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


RedOhio
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I have a Hydro 86 with the 312 diesel, 2350 loader. It is used much more, year around than the 3688. It can do all of the hay work, also since I moved and now have 30 acres to take hay off of 30 miles away, it gets hauled back and forth between both farms. I make 4 X 5 bales and the hydro works great on the baler.

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I purchased my 656 hydro gas with westendorf WL-21 loader for $6500. Neighbors had it, rebuilt front to back when they retired from farming.   It will do what you need it to, but for $9,000, purchase an 856 diesel.  More power,  capacity.  Plenty of them around in that 9K range.  I paid $7,000 for my 1206 15 years ago before they went crazy high.  Gave $6,500 for my Hydro 100 last fall.  Good machines out there.  Just keep looking.

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I would agree that you will want more tractor to run a full size round baler. I have a JD 530 and 535, and typically bale with my 856. The 856 handles the baler fine, but you know when you have a nearly full bale, especially going uphill. I sure would not want to bale with anything smaller in anything other than a short term emergency.

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Not to butt in.....but,

I would pass on the hydro.  It's a gas tractor and no wide front end.  Why would you do that to yourself, you will have plenty to do without swapping out front ends, power steering issues, hydraulic lines. 

You need a loader so buy the right tractor that already has a loader or again, looking for the right brackets, fooling around with power beyond ports, hoses, hyd. cylinders.  and while your at it, have a three spool valve so you can make or buy a set of forks and a thumb to pick up brush, logs, round bales, and yes, cows.

Sorry but I did all those things and found that sometimes spending a little more upfront will make you a lot happier.

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8 hours ago, Rainman said:

F656 Hydro gas sold for $3,800 at auction on 11/1/2019

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Could easily double your money on that one 

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Since all the talk about 656's and D282's may as well give my story and opinion.  

9 years ago i bought my 656 at a consignment sale.  Very early model with round fenders and fast hitch.  Always wanted one for years for some reason.  Put about 700$ into it with various odds and ends.  First real job was pulling our Deere 950 cultimulcher after the drill with teeth up.  That was eye opening just how a D282 holds no comparison to its bigger brothers with a lack of low end torque.  Doesnt take much to feel like a load behind you.  

On the other hand, they have excellent fuel economy, and have plenty of sauce to do the jobs most modern 60hp  utility tractors are capable of.  

Ours puts probably 75% of its hours in running a hay rake.  4th direct is the perfect speed, fuel usage is next to nothing.  Handy for lots of other light duty jobs too.  Despite a huge fiasco the past 2 years fighting head gasket issues, finally did it right and got a fel pro gasket with ARP studs, along with a complete rebuild due to decking the block and reshimming limers.  Despite all the headaches probably still only have 8k in it (including the 4k i bought it for) and got tons of use out of it.  

See lots if people doing light work with high dollar MFWD tractors putting hours on them and get a laugh out of it.  Would i want to do tillage work with a 656?  Heck no.  But i would much rather use it for light work and save the expensive tractors to do the tough jobs.  

Certain tractors have their uses for certain people, just because one person thinks theyre worthless, doesnt mean another doesnt find it useful.  

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Taking on all the stuff that goes with a new property and learning what it is you want to do and when to do it do you really want to start with a tractor that's not ready to go?

It's ok to be new to stuff.  But new to all of it?  Are you mechanically inclined?  Have a place and tools to work on stuff?  Like to work on tractors rather than be with other people and do family stuff?  That's what's waiting for you with an older tractor.

Stop looking at dealership tractors if budget is a concern.  Go private party.

There are lots of guys on here that know these tractors inside and out and all that comes with them.  They don't mind or get knocked down when there is an issue.  Is that you?

If you go with an older machine as you have been discussing go with the most available.  966, 1066, 886, 986, 1086 etc.  Go with parts availability and a tractor every one else wants so if you need to fix it you can find parts.  If or when you don't want it you can easily sell it off when you know more about your needs.

There is plenty of room in your field to maneuver regardless of frame size.  It's like driving a regular cab pickup vs an extended cab.  No big deal.

Get a tractor that is already set up so you are fixing what is wrong with it rather than trying to swap stuff around.

Spend your time learning to farm your new place rather than learning the ins and outs of various old series of tractors.  Not because there is anything wrong about them or they are not capable but because there is no need to for the money you are going to spend anyways.

Cabs are great.  Instant canopy just take the doors and windows out/off.  Lose some accessibility for maintenance and visibility at the same time.  Are you storing your tractor outside or inside.  Cabs protect seats and gauges and such not just you.

Larger tractors are already heavy and help ballast a front loader without so many weights or fluid.

Plan in the long run to have two tractors.

There are other brands.  Most on here own more than one color.  It's ok.

How many "newer" tractors do you see with narrow fronts?  Contained in that is your answer.

Gas is great for starting in cold weather and will do the work.  Pay as you go or pay upfront.  Just like pickup trucks.  Lose when you sell as fewer want them and debate their purchase decision.  Just like your doing now.  Contained in that is your answer.

Get a tractor that came with 3 point not a conversion so all the proportions are correct.

Your starting new.  So start with newer stuff.

If your dazed and confused then get the newest nicest utility/loader/mower you can to handle property chores and have your first few seasons of field work and haying contracted or on share with established farmer in the area.

You can do it all with one tractor but not one tractor will do it all conveniently.

 

 

 

 

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On 5/28/2021 at 11:46 AM, 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.  

OMG TBH I once had a Hydro 70. Sure a nice tractor to drive. One spring we tried to pull a tool bar planter with 6 inch furrow shovels on the front and after 2 rounds i took it to the house and got the 1086. Pulling that little devil at 4MPH the platform got so hot you could fry eggs on it. Hydros have their place but not pulling any tillage equipment. My Hydro wore a loader most of its life until it went to a new home

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7 hours ago, nomorejohndeere said:

Taking on all the stuff that goes with a new property and learning what it is you want to do and when to do it do you really want to start with a tractor that's not ready to go?

It's ok to be new to stuff.  But new to all of it?  Are you mechanically inclined?  Have a place and tools to work on stuff?  Like to work on tractors rather than be with other people and do family stuff?  That's what's waiting for you with an older tractor.

Stop looking at dealership tractors if budget is a concern.  Go private party.

There are lots of guys on here that know these tractors inside and out and all that comes with them.  They don't mind or get knocked down when there is an issue.  Is that you?

If you go with an older machine as you have been discussing go with the most available.  966, 1066, 886, 986, 1086 etc.  Go with parts availability and a tractor every one else wants so if you need to fix it you can find parts.  If or when you don't want it you can easily sell it off when you know more about your needs.

There is plenty of room in your field to maneuver regardless of frame size.  It's like driving a regular cab pickup vs an extended cab.  No big deal.

Get a tractor that is already set up so you are fixing what is wrong with it rather than trying to swap stuff around.

Spend your time learning to farm your new place rather than learning the ins and outs of various old series of tractors.  Not because there is anything wrong about them or they are not capable but because there is no need to for the money you are going to spend anyways.

Cabs are great.  Instant canopy just take the doors and windows out/off.  Lose some accessibility for maintenance and visibility at the same time.  Are you storing your tractor outside or inside.  Cabs protect seats and gauges and such not just you.

Larger tractors are already heavy and help ballast a front loader without so many weights or fluid.

Plan in the long run to have two tractors.

There are other brands.  Most on here own more than one color.  It's ok.

How many "newer" tractors do you see with narrow fronts?  Contained in that is your answer.

Gas is great for starting in cold weather and will do the work.  Pay as you go or pay upfront.  Just like pickup trucks.  Lose when you sell as fewer want them and debate their purchase decision.  Just like your doing now.  Contained in that is your answer.

Get a tractor that came with 3 point not a conversion so all the proportions are correct.

Your starting new.  So start with newer stuff.

If your dazed and confused then get the newest nicest utility/loader/mower you can to handle property chores and have your first few seasons of field work and haying contracted or on share with established farmer in the area.

You can do it all with one tractor but not one tractor will do it all conveniently.

 

 

 

 

Very well said and argued!!! I have been looking at all the other options you and everyone has been brought up. 

I found a diesel 806,1066, and a few of the other color near by.  I am mechanically inclined and I do have a decent amount of tools but would defenitly have to attain more for specific tractor related tasks. 

Storage isn't a concern, except maybe for height. The previous owners had a Case 12XX? non cab and a couple Ford Jubilees,,,,  

This post and subsequent dialogue has been VERY helpful to my wife understanding all the ramifications of this decision making process :)

I will keep looking until I find the tractor that checks off all boxes....

 

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3 hours ago, RedOhio said:

Very well said and argued!!! I have been looking at all the other options you and everyone has been brought up. 

I found a diesel 806,1066, and a few of the other color near by.  I am mechanically inclined and I do have a decent amount of tools but would defenitly have to attain more for specific tractor related tasks. 

Storage isn't a concern, except maybe for height. The previous owners had a Case 12XX? non cab and a couple Ford Jubilees,,,,  

This post and subsequent dialogue has been VERY helpful to my wife understanding all the ramifications of this decision making process :)

I will keep looking until I find the tractor that checks off all boxes....

 

Keep in mind that you might want to keep the option open to buy more tractors in the future. I have it negotiated if my wife gets another animal I can get another tractor :)

 

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On 5/30/2021 at 8:03 AM, RedOhio said:

Very well said and argued!!! I have been looking at all the other options you and everyone has been brought up. 

I found a diesel 806,1066, and a few of the other color near by.  I am mechanically inclined and I do have a decent amount of tools but would defenitly have to attain more for specific tractor related tasks. 

Storage isn't a concern, except maybe for height. The previous owners had a Case 12XX? non cab and a couple Ford Jubilees,,,,  

This post and subsequent dialogue has been VERY helpful to my wife understanding all the ramifications of this decision making process :)

I will keep looking until I find the tractor that checks off all boxes....

 

If I had to have just one tractor (pray tell that never happens)it would be a IH 1066.It would do everything on my farm and surely would on yours.Tons of power,lotsa of weight so you don't get pushed around,so many out there lots to choose from,easy to fix,work on,plenty of new and used parts available,no computers,no Def.Sure they are bigger then you think you want but after you get used to it you will think boy those 656's sure are small. The other thing it has a lot of power and you won't have to run it wide open, it will last.

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I paid $6600 for a 666 diesel w/wide front, 3pt & 2 remotes 18 months ago.  A good running tractor, but not a hydro.  Your price seems a little high unless its like "mint" and all rebuilt.  IDK maybe the Hydro adds that much.

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When you have a one tractor farm, you are looking for a 4 x4 utility tractor with loader.  A tractor like a 656 is fine to stick on a hay baler, but will be useless for feeding cattle in muddy yards in winter.  What you are looking for if you want to stick with IH is an 84 or 85 series with front wheel assist and loader.  When I had only one tractor, it was an NH 7635 4 x4 with loader.  It will clean out a snowy driveway and not get stuck.   The number of times I would have been stuck without 4 x 4 is uncountable but with it you get out and get work done.   No putting loaders on 2 wd.  Waste.

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Hydros are nice but choosing between a gas 656 hydro and a diesel 966 gear drive I would buy that 966 in a heartbeat. I have both and the 966 is better in almost every way. 
just my 2 cents. 

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9 hours ago, IH884 said:

When you have a one tractor farm, you are looking for a 4 x4 utility tractor with loader.  A tractor like a 656 is fine to stick on a hay baler, but will be useless for feeding cattle in muddy yards in winter.  What you are looking for if you want to stick with IH is an 84 or 85 series with front wheel assist and loader.  When I had only one tractor, it was an NH 7635 4 x4 with loader.  It will clean out a snowy driveway and not get stuck.   The number of times I would have been stuck without 4 x 4 is uncountable but with it you get out and get work done.   No putting loaders on 2 wd.  Waste.

No doubt 4wd for a loader hands down better than a 2wd.But as far a waste I disagree. I have operated,owned many 2wd with loaders and got the job done without trouble. Own a Woods 3100 large frame loader on a H70 for 15 years and use it daily. Set of chains for snow are a necessity and on ice 4wds are worthless. People use what they have, some are better operators and can get by with what they have and some can't. 

 

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My dad SHOULD have had FWA - he fought the mud all winter and spring in a 1066 w Westendorf loader, hauling stacks and round bales out to the cows for years.  It could get so muddy around the feeders the cows & tractors would be belly deep.   Concrete is not an option on a rented pasture.    

I would say that FWA is not needed, unless you plan on feeding livestock or have a long muddy lane to keep up.   But every location is different....is your property hilltop on gravel soil, or swamp in the south.... 

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22 minutes ago, searcyfarms said:

by the time we get this figured out he will be driving a challenger tracked machine with 600hp  LOL

HAHAHA!!!! I told my wife if she didn't approve a bigger budget for a tractor that this will be her FATE!!! 

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Jacka said:

No doubt 4wd for a loader hands down better than a 2wd.But as far a waste I disagree. I have operated,owned many 2wd with loaders and got the job done without trouble. Own a Woods 3100 large frame loader on a H70 for 15 years and use it daily. Set of chains for snow are a necessity and on ice 4wds are worthless. People use what they have, some are better operators and can get by with what they have and some can't. 

 

I agree.  We fed round bales in the winter for years with a 706 and 3 point bale spear. Always had chains on.  If you used your head,  you would not get stuck.  We never fed with the loader tractor, that extra weight made the front axle sink instead of float.   Just enough front weights to make the hill with the bale on the back. Sometimes,  a trip with the loader tractor first to move snow was necessary. Usually after a heavy snow.

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