Heider Power Lift

By Staff
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Heider D with fake plow.
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Power lift on Heider D.

120 Guadalajara Street, New Iberia, Louisiana 70560

Heider Model C and D tractors built from 1915 to 1928 had an
accessory power lift that would allow you to raise the plow at the
end of a row, make your turn, and lower it for the next row without
stopping or leaving your seat. This was all done with your left
foot, keeping your hands to drive the machine. Most power lifts
came out in the mid-Thirties.

Pressing down the one foot lever would engage a pawl to a gear
on the rear axle. This was connected to a lever which would raise
up the plow. Just as soon as the pawl engaged you would release the
foot lever and it would return to its original position but the
axle rotation would continue to pull up the plow for about
one-third revolution of the axle. At this point the pawl would
automatically be forced to release from the axle gear. The foot
lever has a latch that would catch a hook on the lever that raises
the plow and hold the plow up.

When you get in position over the next row, simply kick down on
the same foot lever to release the plow, and away you go!

There were also two other levers that served as a three-point
hitch. These were connected to the drawbar. One lever would angle
the drawbar in either direction to put the plows angled as you
wished and the other lever would raise or lower the drawbar to give
the depth of cut you desired. These adjustments would best be made
while you were stopped, because these levers were not. handy for
the driver.

When I got my 1919 model D, the foot lever and all linkage to
engage the pawl were gone. It took me a long time to figure out how
to do this with one foot lever. Knowing that finding the original
parts would be impossible, I set out to make what I needed. I
finally got it right and it really works nice.

This set-up is a long way from a power lift on a modern tractor
but it was a good step.

Another good feature on this tractor is the seven speeds forward
and reverse. This allowed you to select the fastest speed that your
tractor could easily pull in, depending on the soil you had.

Of course this is because of the friction drive and did not take
a lot of gears to do it. I have been told that this friction drive
worked very well for people who understand it and used it properly.
One thing you never had to do was adjust the clutch and when it was
worn down it finally just stopped pulling. You would usually have
enough clutch to pull the tractor back to the barn where it took
about two hours to replace it.

I made several clutch elements for mine from paper or masonite
and they either never worked good or never lasted long. I finally
had one made at Paper Pulleys, Inc., P.O. Box 519, Columbia,
Tennessee 38402-0519. This fit and worked like an original

Progress has left friction drive tractors behind (except lawn
mowers), but where would we be now if someone had not tried every
method to transfer power to the wheels of a tractor.

P. S. I had to make a fake plow in order to demonstrate power

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