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Steel-wheeled Beasts

  • 01

    Advance-Rumely E 30-60

    The model 30-60 exceeded its manufacturer’s ratings at Nebraska tractor tests cranking out 50 drawbar horsepower. Weighing 25,000 lbs., it was powered by a Rumely-built, two-cylinder engine. The horizontally-opposed cylinders had a 10x12 in. bore-and-stroke operating at 375 rpm. Accessories included the famous Secor-Higgins carburetor.

  • 02

    Aultman & Taylor 30-60

    Aultman & Taylor gained fame by producing excellent steam traction engines. The model 30-60 was the pride of the line generating 9,160 lbs. of draft in Nebraska tests. Power came from a 7x9-in. bore-and-stroke, four-cylinder engine. The massive tractor weighed 24,450 lbs., stood 11 1⁄2 ft. tall and packed a 60 gal. fuel tank and 120 gal. radiator.

  • 03

    Avery 25-50

    Avery innovated the use of renewable cylinder liners which represented an important advance in gas engine design. The Peoria, Illinoios-based firm would introduce their first gas tractor in 1912. The 12,500-pound Model 25-50 came out two years later featuring a four-cylinder, horizontally opposed, valve-in-head engine that was state-of-the-art technology for this time.

  • 04

    Fairbanks Morse 15-25

    An air pump was used in the starting process to bring pressure up in the cylinder. This powerplant had a single horizontal cylinder that was none-the-less smooth running thanks to a huge flywheel. This massive tractor, weighing in at about 8 tons, generated 15 drawbar and 25 belt horsepower.

  • 05

    Hart-Parr 30-60

    Hart-Parr tractor design was the standard of the industry prior to World War I and this 10-ton machine was the flagship of its line. Among the many advances offered in Hart-Parr tractors was the first use of induced draft radiators which used oil as a coolant.

  • 06

    Holt 75

    The Model 75 provides a single example of Benjamin Holt’s engineering greatness by making crawlers accesible to farmers. His second notoriety was the method by which his machine’s tracks were operated, by a three clutch engine. Even with the innovative clutch design, the machines that established Holt as a major tractor manufacturer had front steering wheels.

  • 06b

    The Model 75 proved to be the most popular of Holt’s tiller crawlers. During its 11-year production run, over 4,600 versions of the Model 75 were sold establishing the company as a leader in the crawler industry.  The 75 also served a secondary role when the crawler, along with the Model 120, was employed by the military to tow artillery to the World War I battlefields.

  • 07

    IHC Mogul Type C

    International Harvester was producing tractors as early as 1906. The Type C, built between 1907 and 1913, was rated at 15 hp. which was generated by a single-cylinder engine rated at 240 rpm. The friction drive was later replaced with a two-forward-speeds transmission system.

  • 08

    Kinnard-Haines Flour City 20-35

    Their were three other tractors in the Minneapolis-based firm’s line which included the Models 14-24, 30-50 and 40-70. In the Model 20-35’s case the valve-in-head, four-cylinder power plant utilized a Schebler carburetor and K-W high-tension magneto.

  • 09

    Minneapolis Threshing 35-70

    Minneapolis Threshing Machinery Co. was famous for building large and heavy-duty equipment. The model 35-70, introduced in 1920,  was no exception turning out a maximum 52.5 drawbar and 74 belt horsepower in Nebraska Tractor Tests.

  • 10

    Minneapolis Threshing 40-80

    Demand for power to thresh and turn sod inspired the creation of monster tractors like the Model 40-80. Originally introduced in 1912 as the Model 40-80 and then re-rated at 35-70 in 1920 the tractor had a Minneapolis Threshing-built valve-in-head, four-cylinder, horizontally operating engine rated 550 rpm.

  • 11

    Minneapolis Steel Twin City 40-65

    Minneapolis Steel & Machinery Co. was known for building powerful tractors and the Twin City 40-65 was no exception. The tractor, introduced in 1920, was powered by a Minneapolis Steel-built, 71⁄4x9-in. bore-an-stroke engine whose four cylinders were cast singly. Rated at 535 rpm, this powerplant generated a maximum 49.7 drawbar horsepower.

  • 12

    Minneapolis Steel Twin City 60-90

    The gigantic Twin City 60-90 was first offered by Minneapolis Steel & Machinery Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1913. Everything about the tractor was large including it weight (28,000 pounds), width (9 feet, 6 inches), height (10 feet, 2 inches), fuel tank capacity (95 gallons) and radiator capacity (116 gallons).

  • 13

    Pioneer 30

    The horizontally-opposed cylinders on the Pioneer 30’s engine operated with such balance as to create an almost vibrationless operation. The Pioneer Tractor Manufacturing Company of Winona, Minnesota, was created in an era when gasoline-powered giants sought to replace steam-power.

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These tractors were big, having lots of power and gusto. Here are some true power houses. (text by Dave Mowitz)

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