The Ford 740: a rock-solid 30 horsepower tractor
Consider this model for your next pulling tractor
IN THE SHOP with Rachel
By Rachel Gingell
The Ford 740 is a good value for light chores but it really shines as a pulling tractor.
The model designation of this tractor can be confusing. It’s commonly referred to as a “700 Ford” and may even have that designation on the hood. The model 740 is the only tractor in Ford’s 700 Series, so the designations “740” and “700” are often used interchangeably to describe the same tractor. The 700 series was produced from 1954 to 1957, when it was replaced by the 701 Workmaster series.
The 740 came with optional power steering … and that’s about it. A few LP gas models were produced but the vast majority of these tractors are gasoline. The tractor uses a fuel-efficient 2.2 L Ford four-cylinder gasoline engine. It has a basic, non-live PTO and a six-volt electrical system.
If you are looking for a basic farm tractor that’s reliable and easy to repair, the Ford 740 is a good choice. With more than 100,000 of these tractors produced, you’ll have no shortage of parts and advice – especially when you consider that many of the parts on this tractor are interchangeable with later models in the 701 Workmaster series as well. I admire Ford tractors for their straightforward designs and ease of repair, and the 740 is no exception.
The 740 truly shines, though, as a pulling tractor. My dad calls this tractor a “terror” – that’s his highest praise, and I agree! The 740 is a great choice because its bare-bones design, narrow front and lightweight frame allow you to add a powerful motor (the Ford 172 and 192 power units would fit perfectly) while still fitting into a lighter weight class. For pulling, the transmission is solid enough to handle the increased power without too much trouble.
The 740 makes for a very economical and fun tractor – and it would go together quickly, too, just in time for the summer pulling season.