Official production of the 8N tractor began in July 1947.
Equipped with a 4-speed transmission, this model was destined to become the top-selling individual tractor of all time in North America.
The most noticeable differences between the 8N and its predecessors was the inclusion of a 4-speed transmission instead of a 3-speed in the 9N and 2N, and an increase in both PTO and drawbar horsepower.
The other big change on the 8N was the addition of a 'Position-control' setting for the hydraulics.
This change was made partially to improve flexibility in varying soil conditions, and partially to evade Harry Ferguson's patent on the hydraulic system.
The original automatic draft control on the Ferguson system would allow the depth of the implement to vary based on soil conditions, which did not work well for some implements.
The new Position Control setting bypassed the draft control and allowed the implement to remain at a consistent position relative to the position of the Touch Control lever.
A continued drawback to this series of tractor, was the lack of a "live" PTO. Without a live PTO certain implements such as brush cutters which store inertial energy could send that back into the transmission.
This would cause the tractor to surge forward if the clutch were disengaged. This was addressed with the advent of the PTO overrunning coupler.
The 8N was equipped with running boards and was painted lighter gray on the sheetmetal and red on the body.
It was the first Ford tractor to feature a clutch on the left side and independent brakes on the right.
The wide-spaced front wheel design of the 9N and 2N was retained.
In 1950 the 8N design changed to feature a side-mounted distributor, as well a Proofmeter (combined speedometer, tachometer, hour meter) located on the lower right portion of the dash.