| January/February 1970

North Dakota 58779

The Pioneer Tractor Company of Winona, Minnesota began building tractors about 1910 and continued for about ten years. Their main product evidently was the 30-60 model which had 96 inch high rear drivers that were 24 inches wide. It had a completely enclosed cab with upholstered seat and back rest. It had three forward speeds in the sliding gear transmission with third gear about a six mile per hour speed. This was an unusually fast speed for a tractor of this size and for its day. This model weighed around 23,000 pounds. It had a four 7 by 8 inch cylinder engine, horizontal and opposed and ran at 650 rpm's. It could pull eight 14 inch breaker bottoms or three ten foot binders.

In the Makoti area John and Fred Holst had the agency for the Pioneer tractor beginning in 1913. They also farmed with the 30-60 Pioneer. They would run day and night while breaking, lining the moon or lanterns for light. Sometimes when daylight came, the plow was dragging barb wire fence and posts because they were unable to see the neighbors fences in the dark. They had the tractors shipped in by rail. As an example Fred (Now deceased) went to Winona in 1915 and had three Pioneers shipped to Makoti for Max Dobrinski, Paul Hines and William DeWinter. Pictured are 1916 models after unloading in Makoti.

The Pioneer Tractor Company also built other models such as the Pioneer Pony a 12-24 hp. tractor with one rear drive wheel. The Pioneer Special was a 15-30 hp. model with four wheels. The 18-36 hp. was another one, while their last model was a six Cylinder 45-90 hp. model with nine foot high rear drivers.

The Pioneer 30-60 tractor was never tested at the University of Nebraska.

The Pioneer 30-60 pictured is driven by John Knutson, Makoti. It was bought by Paul Dobrinski in 1918 second hand near Van Hook. The late Clarence Schenfisch, the originator of the Makoti Threshing Show, bought it from Paul Dobrinski, also deceased. It was driven in the parade for the 50th Anniversary Celebration of Makoti in 1961. This Tractor is one of the fourteen Clarence had collected. These are now all part of the Makoti Threshing Show, which had one hundred units parade for the 1968 show.


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