My old Ford 8N has served me well for the last 25 of its 66 years (almost as old as I am!), but I think I'm about to put it into retirement. I've got a quote from the local JD dealer on a 2018 1025R with FEL, box blade, and grooming mower. I've been reading lots of good stuff about that tractor on this forum and others. First question I have (I'm sure I'll have many more) is how important it is to protect it from the weather? I live near Memphis, TN, and we have relatively mild conditions year-round. A few 100+ degree days in summer, a few sub-freezing days in winter. Usually plenty of rain, however. I'd like to build a barn, but that's not in the cards right away. The garage is full. The 8N has sat outside for most, if not all of its 66 years and has survived rather well - will this tractor hold up as well to the elements? I've had suggestions to at least cover the seat/steering wheel area with a tarp and I've also heard that it's better not to do so because a tarp tends to trap moisture.
Also, drive-over belly mower vs. pull-behind grooming mower? (I've always had a Woods RM550 pull-behind on the 8N and think I prefer it over a belly mower.)
Suggestions are needed!