General-Purpose Row-Crop Tractor: The Farmall Debuts
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The tractor was equipped with a power take off shaft to drive binders, harvesters and mounted mowers. A belt pulley drove such equipment as hammer mills, balers and small threshers.
The Farmall debuts, market adapts
In 1924, 205 Farmalls were built, priced at $825 each (about $8,500 in today’s terms), and a variety of mounted implements was offered for the machine, including cultivators, mowers and 2- and 4-row planters. Powered by a 4-cylinder, 3-3/4- by 5-inch engine, the Farmall turned 9.35 drawbar and 18.03 belt horsepower on the rated load test at Nebraska. It produced 12.70 drawbar horsepower and 2,727 pounds of pull on the maximum load test.
The dramatic success of the Farmall finished off the Fordson; in 1927, U.S. production of Fordsons stopped, although in-stock Fordson tractors still were being sold as late as 1928.
Other competitors soon entered the fray with row-crop tractors of their own, though. Most aped the Farmall’s “tricycle” design - large rear wheels and small, closely spaced front wheels.
The ones that tried other configurations, such as Deere with the 3-row General Purpose, Minneapolis-Moline and its KT (or Kombination Tractor), and Massey-Harris and its 4-wheel drive General Purpose all soon switched to the preferred Farmall tricycle design. FC
Sam Moore became interested in agricultural machinery while growing up on a farm in western Pennsylvania. Now a resident of Salem, Ohio, he collects antique tractors, implements and related items.
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