4-Wheel Drive Tractor

Courtesy of Rolland E. Maxwell, Route 4, Huntington, Indiana 46750

Rolland E. Maxwell

Content Tools

Route 4, Huntington, Indiana 46750

While there was still a demand in the grain belts of the west and northwest for large tractors, the tendency in the corn belt of the middle west was for smaller more diversified two and three bottom tractors. Grain was still being threshed, but the trend was for smaller 24 & 28 inch seperators powered by two and three bottom tractors which could be used for a variety of farm uses. Even in the later teens several companies were making tractors that drove from the front wheels, and the rear could be mounted on a farmers own horse drawn implements, such as a corn planters or two row cultivator. Those tractors were the Moline Universal, Indiana, Hoke, Allis Chalmers, Boring, La Crosse Model M, Mark V, Shawnee, and Mohawk.

Also were being made were regular motor cultivators, which also could be used for planting and light work. Notably among these were Avery, Heider, Emmerson Brantingham, Bailor, Parrett, Toro, Centaur, I.H.C., Traylor, and Allis Chalmers. Thus, farmers became more general purpose minded, and some of companies helped them out.

In 1924 Int. Harv. Co. came out with the Regular Farmall, the first tricycle type tractor on the market. It was an instant success. In 1922 the company made 200 units which they took to Texas, Arizona and Calif, for general use on the large acreages, and to work out the bugs. In 1924 they considered it ready for the market, and in due time came two and four planters and cultivators, first in hand lift and later with mechanical lifts. After experimenting four years with mechanical corn pickers, they brought out the McCormick and the Deering in 1918. Both single row and ground driven like a grain binder. From 1926 on the Farmall tractors were made in the old Moline Plow Co.'s factory at Moline, III. where they are still built.

In 1928 John Deere brought out their IO-20 G.P., a light weight four wheel tractor with high arched front axle adopted to straddle a row of corn. With it came a detachable front end mounted three row planter and cultivator, with a mechanical lift attachment. This was made for gasoline or heavy fuels, and was a smaller version of their Model 'D'.

In 1930 Oliver brought out their Olicer Hart Parr Row Crop 18-28, one wheel in front and high being made by the Toro Mfg. Co. of Mpls., Minn., and that Toro made it for Rumley but was then called Do All. It also had a mounted cultivator, and could be converted back to a standard tractor. Toro made the engine for the last of the Bull tractors. A man at the Dalton, Minn, show told me in 1971 that Toro is still in the same place of business and is making power lawn mowers today. He said he was employed by them yet.

Jerry 4-wheel drive tractor, A rare one. Made by GFH Corp., Denver, Colorado about 6-12, 4 cyl. Le Roi engine. Owned by Robert Thompson, 4392 North Street, Columbus, Ohio.

In 1924 Rumley came out with a new light line of tractors, in four wheel standard type, namely the 30-60 'S', 20-35 'M', 15-25 'L', 25-45 'R', in 1927 they became 20-30 'W', 25-40 'X', 30-50 'Y', and 40-60 'Z'. I understand the 'Z' was the same as the 'S'. In 1930 Rumley 6 A 6 cyl. a few less than 900 were built and there are still a lot left. A very good tractor. Along with these models came a new vaccum system of crank case ventilation which cut down crank case dilution. These newer models sold well, but I never could understand why they made so many, models so close in size to each other. In 1931 & 1932 Rumley sold out to Allis Chalmers, and that was the end of a great company. All the records were destroyed, but there certain are a lot of monuments around to their memory.

I have a 15-25 and a 20-40 in near perfect shape. You couldn't wear them out. Just ask Bill Krumwiede of Voltaire, N.D. Rumley certainly had a business. In 1912 they shipped two train loads of 'F's', 'B's' and 'E's' to Canada. Ed Hutchison of La Port who was employed by Rumley told me that in 1927 the factory was turning out 85 units a week. Will have more on Rumley models and years in a later issue.

In 1929 The J. I. Case Threshing Co. reduced its name to the J. I. Case Co. They came out with the Model 'L' 26-40 and the Model 'C' 17-27, both standard four wheeled. They had three main bearings and removable cylinder walls. In 1929 Case made the CC tricycle type. In 1935 the R. C. 1939 D C, and V C. 1940 the S C. 1935 Fate Root Heath of Plymouth, Ohio produced the Silver King Model R 66. A two plow and two row Cultivator. Allis Chalmers: 1930 A.C. All Crop tricycle type. 1931 W.C. later came the W.D. a three plow tractor. 1935 U.C. three plow Cult. type. 1930 Massey Harris made their Four Wheel drive with mounted Cult.

This pretty well takes care of the General Purpose tractors of the main companies. Many pages could be filled with what has happened since then. Since we are thinking in terms of antiques we will have to draw the line somewhere. Many people have asked the question as to when a tractor becomes an antique. A good question. I say any tractor made before 1935 is antique. Made before 1925 it is a good antique and one made before 1920 is a real Choice antique. I am probably treading on pretty thin ground in making these last few lines, but it seems to be the opinion of others that I have visited with, when that subject came up. However I try and encourage any one to show any tractor at our shows, regardless of what I have said. Just remember a 1950 model will be an antique some day, believe me. Of one thing I am certain. If taken good care of these old tractors will last much longer than they were ever intended to last.

I am sure each one of you that have attended Rough & Tumble Reunions will remember the booming voice coming over the speaker system announcing some event; that was Mr. Eshleman. Or perhaps you were at our banquet this fall, when he was the master of ceromonies. In addition Mr. Eshleman contributed important information for our 25th Anniversary Book.

The gentleman on the right you will remember riding around the grounds on his little Case Tractor, punching someone here or pulling someone's leg there, or maybe just plain down stealing a hat. Well, that is our President, C. Daniel Brubaker.

The cake, baked by Mrs. Otis Astle, modeled the general feeling of celebration perfectly.

I am sure everyone had a good time, with the exception of a few minor incidents. The 1973 four day show ran very smoothly. Oh yea, there were a few things to worry the management, like the shaker belt on the large thresher threatening to shed a lacer. We hoped it would hold [and it did]. This reminds one of the old days when repairs were only made on rainy days, or at the point of breakdown, whichever came first. One can fully enjoy a show like this by becoming involved in its activities, so if you have some old time threshing dust in your blood, why not dig in and help us 'Put the show on the Road.'

Courtesy of Amos B. Stauffer, 1st V-President, Rough & Tumble Engineers Historical Association, Kinzer, Pa.


Washington -- 'Fill 'er up' may be replaced by 'Wind it up' when future motorists pull into service stations.

Wind-up cars driven by flywheel energy are just one of the alternatives to today's internal combustion piston engines being considered for the automobiles of tomorrow.

Concern over fuel shortages and air pollution has spurred research into other types of motors to conserve gasoline supplies and help clear up the atmosphere.

Some proposed power plants, such as the experimental Anidyne engine, are new. Many, including electric motors and stream engines, propelled autos down the Nation's first highways, the National Geographic Society points out.

Rotary an Old Concept

Even rotary engines, hailed as the newest on the roads, are updated revisions of an old concept. Rotary-powered cars were built in Dubuque, Iowa, from 1904 until 1914. Many fighter planes in World War I flew with rotary engines.

In these early versions the pistons were mounted in a circle and the entire engine revolved. The Adams-Farwell automobiles, of which about 50 were built, had five cylinders spinning around a fixed shaft, with a chain drive transmitting power to the wheels.

Two of the Al New Family tractors - Summer of 1973. A 25-50 Avery Tractor, No. 26647, operated by Alan New, and 5-10 Indiana Tractor, No. 2245, operated by Jim New. Boys are sons of Mr. and Mrs. Al New, Maplewood Farm, Pendleton, Indiana. These tractors were shown this year at Pioneer Engineers Club Show at Rushville, Indiana.

Modern rotary engines replace cylinders, pistons, and a horde of related parts with triangular rotors that perform most of the same functions. The space saved is devoted to equipment to clean up the exhaust, making a rotary engine one of the few at present able to meet scheduled Federal anti-pollution requirements.

But rotary engines do little to save dwindling gasoline supplies, so researchers are probing other possible power plants.

Stratified-charge motors are internal combustion piston engines modified to burn gasoline more efficiently in an effort to get a cleaner exhaust and coax extra mileage from each gallon of gas.

Powerful Chinese Puzzle

The Anidyne engine is a complex form of rotary-piston in which two pistons are slotted to move through each other at right angles within a sperical housing- an arrangement reminiscent of an interlocking Chinese puzzle. Performance has yet to be evaluated.

External combustion engines, including steam engines and the Stirling air engine (first patented in 1816) might burn kerosene or any other cheap fuel instead of scarce gasoline.

Gas turbine engines could burn peanut or soybean oil. One such 'whoosh-mobile' recently obtained excellent acceleration on tequila.

Electric cars are limited by the frequent need to recharge their batteries. Hybrids have been suggested that would charge themselves by running on gasoline engines in the country, then switch to electric power in congested areas.

Finally, there is the flywheel energy automobile. In the 1930's a Swiss firm built a 70-passenger bus that ran quietly and pollution-free with this type of motor. Unfortunately, it had to be rewound at every stop.