then a 560 gas with narrow front after that.Narrow front was great for round baling heavy hay,wheels just compacted the hay and it was swept right into baler.

But I agree with Jeff-C,a bigger tractor will run most stuff easier just be little more clumsy.Just buy something you can afford, will work and don't let a salesman push you to 4wd,they are better in many ways, a necessity to some but not to all farmers. 

 

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51 minutes ago, RedOhio said:

It is a gasser, yes.

 

Gasser...........I would definitely want the bigger tractor with a diesel engine and a cab, but that is me.................Now, what is the price of this rebuilt 656 GAS Hydro?  IMO it had better be cheap..................

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2 minutes ago, TP from Central PA said:

Gasser...........I would definitely want the bigger tractor with a diesel engine and a cab, but that is me.................Now, what is the price of this rebuilt 656 GAS Hydro?  IMO it had better be cheap..................

Their Asking price is $8950.00

 

 

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2 minutes ago, RedOhio said:

Their Asking price is $8950.00

 

 

St. Anne Consignment in ILL. has a decent nt looking 986 at that price point for example.....................They are out there.  I would never pay that for a gasser, but that is just me.

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I agree with many of the recommendations given especially from Jeff C.  And if you are only planning to have just one tractor (harder to farm with just one imo) on your new farm I would suggest that you buy one that is already equipped with a working loader, a wide front and of course good power steering. A diesel would be preferable in my opinion (but for the same model they usually cost significantly more initially) and be sure it is model that has a good reputation for starting in cold weather (I used to live in Michigan and Ohio and know how cold it can get there). 

Personally I would get something a little newer and with more HP than than a 656 but like most things it usually comes down to money, but spending more for reliability and performance at the beginning will make you a lot happier in the long run. And red is better than green. Good luck. dm

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