My 1946 Beetle Tractor

| September/October 1999

  • Beetle Design

  • Beetle in Port Orchard

  • Beetle Tractor

  • Beetle Design
  • Beetle in Port Orchard
  • Beetle Tractor

30232 SE 39 2nd Street, Enumclaw, Washington 98022

Originally designed for building trails and trenching on rough ground along steep slopes, the Beetle is especially adapted to farming, landscaping, spreading top soil, backfilling, and light concrete work. Made in Seattle in 1946 by Western Gear for the Forest Service to build fire roads and blocks, these tractors are relatively rare now. I know of only two other such tractors: one in Bothell, Washington, and the other in Hood River, Oregon. If anyone knows of others, or other information about the Beetle tractor, please do not hesitate to contact me. My phone number is 360-825-2751.

I found my Beetle in Port Orchard, Washington. It had to be totally restored with a new motor, which I got from Dennis King of Graham, Washington. Bill Betts of Auburn fabricated new mold boards for the tractor. I sandblasted, etch-primered, and painted the tractor twice before its initial showing at Maple Valley Days in June where it attracted quite a bit of attention from both children and adults.

Distribution of weight has been carefully considered in the Beetle design-- its low center of gravity permits it to be used safely on side slopes up to 50 percent. With a total weight of only 2,200 lbs., it may be easily transported with a ?-ton pick-up truck. Here are its other specifications:

General Specifications


Wide Gauge

Width, outside to outside of tracks


Overall length, cutting edge to back seat


Overall height


Width of blade at cutting


Height of blade


Length of track on ground

37 3/8'

Widths of track plates


Weight of tractor, bare


Weight of tractor, with dozer



Type: 4-cylinder, 4-cycle, liquid cooled


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