Power-Steering, No Less!

The smaller tractor

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3249 Sprague Hill Road Falconer, New York 14733-9753

These tractors are unique and may stump some of you tractor-expert readers as to the builder. Both tractors are four wheel driven, and have four wheel steering, but not skid steer or articulated. Both have a four speed transmission and a top speed of about eight or ten MPH. Both have the front axle mounted solid to the frame, while the rear axle oscillates to compensate for uneven ground.

The smaller tractor was built in 1968, and has a 10 HP Briggs & Stratton engine, and is equipped with a 54' snow plow blade and a 48' rotary lawn mower.

The larger model was built in 1990, and is powered by a two cylinder Wisconsin engine of questionable horsepower, but should be more than double the horsepower of the smaller tractor as the bore and stroke are larger. This one has a 6 ft. snow plow and a 66 inch rotary mower.

The drive axles on both are shortened versions of front axles from four wheel drive trucks. The steering is by mechanical linkage coordinated, and connected to one steering box, so that the rear wheels always follow in the same track as the front wheels. During a sharp turn, the wheels on the inside will make a track about four feet in diameter (would that be a two foot turning radius? I don't know how that is figured).

As I am sure you have guessed by now, these tractors are both home-built from scratch by yours truly. Also, you can see I don't know much about farm tractors, so I built these to suit my needs, which they have done very nicely. The smaller version doesn't get much use anymore, but I still use it to pull the lawn roller, as its tires are better for the lawn when the ground is soft. For years I mowed the lawn with the older tractor and its front mounted 48' mower, which took about three hours each week. Since I built the 66' mower for the larger tractor, I can mow in about half the time. Also I put power steering on the larger tractor, so it is more fun to drive. It also gets a lot of use hauling firewood tops from the woods, collecting maple sap, and plowing the garden.

My real interest in this hobby is not tractors, but is antique engines. I have twenty some smaller farm type engines up to 7 HP, but the last few years I have only been collecting and restoring larger, oil field type engines, five of which are the 'half-breed' style, in the 12 and 15 HP range. I also have a couple of Reids, a 15 and 20 HP; two Olins,15 HP and 35 HP, and a 21 HP Otto.

I exhibit these large engines each year at my home show, the Chautauqua County Antique Engine Club, and at Cool spring, and Port Allegheny, Pennsylvania, two or three shows in Canada, and at Wellsville, and sometimes Alexander, New York.