The Tractors & Other Creations of David Friday

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    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.

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    By taking parts and components from other machines, David Friday set out to build a tractor. Since purchasing a tractor was not an option at the time, this method would have to suffice, and suffice it did. With an old truck frame and rear end, a gas tank, a radiator, and a model B motor, Friday's first tractor came to be. It was referred to as the 'Doodle Bug.'

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    In 1947, David Friday purchased Love Tractor in a deal that included all designs, parts, and components. This venture was renamed the Friday Tractor. The initial creation had a six cylinder industrial Chrysler engine with a five speed transmission and a rear end capable of two speeds, giving it ten forwards speeds in all as well as two reverse. On down the road Friday expanded upon his design, adding a larger engine and tires in addition to reduction boxes. After this, he built a 9.2hp tractor with a small transmission, hydraulic cultivators, and a fertilizer attachment to aid in the work around his fruit farm. This creation was dubbed the 'Wiggle Hoe.'

    Friday became extremely effective at making machinery that was known for its cost saving capabilities. At one point he even worked with engineers from the Michigan State University U.S.D.A. The end result of this collaboration was the first 'Cherry Shaker' ever built. It consisted of a Wisconsin engine and hydraulic pump that moved about on four wheels from tree to tree before shaking cherries onto a sheet of canvas and moving them down a conveyor to a water tank. The initial design had two shaking components but Friday improved upon his design once again and created a version that worked using only one arm that grabbed and shook the trees.

    Despite his many other inventions and interests, David Friday was able to keep Friday Tractors in production from 1948 through 1959. After this time, he busies himself with pruning equipment, lift trucks, and even a crawler tractor. While David Friday passed on in 1988, the company operated under his name until 1993 at the hands of his son and grandson. The company is now known as Special T Farming Equipment, Inc. and manufactures hydraulic pruning towers as well as crawlers. David Friday himself may be gone, but his inventions live on as does and his family history of farming continues with both fruit and grain farms keeping the Friday heritage alive.

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