Articles from GPS1504

  1. The Vickers Endeavors

    Two men by the names of Edward Vickers and George Naylor joined forced in the year 1828 to create a steel foundry named Naylor Vickers and Company. Originally this company made steel castings and was most well-known for casting church bells. As the company grew to include new employees, such as Thomas and Albert, sons of Edward Vickers, the company expanded its ventures. By 1863 they had moved to Sheffield, England, and in 1867 the company went public. Soon thereafter they incorporated...
  2. Rock Island and Heider Tractor History

    What began as Buford & Tate of Rock Island, Illinois, in 1855 eventually went on to call themselves Buford & Co. before a much more significant name change occurred in 1882. It was at that time that they became known as The Rock Island Plow Company. With this name change also came a change in the type of machines they manufactured with a move from only creating plows to eventually incorporating implements that were horse drawn. As even more time progressed, more designs were introduced....
  3. The Big and Little Bull Tractors

    In the period of time surrounding WWI, large tractors were commonly seen on farms. These tractors were expensive to use, however, and modest farm owners were looking for something smaller that could still fill their needs but at less expense. Seeing the need for a smaller yet equally affective machine, the Bull Tractor Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota opened its doors in 1914. With a design by D.M. Hartsough introduced that same year, it initially seemed that the need for smaller tractors...
  4. Stabilizer Bars

    Sometimes a desire to save time and money can be our enemy. Another thing that falls in that category is a simple lack of knowing better. One case in which both of these things collide is when it comes to stabilizer bars. Sure, they are useful, but in order for them to be worthwhile, they have to be installed and engaged. If you skimp on this, you can pay a high price in terms of implement damage.

    Having a three point hitch is wonderful when it comes to attaching a plethora of implements...
  5. Tractor History: Dent Parrett

    Dent Parrett, born in 1886, hailed from the town of Wenona, Illinois. It was there that he entered the farm implement field of work under the wing of Harry Von Horn, the owner of a store that sold such implements. During this time, Parrett worked on steam threshing machines owned by Van Horn as well as the steam plowing engines of customers. After a year at the University of Illinois, Parrett took this invaluable experience and set out on his own, opening a machine shop in 1908.

    In the...
  6. A Pioneer by Many Names

    What started as the Pioneer Tractor Co. in 1909 went on to become the Pioneer Tractor Mfg. Co. in 1910 after only about a year under their original name. With not only a change in name but also a change in location from Minneapolis to Winona under their belts, it was time to see what else these folks might change, specifically in the tractor world.
    When production began at their new location in Winona, Pioneer initially was able to make one tractor per week. In a short period of time they...
  7. Toy Tractors: The Allis Chalmers Model B

    In 1937, the tractor was destined to replace the horse, according to Allis Chalmers. With a new creation dubbed the Allis Chalmers Model B for sale, the pitch was one of putting the horses back in the barn. Claiming that the tractor required less maintenance than horses in order to sway farmer opinion along with using research and statistics, Allis Chalmers set forth to woo the public with their new machine. Priced at just under $500.00 each and being billed as a small farm tractor that...
  8. Loaders & Lift Capacity

    When shopping for a frond end loader and comparing the lift capacity of loaders with tractors, it is imperative that you look not only at the specs listed but also the big picture being presented. In tractor literature, lift capacity is not always crystal clear. Sometimes what is listed is the lift capacity of the front end loader itself whereas at other times what might be listed is the lift capacity of the three point lift. Such nonspecific specifications can make deciphering the total...
  9. Empire Tractors

    The Empire Tractor Corporation began in 1946 in the state of Delaware. Although they are said to have had offices in New York City and facility for manufacturing in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, it was in Delaware that Empire Tractor was incorporated. From there two models were built to the tune of about 6,587 tractors in all.

    The first tractor built by Empire was the Model 88. This tractor featured four cylinder engines with 134 cubic inches in the form of Willys war surplus engines. This...
  10. Replacing Rings

    One way to buy yourself time between costly rebuilds is by replacing engine rings. This is not an option that exits 100% of the time, but every once in a while you can get lucky and be able to get a little more use out of an engine before a rebuild becomes necessary. The clincher is just how much of a teardown is necessary to change the rings and if at that point you might as well go all the way and finish the job. It is also possible that you might find other damages in the process that...
  11. 6 Things to Inspect When Buying Used

    When it comes time to buy a used tractor, there is a lot to consider. Ideally you will have a grasp on what type of machine you want and what capabilities you need. This could lead to shopping and looking at a broad spectrum of tractors, or if your specifications are more stringent, a very small pool of tractors. Either way, there are tractor components you need to closely examine to ensure you bring home a machine that will work for you.

    1. Take a look at the maintenance records. Some...
  12. Evaluating Thermostat Function

    Since we recently discussed radiator caps and coolant changes, it is only natural that thermostats come to mind as well. The purpose of a thermostat is to open and close thereby regulating the flow of coolant within your tractor's engine. The heat created by your engine is dissipated by coolant. The thermostat stays closed during this process until the level of heat reaches a certain point, at which time the thermostat will open up and allow coolant to pass through it. Once the cool coolant...
  13. Checking the Condition of Coolant

    Depending on the part of the country in which you live, the weather should be improving if it has not already done so and soon it will be time to get to back to doing frequent work with your tractor. Most of us will have winterized our tractors for storage during the colder months and to make the transition to work again in the spring an easier one. If you have perhaps slacked off on winterizing or live in a tropical climate where winterizing needs are not as stringent, there are some things...
  14. The Tractors & Other Creations of David Friday

    Armed with a degree in horticulture from Michigan State University, David Friday moved to a farm belonging to his father. In time he bought this farm and converted two different workshops on the property. It was in those workshops that his tinkering began. This started small as he took a transformer and rebuilt it to make a welder. In time, however, he realized a need to own more farm equipment that he was unable to afford. The solution was to make that as well.
    By taking parts and...
  15. Size Matters: The Big Bud 16V-747

    When conducting work on a tractor, how much does size really matter to you? We, as Americans, seem to at times be fans of excess. The bigger it is, the better it must be, right? So it sometimes seems. Over time most everything has gotten bigger from our vehicles to our houses. Farm equipment and implements should be no exception, right? The creation of the Big Bud tractor made this argument seemingly true.
    Perhaps these increases in size are a bit too much. Some might call them overkill....
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