By Staff
article image

Route 2, Shevlin, Minnesota 56676

It was a cool day last November 1991, a little snow here and
there. My youngest son, Ray, age 4, said, ‘Dad, can we drive
Little Pull?’ So I got some water for the engine and started
her up.

As Walter, my other son, age 12, backed Little Pull out of the
cold storage shed with Ray riding along, I couldn’t help think
of the countless hours of fun the boys have had since it was

The tractor consists of two 4-inch I-beams for the frame. I
blocked these up in the garage and said to myself, ‘That’s
about the right height.’ But that changed too. I decided to use
two rear bull wheels from two old junked grain binders, extended
the axles and mounted them in bearings to roll freely on the

Then another brainstorm. Why not drive the wheels with the
original bull wheel chains? This worked out real well. Now the next
steps: what to do about the clutch, transmission and

One day while walking around in a local junk yard, I happened to
look under a junked John Deere #45 self-propelled combine, and I
saw what I was looking for: clutch, transmission and differential
all in one unit. I got the whole unit for junk price.

After a few hundred cups of coffee, a lot of head scratching,
some frame modifications, I shortened the input shaft and the
combine axles. Made some mounts and got the unit up in the frame. I
used the small sprockets from the grain binder to drive the bull
wheels. Then some more coffee and thinking. I decided to use the
worm and straight gear from the lifting mechanism of a grain
binder, added a three-inch drum to roll up the chains, some ? inch
shaft, an old PTO universal joint, the steering wheel from a Case
threshing machine blower. I made the front axle, got a couple of
wheels out of the junk pile and lo and behold, now I could even
steer it!

The engine is a 3 HP, 1918 Fairbanks Morse with Sumpter Plugs
oscillator belted to the input shaft of the JD combine unit
mentioned earlier in the story. I made the smokestack from
1/16 inch plate steel, made the canopy and
fenders, clutch and shifting linkage, and painted it. Worked out a
few bugs (well, maybe more than a few) and Little Pull was

I have had Little Pull to a couple of shows and got a lot of
comments on how nice it looks and works. This all sounds kind of
easy, but she has Patent dates of 1989-90, and my own serial #000

At this time I’d like to thank Bill Martine for a great job
in doing the machine work, and Robert Biden for the cast iron seat.
Both men are from Bagley, Minnesota.

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