Written By Larry Gay
Like many of the U.S. farm equipment companies in the 1928-1931 era, the Cockshutt Plow Company of Brantford, Ontario, decided to become a full-line equipment company in 1928 by adding farm tractors to its line. The Cockshutt company traced its history back to 1877 when James Cockshutt started building plows and the company became known in the early 1900s for its patented engine gang plow with 8, 10, or 12 bottoms. Eventually the product line was expanded to include tillage tools, seeding equipment, mowers, rakes, binders, wagons, and carriages.
Cockshutt entered the tractor market by selling two models of Allis-Chalmers tractors in Canada. They were the Model 20-35 with 44 belt horsepower and the Model U with 35 belt horsepower. These were regular Allis-Chalmers tractors, but carried a decal that said they were manufactured for and sold by the Cockshutt Plow Co. By the mid-1930s, the Cockshutt executives became dissatisfied with A-C and turned to the Oliver Farm Equipment Company. The Oliver-identified tractors were painted green with red trim, but the tractors built for Cockshutt were identified as Cockshutt and were painted red with yellow trim.
During World War II, the Cockshutt executives became concerned that after the war there would be such a large demand for tractors that Oliver would not be able to build enough tractors for Cockshutt. The company debated whether to continue with Oliver or to manufacture a tractor. The manufacturing route won the debate and a new tractor was developed. Production of the Cockshutt 30 tractor started in October 1946. It was rated as a 2-3 plow tractor and was available as a row-crop tractor with a choice of three types of front axles or as a standard-tread tractor. The Model 30 was powered by a 4-cylinder, 153-cubic-inch Buda gasoline engine. A 4-speed transmission was standard, but a 2-speed gear box could be added for eight forward speeds.
The Cockshutt 30 tractor was unique, because it was built with an independent PTO. Now the tractor could continue to operate a combine, hay baler, or corn picker while the travel of the tractor was slowed or stopped. This enabled the tractor’s operator to handle varying crop conditions without overloading or plugging the harvesting equipment. The independent PTO was controlled by a separate clutch and was not affected by the main clutch of the tractor. The Cockshutt 30 was the first tractor with an independent PTO to be tested at the Nebraska Tractor Test Lab.
Larry Gay is the author of four tractor books published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, including Farm Tractors 1975-1995 and Farm Tractors 1995-2005. The four books may be obtained from ASABE by calling 800-695-2723.