While these tractors were distributed by Ford, they were actually manufactured in Japan
IN THE SHOP with Rachel
By Rachel Gingell
The Ford 1310 was a big upgrade in the evolution of modern compact tractors — and it’s still in use on some farms today!
Around 4,000 of these tractors were built from 1983 until 1986. The compact 20 hp tractor came with live hydraulics and an optional live PTO. A four-wheel drive model was also offered, along with a front PTO. (That last option, however, is especially difficult to find).
While these tractors were distributed by Ford, they were actually manufactured in Japan by Shibaura. Instead of purchasing an engine from a different company, Shibaura designed and produced their own engines for the 1310 (and other tractors in the 10 series). The Shibaura 1.0 L, three cylinder diesel engine was an upgrade from the two cylinder engine used in the previous model (Ford 1300).
Shibaura’s designs were basically solid and the company was well-respected for its work. (Shibaura also produced Perkins engines, Yanmar tractors and STIHL power tools.) Over the years, the company manufactured more than 2.5 million diesel engines!
In recent years, it’s become harder to get parts for these tractors. New and aftermarket stock can be difficult to find. In particular, rings and pinions are in high demand for these tractors. Unless you have a good source of parts, be wary of purchasing a high-hour tractor that is coming due for an engine rebuild.
These tractors came with an array of attachments, including a loader, snow blower, belly mower and backhoe. These tractors are ideal for small projects around the yard.
All the features of the 1310 that make it popular for chores in the yard also made it a hot ticket for landscaping companies. It’s small, lightweight design is particularly easy to haul from one jobsite to another. However, tractors owned by landscaping companies are often put through the wringer!
If you’re looking at purchasing a 1310, ask about the tractor’s history. Carefully inspect the three-point hitch, paying particular attention to the bolts that attach the hitch to the axle housing. It’s the first area to show signs of abuse - if the tractor’s attachments have been jerked back and forth repeatedly, this area will be damaged.
These tractors are very efficient on fuel and have super-fast hydraulics. They are a lot of fun to use for small jobs around the yard. If you find one in good condition, you’re in for a real treat!