Tractor Spotting


| September 2003



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B. Styled John Deere Model D

Those who plied their knowledge about old iron to the Tractor-Spotting quiz published in the August 2003 issue of Farm Collector will find the answers to those head scratchers below. Use the information provided for each tractor type on future tractor-spotting expeditions, and keep those eyes peeled for tractors and equipment lurking in the countryside.

A. Unstyled John Deere Model A

Deere introduced its Model A in 1933, and by the time production ended in 1952 almost 269,000 of the popular row-crop tractors had been built (total doesn't include the AN, AW, ANH, or ANW models). The A was one of the first production tractors with a hydraulic power-lift Originally designated as a two-plow machine, the horsepower was increased several times, from 16.2 to 20.48, and finally 26.7 drawbar hp, which called for a two- to three-plow rating. A careful examination of the quiz tractor reveals an open fanshaft, which was used on only the first 4,800 tractors, making an 'open fanshaft A' - a not item among collectors. 

 B. Styled John Deere Model D

First introduced in 1923, the John Deere Model D continued in production until 1953, albeit with many changes and improvements. The Model D was styled by Henry Dreyfuss in 1939, receiving a new hood, grille and fenders, giving it a more-modern look. The spoked  front wheels shown on our tractor quiz were used until late 1944, when disk wheels were adopted. The Model D was a three-plow tractor and was famous for its reliability and the lugging power of its 501-cubic-inch, two-cylinder engine. Nearly 159,000 John Deere Model D tractors were built from 1923 to 1953.

 C. Farmall M

International Harvester introduced the all-new, two-plow Model H, and three-plow Farmall Model M tractor on August 9, 1939. The two models were similar, so if you guessed it was a Farmall H, don't feel bad. The Model M's classic styling was designed by Raymond Loewy, and it could be equipped with a 'Lift-All' pump to operate hydraulic cylinders for raising implements. A diesel-engine version of the Model M, called the j Model MD, was available in 1941 and high-crop models were built as well. By the time it was -replaced by the Super Model M in 1952, almost 300,000 Farmall Ms had been sold, with many still on active farm duty.

D. Ford-Ferguson 9N or 2N

After Henry Ford and Harry Ferguson made their famous 'handshake' agreement, the Ford tractor with Ferguson System was introduced in 1939. A small, lightweight machine, the tractor derived its ability to pull two plows from the unique draft control and hydraulic lift developed by Ferguson. The hitch transferred the weight of the implement to the tractor's rear wheels, increasing traction, while the front end was held firmly on the ground. Ford terminated the agreement with Ferguson in 1947 after almost 300,000 Ford-Ferguson tractors had been sold. The later Ford 8N is identical in profile to the Ford-Ferguson 9N and 2N tractor, while the Ferguson TO20 is similar, so if you guessed the quiz tractor to be a Ford-Ferguson, a Ford 9N, 2N 8N or a Ferguson, you did well.

E. Oliver Cletrac HG

This little crawler was introduced in 1939, by the Cleveland Tractor Co. and originally carried only the Cletrac name. In 1944, the Oliver Co. bought the Cleveland firm and the machine became the Oliver Cletrac HG. In 1951, Oliver gave the HG a little more power and named it the Oliver OC-3, but the appearance remained almost identical. Powered by a Hercules engine, the tractors were available with tread widths of 31, 42, 60, and 68 inches for different row-crop or industrial applications. Rated as a two-plow tractor, the HG/OC-3 could be equipped with a front-mounted cultivator and a rear-mounted mower.