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We got rained out with a day left of harvest so I made a run down the nearest antique tractor threshing bee.  Haven't been there in years.  The have had this JD R/WD-9 tandem for a long time and I even posted a few pics of it long time ago.  But today they needed someone to drive it so one of the members who knows me asked if I would do it so I did.  Now both tractors were running but only the R was in gear.  The guy who created this contraption used a cable master/slave cylinder to run the clutch on the WD-9 and the club member told me it can be finicky at times.  So when they run it on the show grounds where there is lots of things to run into they leave the 9 out of gear so whoever is driving it can stop in a hurry.  This is the first time I run a tandem tractor like this.  Maybe anybody who has run a 2+2 can sympathize but this thing if you aren't paying attention you can get into trouble with it fast.  I was hesitant to drive it out of the lineup because I didn't know how it was going to handle.  And before anybody says anything, the reason I was steering back and forth so much was to show how good and tight it steers.  It was not sloppy or wore out.  

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Any idea how the different gear ratios match up. I would only imagine that there are certain gears that are unusable on either tractor because the ground speed in the same gear on the other tractor wouldn't either be too fast or too slow. 

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11 minutes ago, TractormanMike.mb said:

Any idea how the different gear ratios match up. I would only imagine that there are certain gears that are unusable on either tractor because the ground speed in the same gear on the other tractor wouldn't either be too fast or too slow. 

If you go look at the Nebraska tests and compare the gears, they are actually pretty close to each other.  To the point I think all you had to do was adjust the throttle a little on one or the other.  Both tractors were 5 speeds and only the last gear in each one had a huge gap.  

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  That is pretty neat. Not crazy about the newer setups just for shows. This looks like a working outfit from the day. Real farmer ingenuity. Saw a similar outfit in the 80s not being used anymore. R JD and and some type of Oliver. Had double hitch plows . Several cables and some type of old starter generator motors. Wish I had pictures.

 

 

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1 hour ago, acem said:

How are they connected?

How does the steering work?

It steers like any real 4 wheel drive tractor with a hydraulic cylinder pinned between both tractors.  If you look in the picture, you can see a pump mounted on the flywheel on the R that runs the steering.  I never thought to look that part over real good because Rs never had any type of power steering from the factory.  So the farmer must have used some Charlynn type power steer motor mounted up under the hood because it steers like a normal tractor meaning you make full complete revolutions of the steering wheel.   That is unlike my neighbor's late 50s 4 wheel drive Wagner that used just a hydraulic valve for steering.  It had a steering wheel but all you did was bump it left or right like a hydraulic lever and it moved the cylinder rod just like if you were raising/lowering a plow.  

Far as the connection is, the articulation joint is somewhat similar to what JD uses.  There is a ~8" pipe slid under the 9 that goes back to the front of the R.  To get the oscillation, the pipe slides into another pipe that is about a foot long which is welded to a bracket that has the bearing.  This bracket of course is bolted in place of the front axle on the R.  There is also a non running tandem set of Case 500s that use the same type of method of connecting the tractors.  

 

 

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1 hour ago, Dirt_Floor_Poor said:

How did that corn turn out that you posted about? Have you picked that yet?

It’s still probably half green yet but turning fast.  There won’t be much there because the grasshoppers got into it and messed up the pollination. Some cobs are fine, others I’m finding very few kernels in them.  I’ll have to watch that next year 

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my stepdad had 2 w9s hooked together with just a tow hitch if i remember correctly and he rode on the front one and had levers going back to the rear one. He said he had less weight on the rear one and poorer tires also as he wanted it to slip first. When he got a 560 D wheatland he parked them and never used them again but said they pulled 2 15ft one way plows really good.

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5 hours ago, hagan said:

my stepdad had 2 w9s hooked together with just a tow hitch if i remember correctly and he rode on the front one and had levers going back to the rear one. He said he had less weight on the rear one and poorer tires also as he wanted it to slip first. When he got a 560 D wheatland he parked them and never used them again but said they pulled 2 15ft one way plows really good.

My uncle had two WD-9s hooked together.  He pulled a 24ft chisel duck foot plow with the tandem and replaced it a IH 1256 and pulled the same plow. I think the way he did it was similar to your step dad's setup.  From researching it looks like you could get real fancy hooking two tractors together and make them operate as one or chain them together and herd them across the field.  Some of the simple conversations like my uncle's or your step dads, they leave the front axle on the front tractor and just use that for steering instead of making up a hydraulic pivot point. 

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I never saw many tandem tractors in rice country. Lots of old home made 4wd tractors though. Some tracked tractors but they have a short lifespan in mud.

Here's some pics from an article about the Tagert family that built some in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Notice the crawler pulling a wheel tractor pulling a combine. What a mess!

https://www.thedailyscoop.com/news/retail-industry/arkansas-farmer-stands-heart-agricultures-4wd-tractor-history

IMG_8781.jpg

BILL KENSEY.jpg

IMG_8791.jpg

CHARLES TAGGART JOHN THOMPSON GLEN TAGGART.jpg

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A lot of farmer engineering was done until the manufactures figured out their needs  

One of my classmates in grade school dad built a four wheel drive out of a couple old GMC semi tractors pretty neat 

Here is a side by side that was at Stews Museum 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

2043FA84-8ECF-406D-967F-52EAD9B5FC6C.jpeg
 

Bump.  Neighbor gave me this yesterday.  It is a custom built 1/16 scale tandem D setup made by a professional toy builder.  Back in the day his father with the help of a few neighborhood kids built a tandem D.  My neighbor went out and had this guy build three toys replicating the real tandem D.  One went to his brother, one he kept for himself, and the third which is this one went to his father.  His father passed away about 15 years ago.  So he gave it to me.  This is the same neighbor who we got the 715 combine from and whose father traded off two 820s for one of the first 5010s in the area.

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Dad put Char-Lynn power assist steering on the R we had since it was "MY TRACTOR", I turned 10 yrs old just about the time fieldwork started spring of '64. The pump mounted low on the right hand side under the hood but above the frame. I THINK a longer fan belt was used to drive the pump, same belt ran the fan & generator. The Power Assist had a long small diameter hyd cylinder that bolted to the engine block if I remember right, had a valve on the cylinder that once you started turning it directed pressurized oil to the correct end of the cylinder. The rod end of the cylinder clamped to the draglink from the steering gear to the right front wheel spindle.  

    With the steering wheel that seemed FOUR FEET IN DIAMETER, I had to stand up to crank on the steering wheel, using a brake to help turn was not possible, each brake pedal was a short walk from my position in the seat, 2 maybe 3 steps.

   I really didn't care for sitting so far back on the tractor either, if I sat back against the seat back my feet were 6 inches off the platform, and if I looked over my shoulder I was over hitch of the disk or plow. I found it easier to stand to operate the clutch or throttle.  I imagine if you were 6-1/2 feet tall you "Fit" the tractor, I was between 4 and 5 ft tall at 10 yrs old.

     Dad had a clutch pedal extender on the SM-TA when I did fieldwork the spring of '63. We had 16 acres left to plow when the R left the farm. Dad hooked the M-TA to the 4-14 Deere plow, the M-TA pulled it better than the R.

  That stock R muffler was completely incapable of making the quiet enough to operate. First time I ran it 4-5 hours pulling a 14 ft Krause disk my ears rang for 5-6 hours. It was like somebody put a metal 5 gal bucket over your head and beat the daylights out of it with a baseball bat.  Neighbor had a 730 diesel, it was quieter than the R, and I could hear him start that 730 a quarter mile down-wind like it was setting in our barnyard.  Yep, that R is solely responsible for my dislike of 2 cylinder Diesels, which kinda spills over to ALL 2 cylinder tractors. Now a 2 cyl ONAN like in my 982 Cub Cadet is fine, it has two mufflers each bigger than the muffler on an R.

 

 

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