44 Darwin Hill Road New Milford, Connecticut 06776
While plowing my driveway this winter with my 1959 John Deere
730 Standard, I wondered how many other people were using old farm
tractors to move snow. So many times we hear of people putting
their tractors away for the winter. Well, I guess while these
people are draining the water from radiators, polishing the paint
and spraying some rubber protectant on the tires, people like me
are checking antifreeze levels, putting on tire chains and mounting
snowplows to their old tractors.
I made some phone calls to some friends to let them know I
wanted to come and take photos of their tractor. I put my camera in
my pick-up and off I went.
First stop was to see Dan Readyoff and his John Deere 50 with a
New Idea 501 loader. With the hand clutch and a hydraulic activated
bucket you are kept busy running this rig.
Down the road just a bit to see Rob Carlson. A 1953 Farmall
Super M with a snow blade, tire chains and plenty of rear wheel
weights is the tractor Rob uses to move snow.
Then I was off to the Reimer Ridge Farm to see the oldest
tractor in my travels. Charlie Reimer uses a 1944 John Deere B.
This tractor is hand start, no problems with a dead battery on a
cold morning with this tractor. This tractor has a blue-grey swirl
colored steering wheel. It looks like something from a 1950s hot
rod. Charlie told me John Deere had to substitute materials during
WWII and with age these steering wheels have changed color. It was
also the smoothest steering wheel I have ever seen on an old
tractor, and no cracksmaybe this substitute material should have
been the normal stuff used during production?
My next stop was in the town of Warren to visit Percy Allmand.
Percy uses a 1950 John Deere A with a blade to plow his driveway.
Percy stated that the model A John Deere is one of his favorite
tractors, as he spent many hours on one, years ago. His A has a
wide seat on it. These were the seats that John Deere dealers used
to demonstrate tractors to new customers. You could ride alongside
the salesman as he demonstrated the tractor. This seat was on the
tractor when Percy bought it, a good possibility that it is an
original seat from some dealer. How it got on this tractor is
Next, I traveled to Bridgewater to see Jim Stuart. Jim has two
tractors for moving snow. The first one is a 1952 Farmall Super M
with a Meyers plow and frame. I wonder if the Meyers Company still
makes plow frames to fit on today’s tractors? When I arrived
Jim was installing the tire chains, so I gave him a hand, always
easier with an extra pair of hands.
The other tractor Jim uses to move snow is a 1949 Farmall Super
A. This tractor is equipped with a front mounted Kubota snow blower
which uses a V4 Wisconsin engine to power the blower. The
tractor’s hydraulic system is used to lift the blower up and
down. Each engine has its own air cleaner, but the two engines
share the tractor’s fuel tank and battery. This rig is truly a
fine example of ‘Yankee Ingenuity!’
Jim Stuart of Bridgewater is the proud owner of two snow moving
tractors. Shown above is his 1952 Farmall Super M and his 1949
Farmall Super A is shown below.
I then went back to New Milford to see Charlie Aldrich and his
1952 Ferguson TO-20. Charlie’s Ferguson is equipped with tire
chains and uses a three-point hitch scraper blade.
My last stop was up to New Preston to visit with Duncan Woodruff
and his son Adam. When I left my house, I knew I would be seeing
their 1957 John Deere 320 utility equipped with a snow plow. But
when I drove in the driveway, there was also a nicely painted 2N
Ford with a three-point hitch mounted scraper blade. Duncan
explained to me that it’s a real family affair to move snow at
their house, with 14-year-old son Adam on the John Deere 320 and
Dad on the 2N Ford.
Adam Woodruff of New Preston uses both his 1957 John Deere 320
Utility and his Ford 2N for plowing.
One thing I noticed on the 320 was an original New Milford
Tractor Corporation decal on the front grill. Duncan told me when
they repainted this 320, they taped off this decal to save it. The
tractor was originally sold new at New Milford Tractor. It’s
these kinds of things that really keep the local history alive.
I hope the readers of GEM enjoy this story. Maybe it will
inspire others to write in and tell of other old tractors that are
still being used as they were originally intended to perform
Keeping the Doodlebug Project Alive
Farmers from the 30s to the 50s built makeshift tractors called doodlebugs from available parts and pieces found on the farm.
Custom Built Cub Cadet Buggy
Check out Forest Spaulding’s custom-built buggy pieced together using several parts from a cub cadet and various other tractors.
Maytag Tractor, 29 Years Later
The son of the builder of a Maytag tractor featured in a 1989 article gives us an update.