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Implement Alley Discussion Forum

2 bottom plow, brands?

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greenbeanman in Kansas

04-08-2010 06:51:20

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I have been wanting to get a 2 bottom plow for quite awhile and there are now a couple on Craiglook at reasonable prices for our area.

I know very little about plows, hence my asking here. One is said to be a Ford, the other a Ferguson. I assume that the Ford in not a Dearborn and is actually a Ford.

Both are of similar price and both in good shape. Should I prefer one over the other? Differences in use, power needed for pulling, etc.?


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04-11-2010 19:06:20

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 Re: 2 bottom plow, brands? in reply to greenbeanman in Kansas, 04-08-2010 06:51:20  
I have a late 1950's or early 1960's JD 415. I was a little cranky after discovering it's a 2X12 spacing rather than a 2X14. A previous owner had re-froged it and installed 14" moldboards etc. It cuts and ploughs ok now......... but it took the first 10 acres to get the thing half setup. Even moved the hub on the tractor axle to get a "straight pull".

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Ken in Arkansas

04-09-2010 06:04:34

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 Re: 2 bottom plow, brands? in reply to greenbeanman in Kansas, 04-08-2010 06:51:20  
I have a Dearborn 10-1 plow that I will likely replace because the cost of repair parts is prohibitive. I was quoted $163 for shares and $200 for moldboards. I would stay away from the older Dearborn and Ferguson plows for this reason.

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greenbeanman in Kansas

04-08-2010 11:41:40

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 Re: 2 bottom plow, brands? in reply to greenbeanman in Kansas, 04-08-2010 06:51:20  
Thanks for all of the replies.

I will be using a 1720 Ford with front wheel assist to pull the plow on very sandy soil. It handles a 68" rototiller okay so I think it will work with the plow as well. Expect I'll have to widen the wheel stance by moving to opposite sides to take advantage of wheel dish.

Here is the Ferguson: It is a 14-AO-28. Searches I did show it to be a 1943-1947 model. It only has the two piece bottom without replaceable shin.

The Ford plow I have not called on yet, there are no photos, and it is only listed as a 2-14 in very good condition.

I've now made arrangements to at least go look at the Ferguson tomorrow and will look it over carefully as per the comments here.

The biggest problem is that there are so few 2 btm plows showing up at all of any brand so there really isn't much selection. Here in wheat country you can buy old 4 btm all day long, but not 2s. I should probably head to other states and bring a trailer load of them back to sell.

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MF Poor

04-08-2010 17:06:59

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 Re: 2 bottom plow, brands? in reply to greenbeanman in Kansas, 04-08-2010 11:41:40  
So long as you aren't going to be doing a BUNCH of plowing, one with decent wear parts will last you a long time. On average, I get 225 to 250 acres on a change of shins and shares in our clay soils. (on a 2-bottom MF#66 plow)

The EASIEST light draft 2/3-bottom plows to find new parts for are the Ford 101 or MF #66 or #43 plows. Avoid Deere plows unless you're just bound and determined to own green. Traditionally they pull a LOT harder than other brands. SOME IH mounted plows are getting hard to find wear parts for.

The most difficult replacement parts to find for most plows are the landslides. MAke certain they're in good shape, OR, be prepared to unhinge the ol' wallet.

I rebuilt a MF#66 plow about 2 years ago. I replaced both moldboards, shins, shares, landslides, cover boards, coulter blades, and coulter hubs. I used OEM parts where I could. The cost then was over $200 per bottom. (inc shipping) Expect that to be higher now. This is good cause to find a plow in decent USABLE condition.

By the time modern "high speed" plow bottoms were common, many brands had lost interest in 2-plow and 3-plow sized tractors in favor of higher hp models. Ford and Ferguson/Massey Ferguson stayed with that size as their better selling tractors. Hence, their light draft 3-point plows were more common, and arguably better than other brands. IMHO, the BEST 3-point plows made were Ford 101 (made by Oliver/White) and Massey Ferguson #66/#43. Those were saftey trip beams, decent trash clearance, light draft, modern 3-piece bottoms, not to mention the fact they did a VERY good job in most all conditions.

Personally, I won't own a plow without coulters. Same with cover boards (aka trash boards)

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Mike Aylward

04-10-2010 10:56:58

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 Re: 2 bottom plow, brands? in reply to MF Poor, 04-08-2010 17:06:59  
The Deere plows that we have owned over the years do not pull harder than anything else. If they do they aren't set correctly. Our tractors and plows could stay with anyone else with a same size plow plowing at the same depth. When "everyone says" something I get skeptical. Mike

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MF Poor

04-10-2010 13:12:07

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 Re: 2 bottom plow, brands? in reply to Mike Aylward, 04-10-2010 10:56:58  
Deere plows built in the 50's and 60's had shares set at more abrupt angles, moldboards with more "roll". and landslides that had quite a bit more drag. They pull harder.... It's no secret. I've owned Deere plows, MF, plows, Ford plows, Oliver plows, IH plows, and a few others. The Deere plows, SET CORRECTLY, pulled harder than ANY brand. And it wasn't just with MY plows. I've heard the same thing from quite a few farmers, even some of the most devout Deereoids on this earth.

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Mike Aylward

04-11-2010 05:41:59

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 Re: 2 bottom plow, brands? in reply to MF Poor, 04-10-2010 13:12:07  
I won't get into a crying match with you. You have your opinion. Mine is different. Mike

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MF Poor

04-11-2010 06:51:36

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 Re: 2 bottom plow, brands? in reply to Mike Aylward, 04-11-2010 05:41:59  
You have your opinion, and literally THOUSANDS of people who have tried many brands have ours. Facts are facts. You don't have to cry. Not everything John Deere made was perfect, Get over it.

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Mike Aylward

04-11-2010 12:51:59

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 Re: 2 bottom plow, brands? in reply to MF Poor, 04-11-2010 06:51:36  
No need to cry. You have your opinions, I'll stick with mine. Mike

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MF Poor

04-08-2010 17:13:04

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 Rebuilt MF #66 in reply to MF Poor, 04-08-2010 17:06:59  

This is the #66 MF plow I rebuilt. Including purchase price of the plow, and what I spent on new parts, there's almost $700 invested (in 2008 dollars) It's essentially a new plow.

A GOOD usable plow under $300 is a bargain when you look at the cost of assembling a new one.

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04-08-2010 12:14:32

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 Re: 2 bottom plow, brands? in reply to greenbeanman in Kansas, 04-08-2010 11:41:40  
Greenbean---that Fergy would be a good buy here in WI....

The toplink looks to be an original 5 bolthole link and if you don"t need to have originality, could be sold for about $25-$35 on Ebay.

The plow looks to be complete, with coulters and joiners (can see the stems, but not the blades)and has the tail wheel....

If you don"t use/want the joiners and they are in good shape, they are also revered by collectors (last month a NOS set from Iowa sold for over $100).

The shares look to be in really good condition and have many acres left on them.

Most people won"t use either the coulters or the joiners, but move the coulters back and forth on their axles to see how much slop is in them to determine if the hubs are bad (can"t find them easy)..

My plow has the same share style as this one...just a FYI----there are only a few places left that have these old "blacksmith" style available....last time I got a price on the NOS shares a few years ago, they were $186 EACH...

I only plow 35 acres of nice loamy soil, so I figure my shares will outlast me, so I am not that concerned about replacement shares for it.

Good luck,


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greenbeanman in Kansas

04-08-2010 12:42:06

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 Thanks in reply to 8N'r--WI, 04-08-2010 12:14:32  
Thanks for the additional.

I'm not too concerned about originality other than for resale in years to come. Functionality is my primary concern.

I only have 16 acres, not all of which are under cultivation. My tractor was out of town all last summer helping move soil at my kids new house. As a result I will now have some weed seed to contend with and would like to try burying it deeper than I can otherwise.

Besides---I've always wanted a plow and the chance to use one. I've looked for years and this is the closest I've come to buying one.

Thanks everyone for the information, education, and opinions. They are greatly appreciated.

One of the forum fellows some time back spoke of a cheaper plow in far east KS. Considering time and gasoline this probably suits me better if it does pan out to be what I want.

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04-08-2010 16:53:34

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 Re: Thanks in reply to greenbeanman in Kansas, 04-08-2010 12:42:06  
If you don't have rocks and roots in your ground, the trip-back bottoms are not an essenstial option to have. Around here, solid beam plows got bent and twisted because of hooking on rock shelves that stick up just under the soil surface near the creeks (and shear bolts that didn't shear).

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Fred Hart

04-08-2010 11:34:10

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 Re: 2 bottom plow, brands? in reply to greenbeanman in Kansas, 04-08-2010 06:51:20  

I did not see you mention what size tractor you had but assumed as you were looking at a set of 2 plows, you have a smaller tractor.

But there is a big difference in a set of 2-12" and a set of 2-16".

If you do have a small hp tractor it will be much happier with a good set of 2-12".

Just a thought!!!

late last year my buddy wanted a set of plows, he bought a set of old Ferguson worn out and broke plows for $200 and did not get his money's worth. I tried to tell him!!!

For $350 he could have gotten a set of late model MF 3-14" and taken the back plow off, then he would have had a great set of late model trip plows. With his late model 135 Diesel he could have pulled the 3-14 as he was only breaking up his garden.

only goes to show you cheap price does not always mean least expensive in the long run.

local dealer told us he couldnot keep sets of 2 plows, other dealers were coming up from Miss, etc and buying every used plow on the lot. Thats was why he only had 3 or bigger plows or scrap metal plows left

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NY 986

04-08-2010 10:34:04

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 Re: 2 bottom plow, brands? in reply to greenbeanman in Kansas, 04-08-2010 06:51:20  
I agree with the notion to get the newer 3 piece bottom plows for cost and availability of parts. To be safe look at something from Deere, IH, or Oliver/ White. If you don't have somebody that knows to go with you in person then probably post a picture here to get opinions before you buy. I would only look at the older Ferguson and Dearborn plows if I wanted to be historically correct with a given tractor (Ferguson or Ford).

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04-08-2010 07:49:46

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 Re: 2 bottom plow, brands? in reply to greenbeanman in Kansas, 04-08-2010 06:51:20  
There is really no such thing as a Ford plow . . . in the post-Dearborn era, Ford's plows made by either Pittsburg Forgings or, in the later years, Oliver/White.

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greenbeanman in Kansas

04-08-2010 07:57:55

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 Re: 2 bottom plow, brands? in reply to Tim(nj), 04-08-2010 07:49:46  
Is there much difference between the PF or the O/W?
Is the O/W ones the blue colored ones with the others being red?

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04-08-2010 09:15:14

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 Re: 2 bottom plow, brands? in reply to greenbeanman in Kansas, 04-08-2010 07:57:55  
Greenbeans---"most" of the 2 bottoms that you see for sale today that are ID"d as "ford" plows by the seller, are either Fergusons or Dearborns and original color were gray or red....made roughly from 1939-mid 1950"s.

A lot of the newer Ford plows regardless of who made them are blue....don"t know much about them.

They all could have been repainted whatever color the owner wanted...

Make sure you get one with the "tailwheel" on it. What kind of tractor are you going to use it on?

Tell us what "city" on craiglist you are looking at the plow and someone will be able to ID it for you. Or, go over to the "other tractor site" and they have a manuals section that will show you just about every Ferg., dearborn, Ford plow made thru the late 50"s.

I have a Dearborn 2-14. Model 152


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MF Poor

04-08-2010 09:30:05

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 Re: 2 bottom plow, brands? in reply to 8N'r--WI, 04-08-2010 09:15:14  
But not ALL "Ford" plows were blue. Quite a few of the earlier Ford 101 plow were red. (late 50's, very early 60's. Not to be confused w/Ford 10-1 plows)

Long story short, ANY of the Dearborn or Ford plows, and any Ferguson/Massey Ferguson plows could conceivably be a good plow. Both brands sold decent plows. But that could have been 50 years ago. It's all about their condition NOW. Some of either brand have wear parts that are getting hard to find, not to mention ridiculously expensive. Later models with 3-piece (share/shin/moldboard) bottoms are far easier to find replacement parts.

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