5 HP Homemade Steam Tractor

Built by Joe Shakal and Herman Gint


| September/October 1992



homemade steam engine

This photo of one of our family's engines was taken by my brother Rick, a twin to my brother Rod, who is standing to the left of the engine. That's me on the tractor. It is a 5 HP homemade steam tractor built by Joe Shakal and Herman Gint. 

We bought this 5 HP homemade steam tractor from Leo Shakal of Stanley, Wisconsin in 1984. His brother Joe and Herman Gint originally made it.

It's an F-12 or 14 tractor running gear with a two speed step up box giving it six forward and two reverse gears. It's a 5 HP steam engine, make unknown, with a Bro's boiler. We widened the operator's platform, built the fender my arm is resting on, and added the saw rig, made a new drive shaft, redid the plumbing and tightened up the engine.

It's fun to drive, does about three miles per hour, and will pivot on either rear tire in a sharp turn. The water tank is a 16-inch pipe welded under the frame to reinforce it. The front tire hops off the ground in time with the engine. I moved the engine ahead and added a counterweight. It still does it so I beefed the frame up and decided to forget it.

It weighs 5,000 lbs. full of water and ready to run, which is why I reinforced it: too much flexing of frame.

My father-in-law, Dale Lunderville, did most of the painting, a job I hate.

I'd like to thank the Lord for answering my prayer and allowing me to own it.