Follow up to my other "novel". On the Farmalls with narrow(tricycle)
front end, they could be miserable working in muddy condirtions. The
narrow front wheels were tilted in @ the bottom(think extreme camber
for anyone familiar with auto alignment) and would collect the mud and
pack it into the back side of the steering stem. This could be changed
some, as the rims were bolted onto a 3 spoke casat wheel. You could
unbolt them, turn them around and bolt them back on, gaining about 3
or 4 in. more clearance between them.
Don't believe that was unique to Farmall; I can't see how it wouldn't
be/have been a problem w/ any tricycle gear.
I'm just a flatland wheat/row crop (dryland milo) farmer but for the
life of me I still can't fathom why anybody would want them or what
useful purpose it served to have them as opposed to a row crop
adjustable wide front end.
I certainly understand the need for spacing for row crops as opposed to
a wheatlands fixed width tractors but I can't see any advantages to the
tricycle. Surely there must be some specialty operations in truck
farming or other stuff that I've never been involved in...
During the time spent in VA and TN where it was pretty hilly I saw more
than one tipped over that a wide stance would've handled as one other
Oh, yeah! I've seen more than one turn turtle, even with wide front
end. The operator still has to be smarter than the machine!
The A could be very vicious in that respect, with the engine on the
left. Had to "think" before doing sidehill work.
As I said in my first post, the narrow front end was easier to
maneuver in tight quarters, but was a PITA for some work. Uncle firmly
believed in narrow FE after getting first C, and couldn't shake him,
even after he got a 2nd C that came with both. Tried to talk him into
installing the WFE, but he wouldn't hear of it until after cousin took
over the farm and got (I believe) a Farmall 460 with WFE, and after
Uncle worked with it helping out, couldn't get him away from the WFE.
I actually did think of one reason for them -- probably were somewhat
less expensive which may have been a bigger difference back then...
What are them "tight quarters" of which thee speak??? :)
If there isn't at least a full 80, we feel constrained out here... :)
Our progression went from original Twin City 10-20 (steel wheel monster)
to a period w/ several Cat 22's. Used them for row crop in particular
w/ 3-row pull-type JD lister and cultivator. Terrible in the sandy soil
and cross wind to have to sit there and take the dirt the tracks carried
but great for following the rows. First Farmall's were the M's, then
400 and a 560. About the time of the 400 granddad bought a little Allis
WD-45 since he wanted to keep doing field work but was where the larger
were getting hard for him to handle. Full line of the "Snap-Coupler"
tool bar equipment with it. Had so much invested in the equipment
eventually bought a D17 that I put in thousands of hours on doing row
crop work w/ 4-row lister/knife sled/cultivator to lay by with.
About same time got the Case 930 flatland -- our first large (90(?) hp)
tractor--brother did most of the flat land work 'cuz he didn't like
having to keep straight rows so much while I was bored w/o the
concentration require but only go 'round 'n 'round the square... :)
The 560 didn't hold up well and was the last IH--it got replaced by the
first JD--a 4010 row crop and our first diesel. Out here virtually
everybody used LP thru the 50s/60s and into the 70s. Then the
progression to larger equipment really began -- the 4010 morphed into
4230, 4440, 4640 ending up w/ the 8000 series now.
Meanwhile, equipment went from 14-ft single one-way to 3 ganged
15-ft'ers to 30-ft chisels and sweeps. Planters went from 4 to 6 to
8-row listers to 12 and 16-row planters w/ air seeders and GPS guidance.
Now may only cultivate once before planting if at all; almost
everything is low- or minimum-till practice instead to aid in moisture
conservation and to minimize wind erosion.
Can't leave out the harvesting changes, either--from old
header/binder/stationary thresher to 10- or 12-ft pull-type Gleaner to
the "huge" 14-ft Case (also puller) which required three/four operators
plus the tractor man then the first self-propelled--a Massey-Harris
altho don't recall model--the 90 was second if remember correctly. Now
they're also up to a "modest" 32-ft header since some of our ground does
have a little swell in it, it's hard to use the really large machines
they do some places since the dryland wheat may not get very tall every
(most?) year. Like the planters, they now include all sorts of
gizmos--yield monitoring and moisture measurement tied into GPS for
automagically feeding back into seeding rate and fertilization
blending/amounts for subsequent years reflecting local soil conditions
within a particular field. GPS w/ autosteer on spray rigs (90-ft booms)
maintain about 2" accuracy and regulate output based on ground speed and
location on a several-nozzle individually regulated control system
Much more different... :)
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