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 01-11-2002, 09:04 Post: 34435
Roger L.



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Leonard wrote:
"It wasn't till the mid 50's that manufacture started putting both live hydraulics & 3 points on tractors. By the early 60's everyone was doing it."
That got me to thinking about what an incredible decade that the 1950s were for basic farm tractor design. If you look at tractors circa 1951, they hadn't changed much from their ancestors in the 30s. Skeleton frame, little or no hydraulics, a rudimentary 3pt or maybe even a 2pt., kindergarden electrics....real basic machines.
By 1958, only the engine block was the same. The engine itself was now variable speed and much more efficient. Transmissions had more speeds and hi/lo range was common. The 3pt. was indistinguishable from today's. It had variable draft control, telescoping lower arms, positon control, category I/II, and load checks so that an implement could never hit the tires. The PTO had been standardized and was independently activated and clutched. Seats were not only designed for ergoniomics, but they were sprung in several planes of motion as well as hydraulically damped. Tractors dashboards were fully instrumented with lighted gauges, a tachometer, ground speed dial face, and hourmeter. The electrics were 12 volt at a time when most cars still used six volt systems. By the latter '50's, hydraulics had grown up to the point where most tractors could power not only their own internal power steering, but had extra hydraulic outlets for controlling drawn and mounted implements. A new implement referred to as "quick-detachable front end loaders with interchangeable buckets" hit the market in 1959 and must have been popular judging from how many you still see.
It must have been fun to be a tractor buyer in such a market!






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 01-11-2002, 14:18 Post: 34440
Peters

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Roger
I agree. In Kentucky I had a Oliver Super 55 which has most of what we term as modern accessories (1955). The MF-65 with the Perkins Fule oil burner has all that and some not mentioned (1958-64). The 65 sips fuel compared with the new yanmar I have.
Peters






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 01-12-2002, 08:24 Post: 34457
TomG

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Yes, a lot of change. I'm not sure the supposed agonies of keeping up with the info age are anything compared to the changes in farming. I have to keep in mind that when I was a city kid visiting the farm, it was the first generation when tractors were almost universal on farms. My parents and uncles all started farming with horses when they were kids. Some of them farmed up to several years ago.

What sometimes seems ancient actually is very near. I recall that one of my ancestors was the first person known to raise a cash grain crop in an E. Nebraska county. That would have been almost in living memory when I was very young. Myself, I was in a veteran’s hospital ward with somebody who sold newspapers to Buffalo Bill on the streets of Denver. Guess the past isn't that distant.

One of the things I do here is try to sort out my impressions from visiting the farm during the '50's. I'm never sure how much I remember is representative or even accurate. I do recall sometime in the mid 50's riding on the back of a tractor while my older cousins was plowing (something I know now should never be done). The field was a bit wet in spots and I can remember a wheel breaking traction. My cousin grabbed something and pulled. I'd now interpret that as a 3ph lift lever but I wouldn’t know what did the lifting. I remember that uncle always had IH equipment, but I wouldn't have a clue about the design.






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 01-12-2002, 08:36 Post: 34459
Roger L.



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Which hand did he grab with? IH had the TA on the left.






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 01-12-2002, 09:44 Post: 34464
Peters

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In the early 60's we live on a small farm. The old horse drawn equipment was placed along a fence line behind the barn, my playground equipment. We had an international C with PTO and belt drive. All the equipment was draw type. I can remember sitting on the draw bar a good percentage of the time.






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 01-13-2002, 06:21 Post: 34492
TomG

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Yikes! At least 45-years ago and the question is ‘which hand’ I think I recall a couple of words my cousin said more than the hand, but I suppose you can't really tell what was done without knowing which hand. I suppose it could be figured if I recalled whether plow was a draw type, which it probably was. Draw plows must have a way to raise them, and maybe that's what a TA is. I'm full of 'don't knows' today, but I do know I must have been standing on the drawbar. I do recall watching the plow cutting ground behind me and thinking what would happen if I fell off.

Regarding tractor developments: I think the rapid development of tractors in the '50's coincided with the decline of the family farm. I wonder if there's a relationship? I recall that a younger cousin used to rattle off the cost of the various pieces of equipment, and I used to be amazed at how much money a farm took. Even then I recognized that a lot of the equipment was pricey and was needed only for a few weeks a year. Even before knowing the work ‘economics’, I realized this was problem. I guess what happened was that mechanization on larger farms drove commodity prices down which made man and house power on smaller farms unable to scratch out a living.

The family farm was forced to mechanize, but it was really inefficient for small farms, so the farms got bigger. It did seem like every time I visited, most of my uncles had more land and usually with yet another house and barnyard (these old barnyards were our playgrounds). So, I'm speculating that with most operators working more land all the sudden the tractor became something other than a substitute horse team, and that's what produced the rapid development in tractors. Something similar happened to computers. At some point people stopped thinking of them as typewriters, file cabinets and calculators. Too bad about the old 640K memory limitation.






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 01-13-2002, 09:19 Post: 34503
Roger L.



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The TA on the old IH tractors was the "torque amplifier" and was engaged by a hand-pulled lever on the left side of the tractor. I don't know exactly what it did, but if you pulled that lever when you began to bog down then it would lower the gearing about half of a normal shift and somethimes that would be enough to get you going again.
I shudder to remember myself and other kids riding on plows and other drawn implements. I think a lot of that casual attitude came from horse-drawn implements. Hay rakes -referred to as "widow-makers" - were built with a seat for the operator right in front of the tines.






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 01-14-2002, 06:41 Post: 34551
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What ever it was, my cousin got the traction back before he dug himself in and on we plowed. Guess it's obvious I didn't fall off.

I knew TA as 'Teaching Assistant.' That's something I wasn't. Housekeeping in a Veterans Hospital was less miserable than lecturing freshmen--paid better too. Happy to know that it's really 'torque amplifier,' which was probably more useful than teaching assistants anyway.

There sure are a lot of widow-makers in country life. At least the operator seat is behind the blade on a converted horse drawn sickle blade mower that’s used around here. I hadn't thought about it, but I guess the seats were in front of the tines on old back dump rakes--small wonder they were called widow makers. I don't know if those rakes could be set up to operate the trip from a tractor seat like the converted mower was—otherwise turn haying into 2-person operations.

I guess the horsepower was a little smarter when it was really horses. The horsepower mostly took care of itself and left the operator free to operate the implement. With mechanization, the HP definitely got dumber. Now takes one person just to deal with the horses and any spare time leftover go to operating the implements. Maybe that’s why implements had to get fancy and tractors got hydraulics. Horses are smarter than tractors, but then maybe I’m making much of little.

There sure are a lot of widow-makers in country life. Around here in logging country, it's trees in various states that are called widow-makers. Guess that's natural since there are many more timber stands than fields here.






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 01-15-2002, 09:45 Post: 34593
DRankin



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Boy what a great thread! We should call this the compact tractor board for boomers, and it sounds like we be the boomers.
I spent summers on the farm in southern Minnesota in the mid-50’s. Grandpa still used horses to cultivate the soggy bottomland where his John Deere B’s would fear to tread. I have memories of those draft horses pulling a B model out of the mud, where it had buried itself nearly to the axle. They made it seem like child’s play. There was no sweat or strain involved. They just planted those dinner plate sized hooves and pulled it free along with the plow the tractor was dragging. Amazing. Muscle encased in leather straps and wooden crossbars, overpowering iron and steel, rubber and mud, with a quiet easy grace.
The power take-off of the day, as I remember, was a big flywheel on the left side of the tractor. It was used to run stationary equipment such as threshing machines. Talk about an accident waiting to happen, running a 30 foot belt between two open pulleys in a crowd of people, children, dogs and stacks of shucked oats would be considered legal suicide today.
Beside the two B models Grandpa Leo had a Case tractor. It seemed much smaller than the big open wheeled Deere’s, and it had fenders! I think it was his favorite. It was sort of his Sunday tractor.
Grandpa died in ’56. He wasn’t much older than I am today. With the change of generations, a new John Deere came to the farm. It was a diesel, and it seemed like a monster to my 7 year old eyes. I can’t remember the model number but I do remember the starting sequence. A battery-powered electric motor started a small gasoline engine, and once the gasoline engine got warmed up, it was used to engage the diesel power plant. It was said this John Deere could pull a plow, a disk harrow and a cultivator all at the same time, and completely prepare a field for planting in a single pass.
Anybody else remember a tractor meeting this description? Too bad it couldn’t pick rocks.







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 01-16-2002, 07:01 Post: 34605
TomG

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Well, there's still a team of horses around here, and they still go where tractors can't. The team is used to skid mostly fire wood sized logs out of the bush to the nearest old skidder road where a tractor can take them the rest of the way. Guess horses are probably inefficient for commercial logging. However, you wonder since the last two winters crews have built roads for next year's logging around here. They stay for months in local hotels. A whole bunch of horses could be fed on what the crews are paid to build the roads that are needed because the equipment can't go where horses can. Sure does tear up the bush too.

I've got a book titled 'Handy Farm Devices.' It's a collection of the pre-tractor equipment you used to see around barnyards. It's curious to see how things were done before there were modern tractors that now have to be started to do almost anything.

One of the devices is tackle for stump pulling--not much of a device really. It's just rope or chain and a pulley. The rope goes around a stump at ground level. That stump serves as an anchor. The rope then goes through a pulley tied high around a stump to be pulled and then on to the horses. The horses pull toward the anchor stump. As described, a 'steady team' can pull up to 200 orchard stumps in a day. There is no jumping, jerking or digging. That might be compared to how we talk about clearing land with tractors. The usual advice is to get the dozer man. However, I do wonder if the device could be used to advantage with tractors. It sure would beat trying to push them over, dig them out or running a dozer around.

Can’t help ID the JD. I think all my family still had gas tractors when I remember. I do recall pony gas engines on construction equipment and also the long belts and open PTO shafts.






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Yanmar Tractors Forum

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