Power-Steering, No Less!

By Staff
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3249 Sprague Hill Road Falconer, New York 14733-9753

These tractors are unique and may stump some of you
tractor-expert readers as to the builder. Both tractors are four
wheel driven, and have four wheel steering, but not skid steer or
articulated. Both have a four speed transmission and a top speed of
about eight or ten MPH. Both have the front axle mounted solid to
the frame, while the rear axle oscillates to compensate for uneven

The smaller tractor was built in 1968, and has a 10 HP Briggs
& Stratton engine, and is equipped with a 54′ snow plow
blade and a 48′ rotary lawn mower.

The larger model was built in 1990, and is powered by a two
cylinder Wisconsin engine of questionable horsepower, but should be
more than double the horsepower of the smaller tractor as the bore
and stroke are larger. This one has a 6 ft. snow plow and a 66 inch
rotary mower.

The drive axles on both are shortened versions of front axles
from four wheel drive trucks. The steering is by mechanical linkage
coordinated, and connected to one steering box, so that the rear
wheels always follow in the same track as the front wheels. During
a sharp turn, the wheels on the inside will make a track about four
feet in diameter (would that be a two foot turning radius? I
don’t know how that is figured).

As I am sure you have guessed by now, these tractors are both
home-built from scratch by yours truly. Also, you can see I
don’t know much about farm tractors, so I built these to suit
my needs, which they have done very nicely. The smaller version
doesn’t get much use anymore, but I still use it to pull the
lawn roller, as its tires are better for the lawn when the ground
is soft. For years I mowed the lawn with the older tractor and its
front mounted 48′ mower, which took about three hours each
week. Since I built the 66′ mower for the larger tractor, I can
mow in about half the time. Also I put power steering on the larger
tractor, so it is more fun to drive. It also gets a lot of use
hauling firewood tops from the woods, collecting maple sap, and
plowing the garden.

My real interest in this hobby is not tractors, but is antique
engines. I have twenty some smaller farm type engines up to 7 HP,
but the last few years I have only been collecting and restoring
larger, oil field type engines, five of which are the
‘half-breed’ style, in the 12 and 15 HP range. I also have
a couple of Reids, a 15 and 20 HP; two Olins,15 HP and 35 HP, and a
21 HP Otto.

I exhibit these large engines each year at my home show, the
Chautauqua County Antique Engine Club, and at Cool spring, and Port
Allegheny, Pennsylvania, two or three shows in Canada, and at
Wellsville, and sometimes Alexander, New York.

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