Trouble deciding what to buy..

Thu Sep 19, 2013 3:04 am

First off, I am fairly new to this subject/world and regret trying to be a "big city kid" and not learning this when I was younger, but that's a whole different issue...

I have recently purchased a "mini-farm" on 10 acres and sorely need to upgrade from my current "lawn mower". Up until recently I had been pretty dead set on either a 8N or 9N mostly due to the large amount of them, implements available, 3pt, and pto, but the more I get to reading I wonder if I'm not looking at something more than what I need.

My main uses would be:
Lawn mowing - approx. 2 acres of flat ground.
Creating/Maintaining a <.5 acre garden (New garden will need started basically from scratch - was last a bean field about 10 years ago and is now overgrown weeds but no brush)
Maintaining approx. 150ft. stone driveway (grading, snow removal)
Pulling a couple small trailers around the property

In the short time I have even considered/researched cubs, it seems like the larger fords may be a bit overkill - something I'm often guilty of doing (ask my wife about me going to get a 40" tv and coming home with a 70"). Am I overlooking something? I'd like to try to be as practical as possible. I can deal with a single bottom plow vs. a double bottom and I don't need a pto driven mower. My largest concern really is snow removal I guess since I have no other means to do that now short of shoveling or driving my truck back and forth to make a path. How well do the cubs push snow/stone around?

Are there any major things to look for when looking at one to buy? (other than the obvious starting, smoking, tires, rust) Specifically, I know of a '52 w/ a 5' belly mower available but I don't like to be a "tire kicker" and would like to be at least somewhat prepared if I check it out. And if someone could clue me in on what the actual going rate of these are in the central Ohio area, that'd be great too.
Apologies for asking something that has likely been covered multiple times. I hate making rush decisions and tend to almost over-research larger purchases but this time I am on somewhat of a time crunch.

Thanks in advance for any enlightenment - I've read so much tonight I think I've gone cross-eyed... In fact I'm almost afraid I've read enough to answer my own questions, just on info overload right now. Love the site and will continue reading regardless of what I end up getting... I think I have discovered a real passion developing.

Re: Trouble deciding what to buy..

Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:32 am

A Cub can certainly perform everything you've listed, given enough time and the right equipment.

In your case you'd really want at least TWO Cubs, one for mowing and one for gardening. Changing back and forth from the mower to some other implement every week will get very old very quick. There are "Fast Hitch" implements that speed up the process, but you can spend years finding the right combination of implements. Fast Hitch mowers are the hardest to find.

When all is said and done, you're mowing two acres at 3MPH, cutting about 40" at a time. Plus you have to keep after it. You can't let the grass get very tall or even the strongest Cub won't be able to chew through it.

I would plan on hiring a larger tractor to handle plowing up the overgrown garden for the first time. The Cub can do it but it won't be any fun. You'll likely make a large mess trying to turn over the sod and bust it up. You will spend hours and hours crawling through the field, bouncing around, dragging harrows across the lumps to try to break them up.

Again, everything you list *CAN* be done with a Cub but if time is a factor.

Re: Trouble deciding what to buy..

Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:33 am

suckrpnch:

G'day to you :D ... interesting userID ... gotta wonder where that comes from :wink:

Hmmm.. interesting question. Course I am highly biased. I live up here in Eastern Canada .. the snow capital of the maritimes and most of eastern Canada, so we get a lot of snow :!: I can say with lots of experience that a Cub is one of the very best snow removal machines around even with just the blade on the front. I have been using my Cub to clean snow for as long as I have had her - 12 years now or more. The only time that the Cub with a blade ends up in trouble is when there is around 2 feet of snow at one time to move. Even then it it is attacked properly then the Cub can do it taking little bites at a time. It isn't fast .. but many of us really just enjoy the seat time :big smile:

When it comes to mowing grass, the Cub cannot be beat except maybe by a zero turn. However the zero turn is simply a mower it don't do gardens. The Cub was designed specifically for 40 acre and smaller farms - truck or tobacco farms being the most common and excels both at gardening and farm yard maintenance. The grader blade when belly mounted is a very good implement for maintaining a road/driveway/farm yard. And a Cub can do a lot of things that simply were not thought of when the Cub was being marketed. As long as the work entailed is not out of the Cubs safe operating envelope, it is a very capable tractor.

They are addictive though .... many of us have multiple Cubs.

There is a lot of information available to our members so I would suggest that you take some time, grab a cuppa :coffee: and read the info in the links below:

Image to Farmallcub.com :big smile: Forum Family. And you have come to the right place for all things Cub related. If you click on the Site Rules, Regulations, & Important Information, it will point you to :arrow: the Welcome Wagon wherein you will find links to many useful sites and topics. One of the most important resources are Owner's Manuals, Parts Catalogs and Service Manuals. The Cub Manual Server is the home of the jpg versions and the PDF Manuals -- well the pdf's of course :wink: Enjoy!.

Re: Trouble deciding what to buy..

Thu Sep 19, 2013 9:54 am

Ball park prices, a Cub and N series Ford in working condition sell for about the same price.

If I had only one tractor, I would pick the N series over the Cub for the reasons stated, 3 point, standard pto and most importantly the availability of attachments.

Re: Trouble deciding what to buy..

Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:44 am

I don't want to dissuade you from getting a Cub, as stated they are neat little tractors and do a great job at what they're designed to do. Truth be told, and I'll speak for myself, I bought my Cub for nostalgic reasons and I love it. I've be pleasantly surprised, maybe even shocked, by how strong it is, and how well it works at mowing and gardening chores ...but it has it's limitations. As Eugene said, 3 point, standard PTO, and attachment availability are, in my opinion, a huge plus. Perhaps a Super A or Super C are good options as well.

Re: Trouble deciding what to buy..

Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:12 am

Thanks for the replies.
My user ID is from online video game playing from the late 80's and nerdy stuff like that... just kinda stuck.

After watching a few hours of videos and your replies it seems as though the cub should work just fine for everything I need (short of the initial garden groundbreaking).

I am one of those weird people that actually enjoys mowing and working in the garden so seat time would certainly not be a deal breaker. I am still on the fence about the time involved changing implements. Videos don't make it look too bad but I've found it hard to find any that aren't time lapse or edited for time. Like was mentioned, probably wouldn't mind so much at first while I'm playing with my new toy but there are a lot of times where I just need to get the work done. I have full use of a great commercial zero turn which is what I'm using now, just not a big fan of constantly borrowing things not to mention the hour + round trip drive to get it. We seem to be on a good rotation right now of I keep for a week, he keeps for a week, etc.. but again, I don't like being responsible for other peoples stuff.

Price wise, at least what I've been seeing lately, are 9Ns $1800 and up depending on condition/implements included. I've been so focused on the Fords I've not payed much attention to the cubs till recently but there is one close and asking $1500 with 50" mower. Also claims "starts great, runs great, everything working as it should in perfect order, needs paint and no/minimal rust, a couple very slow leaks but nothing out of the ordinary". That last part is why I asked about anything specific to the cubs (or tractors in general) to watch for when inspecting. I have also kinda set a ballpark budget of $2k

I ask about actual going prices since anyone can ask whatever they want regardless of what it's worth. I'm just not up on what the "true value" is (and I know that is a bit subjective as well". I'd hate to think or be told I was getting a "deal" only to find out later I got taken.

I guess I'm to a point where it's whatever I can get the best deal on, how much I can sell/trade my 1 season old lawn tractor, and how fast.

Thanks again for the replies and I'm back to reading. For some reason I can see a cub in the future, whether it's the first one or later down the road...?? 8)

Re: Trouble deciding what to buy..

Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:23 am

Smokeycub wrote:I don't want to dissuade you from getting a Cub, as stated they are neat little tractors and do a great job at what they're designed to do. Truth be told, and I'll speak for myself, I bought my Cub for nostalgic reasons and I love it. I've be pleasantly surprised, maybe even shocked, by how strong it is, and how well it works at mowing and gardening chores ...but it has it's limitations. As Eugene said, 3 point, standard PTO, and attachment availability are, in my opinion, a huge plus. Perhaps a Super A or Super C are good options as well.


No dissuasion taken at all. I'm actually impressed that I am getting any "maybe not the right tool for the job" comments on such a specific forum. Just further reinforces what a great community this seems to be. :beer:

Re: Trouble deciding what to buy..

Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:34 am

One more issue to consider. Cub engine is not sleeved while just about all other farm tractor engines have sleeved cylinders.

If you purchase a Cub with a weak engine, engine repairs could get expensive.

Re: Trouble deciding what to buy..

Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:15 pm

I have and use Cubs as much for nostalgic reasons as much as anything else. I have a couple Cubs at this point and I bought the the second one partly because I don't want to take the 59 inch belly off to do other things. The Cub with a Woods 59 inch mower is actually my back up mower but, I have mowed everything around the farm with it several times this summer. I used the Cub to mow even though I have a much more modern and powerful Allis 5020 diesel with a belly mower. I had the time to go a little slower, and the Cub is great fun to operate.

My second Cub wasn't running when I bought it. But after my first Cub, I knew a lot more about what to check out before buying it. Welded breaks in cast iron pieces and missing parts are two things I would look at very carefully. The bolsters seem to be cracked from freezing and welded very often here in the midwest. I would also check the final drives and the engine block. If the tractor has a fast hitch, check carefully to make sure all the hitch parts are there. In my experience, the fast hitch really adds to the versatility and usefulness of the Cub.

Re: Trouble deciding what to buy..

Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:18 pm

If you really want to know more about Cubs you might want to take about a four hour trip to Tipton Indiana for the CI CubFest tomorrow and Saturday (some of the guys get a room and stay both days). There will be plenty of Cubs with various attachments so you can see what is available. Many of the members of this forum will also be there so you can gain first hand knowledge. If you decide a Cub is not what you want then at least you will know for sure why not. If nothing else you will have a good time and it doesn't cost you a dime to attend.

Here are some of the things a Cub can do.



Re: Trouble deciding what to buy..

Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:19 pm

suckrpnch wrote: I am still on the fence about the time involved changing implements. Videos don't make it look too bad


Not sure what mower is on there, but FWIW, I have a Woods 59. It takes me about 1 1/2 - 2 hours to mount or dismount it. If you're only going to prep the soil in the garden, changing once a year wouldn't be too bad (you'll probably want to take it off for snow moving anyway). However, if you're planning to cultivate, you will NOT want to be switching the mower each time you need to cultivate.

Re: Trouble deciding what to buy..

Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:48 pm

Changing a non fast hitch mower on a cub gets to be a pain. I know, I've done it several times changing to other implements. If you are determined to mow with a cub( nothing wrong with that by the way), then I can guarantee that you will be buying at least one more cub for other implements. I know, I've done that too! :-). I bought a 154 loboy to take care of my mowing needs

Re: Trouble deciding what to buy..

Thu Sep 19, 2013 1:55 pm

As someone who has both a Cub and an 8N, from my experience the Cub is much easier to take care of the grading and snow removal, although it takes three passes with the 4' blade instead of two with the 6' back blade, the comfort of plowing going forward instead of backing up is worth it. They did make front mounted blades for the Ford, even V Plows, but they look like you would need to pack a lunch to mount some of them. For the small garden, the Ford is also overkill. Cubs are handier in tight spaces as well. Another plus for a Cub is the live hydraulics. Please don't think I'm condemning the Fords. Just offering my experience with both tractors. Good Luck and let us know what you decide to do. What the heck, get both. You can never have too many tractors. John

Re: Trouble deciding what to buy..

Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:38 pm

tinnerjohn wrote:What the heck, get both. You can never have too many tractors. John
This was going to be my reply as well...Welcome...

Re: Trouble deciding what to buy..

Thu Sep 19, 2013 2:55 pm

suckrpunch, As you've stated, a video of changing implements are most probably edited for time and aren't an accurate depiction. Most all of us here are going to be maybe a little biased towards a cub. I own two cubs, one for mowing and the other for cultivating the garden. I am too old and with a bad back it seemed better for me have one for each chore. If you've noticed a lot (if not most) of the respondents to your questions have names for their cubs. If you learn to operate and maintain a cub you, too, will discover after a time that the little cub in the shed is more than just a piece of equipment. Now..... to offer some information that may be of use to you in evaluating a cub's mechanical condition. You're right in asking for advice. My first cub, Bonnie Lou, was almost dismantled for parts until a dummy like me came along. Parts were missing, hydraulics were shot but she ad a new battery and would start at the touch of the button. She's now well on the way to becoming a great little cub again. Money wise I should have purchased one in good working condition, but, she's part of the family now and besides I'm on my way to becoming a cub mechanic. I wish I had discovered this site before buying her and had at least some idea of the important things to look for. So..... take Barnyard's advice and try to attend the cubfest up he mentioned in your neighborhood. If you make the trip I'm sure you'll discover enough information while there to make an informed decision on your cub ad/or 9N purchase. Good Luck, Papa.