Cultivating With The Fordson

With no wheel brakes, it wasn't easy to turn the Fordson.

| May/June 1966

  • 30 x 50 Rumely Tractor
    This rig was sold on the sale along with a little 21/2 HP Sandowthat had belonged to my Grandfather. Both have probably long sincebeen junked.
  • Fordson Tractor
    Here is a picture of my Father cultivating with the Fordson. This probably was taken about 1945 or 1946.

  • 30 x 50 Rumely Tractor
  • Fordson Tractor

I am writing about the Fordson cultivator attachment. Dad bought one, used, in '41 and we used the critter until he quit farming in the late '40's. This was a '29 Fordson with the Moline cultivator attachment. It also had a Wico HI tension magneto, which made for much easier starting. The tractor had no differential or wheel brakes which made turning a beast of a job, especially on a hillside, on rough clay ground. You would come skidding around, front wheel plowing up a furrow, then it digs in -clunk! Down with the clutch, hop off, run around and look. Yup, the front wheel has snapped that curving fork and is lying on its side under the oil pan. Oh well, at least it keeps the crank from digging in and bending and allows room to put the jack under and lift her up.

I'll say that mounting takes a lot of work since you had to take off the front wheels complete with axle and wishbone, and then bolt one that heavy casting with the single small wheel, slide the back wheels to the end of the axel and bolt the cultivator on piece by piece. Turning at the ends was work - 3 levers to throw to lift separator front and rear gangs. The Graham Bradly cultivator was about the same design, only single lever lift, both did good work and very easy to follow crooked rows. It worked close and if set right, went in and did clean work. There were fenders with this cultivator but we did not use them for the reason that part of the cultivator attached to the wheel hub bolts resulted in the fact that the wheels would work loose on splines and tend to slide in or out. Did you ever loose a wheel when cultivating? Some fun getting the tractor up and everything back in place.


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