Farm Collector

CO-OP Tractors were Built for Speed!

During the mid-1930s, when most farm tractors were lucky to run
5 mph in top gear, the 22 to 28 mph road speeds of the CO-OP Nos.
1, 2 and 3 machines were startling. These CO-OP tractors were
regularly equipped with rubber tires, and the ability to rapidly
haul a wagon load of a harvested crop to the market or to a grain
elevator in town was a big selling point.

Dealers liked the high road speeds as well. A special hitch was
developed so the front wheels could be removed from a tractor and
it was then towed behind another in a tandem arrangement. This
allowed many dealers to pick up their tractors at the warehouse and
drive them back to their dealerships, thus saving on trucking

In the fall of 1936, the CO-OP Nos. 2 and 3 tractors were
scheduled for testing at the University of Nebraska test
facilities. One machine was hitched behind the other and they were
driven approximately 700 miles from the factory in Battle Creek,
Mich., to Lincoln, Neb.

During 1938, according to one account, a cavalcade of new CO-OP
tractors was driven all the way from the plant in Arthurdale,
W.Va., to the National Farm Machinery Cooperative warehouse in
Indianapolis, a distance of close to 400 miles. They were rigged so
one tractor towed two others. Probably the 25 mph-plus road speed
seemed pretty fast on some of the West Virginia and southern Ohio
roads of the day.

  • Published on Jul 1, 2005
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