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Most powerful tractor of the 1940s


dale560
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The thread with the cub lowboy had a mention of R John Deere vs  super wd9. There were other makes of tractors back then. The R and Wd9 were extremely popular here but so were other tractors. It looks like case , Minnie mo ,  Massey and Oliver all had more powerful tractors back then. Which ones were your favorites. I like all models of tractors so any one would be a good pick for me. Let’s limit this to 1940 to mid 50s right before hp took off and wheel tractors. I have run or been around most types of these old ones so post pictures and opinions.

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There is a lot that could be said on this topic.  I think you need to break it down by fuel type too. For JD, I like the 2 cylinder diesel and the D.  Now the D is looked at probably the weakest of all the standard tractors of the 40s.  However, the D was an all fuel burner and if you compare it to other tractors with the same fuel like the distillate burning W9 my great grandpa had the D isn't far off.  The distillate W9 was 42 drawbar hp and the D was 38.  Factor in the 501 cubic inch engine and the amount of iron flying around on the D, I bet both tractors were even.  One of my dreams is to get a D converted to gas or at least a kit for one.  Supposedly the gas gave the D ten more horsepower which would put it above an R and early W9 series.  

And I agree what most people don't realize is the R and W9 series were actually on the lower end of the horsepower range compared to the competition.  The MH 55 both gas and diesel was 54 drawbar horsepower and the Oliver 99 was also 54 hp but it was a gasser too.  The Case LA was the same horsepower.  These tractors were all available in 1950.  The W9 started out as 42 horsepower just barely above the JD D and after the R came out which had slight more horsepower, IH in typical fashion bumped the WD-9 hp up to just slightly above the R.  

If you want to award someone the king of the hill crown from 1940 to 1955 like you said, I think it would have to be Oliver.  The Oliver 99 which used a high compression gasoline engine was rated at 54 drawbar horsepower and was available starting in 1937 and was made all the way into the mid 50s.  Oliver at the time advertised the 99 as the most powerful tractor on wheels.  Nobody topped the 99 during the 40s and into the early 50s but some tractors did equal the 99.   Then you get in the mid 50s, the Oliver Super 99 hit the market with the Jimmy 3-71 which was rated at 77 drawbar horsepower and nobody would top that until the 60s.  

 

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Far as what was popular around here, JD Ds and the 2 cylinder diesels of course.  The IH W9 series were popular too but for some reason they dropped off pretty fast when you get to the Supers.  Some guys will not like hearing this but unless I'm proven wrong with year by year production numbers, I think the JD diesel 2 cylinders put a hurting on IH.  Its just that the 2 cylinders are everywhere around here and you can't hardly find an IH made after the WD-9.  Maybe they left the country before my time.  Another popular tractor around here was the Case LA and the 500 and its successors.  Good solid tractors.  There  were some MH 55s and a few Olivers too but JD, IH, Case held the market around here.  

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9 minutes ago, Big Bud guy said:

Far as what was popular around here, JD Ds and the 2 cylinder diesels of course.  The IH W9 series were popular too but for some reason they dropped off pretty fast when you get to the Supers.  Some guys will not like hearing this but unless I'm proven wrong with year by year production numbers, I think the JD diesel 2 cylinders put a hurting on IH.  Its just that the 2 cylinders are everywhere around here and you can't hardly find an IH made after the WD-9.  Maybe they left the country before my time.  Another popular tractor around here was the Case LA and the 500 and its successors.  Good solid tractors.  There  were some MH 55s and a few Olivers too but JD, IH, Case held the market around here.  

Dads dad had a ford son he started with. It broke his arm then he went to 22/36 McCormick, then to Jd 2 cyl A,D and H. Dad then went to a 900 case and my other grandpas 806. Dad sold his dads d then bought a 48 one back just to have it. They had the water burning valve on it so it would pull with a w9. I am lucky enough to to have run the others A B H jd, 9n ford, a little bit of case, the w series ihc all the letter series and most of the numbered series of farmalls and I  like each tractor. Even Minnie and Massey’s.

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3 hours ago, Art From Coleman said:

"G", and "GB" Minneapolis.  And the "U" Standard, although it was only about 45 HP.

Minneapolis-Moline standard tread tractors that were all over the wheat country of the High Plains. Even outnumbering the JD "D".

 

MM might have been popular down there but they weren't up here so that is kind of a broad statement to make.  You have production numbers on the G series?  Reason I ask is JD made almost 47,000 Styled Ds alone.  I'd be surprised if the G series sold half that many in that time frame.  MM tractors never sold in high volume compared to IH and JD.  

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When it came down to which one put down the most power during that time frame I'm pretty sure it was the LA/500 Cases and the Oliver 99. I understand they weren't cheap.

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46 minutes ago, Big Bud guy said:

MM might have been popular down there but they weren't up here so that is kind of a broad statement to make.  You have production numbers on the G series?  Reason I ask is JD made almost 47,000 Styled Ds alone.  I'd be surprised if the G series sold half that many in that time frame.  MM tractors never sold in high volume compared to IH and JD.  

Here in North Dakota a fair amount of minnies sold in local small town dealers. You would be surprised the amount of people that had a mm pull type combine.

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When I was a kid in the sixties nearly every farm around here were still farming with M's and H's.  Back then there was an IH dealership within 15 to 20 miles in any direction you wanted to travel.  Now the closest CIH full service dealership is 40 miles away, the next closest is 80 miles away.  We do have the Rocky Mountain Equipment late model used equipment only clearing house only 6 miles away but they only sell the big stuff that is sent out of Canada.  No parts or service.

There is a Deere dealership only 19 miles away, Deere has pretty much taken over in this area however there aren't many real farmers left.  Kansas City is too close and getting closer, it's tentacles keep spreading out this way.

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I am amazed at the locals who are into the Wheatland machines...............Heck one guy hauled back a WD9 and a 600 this summer, proud as punch. Another guy bought acouple R's. To me, you climb on or I should say, "Down in" one of those, they seem like your riding on the back of a club. 

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49 minutes ago, TP from Central PA said:

I am amazed at the locals who are into the Wheatland machines...............Heck one guy hauled back a WD9 and a 600 this summer, proud as punch. Another guy bought acouple R's. To me, you climb on or I should say, "Down in" one of those, they seem like your riding on the back of a club. 

Lots of those tractors you rode on back and had a standing operating position. You could swing the seat over and stand up. When guys ran those standards plowing they would follow furrow with wheel in it. Guys would hop of and back on the tractor. Sometimes get run over in the process

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27 minutes ago, dale560 said:

Lots of those tractors you rode on back and had a standing operating position. You could swing the seat over and stand up. When guys ran those standards plowing they would follow furrow with wheel in it. Guys would hop of and back on the tractor. Sometimes get run over in the process

Yeah, have heard stories of the one D that was around here would follow the furrow..................for me in the land of everything had a narrow front on it, they are sure different, those guys probably said that about our junk.

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29 minutes ago, TP from Central PA said:

 those guys probably said that about our junk.

I wouldn't assume that.  You would be surprised on the number of rowcrop tractors out here in Wheatland country.  I only speak for my area but I would wager 2/3s of the farms around here had some sort of a row crop tractor in 40s and later.  We had M.  Neighbor had a Farmall H.  Another neighbor had a JD A and a Farmall A.  Another neighbor had a Case DC.  I have two other neighbors that had JD As and another one that had a Farmall A again.  My GM and unstyled BN are local tractors.  I could go on and on.  

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Lots of  A ihc tractors here M and Hs to. A,B ,G H and M jds. The rest of makes were usually standards. Seems like in the 40s every farm had the big plowing tractor and then a row crop for farmhand haying and the corn silage that was raised. Almost every farm had a corn cultivator on some type of small tractor.

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Lots of JD Ds, but they were made since 1923. There were sure a lot of tractors available and farms were every 640 acres. My grandpa in the 40s Ran a W6 and a 10-20. Think before the W6 they had a allis U ? I had a bachelor uncle who farmed 2 quarters of farmland with a D case clear up till 1982, I can’t imagine. I guess I said it before but by the time the 70s and 80s rolled around it seemed like you only saw Ms and Hs with some W9s scattered in and a  few guys running the 2 cylinders, I always felt the IH s were just handier than other brands they definitely didn’t have the market on  HP. Some of those MM, JDs andCases were powerful.

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Dad said when he grew up D's were all over, there were a couple R's, but a guy from a little bit away had a W-9 that he used on a stack mover.  He thought that W9 was the biggest most powerful tractor he'd ever seen.  He said the neighbor he worked for bought a new 3020 I believe, worked good until the guy bought a new 4520.  

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...the venerable E27N possibly qualifies in this topic,....Dad brought one with a Perkins P6TA..no, not torque amplifier.....''Tractor Assembly ""...i do not recall the cubic inch capacity of the Perkins.....however, should by chance one "Pukeko "read this...he will remember.......maybe around 280 cubes..

Couple of pics...discing and or one way discing tobacco ground....

Mike

post-157-1171441891       perkins 2.jpg

post-157-1171441960     perkins.jpg

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