Home » Watch An Absolute Legend Use Their Jeep Wrangler YJ To Tow A Farm Implement

Watch An Absolute Legend Use Their Jeep Wrangler YJ To Tow A Farm Implement

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Jeep Wranglers have never been advertised as farm vehicles. Since debuting for the 1987 model-year Jeep has advertised them as off-roaders and daily-drivers, but not anything that’s going to tow a farm implement. That didn’t bother this owner in California, as he hooked up a hay rake like an absolute legend. Check it out.

I spotted this video on cristian_ybarra_bermudez’s Instagram page. He told me he saw this white Wrangler YJ towing a hay rake on the outskirts of Tulare, California. “I was on my way to pick up power tools and when I was driving, I noticed some John Deeres pulling those rakes,” he told me over an instant message. “And as soon as I saw that Jeep, I couldn’t believe it. I pulled right over and started recording.”

Here are his clips of the Jeep tugging the hay rakes:

The Jeep in question appears to be a post-1991 Jeep Wrangler YJ with half doors, some aftermarket alloy wheels, and a slight lift. It’s a nice setup, though far from a tow vehicle with its low curb weight and short wheelbase. For a raking job, though? Seems to do just fine:

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Some of  you Jeep fans may have read my intro paragraph and rabidly started smashing your keyboard, typing out “YOU’RE A FOOL DAVID,” and though I think that’s a good instinct to have when reading my work, in this case my claim that Wranglers were never marked as farm implements is technically correct, because the early convertible Jeeps that Willys-Overland sold to farmers were technically CJs, not Wranglers.

Still, let’s use this as an excuse to look at old Willys Jeeps doing work on the farm, courtesy of some vintage ads:

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And here’s a great Jeep farm-implement show that happens in Ohio, and that I attended a few years back:

Willys Jeeps were built for the farm, and the YJ definitely traces its roots to those old CJs, so it’s nice to see the 1990s machine showing off its ancestors’ skills.

Video/screenshots courtesy of cristian_ybarra_bermudez’s. Brochures courtesy of company.

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32 Responses

  1. It may be overkill for THAT job but it is not the only job on a farm. Who can afford a different size tractor for every job? So you but the biggest you need and use it for all jobs you have. It is like pickups that many here dont get. If you need one you buy one. And on jobs that dont need a pickup you dont buy a seperate vehicle you still drive the pickup.

    But I see people driving pickups without towing or hauling so noone needs a pickup. People should not be allowed to drive them. They should not even be built.S;/

  2. I have done this many times with my Ol ‘63 CJ-5. It was completely unusable on the street with 5.38s and manual steering (and 31.5×12.5s), but it was great for moving implements around. I hauled irrigation equipment with it regularly.

    My YJ didn’t have a hitch, but the KK Liberty that replaced it gets used similarly.

  3. I watched a couple of episodes of (Jeremy) “Clarkson’s Farm” (show on Amazon Prime) and have a newfound respect for farming. He bought an oversized Lamborghini tractor and was made fun of by his “actual farmer” advisor. That said, I am surprised the Jeep can actually get the job done, I suspect that it can only handle the light work.

    1. You would be surprised. Most tractors have lower horsepower than you would think. A 100ish hp tractor can pull a 5 furrow plow. Low gearing and weight for traction are what you need. Clarkson’s lambo is a 270 hp tractor.
      I remember trying to explain to my boss that a 50 hp tractor would be more than enough to pull a wagon with about 10 tons on it. The gearing just multiplies the torque so much that you lose traction before you can stall.

      1. HP is not torque though – a tractor may only have 100hp but way more torque, plus super super low gearing – with low enough gearing you can tow a planet.

        Like semi trucks have “only” ~500hp but try hooking your Hellcat to an 82,000lb trailer and see how far it can shift it.

      2. Even beyond that is a matter of the duty cycle. A 50hp tractor is designed to produce 50hp 100% of the time. A 400hp diesel pickup is also designed to produce 50hp 100% of the time. Anything above that for extended periods will burn it down.

        100hp sounds pretty light for a 5 bottom plow, but maybe it’s sandy soil. Rule of thumb is 30hp/furrow around here. (Or would be if plows were still common.)

        1. In the early 80’s, I pulled a 5 bottom plow with a 100hp tractor in heavy black Iowa soil. Tractor was more than able to handle it, but with a whole bunch of weight added to keep the nose down. Present day, same issue at smaller scale…my restored 40hp tractor with a 3 bottom simply needs weight added to the front of the tractor.

        2. Good point about duty cycle. I am always amazed by how old tractor engines can run almost forever. I have recently been restoring a 1952 John Deere model A that makes about 34 hp from a 326 cid engine. It won’t win any races but will run forever.
          I spent a lot of time with my ass in the seat of our old Farmall 1066 pulling a 5 bottom plow. Of course there was one field that if it was even a touch too dry, it felt like I was trying to plow concrete.

  4. I learned to drive in the early 1960s in a Jeep CJ5. The Hemet Jeep Club had over 200 members back then and the area was mostly agriculture. On club outings it was normal to see Jeeps with PTOs. Their Jeep was used on the ranch during the week with the PTO powering something. Then on weekends it was used for fun, Jeeping.

  5. In high school (late ’70’s), my dad bought a 1960 CJ5 from a farmer. It had spent its entire life outdoors (w/no top) and had never been titled or registered to drive on the road (it had an orange triangle mounted on the back). The farmer did not use it with implements, but used it all over the farm sometimes with a wagon in tow. Today you see farmers using side-by sides for the same thing. Smaller and more useful than a pick up truck.

  6. As someone who grew up on a farm I fail to see why this is a big deal. Any truck with a hitch could do the same thing (and probably a lot cars).

  7. Farming is one of the most dangerous jobs from an implement standpoint…was Jeep trying to make it more dangerous! “Just leave that trencher running on it’s own Fred, hell go have lunch!” Looks like the guy with the plow had run-in with these pre OSHA masterpieces. Great topic tho!

  8. I have considered pulling a brush hog with my 90 Jeep Comanche. It has a roof, air-conditioning, radio, and a manual trans. It would be a whole lot nicer than using my little tractor or 4 wheeler to pull the same brush hog.

  9. Somewhat related: for several years until about a year or two ago a local landscaping company used a 90s/early 00s Jeep Wrangler, with an automatic transmission, to tow a disconcertingly long trailer loaded with landscaping equipment including zero-turn riding mowers nearly the same size as the Jeep. One can only hope such a rig didn’t meet an ignominous end, especially since the Wrangler was somewhat lifted entailing a highly customized tow hitch arrangement of perhaps dubious construction ????

  10. Doing the same thing with my 2018 Roxer , Mahindra Jeep copy sold as a side by side. Basically a 1975 CJ 5/7. Available at Mahindra and spot off road dealers.
    Reg c

  11. The original buyer and orderer of my ’64 F100 crewcab used it to tow a flatbed trailer with a Jeep on it and side boxes on the trailer to haul rocks. He was selling the F100 as he felt is wasn’t strong enough for the towing and hauling. Well, duh, an F100? I never saw it, but was told that after selling the F100, the owner bought another Jeep to do the towing.
    Anyone know which Jeep model that would have been in 1965?

  12. Speaking of farms, how is it going with the Ozzie farm ute??
    Left us with quite a cliffhanger last post and I can’t wait to see how the project turned out

    1. Not a farmer, but I grew up on one. Raking hay is about the lightest job a tractor will see and (depending on the type of rake) doesn’t require the tractors hydraulics or PTO so using a jeep makes some sense. Operator visibility would be a little hampered compared to a tractor though

      1. What’s somewhat interesting is I think this type of rake requires hydraulics to make it work. The one’s I used were driven by the rakes wheel through a shaft. If so the jeep must have some type of aftermarket hydraulic pump. Maybe someone who knows more can comment.

        1. That’s what must be going on. Those V-rakes have to have (usually) two sets of hydraulics coming from the tow vehicle, one to raise and lower, and one to open and shut the V for road travel. I’m wondering if it’s a belt-driven hydraulic pump, or some sort of electro-hydraulic thing?

          1. It might be neither, since there are other tractors in the same field.

            We had a tractor we were pulling a cultivator with lose a hydraulic valve and we just hooked the fold/unfold to that one. At the end of the day we got a different tractor just close enough, folded and put the lock pins in. Did the same for in and out of fields for 3 more days.

            As long as they’re not lifting it on turns, it can run flat behind the jeep.

          2. If the hydraulics were just used to raise/lower and fold the V then you could probably get by with an electric pump, might be kind of slow though.

            I never used this style of rake, and only raked hay a few times in the early 90’s, using equipment from the early 60’s. Are the “wheels/tines” on these powered or just roll as the rake is pulled?

            1. My dad used to rake hay with his cj5 on the exact same rake. If you are careful turning, you don’t need to raise the rakes, so he had a gas powered pony motor for transport folding. He even installed a cable to the gas petal so he could set the throttle on long circles. He stopped using it because he got tired of being hot and dusty, and we could finally afford another tractor. That cj also had a gooseneck hitch ball.

    2. I grew up on a farm in the 1960s -1970s and pulled those V rakes a lot. Before they had hydraulics to open and close them they just had a rope that you could pull to change the angle on one of the wheels to open the rake from it’s folded transport configuration to it’s open configuration to combine two windrows into one. To fold it up you would simply back up about 15 feet and it would latch shut.
      For a while we used an old 1960 Mercedes 190D to pull the rake. That car had the trunk lid removed and we used it like a pickup. The idle speed was about right so why not?

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