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April 2010 Archive for Your Favorite Tractor

RSS By: Your Favorite Tractor, Farm Journal

Here’s your chance to share a photo of your favorite tractor.

Tractor Tales: Oliver HG42

Apr 21, 2010

Tractor Tales takes us to the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum in Vista, Calif. There we found a vintage tractor from the Cleveland Tractor Company. Julius tells us Oliver bought the Cleveland Tractor Company sometime around the mid 1940's and changed the color scheme to green and their signature yellow stripe.


Show us photos or video of your favorite tractor. E-mail photos or video to

Tractor Trendsetters: Ford Select-O-Speed Transmission

Apr 19, 2010

Tractor Trendsetters: Ford Select-O-Speed Transmission

Written by Larry Gay


Fifty-one years ago in February 1959, the Tractor and Implement Division of the Ford Motor Company introduced the Select-O-Speed transmission for the Ford 601, 701, 801 and 901 series of tractors. It was a full powershift transmission which enabled the operator to shift on-the-go between ten forward and two reverse speeds by moving a single selector lever located under the dash. There was no traditional clutch or clutch pedal, although an “inching pedal” was provided to assist in hitching the tractor to implements.


The concept of the full powershift transmission originated with Howard Simpson. Simpson was a Ford tractor engineer during the 1920s and developed the fenders which prevented the Fordson tractor from tipping over backwards. During the 1930s, he developed a series of experimental tractors for Henry Ford and was slated to be the lead engineer for the Ford-Ferguson tractor before he resigned. He then developed many transmissions designs for cars and trucks and during the 1950s all three major auto companies paid royalties to Simpson for the concepts they were using in their automatic transmissions.


Ford’s advertising emphasized the Select-O-Speed transmission was not an automatic or fluid drive transmission, but was a mechanical transmission with planetary gearsets that were shifted hydraulically. There were four planetary gearsets in series, with the first three being controlled by three brake bands and three clutch packs. The fourth planetary gearset provided a constant speed reduction. Moving the selector lever operated six hydraulic valves which in turn controlled the brake bands and clutch packs.

One Ford executive became very enthused about the concept and convinced the company to put the Select-O-Speed transmission into production without the approval of the Ford tractor engineers. As a result, the early units experienced problems in the field due to the durability of the components, manufacturing variations, and insufficient dealer training about service procedures. After the problems were solved, the Select-O-Speed transmission became a popular option for Ford tractors and remained in the line for many years.

Larry Gay is the author of four farm tractor books including A Guide to Ford, Fordson, and New Holland Tractors. This book may be obtained from ASABE at 800-695-2723 or, click publications, click history books, click Ford.

1943 Minneapolis-Moline ZTS

Apr 14, 2010

This tractor was featured for the month of April in the 2010 Classic Farm Tractor Calendar.


Before retiring in 2002, owner Kee Groshong lived a double life. During the week, he was a hard-driving University vice-Chancellor dressed in a business suit, white shirt and tie. But behind his large walnut desk on the credenza was a 1/16 model of a John Deere tractor–that was the tipoff that on weekends he quickly changed into blue bib overalls to concentrate wholly on his antique tractors and steam engines. He grew up with John Deeres, so he and son Reese have restored several, but this World War II vintage Minneapolis-Moline caught his eye in a Minnesota salvage yard, and you can see the fantastic results. This Z model had flat top fenders and this standard (the S in ZTS) probably spent its life on a wheat farm in Minnesota’s Red River Valley. Its 4 cyl. MM engine produced 25 drawbar and 31 belt hp.



Owner: Kee W. Groshong

Columbia, Missouri


He especially likes the steel steering wheel, which is original. The MM ZTS is housed in a new barn-like building on his Columbia acreage. He’s an active member of the Missouri River Valley Steam Engine Club. This is the group out of Boonville, Mo., that hosted two Classic Farm Tractor Calendar reunions.


The world-famous Classic Farm Tractor Calendar from Classic Tractor Fever is in its 21st year of publication with the 2010 calendar available now. They have calendars, videos, books, and much, much, more. Click here to visit their online shop.

1961 International Harvester Farmall 140

Apr 13, 2010

Cover tractor of the month, Fastline Texas Edition.




Owned by Clint McBay, Grapeland, Texas.

Restored by Glenn Burkhardt with Wallace Garden Center and Equipment, Crockett, Texas


McBay purchased it from an unknown gentleman about three years ago and requested it be refurbished. Everyone worked very hard to get this unit back to its original state.


To see the online eFastline editions, click here.


To browse all of the Fastline e-editions, click here.


1912 Wallis Bear

Apr 09, 2010

The 1912 Wallis Bear was the early start of the Wallis tractor line, which Massey-Harris acquired in 1928 when it bought the J.I. Case Plow Works of Racine, Wisconsin. E.F. “Gene” Schmidt of Bluffton, Ohio, had this giant in his extensive collection of the Wallis and Massey-Harris tractors.


A four-cylinder inline engine, radiator cooling, and 30/50 rating made the Bear a respected tractor for its era. The Bear measured nearly 20’ in length and weighed a hefty 10.5 tons.



This tractor was featured in the book “The Farm Tractor: 100 Years of North American Tractors,” which is available at bookstores and online booksellers and from


"The Farm Tractor" first published in 2007 by MBI Publishing Company and Voyageur Press, an imprint of MBI Publishing Company and the Quayside Publishing Group. Copyright © 2007,  2009 by Ralph W. Sanders. 

To find out about other Voyageur Press books for the tractor enthusiast, visit

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