My Dad had me on a JD model A when I was about 4(got pics to prove it) and yeah a hand clutch is great for small kids to learn on.After I got about 12 I used a 620 John Deere as my bicycle as we had no paved roads. I went everywhere on that tractor when it wasn't in use on the farm. I now own a 620 and my wife calls it my mid life crsis car. ( most guys buy harleys or vettes). I've had many enjoyable hours restoring my 620, with many more hours left before I'm done. There is just something awesome about the sound of a 2 cyclinder John Deere under load. It tends to warm the heart and start the blood flowing.
ALWAYS REMEMBER TRUCKS ARE RED AND TRACTORS ARE GREEN
Although I grew up on a 1946 Farmall M (still have it) and a big Case LA, I did drive a neighbors JD B on the hay and straw rake. I always thought the hand clutch was cool - also on the LA. A cousin was an Allis fan and had the WD, WD-45, D-17, and a little B. That B had a belly mount sickle bar mower that I rolled over with about 1957 or so, no injury, just pulled the B back up from the edge of a pond....
Our M was re-fitted with M&W Crater Head Pistons, 2-way hydraulic and widened rear rims to take 15.5X38s. Before the mod it pulled 2-18s. After the mods we went to an Oliver 3-16 with a packer. The LA pulled a JD 5-16 with packer. I spent many a night plowing with the whole radiator on the LA glowing in the dark.
Our corn planter was a pair of horse drawn 2 rows rigged up on a "double tree" to pull with the M. We later bought a JD 494A 4 row. I sold the planter about 5 yrs ago for $50 to a neighbor/collector in Indiana.
The combine was a JD 12A, 2 cyl Wisconsin engine, 6 ft bed with canvas feed. The hardest starting engine I've ever hand cranked! At least that wasn't as bad as a neighbor's Moline(?) combine that allowed only a 3/4 turn of the crank. I remember seeing it dead in the field for hours at a time....
The first tractor I drove was Dad's 1944 Allis Chalmers model B with a two row manual lift cultivator. Dad also had a 1937 F20 to pull the PTO driven combine and two bottom plow and disk. I'll never forget how the cats loved it when he pulled the combine out each year and started it for the first time watching all the mice run out of it. Later we got a MM model U with hand clutch that was the first tractor we had with hydraulics. No 3pt hitch but a hydraulic ram that fit the "new" disk to raise and lower it. It pulled the 3 bottom plow and had good power til it overheated and cracked the block. (Gee I wonder who did that?) Lots of hours spent driving that AC and Dad still has it for pulling the JD sickle bar mower. I, of course, complained about it then but now I would love to have the seat time.
In 1960 I used my Uncles 8 or 9 N Ford on his farm. I loved plowing and just about anything as long as I could drive the tractor. there is one for sale in my neighborhood but I only have a single lot and no room to play with it.
The first tractor I drove was a steel wheel Farmal F-12. Good old hand crank. I was like 9 or 10 when started to drive. Had to set the crank then jump up to get enough weight to turn the engine. Guess it wasn't prone to kicking, cause I was never launched. Remember one time I was driving it in the spring and the front tires caught in a rut right in front of the gas barrels. Knocked the barrels, and stand over before I could get it stopped. That was an old foot clutch tractor.
Our next tractor was a John Deere B. I just loved the sound of that tractor. Always warmed my heart to hear those two cylinders when the tractor was working.
Dad was swapping work with a neighbor. They bought a Alice Chalmers round bailer on shares. We all worked together to haul and stack the bails in the barns. The neighbor's son and I got into a discussion of which tractor could pull the most. His WD-45 Alice or our JD B. Hooked drawbar to drawbar the B won.
Yes I liked the hand clutch better than the foot clutch, especially after the gas barrel incident. The foot clutch was a little too much for me. When I started high school I was 4'-8" and 95 pounds.
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