The Wonderful Wall is Tractors

| May/June 1973

  • Engine
    Courtesy of Wm. Schwab, Route 3, Columbus Junction, Iowa 52738
    Wm. Schwab

  • Engine

Route 4, Morrison, Illinois 61270

In the Jan-Feb. issue of G.E.M. we find, on page 7, a picture of a Wallis tractor owned by Gary Wolters of Ocheyedan, Iowa. These little tractors are thought of by many to mark a change in the history of farm tractors. This series, the Model K and the Model J that preceded it (see center top picture on page 15 of same issue) were the first farm tractors to have removable cylinder walls or 'wet' type of sleeves. They also are said to be the first to have all of the transmission gears enclosed and running in oil. Not only were they ahead of the parade in design, but were also far ahead of their day when it came to power output per cubic inch of piston displacement, or motor size. The Model K and the J were much the same except for the J being a three-wheel job. The design dates back to 1916.

The first Wallis tested at Nebraska State was a Model K rated at 15-25 horsepower. It developed 16.06 -27.57. To pull its 16.06 on the draw bar, it pulled 2365 pounds at a speed of 2.55 miles per hour. The pseed with no load was 2.98 m.p.h.

Probably the best way to judge the worth of the Wallis is to read the accounts on the tests run by the University of Ohio. In these tests, a tractor was hooked to a plow and then rated on both normal and maximum loads. At the Middletown, Ohio test, the Model K pulled 2300 pounds at 2.45 m.p.h. and developed 15.05 draw bar horsepower. At maximum pull, it hauled the three-bottom plow 8.58 in. deep. In this test there was only two other tractors that got above 15 drawbar h.p. Both of these were crawler type. A note is made on the test sheet telling of the west condition of the soil and stated that it was raining when the Reliable and the Wallis tests were run. Here is how some of the better known makes compared with the Wallis at this test:


Lbs. Pull


Drawber HP













Hart Parr












At the Fostoria, Ohio test, the spunky little K had good traction and pulled its three bottom plow 3.25 m.p.h. at 9.42 in. deep and put out 19.82 d.b. h.p. These Model K jobs pulled their loads with a motor 4-1/4 x 5-3/4' turning 850 rpm. (on the Fostoria test it would have to have exceeded this to do 3.25 m.p.h. under load). Normal, no load 3.98 m.p.h.

Just for a bit of spice, at the Columbus, Ohio test they had a Fordson that pulled its two bottom plow 7.86 in. deep and put out 10.78 h.p. at 3.09 m.p.h. Henry must have done a good job on that one, for sure.