HOORAY FOR THE OILPULL
323 Hartings Park Road, Denver, Pennsylvania 17517
Erwin G. Martin of 323 Hartings Park Road in Denver,
Pennsylvania 17517 is the creator of this OilPull model now in the
collection of his son-in-law Larry Groff.
I heard this loud ‘per-lump, per-lump’ in the distance
and I said to my grandfather, ‘That’s not a John Deere; but
what is it?’ He said, ‘That’s an OilPull tractor;
let’s go find it.’
We got the model T Ford truck out and went in the direction of
the sound. This was my first experience seeing a 45 HP OilPull
turning a threshing machine. Did you ever stand watching a large
tractor labor, and then get all goose-bumpy?
Prior to this, I was always used to our 10-20 Titan tractor, but
now the OilPull took first place in my life. From then on, the
Rumely was my favorite tractor. I told my grandfather ‘When I
grow up, I’m going to have an OilPull tractor.’
Well, plans, wishes, or desires don’t always turn out as
expected. After high school, I landed in a large sewing factory as
a sewing machine mechanic.
After 45 years, sure enough, the Rumely desire returned again.
Now retired, and with plenty of time on my hands, I decided to
build my own Rumely OilPull.
I started making blue prints and searching for proper parts,
etc. One day my wife said, ‘I think you’re a little
‘per-lump’ in your head!’
But when determination takes over, you go places. I bought a 3
HP International single cylinder engine. I knew I needed the
constant fire type for the proper sound. Next was the proper
transmission. I used a 2-speed Handiman garden tractor
transmission, which worked out just fine. Then came the front
wheels, axle, and steering system, which came from a 20 HP Wheel
Horse tractor. Next, were the rear wheels which were skid loader
The most complicated thing was the Rumely stack, or exhaust
system. I took pictures of the original tractors and went off for
help. A local metal and tinsmith shop did a beautiful job for me.
All this took approximately two years to get everything
Now building the tractor; what a job-but all a pleasure! I used
four inch angle iron for the frame. Now, with all the component
parts working together, I had my own Rumely OilPull.
With the Rumely hooked to a rather large air compressor, using a
four inch flat belt, we get lots of attention and enjoyment at the
various tractor shows.
I’ll share this show experience with you. I always take
extra folding chairs along with me. People get very tired just
walking and walking around shows.
Several of us were sitting there sharing when a gentleman came
along and just stood there watching the OilPull puffing away,
turning the air compressor. He gave the tractor a thorough
examination; then he looked over at us sitting on the chairs. I got
up and walked over and immediately he said, ‘Is this your
outfit?’ I said, ‘Yes.’ ‘Do you wish to sell
it?’ My reply was, ‘I was never asked before, but I’ll
share this with you. I have $3000 tied up in the tractor
alone.’ His reply was, ‘I’ll give you a check right
now, okay?’ ‘Sorry, not for sale right now.’ His reply
was, ‘when it is, please call me; here is my phone
Well, when my family found that out, I got several sobering
instructions: ‘That tractor stays in the family!’
My son-in-law, Larry L. Groff, is now owner of the tractor.
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