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Harold H

MRS IHC Powered Tractors

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In the new issue of "Red Power" on the left side of the page is a picture of a MRS-9 tractor. MRS (or M-R-S) tractors were built by Mississippi Road Supply Company. They used IHC power units and other IHC components. They started production of the MRS-9 in 1943 at a small facility in Jackson, Mississippi. This unit was matched with a scraper pan or bottom dump dirt wagon. Although the pans and dirt wagons were called MRS, they were actually built by Bucyrus-Erie for MRS. The MRS tractors were built primarily for the construction industry although some were sold for farm use. A lot of these early MRS-9 tractors, scrapers, and dirt wagons saw action in the Pacific Theater. After WW-2 MRS purchased facilities on a surplus ammunition base which had never been activated as construction on the base was completed just at the end of the war at Flora, Mississippi. In 1947 they started production in Flora with the MRS-9 and introducing the MRS-14, which was brought out to compete with the Cat DW-10 and and a simular sized Euclid. They also built some of their own scraper pans and dirt wagons at this location for a while but went back to having all their scraper pans and dirt wagons built by other companies to their specs. In about 1954 or 1955 they introduced the MRS-18 to compete with the new larger Cat D-15. In 1958 the line was revised away from the old letter series styling to the more vertical grill IHC crawler styling of the new TD-15 and TD-20 which were the MRS-15 and the MRS-20. The MRS-9 was also discontinued at this time. Construction of the IHC powered MRS-15 and MRS-20 continued untill about 1962 after which all MRS tractors were four wheel drive models powered by Detroit or Cummins engines. MRS had started building four wheel drive tractors in about 1956 and they grew progressively larger. IHC talked to MRS abouting producing their four wheel drive tractors but IHC for some reason decided to build their own in house. By the early or mid 1960's MRS was building some of the largest production tractors in the world. The MRS-250 had 500 horsepower and could be mated with a scraper pan of 65 cu yds heped capacity with a 430 horsepower pusher engine on the scraper. A special coal hauling version of this same scraper had a capacity of up to 90 cu yds heped. A lot of MRS tractors saw action in Vietnam. In the mid to late 1970's MRS went out of business. They sold the construction rights and designs for the tractors to Taylor Machine Works in Louisville, Mississippi, and Taylor built a few of the tractors into the 1980's.

Harold H

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Hi Harold H,

thanks for relaying that story.I'd never heard of MRS.

I tried to find some info in my reference books,but none available.

My IH Fuel Pump book shows an MRS 6 Towing Tractor using a UD18 engine with twin plunger pump.

Also a MRS 4 (Model 125) Tractor used a UD16 Engine.

Jim

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Jim,

During the IHC era, MRS produced many special models such as aircraft tow tractors, but the most common construction/farm models were the MRS-9 which used the 334.6 and later 340.4 cu in 4 cyl UD 9 power unit, the MRS-14 which used the 460.7 cu in 4 cyl UD 14 power unit, the MRS-18 which used the 691.1 cu in six cyl UD-18 power unit, the MRS-15 which used the 554 cu in 6 cyl TD-15 engine and the MRS-20 which used the 691.6 6 cyl TD-20 engine. As far as I know, none of the MRS four wheel drive tractors used IHC engines. The various models may have had another technical model number for ordering but they still had the UD-9, UD-14, or UD-18 decals on the side of the hood and were refered to as 9, 14, 18, etc.

Harold

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Harold----

Great to see the report on the MRS----------I've got some pictures back in the files somewhere--------will try to find them in a day or so. There are also some 40's------50's production pictures of the MRS on the Wisconsin Historical Society Archive (under the IHC) heading.

Glad to see you still kicking----------------happy New Year to you.

Delta Dirt

Avon, Ms 38723

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Thanks Harold, that's very interesting & some of us still don't have a subscription. I have info & pics on the later post-IH tractors if anyone would like to see. Russell

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Do any of the readers of this IH Construction Equipment board have a IHC powered MRS tractor? I asked on the General IH board and got no answers.

Harold H

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I think that guy with the 9 was the first actual tractor I've seen here. All the rest were just old photos.

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I do not have one I would not mind having one though, If I recal correctly the first tractors were a adjusted Super duper W-9 It had a 350 motor with a rpm set at 1900?? they also used a injection pump setting for a TD-14. I have a TD-9-91 serries set with a 14 spring pack and fuel setting, the rpm is stock, lets just say It runs good. I have wanted a MRS 9 ever since I set the 91 that way. ... :blink:

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Dr. Ernie,

You are correct in that the MRS-9's turned a higher rpm and used different pump settings than the stock IHC which gave them higher horsepower. However, the early (1943-1952) MRS-9's had the 334.5 cubic inch engines. The 350.4 cubic inch engines was only used in the later MRS-9's after IHC introduced the larger 350.4 engine in 1953. This 350.4 engine was used untill MRS discontinued building the MRS-9 in late 1958.

Harold H

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I have never seen an MRS tractor, but thought that I remember them as being 4 wheel drive tractors for farm use. Evidently that was a secondary thing after all of the other things that they were made for.

What did the MRS9 and the other 2wd tractors (if they made any others) use for trans and rear end?

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Paul,

MRS started building four wheel drive tractors in the mid to late fifties. None of these were IHC powered. They used Detroit or Cummins engines and fast grew progressively larger. By the early or mid 1960's they were building the largest production tractor in the world at the time at 500 horsepower. A large portion of the four wheel drive tractors were sold to the military and were used in Vietnam. I don't know what brand transmissions and rear ends were used in the 9, 14, 18, 15, & 20, but they were probably roadranger transmissions or something like that. They were designed for shifting on the go pulling dirt wagons or scrapers. Their overall design layout was simular to the Cat DW-10 and DW-15 and Euclid models of the day. They were solds for both agricultural use and construction use but more were sold for construction use. As said, many were sold to the military in WW 2 and Vietnam, and they went out of business shortly after the Vietnam war. IHC talked to them about building their four wheel drive tractors but IHC decided to build them in house. MRS sold their designs and construction rights to Taylor Machine Company who built some into the 1980's. During the 1940's and 1950's MRS did also build some special purpose tractors such as aircraft movers that were IHC powered.

Harold H

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I belong to the Historical Construction Equipment Association which has an MRS tractor in it's collection. I recently got it running and am continuing it's restoration. It is a Model 150 if I remember correctly with the UD-18A power unit installed. Build date was 1952. It was originally a military unit since it has a number of extra tags on the dash stating this. Also the ignition is completely sealed which I would think is a military spec., not to mention the bottom color is the olive drab. It is our feature unit for this years national show held in Bowling Green, Ohio. We are featuring equipment powered by IH and this was a natural for our show piece. I don't have any pictures of it at the moment but can try to get some. Interesting to hear about the company history!

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There were some pics of some very large MRS tractors, Model 300, on one of the other forums I frequent. They are in Taos, New Mexico, about 1/4 mile from the Rio Grande river, at a gravel operation. Towing Challenge 150? ton bottom dump trailers. Been sitting for awhile.

here's what I could find on the net...

http://flickr.com/photos/doncampbellmodels/1516169746/

http://www.allbusiness.com/manufacturing/m...10536122-1.html

http://www.constructionequipment.com/artic...ndustryid=23403

http://www.triplecmarine.com/1_each_mrs_10...ors_12v71n_.htm

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Although the IH powered units had different model numbers, they were usually always just refered to as their IHC UD power unit number, as the tractors always kept the UD-9, UD-14, UD-18, etc decals on the side of the power unit hoods. I think the other model numbers, like 150, were only shown on the serial number tag. I don't know how the four wheel models were numbered except that the big 500 horsepower model was a MRS-250 which was the largest production tractor built in the early 1960's. The MRS- 300 pictured must be a later, even more powerful model than the 250.

Harold H

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I just read about these in the English magazine Classic Plant and Machinery, the 300 models had a large Cummins, either a V12 or V16. And then, a few days later, these pics get posted on the DHS Diecast forum, seen in Taos, New Mexico. 1/4 mile from the Rio Grande river.

I couldn't access the post or I'd have linked it, but here are the pics that were posted. What monsters!

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Last of them. These had 500 or 600 HP. The trailers could be hooked up in series, and some of the trailers were originally powered also.

ALL PHOTOS ARE CREDITED TO STEPHEN SETTEDUCATI. Here's the link to his website..

http://www.setteducati.com/

Very interesting work he does!

alan627b

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Alan,

Those photos are very interesting. I always thought that after MRS quit building the IHC based tractors that all of their models were four wheel drive, but these are large two wheel drive. In the late 1940's and 1950's, my uncle lived in Flora and had his own construction company building roads in Mississippi. He had several MRS-14 scrapers and several Cat DW-10 scrapers. His son and I would go on job sites with him and often ride on the MRS-14's and Cat DW-10's. Safety concerns were much more lax back then. Although push dozers were used to help load both the MRS-14's and the Cat DW-10's, the MRS's would load more by themselves because they had some sort of hydraulic cylinder that connected from the scraper goosneck to the tractor drawbar area, by which the operator could transfer weight to the drive wheels. I was never around any of the later non IHC MRS tractors.

Harold H

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I don't remember seeing any of these machines in Viet Nam or in the army. We had Clark 290M hydraulic units in Viet Nam. It had a 400 HP Cummins engine and a bull blade in front. I ran one for about 4 months in Viet Nam. In Germany there were the Cat 830M which was cable operated. I ran one about one hour. There was a TD20 with a pan also. I do not know what brand of pan that was on any of the tractors. The army had many different brands of equipment. There was a lot of the yellow colored stuff, repainted OD of course.

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Both the Clark 290M and the Cat 830M were built for government contracts, with seperate contracts for the scrapers. The only scraper manufactuer I've ever identified was Curtiss_Wright, but there were 2 others. Seems like you never see either of these units hooked to the same scraper twice!

alan627b

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Here's a MRS-9 that was at the IHCC Chapter 7 plow day

102_1614.jpg

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I belong to the Historical Construction Equipment Association which has an MRS tractor in it's collection. I recently got it running and am continuing it's restoration. It is a Model 150 if I remember correctly with the UD-18A power unit installed. Build date was 1952. It was originally a military unit since it has a number of extra tags on the dash stating this. Also the ignition is completely sealed which I would think is a military spec., not to mention the bottom color is the olive drab. It is our feature unit for this years national show held in Bowling Green, Ohio. We are featuring equipment powered by IH and this was a natural for our show piece. I don't have any pictures of it at the moment but can try to get some. Interesting to hear about the company history!

Ya know a couple of pics wouldn't hurt anything. :)

The UD18A that went into Brutus is a military unit in new condition, complete with the sealed ignition. We have puzzled extensively as to what it may have come from. Came with a brand new twin disc clutch. Sound familiar?

Personally I want to replace the ignition with a distributor/coil, as those sealed ignition were usually anything but, and I would think to be very hard to get parts for. (There was a complete NOS TD18 distributor on eBay recently, but I lost it. <_< )

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Yeah, but they don't sell a replacement military style cap! I'd just like to swap it out with a regular IH distributor that uses the ordinary IH 6 cylinder cap and normal plug wires. :)

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I finally found one picture of one of the later MRS tractors with the 4 wheel crab style steering. The '80' was one of the smaller models-----------at this time they had several larger models------------all of the same basic design.

post-1200-1232427839_thumb.jpg

I know I've got some pictures of the early 2 wheel drive design-----------and believe I have seen some on the Wisconsin Historical Society site (if any of you are familiar with it).

Am thinking I scanned this information out of one of my old Implement & Tractor Red Book issues. Several years ago------------we had a discussion on the MRS over on either ACME or ACMOC (both CAT sites)--------------and I had dug out some old pictures as well as some of the other posters posted some. But they are now lost back up in the vast world of "computer land" under a file number I presume???

MRS initiated a weight transfer system that transferred weight from the scraper onto the drive wheels of the tractor (prime mover) that gave them a definite advantage in traction at one time back during the WWII era. The early 2 wheel drive units performed real well as prime movers for scrapers----but were sorta helpless as drawbar ag tractors due to lack of traction without the weight of the scraper.

Harold-----

Milinda knew Hoot and Ann when Jimmy and Maud lived out at Flora when her dad and Jimmy both worked for Mississippi Road Supply (sometime in the late '40's). My dad also knew most all of the Mississippi Road Supply people-----------they were good folks (I got to know several of them later myself).

Sonny Spraggins out at Refuge Plantation had one of the early style two wheel drive tractors back in the 60's---------------I am pretty sure it was IHC powered (and most probably utilizing the TD-18 engine----but I am not sure). I do remember that it just did not have the weight on the drive wheels to utilize its power for ag work--------------didn't bother Sonny though. He had bought it cheap (used)--------and thought it was a freight train!!!!! :blink:

Who knows-------------Slim might have been the one who told him so---------(if it had been sitting on his lot for too long)??? :rolleyes::unsure::lol:

I also know where one of the later design 4 wheel drive units is located---------if I can just remember to go by and snap a picture.

Delta Dirt

Avon, Ms 38723

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Anson,

Three or four summers in the late 40's or early 50's I would go spend about a week at Hoot's. They lived in the old officer housing area there at KAAP, now Kerney Park, where the MRS factory was. We would roam all over the base plus often go to the MRS factory and wander around inside and out. At the time Uncle Jimmy had his own construction company building highways. He had two or three MRS-14 scrapers and two or three Cat DW-10 scrapers, and we (Hoot and I) would often ride on both. He was in the Army engineers in WW-2, then worked for MRS for a short time after the war, then had his own construction company, then had his own used construction equipment sales company for a number of years.

I vagely remember seeing an old MRS (probably either a 14 or a 18), at Refuge but I was not working that territory at the time. Allen was best man in my wedding 44 years ago this weekend.

Harold H

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