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Horsepower north of the border
The power take-off (PTO) concept is almost as old as the tractor itself. But, the PTO fell short in the field--until the Cockshutt 30 (1946). It offered an independent PTO running directly off the engine and through its own clutch, allowing a trailing implement to keep ingesting crop. Model 30 established Cockshutt in the U.S. tractor market.
M 12-24 Beaver
In 1909, Canadian manufacturer, Goold, Shapley & Muir Co., built the stylish compact tractor, Model 12-24 Beaver. It was made of entirely Canadian parts, with the exception of a Wisconsin-bult bore-and-stroke Waukesha engine.
Massey-Harris always came up short in establishing itself in the market. But in 1947, the same year they celebrated its hundredth anniversary, the company hit a lick with a new series, including the Pony and Models 20, 30 and 44. Model 44 was the king of sales: In 8 years of production, over 85,000 were sold, making it the most popular Massey-Harris every built.
Norseman Model O
The Norseman O (standard front axel) and N (row-crop version) were built by Norseman Products (Ontario), but were designed by Ostenberg Mfg. of Kansas. Introduced in 1947, less than 50 were built before Norseman O went bankrupt in 1959. It was a pity, as the tractors were suited for their times, holding a Chrysler 6-cylinder engine turning out 30 drawbar hp.
The Rockol was spawned as a sideline to construction equipment like so many other short-lived tractors made after WWII. Tractor sales were at all-time highs, luring otherwise non-ag firms into building horsepower. Assembled by Rochol Maintenance Industry (Manitoba), the Rockol was powered by a Chrysler L-head, 6-cylinder engine.
Versatile Mfg. made history in 1966 by producing a tractor at a lower-than-low price. At less than $10,000, the Versatile D-100 made technology affordable to many farmers. The 100-hp tractor had a 6-cylinder Ford diesel. Within a year, Versatile expanded into 3 models. The Versatile is still being produced in the original plant in Manitoba today.
Waterloo Bronco 100
Vets returning to their farms after WWII were convinced that mechanical hp was the way to go. Firms like Waterloo Mfg. Co. capitalized on that demand by making swarms of new tractors, like the Waterloo Bronco 100, a lithe, 1,500-lb. machine with a 2-cylinder Wisconsin Model TE engine that generated 11 drawbar hp. It had nearly 2 ft. of ground clearance, ideal for small truck farms.
Compared to its southern neighbor, Canada is not known as a tractor-making powerhouse. Yet the Canucks are no lightweights in the horsepower arena. The following is a sampling of Canada's best tractors. You can read more at Ageless Iron Almanac.