Ford 601 Workmaster – Model Information & Buying Advice

Considering the purchase of a classic Ford 601 tractor? Here’s some important information and advice to consider.

Bock C My husband and I know basically very little about farm
tractors except that we need one. We have 7.5 acres to
mow, a garden to plow and a one/tenth mile stone drive-
way to plow when it snows. We have been looking at a
601 Workmaster. Can anyone help with specifics of what’s
good and bad, what to look and listen for?Thank you,
C. Bock
Charles Hanna I’m new to this board but have been lurking for awhile.I’ve been using a “borrowed” Jubilee for a couple
of years now for dragging dirt with a box scrape,
lifting things with a boom, moving dirt with a bucket,
and pulling things with a chain. The 601 is an
improved model of what I am using and this size tractor
is well balanced and handles nicely. I’m convinced
that mowing with a tractor, unless its flat and wide
open is crazy, if you have uneven terrain and trees
you will eventually want a zero turn radius mower,
but the 601 with a bushhog, or finish mower or both will
suffice for a long time to come. Unless the garden
is an acre or more, plowing or tilling with it will
also be overkill. But for a “gentleman farmer” or
“small land baron” you probably will be quite happy.
P.S. If you buy it go to the New Holland dealer and
spend the $20 to get a spin on oil filter kit, best
investment I made on my friend’s Jubilee.
Just my two cents worth.
MHetler A 601 ford workmaster will do what you want easily. It is about 32 horsepower. It can pull a 2 bottom plow, power a 5 ft rotovator, pull a 5 ft disc, and a small drag. For a one acre garden it will make short work of it. For plowing snow it will work just fine. The tractor has a three point hitch powered by a hydraulic system that is independent of the power take off. This means that you can pick up a rear implement without having the pto in gear and running. On ford tractors prior to the 600 and 800 series–8N and 9N– the pto has to be running to pick up the three point hitch. This can pose a challenge. Depending on how much snow you get, it will work O.K. to push snow. We used a 641 ford to plow snow with a rear blade-for 30 years- until I put a plow on my pickup. The tractor was fine but the farmstead got too big and I like the warmth of my truck cab.
For mowing, It has plenty of power for a brush chopper or a finish mower. We run a bush hog with ours to mow 14 acres of grapes and it does the job just fine. Depends what type of cut you want– lawn or field.
For comparable prices look at You can enter the tractor model and size and they will give you some choices. Some other models of Fords are comparable. 2000, 3000, 4000, 861, 801 are some of the model numbers in this tractor size range. What to look for when buying one? No oil leaks is a plus, working brakes, smooth running engine, no blue smoke from the exhaust on acceleration or at all — black smoke may mean the carburator is too rich–blue smoke means it is burning oil. Functioning hydraulics, good tires, just look at overall condition. If it looks like it has been beat up it probably has, but don’t be fooled by fresh paint either. New paint does not mean new tractor. Good luck!!!
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