LOVE Tractor Story

| September/October 2000

  • Earliest Love tractors
    One of the earliest Love tractors, built in Benton Harbor, Michigan, in 1936.
  • Frank Prillwitz with Love Tructor
    Frank Prillwitz with his 1936 Love Tructor.

  • Nameplate on Truc/actor
    Nameplate on the Prillwitz 'Tru/actor'
  • Nameplate from the Tructor
    Nameplate from the 'Tructor.'

  • Earliest Love tractors
  • Frank Prillwitz with Love Tructor
  • Nameplate on Truc/actor
  • Nameplate from the Tructor

444 South Olds Avenue Hartford, Michigan 49057-1355

Jabez Love of Benton Harbor, Michigan, just out of engineering college for three years, goes to work for Dent Parrett at the Benton Harbor plant of Ross Carrier Company, manufacturers of lumber and industrial carriers since 1920. Being located in the fruit belt of southwestern Michigan, located along Lake Michigan, all the trees and ground crops are protected by the warm temperatures of the lake. This in turn created many, many tons of fruit and vegetables headed for the open market. The farmer had to haul his fruit to the Benton Harbor Fruit Market, the largest cash-to-grower market in the United States. The farmer would haul his fruit and vegetables in baskets and field crates from the fields and orchards; haul it to the barn, and then reload it onto his truck for the trip to the market. So at this time, Mr. Love decided that there had to be an easier way to get the job done. Why not make a tractor using a car or truck motor, transmission and rear-end out of a 3-ton truck, and just haul the fruit and vegetables directly from the orchard and field to the market, with a tractor?

So, J. B. Love made a tractor out of a model 'B' Ford motor and truck transmission, with a truck rear-end, and called it a 'TRUCTOR.' You could travel at about 40 miles an hour and save lots of time. Mr. Love made these Tructors from 1933-1936.

Having worked with Dent Parrett, maker of the Parrett Tractor, Mr. Love used his style of tractor (row crop) and made one very similar to the Parrett, but with a model 'B' motor, transmission and rear-end of a Ford truck. At that time tractors were going about 20 miles per hour. So with these changes, Mr. Love made his tractor go 40-plus miles per hour. As the farmers acquired more and more land, their farms became farther apart, and they had to move heavy equipment, such as spray rigs, plows, discs, etc., from one farm to another. It saved them much needed time to be able to move this equipment quicker.

The row crop was short lived, very few of them were made. In 1937 Mr. Love still made the orchard style with the wide front-end, which he had made since 1933. But in 1939, he used the famous new style hood that continued on until the last one was made in 1954, but they still had some to sell three years later and they ended all production by 1960. The Love Manufacturing Plant in Benton Harbor, that had operated since 1933, six years later moved to Eau Claire, Michigan, in 1939.

The 1939 model of the 'LOVE' tractor had a Chrysler Industrial Motor, with six cylinder, 218 C.I. (Model 30) and by then they were good work tractors, plowing and discing in the fields, but at the same time could do 60 miles per hour on the road. Also in 1939, Mr. Love became the Ford tractor dealer and sold the 9N Ford tractor with a 3-point lift on the rear. Most farmers did not want a tractor without a 3-point lift disc, and Ford did not make them at the time. Mr. Love saw a need for one and converted a pull disc that would raise on 3-point arms, so needless to say, his business really grew, as he was supplying Ford dealers with 3-point discs. We used one on our own farm, in the grape vineyard. It was five feet wide and perfect for use in narrow rows.

David Scharich
4/30/2012 12:40:49 PM

I have a Love 3 pt disc, and am looking for set up information, and or a manual? any suggestions? Thank you


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