International 460 Ushers in New Era for International Harvester Company

The 60 series tractors, which included the International 460, marked a period of growth for International Harvester Company.

| January 2014

  • "Red Tractors 1958-2013" (Octane Press, 2013) is author Lee Klancher's meticulously researched look at the history of International Harvester Company, a landmark American company that defined agricultural business for a century.
    Cover courtesy Octane Press
  • Draftsmen at the Tractor Works on March 10, 1949. Tractor design at this time was done on paper. First, scale models were built, then full-size clay and wood mockups. Designer Gregg Montgomery commented that clay was a great medium because a good clay sculptor could quickly make adjustments to the mockup.
    Photo courtesy Wisconsin Historical Society/69302

Red Tractors 1958-2013 (Octane Press, 2013) is an authoritative and unparalleled look at the tractors built by International Harvester Company and Case IH. Author Lee Klancher leads a research team that has collected more than 380 pages and 700 images, documenting these beloved machines built in America and abroad. In this six-part series, Farm Collector shares the first chapter of Red Tractor, "1958-1959 The Hinsdale Connection". The second part of this series covers International Harvester’s initial forays to weather the 1957 Recession, and a decision to once again make the large tractor a focus of their business.

The Rise of the International 460, and a New Set of Eyes at International Harvester Company

The International 460 and International 560 models had something Harvester had not encountered much in the past: a manufacturing flaw. The rear differential’s bull and pinion gears galled under load and could fail under the right conditions. Very few of these tractors failed, but Harvester doubled the warranty on the 460s and 560s, and authorized dealers to charge them for the 19 hours of labor to replace the rear end. New parts were engineered and, eventually, a new oil formula was developed to help reduce strain on the parts. Finally, a massive recall of the 460, 560, and 660 tractors was issued in June 1959.

Kenneth Ryan, a young International Harvester Company engineer when the recall was taking place, remembers that dealers weren’t entirely displeased with the recall. They used the allowance for repairs to stay busy during the slow winter months and could perform the repair in less than the allotted 19 hours, turning a good profit.


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