44 Darwin Hill Road New Milford, Connecticut 06776
While plowing my driveway this winter with my 1959 John Deere 730 Standard, I wondered how many other people were using old farm tractors to move snow. So many times we hear of people putting their tractors away for the winter. Well, I guess while these people are draining the water from radiators, polishing the paint and spraying some rubber protectant on the tires, people like me are checking antifreeze levels, putting on tire chains and mounting snowplows to their old tractors.
I made some phone calls to some friends to let them know I wanted to come and take photos of their tractor. I put my camera in my pick-up and off I went.
First stop was to see Dan Readyoff and his John Deere 50 with a New Idea 501 loader. With the hand clutch and a hydraulic activated bucket you are kept busy running this rig.
Down the road just a bit to see Rob Carlson. A 1953 Farmall Super M with a snow blade, tire chains and plenty of rear wheel weights is the tractor Rob uses to move snow.
Then I was off to the Reimer Ridge Farm to see the oldest tractor in my travels. Charlie Reimer uses a 1944 John Deere B. This tractor is hand start, no problems with a dead battery on a cold morning with this tractor. This tractor has a blue-grey swirl colored steering wheel. It looks like something from a 1950s hot rod. Charlie told me John Deere had to substitute materials during WWII and with age these steering wheels have changed color. It was also the smoothest steering wheel I have ever seen on an old tractor, and no cracksmaybe this substitute material should have been the normal stuff used during production?
My next stop was in the town of Warren to visit Percy Allmand. Percy uses a 1950 John Deere A with a blade to plow his driveway. Percy stated that the model A John Deere is one of his favorite tractors, as he spent many hours on one, years ago. His A has a wide seat on it. These were the seats that John Deere dealers used to demonstrate tractors to new customers. You could ride alongside the salesman as he demonstrated the tractor. This seat was on the tractor when Percy bought it, a good possibility that it is an original seat from some dealer. How it got on this tractor is anybody's guess.
Next, I traveled to Bridgewater to see Jim Stuart. Jim has two tractors for moving snow. The first one is a 1952 Farmall Super M with a Meyers plow and frame. I wonder if the Meyers Company still makes plow frames to fit on today's tractors? When I arrived Jim was installing the tire chains, so I gave him a hand, always easier with an extra pair of hands.
The other tractor Jim uses to move snow is a 1949 Farmall Super A. This tractor is equipped with a front mounted Kubota snow blower which uses a V4 Wisconsin engine to power the blower. The tractor's hydraulic system is used to lift the blower up and down. Each engine has its own air cleaner, but the two engines share the tractor's fuel tank and battery. This rig is truly a fine example of 'Yankee Ingenuity!'
Jim Stuart of Bridgewater is the proud owner of two snow moving tractors. Shown above is his 1952 Farmall Super M and his 1949 Farmall Super A is shown below.
I then went back to New Milford to see Charlie Aldrich and his 1952 Ferguson TO-20. Charlie's Ferguson is equipped with tire chains and uses a three-point hitch scraper blade.
My last stop was up to New Preston to visit with Duncan Woodruff and his son Adam. When I left my house, I knew I would be seeing their 1957 John Deere 320 utility equipped with a snow plow. But when I drove in the driveway, there was also a nicely painted 2N Ford with a three-point hitch mounted scraper blade. Duncan explained to me that it's a real family affair to move snow at their house, with 14-year-old son Adam on the John Deere 320 and Dad on the 2N Ford.
Adam Woodruff of New Preston uses both his 1957 John Deere 320 Utility and his Ford 2N for plowing.
One thing I noticed on the 320 was an original New Milford Tractor Corporation decal on the front grill. Duncan told me when they repainted this 320, they taped off this decal to save it. The tractor was originally sold new at New Milford Tractor. It's these kinds of things that really keep the local history alive.
I hope the readers of GEM enjoy this story. Maybe it will inspire others to write in and tell of other old tractors that are still being used as they were originally intended to perform work!