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Tractor of the week # 36 544


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The 544 is one of the IH models that I never remember seeing at our dealer as a kid or even much later. I do not believe I have ever known a farm with one. They seemed to be a bit scarce around the country. Every farm had a Farmall H or M for smaller tractors so maybe the 544 was simply bypassed for size by 1970 as many new tractors were 826's, 856's and 656's. Farms were growing as were the jobs the tractors did. Maybe that has nothing to do with me never seeing a 544, but it seems logical to me. So I am curious if they were popular in different areas of the country. How many of y'all have a 544 or had or a neighbor or friend? Let's see some IH beauties and here some stories of 544's.

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I put a ta in one years ago and it felt like it had more power then or 656.  I always keep an eye open for a diesel row crop.  About as handy as a shirt pocket.

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Here’s ours. 1969 year. Belonged to my grandfather and I got it when he passed. He traded a 300 in on it when he purchased it. Used it for mowing and bailing hay mostly. I remember as a kid driving it and thought it was so neat to drive not needing a clutch being a hydro. We use it for mowing mostly now and other small chores. Extremely handy tractor to have around. I’ll repaint it someday but for now it’s still a worker. 

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They built 13,000. They only have four on TractorHouse. When I get the time I will get photos of buyers guides from 1968 and 69

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Here is a ad pic of a 544 with a model #22 cotton stripper. One l have never figured out. l have pics of all kinds of cotton strippers mounted on tractors. They all show shiny new tractors and implements but the trailers are always junked out. You would think that IH or JD would everything looking good in their ads.   BTW....this was the pre-covid era. His mask is for cold temps and dust....lol 

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I have more on a drive at home I can add later if needed.  First pic is me loading up when I bought it. My buddy snapped it. Other pics are not the one I owned but from shows.  I’m sure Aaron can add several  

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6 minutes ago, Mr. Plow said:

Pretty sure the cotton stripper is a 504 not 544.  544 would have had 656 shifter.

And wouldn’t have had the white panels on the side bearing the emblems or the older perforated grille. 

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Here they are featured as a new tractor in the Summer/Fall 1968 buyers guide 

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Here is the hydro 544 on the inside cover of the 1969 Summer/Fall Buyers guide and the gear drive models featured on page 24 with the 444 and 140. 
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Always thought I would like a 544 utility hydro diesel

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Eason's 544 Row Crop utility is the style I would prefer if I ever got a 544. But maybe in gas rather than diesel.

Neighbor had a 544 Farmall that burned to a crisp a couple weeks ago. No pics.

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I have been looking forward to this one!😊

First one is 1971 Farmall 544 diesel hydro row crop.  Seems fitting to start with photos of the day I purchased it from Sledgehammer.   Dad and I drove out there just before Christmas in 2017.20171223_120515.thumb.jpg.b83ac2457c1c725302aff376c305d08c.jpg20171223_120423.thumb.jpg.d2c8c268c4474d0109a62511fb431fe4.jpg

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Last fall, I  added a 544 utility gas gear drive with 2000 loader.

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544 that I found at a dealership in the weeds and restored but use it each summer.  Dad sold his at the farm auction in 1987 and would always talk about that tractor.  So it was my goal to buy one for the farm again.  He loved planting oats this spring with it.  And the boys used it as their backdrop for the Pledge when they were remote that March.  Even though mine is a gas, I really enjoy using it.

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When I moved to my current location in 1993, just about every average cattle operation around here had a 544, or more than one. My old boss' father must have made a lot of $$$ back in the late 1960s through the early/mid 1970s selling 656s and 544s around here. At that time cattle & ranching was the predominant way of life on the land around here as it was considered too rocky for farm ground. They were sold as either gas or diesel, gear drive(either TA or mechanical shuttle shift) or Hydro drive. About the only common configuration for them was wide front and as a Farmall version....no utility tractors here.

Many around here had a Farmhand F10 loader installed on them right from new. Many of them here did not have a 3 pt. hitch as with a Farmhand installed, you had to enter/exit the seat from the rear of the tractor, and you couldn't really use the 3 pt. hitch with a Farmhand mounted on the tractor anyway. Many of these tractors had an aftermarket cab that was built by a small, private company about an hour east of here....these cabs had an extra window in the front of the roof that was commonly called a "sky window" or "sky light" that allowed the operator to see up high above the front of the tractor for stacking loose hay or bales into tall stacks. 

Many 544s probably replaced Hs and Ms around here for Farmhand tractors...and probably were as revered as the Hs and Ms. There's still many around, but through the years most of the Farmhand tractors have been retired. There are still a few 544s around that still make their living mowing/raking hay. Many a rancher owed their livelihood to a 544 back in the day. Worked on many back in the day.

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Dad bought his 544 new. Row crop, narrow front, clamshell fenders, gas, gear drive. It was the only row crop 544 our dealer sold. Years later I asked why he wanted such a small tractor. He said he wanted a brand new M. Hard to argue that point. It’s a handy tractor that has literally done every job on the farm at some point.

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