You can learn exactly when your Ford tractor was manufactured. It just takes a little bit of know-how to find and decipher the codes on your tractor. Here’s how:

First, locate the date code. You’ll find it on the right side of your tractor, imprinted on the flywheel housing. Look just behind the starter and above the lug nut in the flywheel housing.


You should find a series of three codes. The first is the tractor’s model number. The second is the production code. The final is the tractor’s serial number. These three numbers can give you TONS of information about your tractor, but today we’re going to focus on finding out the exact production date of your tractor.

To determine this, look at the tractor production code, also known as the unit date code.


The first digit of the tractor production code gives the production year. For tractors manufactured between 1965 and 1974, the digit corresponds with the last number in the year. So a tractor that is manufactured in 1965 would have a production code that begins with the number 5. A tractor manufactured in 1971 would have a 1 at the start of its production code (shown above on my Ford 3000).

Next comes a letter, which represents the month. January is A, February is B, and so on.

Then comes the day. This is a simple numerical date, 1 through 31.

Finally comes the shift. A tractor made on the midnight shift has a production code that ends with the letter A. The day shift got B, and second (afternoon shift) got C.
I know that this method works for Ford models 2000, 3000, 4000, and 5000, but I’m not sure about other models. Let me know what kind of results you get on your own tractor!