| March/April 1999

  • Utility Tractor

  • Utility Tractor

Rt. 2, Box 125, Camden, West Virginia 26338

When I finished high school in 1957, my brother bought an International 300 utility tractor with a front bucket and backhoe on it. The backhoe was a Henry with a cable swing.

He wanted me to be his operator, so I agreed to it. I worked the 300 and it worked me. Five or six days later, I got to the point I could dig a ditch and use the front bucket.

A few years later he bought a new yellow Gravely walk-behind with a backhoe on it. This was in the late 1960s. It was a lot of fun to run and saved a lot of manual labor. On level ground it worked fine. On rough ground it was on its side more than on its wheels. I like old antique iron, tractors, engines and the like. This Gravely was traded off and got away. I have no idea where it went, so I started looking for one.

This year I went to the 1998 Tiger Tractor Show in Burlington, West Virginia. On my way home, in Randolph County, I happened to see one in a backyard on a trailer. By the time I got stopped, I was down the road a quarter of a mile. I turned around and went back to the driveway. The owner came out to greet me.

This Gravely is a red one and has a Terramite #1 backhoe on it with a 16 inch bucket. The tractor is a 1975 model, 7.6 engine with electric start. The owner said he might sell it after he finished digging a water line to his house. I checked with him every two weeks and on the fourth week he said he would sell it. On November 14, 1998, the hunt came to a happy end some thirty years later.

Never give up on finding a prize toy. It will show up sometime--somewhere.

I also operated another odd backhoe loader in the late 1960s, the Belmar tractor. It had a Ford motor and a Select O Speed transmission. It had the same size tires and wheels on both front and rear. It was built solid and steered like a dozer with two levers. The rubber tires did not last long.

If anyone has any information on the Gravely backhoe or the Belmar, please contact me. I would like to know how many are out there. I am still a backhoe operator part-time.


Gas Engine Magazine A_M 16Gas Engine Magazine is your best source for tractor and stationary gas engine information.  Subscribe and connect with more than 23,000 other gas engine collectors and build your knowledge, share your passion and search for parts, in the publication written by and for gas engine enthusiasts! Gas Engine Magazine brings you: restoration stories, company histories, and technical advice. Plus our Flywheel Forum column helps answer your engine inquiries!

Facebook YouTube


click me