My 1946 Beetle Tractor

By Staff
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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

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

Displacement: 61 cubic inches

Power: 15 BHP at 1900 R.P.M.

Maximum Torque: 40 ft. pounds

Fuel: Gasoline

Gas Tank: 7-gal. capacity, gravity feed to

Accessories: Electric starter, generator,
hydraulic oil pump for dozer power, air cleaner, and muffler

Governor: Flyball type built into motor with
friction type hand control for variable speed setting.

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