Re: OT -- Tractor Question (Ford or JD)
As was previously noted, both are good tractors...and the parts availability of the JD will be better than the Ford. I also agree with the advice on looking into a Kubota....they are very impressive little machines. That said, the only other comment I have would be to consider the 4wd part. I know it can be very useful, but it adds a lot of complexity and price. On a front end loader where you're putting all the load on the front axle, you want it to be as strong as possible...and the MFWD axles still aren't as strong as the 2wd axles. In addition, the MFWD isn't useful very often. Sure, when it's really muddy, it can be nice...and when you're carrying really heavy loads in the bucket it can be nice. But if it's muddy enough that a 2wd tractor loader can't get through it with 40" or taller tires on the rear, then you shouldn't be out there. And as for the load carrying, throwing some weight on the 3pt hitch solves that problem and makes the tractor much safer to drive as well. The 2wd's are simpler to maintain, cheaper to purchase, turn shorter, and are more durable. They weigh less, and can do 99.9% of everything that the 4wd can do. We've had 2wd loaders here on the farm for years, going back originally to an old H with a loader and trip bucket on it, then to an IH 574 with the straight 4 gas engine (great little tractor) and now to an IH 685 normally aspirated 4cyl diesel. All have been 2wd and all have worked great. With some weight on the back end (fluid in the tires and/or weights on the 3pt), and a set of chains on the drive tires, I have never found a task that was undoable with the 2wd that a 4wd would have done. Don't forget that nearly all of them have differential locks for the rear axle. Like I said...if you can't do it with 5' tall tires, chains, and weight on the rear end, you shouldn't be doing it. Those 2wd loaders will go places that would make even a jeep cringe. And if you do happen to get it stuck, you can always use the bucket to push yourself out.
After having both diesel and gas loaders, I would never go back to Gas...the diesel hums along happily all day long no matter what the task is, and runs much cooler. It also burns less fuel than the old gas engines did.
The only other comment I have is to get one with a good ROPS on it. Mowing sidehills, carrying heavy loads across uneven ground...you name it, you feel better with a big steel bar behind your head.
Moneyless, Will weld for jeep accessories.