Tractor Trendsetters: Cockshutt 30 Tractor

Published on: 12:08PM Jan 05, 2011

Written by Larry Gay
James Cockshutt started the Brantford Plow Works in Brantford, Ontario, in 1877 and in 1882 the company was incorporated as the Cockshutt Plow Company. Sulky plows were soon added to the line and in 1905 the company introduced a patented engine gang plow with 8, 10, or 12 bottoms. In 1909 Cockshutt purchased 27 percent of the Frost and Wood Company and the combined product lines included tillage tools, seeding equipment, mowers, rakes, binders, wagons, and carriages.
Cockshutt entered the tractor market in 1928 by selling two models of Allis-Chalmers tractors. This arrangement didn’t last long and Cockshutt switched to tractors built by Oliver. The tractors from Oliver carried the Cockshutt name and were painted red and yellow. During World War II, the company officials debated whether to continue buying tractors from Oliver after the war or to start manufacturing a new design. The manufacturing route won the debate and the Cockshutt engineering team developed a new tractor during the war.
Production of the Cockshutt 30 tractor started in October 1946. The unique feature of the new 30 model was its independent PTO which enabled the tractor to continue to operate a combine, hay baler, or corn picker at the regular 540-rpm PTO speed while the travel of the tractor was slowed or stopped. The independent PTO was controlled by a separate clutch and was not affected by the main clutch for the tractor. This enabled the tractor’s operator to handle varying crop conditions without overloading or plugging the harvesting equipment.
The Cockshutt 30 was rated as a 2-3 plow tractor and was built as a row-crop tractor with dual front wheels, single front wheel, or an adjustable wide front axle. It was also available as a standard-tread tractor with a fixed width front axle. The Cockshutt 30 was powered by a 4-cylinder, 153-cubic-inch Buda 4-cylinder gasoline engine and was equipped with a 4-speed transmission. An optional 2-speed gearbox could be added to provide eight forward speeds and two in reverse. The operator’s station was located above the transmission for good visibility.
Larry Gay is the author of four tractor books and the “Machinery Milestones” articles in Heritage Iron magazine. To learn more about this magazine which focuses on the 1960-1985 era, go to or call 1-800-552-6085.