I recently had the opportunity to read James Boblenz's article on the 1920 Yuba Ball Tread tractor (Farm Collector, January 2007, page 32) owned by Tom Burer. I have met Tom at shows over the years and he is quite the gentleman. Since I exhibited in the same tent with the Yuba, I wanted to share some information, just for a point of reference.
The "pair of Love orchard tractors" is not quite correct. What was on display was Paul Zoschke's 1954 Love orchard tractor (one of the last five Love tractors to be produced in the Eau Claire, Mich., factory) and my 1950 Love row crop.
Paul and I have been friends for many years and have spent considerable time researching the Love tractor - Paul is by far the expert. While the Love orchard is a fairly uncommon tractor, the row crop version is quite rare as our research shows production (1947-1954) was quite limited. It is estimated less than 100 were produced. Few people know the row crop model exists and it takes some experience to tell the difference between the two models.
In the top photo you can notice the Love row crop clearance difference. The row crop model has approximately 8 inches greater clearance than the orchard model. Also, the row crop model was the first to have the adjustable front axle. Paul's 1954 Love orchard (right) has an adjustable front axle, and we can only guess the last tractors produced were assembled with remaining parts in the plant.
Another difference: Most of the Love row crop models were produced with the vertical exhaust system. This was supposedly one of the selling features to enhance the market for the row crop along with the live 3-point rear lift, competing with the Farmall H and M models, and the John Deere A and G models, but proved unsuccessful. Some row crop models were produced with low, rear exhaust, utilizing the engine manufacturer's automotive manifold from Chrysler and Ford - I have only found two.
The most noticeable difference is the position of the operator's seat. The orchard seat placed the operator very low (and uncomfortably) behind the dash assembly, while the row crop model placed the operator much higher on a deluxe spring-type seat. While both seats are located to the right of the centerline of the tractor, it is much more pronounced on the row crop version.
With less than a dozen Love row crop models known, I hope readers find this information useful. I would like to find some other Love row crop owners for my continued research. Please feel free to contact me if anyone has any questions.
- Richard Mowery
P.O. Box 475
Eaton, OH 45320