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RockyMountainCanadian
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Probably, especially if you are only going to have one tractor and if it is a small one a loader make the tractor pretty clumsy, unless it is designed just right for the tractor.

There are many 3 PH implements available and are designed to be quick change.

you can build or buy pallet forks to fit. won't lift very high but you can easily move stuff on pallets to a handier location.

the ability to carry your tillage equipment means that you can back into tight spaces and make fuller use of your area.

you can move a lot heavier things with the load on the large rear tires, and the load improves traction unlike a loader.
 

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Jack of all trades?
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It sure makes it easy to add a "Ballast box" to the rear when using a FEL. :D

If you pull stuff 10-12 feet wide or bigger, it's a lot cheaper to get a "wheatland" or field tractor without a 3Pt and use "regular" draw-type farm implements.

Most small "hobby" or "homestead" size farms need a 50Hp or smaller tractor and it is just about necessary to have a 3pt hitch in that size range.
 

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I invented the internet. :rofl:
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There's no doubt that a three point hitch is an asset. If you plan on using a small tractor in confined spaces it's almost a necessity. However, the three point hitch may double or sometimes even triple the cost of a tractor and it's implements. Because there's less demand for a drawbar (only) tractor they can often be had for a song and you can name the tune yourself.

If you have plenty of space for turning your tractor with the implements you can save thousands of dollars by going with an old Farmall/International H, M, or similar design and purchasing drawbar implements.

I used an old H Farmall for years on both the farm and at home. I had lots of space for turning and it would work the soil right next to the property line. I bought an old two-bottom plow for $10.00 and an old spike tooth harrow was free. I had a John Deer #5 mower that bolted to the hitch with about ten minutes of work and the rake and baler both used a drawbar. I could have purchased a small, two row planter and cultivator for a song as well. It was plenty of tractor for my garden plots (totaled about an acre) and for baling straw (for personal use and for sale) from neighboring wheat fields.

You can hook an implement to a drawbar faster than a three point hitch but I don't consider that a big issue in either case.

Some implements are easier to find in a three point hitch but the main advantage of a three point hitch is the shorter overall length of tractor and implement. I can't think of anything that can be done with a three point hitch that cannot be done with a drawbar hitch except maybe forcing a plow into the ground when plowing hard dirt.

Don't forget the Fast Hitch from International either. These were usually found on larger tractors but I've seen big farm tractors go for less than a 9n Ford at auctions simply because people were afraid of the larger tractors or didn't think they'd work on their hobby farms. (And the farmers weren't buying any tractors ... most had more than they needed and were in bad financial straights at the time.) As far as a quick hookup you can't beat them.

The live power take-off is convenient but not mandatory. Personally I wouldn't pay much extra for a live PTO. For the uses I'd put a tractor through a live PTO wouldn't save me a lot of time or convenience. (Convenience is highly overrated IMO.)

Power steering is nice on a tractor (but not mandatory!).
 

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I invented the internet. :rofl:
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It sure makes it easy to add a "Ballast box" to the rear when using a FEL. :D

If you pull stuff 10-12 feet wide or bigger, it's a lot cheaper to get a "wheatland" or field tractor without a 3Pt and use "regular" draw-type farm implements.

Most small "hobby" or "homestead" size farms need a 50Hp or smaller tractor and it is just about necessary to have a 3pt hitch in that size range.
"Need" is a relative term. It will depend upon your available space and probably your experience level. Most people have this false notion that a big tractor takes more skill to drive. I've seen some pretty spectacular screw-ups with inexperienced drivers using small tractors too. On our 20 acres I'd love to have a big tractor. They'll get a lot more work done than a small tractor and do it with a lot less strain on equipment (and the operator) too.
 

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RockyMountainCanadian
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My brother is always saying "we can't have a big (100 ish hp) tractor in these little fields like you guys (referring to my family) and your big fields, but I have some little tiny fields to and the same tractors do them all, like Cowboyhermit said a 4020 deere turns really sharp.
 

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Peckerwood
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I hate to say what I did when I was a dumb ass kid, but I'm going to anyway. We needed to break some ground for a garden. I damn sure couldn't afford a tractor and a tiller was out of the question as well. But I did have a 4x4 truck with a receiver hitch a welder and a bit off a bull tongue plow. Had to dig a hole to get started but it worked. Did I need a tractor with a 3 point hitch? You betcha!
 

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I invented the internet. :rofl:
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We left thousands of jeeps in Europe after WW2. They used them for farming because tractors were in short supply. They worked. The old tech manuals had instructions on using jeeps for farming.
 

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I agree with the consensus, with a small tractor it is really valuable for traction and for heavy loads, etc. The front-ends just can't handle weight like the back, and if you do have a loader on the front this just adds ability.

With a bigger tractor it is less of a priority, still nice but more of a tricky cost/benefit question imo. 3 point hitches are pretty rare up in these parts, as are the implements (used of course) so that plays into it too.
 

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RockyMountainCanadian
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I guess a 3 point hitch is more of a 1 small tractor kind of homestead tool. I can see where they would be really handy on small holding. I guess the big question is do you need a tractor for chores or for tillage. My nephew just got a pretty good deal on a tractor because it didn't have rear remote hydraulics, it has a good loader and 3 point though. the hydraulic parts cost him about $1000.00, far less than the than the price difference the tractor would have cost with the rear spools. Also market dependant, here no one would have cared if a 70 hp "chore" tractor had spools, the 3 point would have been far more of a concern.
 

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I sold my soul to the internet
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My brother is always saying "we can't have a big (100 ish hp) tractor in these little fields like you guys (referring to my family) and your big fields, but I have some little tiny fields to and the same tractors do them all, like Cowboyhermit said a 4020 deere turns really sharp.
Define "little fields"

We have a 2 acre field, a 5 acre field & a 12 acre field, but are you talking 25-75 acre field or 15-20 acre field as little.
 

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Define "little fields"

We have a 2 acre field, a 5 acre field & a 12 acre field, but are you talking 25-75 acre field or 15-20 acre field as little.
Personally I have worked up many garden plots over the years with "big" tractors like a 4010 or 4020, some of these were under 1 acre. Most of the time it was with a 6ft cultivator but also with discs, it seldom was an issue because most places were planned with good access. If trees, buildings or fences make it impossible:dunno:

Now, obviously it isn't going to be as "efficient" as a little tractor but it is hard to sweat a gallon of diesel either way.
 

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I am a little teapot
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We have a Farmall M and H, both needing some work, a Farmll 656 and 806, a Deere 6403, and the Farmall 450 we just picked up. The bigger ones both have 3 points and the 656 and 450 both have fast hitches. They're nice but not really necessary for us. The only implements we have that require a 3 point or fast hitch are the 4 bottom plows and a scraper blade. These hitches are nice to have but not used much on our place. Almost everything we have is drawbar pull type. We farm a little over 200 acres, growing mostly hay, oats, and corn.

When you need 'em, though, they sure are handy!
 

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RockyMountainCanadian
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
We have a few tiny pieces, 2 or 3 acres, due to marginal parts and sloughs, these get cut and baled with out JD 820 (one of the biggest production tractors of the day) a 140 hp modern tractor will out turn it any day.
 

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My 2 Cents.
If you have need for a Front End Loader, you also need a 3 Point Hitch.
I have a 1520 JD (around a 50 HP Tractor) at the moment. We feed round bales, and move them with a bale spike on the Front End Loader. I leave my old Sidewinder Bruch Hog on the back all Winter for Ballast / Traction.
If I need to use my Blade to clean the road, it takes just a few minutes to swap out the Brush Hog for the Blade, and then change back.

In my area almost all tractors that are seriously used by farmers have a 3 Point Hitch. We do not have many field crops. Bigger tractors are mainly for Round Hay Balers that require 100HP or more for the PTO to run the baler.

Lots of Draw Bar Equipment around still, but things like a 3 Point Brush Hog are handier than a Pull Type. Especially when you need Ballast for a Front End Loader.

Bob
 

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I am sure most people on here would know but just for the sake of information, using a 3PH to ballast the weight of a FEL is much different than the reverse.

Most normal tractor/loader combinations will meet or exceed their FEL maximum load rating and front axle/tire ratings with normal weight setups (with the possible exception of some modern "compact" tractors). Exceeding that limit, while done often enough, puts a tremendous amount of pressure on front tires, steering components, spindles, and even possibly the frame itself.

On the other hand, meeting or exceeding the rated limits on the back end (with the help of some weight on the front), while obviously carrying some risks as well, is putting that weight on a big back axle and some big tires (that don't have to oscillate under load).

Additionally, it seems most people these days aren't running any fluid in the front tires and not many have additional weights on the front, so a FEL often just makes the unit balanced. For ballast purposes, weight in the tires, particularly the back ones, is theoretically much better because it doesn't ride on any axle. In the front there is less difference because there is still going to be more pressure on steering components while turning.
 

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Jack of all trades?
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(with the possible exception of some modern "compact" tractors). Exceeding that limit, while done often enough, puts a tremendous amount of pressure on front tires....
Manufacturers finally realized that people are almost always going to add a front end loader. Many smaller tractors including most of the under-25 HP USA made tractors from the 30's-60's, most early Japanese Compact utility tractors, my F-I-L's Ferguson TO-20...etc. etc... were not designed to handle a front end loader - EVER.

My little Yanmar-built John Deere 850 would lift the rear tires off of the ground with a heavy front load - no ballast in the back. Having the back tires lift up was a DARN good reminder that the front load was WAY heavier than the front spindles were ever designed to handle!!
 
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