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Reunited with Grandfather’s Tractor

Reunited with Grandfather’s Tractor

Hi! I thought I would tell you about my tractor. It’s a 1952 Cockshutt 20 serial #304. The tractor was purchased used by my Grandfather in the 1960’s. He used it to collect firewood on his hobby farm. When the tractor was replaced in 1985 for an ATV, the tractor was used to plow snow in the yard. That’s how it remained. I was a young boy in the 1990’s and can recall sitting on my Grandfathers lap driving the tractor up and down the driveway. In the late 90’s with health complications, my Grandfather gave the tractor to my uncle who later restored the tractor, and then sold it outside the family. It was gone, forgotten, and thought never to be seen again!

In January 2015 I set out to find the tractor. Determined, I set ads on the internet with no solid leads until February 2016. I received an email from a Cockshutt collector near Cornwall Ontario. The gentleman was able to tell me where he had previously purchased the tractor, and was able to supply it’s history right back to my Grandfather. He agreed to sell it to me! In May 2016 my father and I set out on the 9 hour trip on the way to bring the tractor back home. It now sits in my garage completely restored again! With help from Steiner parts of course!

I plan to use the tractor for shows, parades, and pushing snow with the rear blade in the Winter time! Thanks for giving me the opportunity to tell my story on my Cockshutt!

Ross Dokis
Hammer, Ontario
Canada

Getting Ready for the County Fair

Getting Ready for the County Fair

Garth Kyler

Cockshutt 570 diesel. Grandad bought it sometime ago. When I was 12 I remember discing with it, and it started blowing’ oil. Dad and I pulled the engine out, put the tractor in the fencerow and left her sit. The machine shop said it would cost too much to fix her. Bout 3 years ago, I walked by her, pulled it out with the backhoe, got on the computer, ordered an engine, and now I am in the middle of a full blown resto. I cannot wait to dump that clutch at the county fair.

Garth Kyler
Iarwill, Indiana

On the Road with Rachel: Michigan’s Largest Tractor Show

On the Road with Rachel: Michigan’s Largest Tractor Show

Over the weekend I visited the Mid-Michigan Old Gas Tractor Association’s show in Oakley, Michigan. This show is the largest tractor show in Michigan.

All colors of tractors are welcome. Hundreds of tractors were on display. Here are a few highlights:

Everyone can appreciate a nice row of John Deere tractors–Dubuque built tractors as well as new generation tractors.

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I think I saw more pulling tractors at this show than any other tractor show I’ve been to! I wish I could have seen more of them pull but due to my schedule I could only see a handful actually pull.

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I can’t think of a single tractor brand that I didn’t see. Here are a few pictures of the less common brands:
Silver King

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Eagle and Huber (commonly recognized Case and JD tractors between)

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Shepard

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John Blue

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Chamberlain (a first for me)

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A few people were droolling over this perfectly restored Farmall 400:

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I had to chuckle at the exhaust on this tractor

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and the ingenuity of the cab on this tractor.

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It’s always fun to see harvesters like this mounted New Idea corn picker

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and this combine in great original condition.

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Shows are a great opportunity to also see the really old tractors operating, like this Rumley:

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Below are a few more tractor pictures to enjoy:

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If you’re looking for a new show to attend, be sure to add this show to your list next August!

6 Volt to 12 Volt Conversion FAQs

6 Volt to 12 Volt Conversion FAQs

6-12-volt-FAQsFrom the Steiner Tech Support line: 6 Volt to 12 Volt Conversion FAQs

Here are some of the most frequent questions we get about 12 volt conversions here at Steiner Tractor Parts. If you’re thinking about making the switch, here are some good tips:

  1. Why convert from a 6 volt to a 12 volt system? There are a few advantages to a 12 volt system – tractors that operate on 12 volts start faster and have brighter headlights. A 12 volt battery lasts longer than a 6 volt, and you can jump-start a 12 volt tractor with an ordinary vehicle. Switching to an alternator eliminates the need for a generator and voltage regulator, giving you a more reliable charging system.
  2. Is it a difficult project? Making the conversion isn’t incredibly difficult, but it’s not a project for a beginner, either. I would rate it as a moderate difficulty. In addition to basic mechanical skills, you also need to know the basics of electrical wiring. If you have the tools and knowledge to change a light fixture in your home (including stripping wires and using stake-ons properly), you’re ready.
  3. What parts do I need? A standard conversion will require an alternator, alternator bracket, battery, coil, wiring harness, and amp gauge. Replace the existing generator and voltage regulator with the alternator, and swap out the old battery, coil, wiring harness, and amp gauge with the new.
  4. When doing a 12 volt conversion, do I need a 12 volt starter? In my opinion, no. While some starter shops will sell you a “specially wound 12 volt starter” in my opinion there’s no reason or a big enough difference to warrant this expense. Your original (or replacement) 6 volt starter will function well on a 12 volt system.
  5. Do I have to change the wiring? Yes. Your old wiring will be set up for a field, an armature, voltage regulator, etc. Using these existing wires could be a fire hazard. Replace your wiring harness with a new one specific to your tractor to have a cleaner look and safer operation.
  6. Do I need to change the coil? Yes. The 12 volt coil upgrade is very important. I’ve seen some people try to place a resistor in front of their 6 volt coil–not a good idea. The resistor won’t suffice.
  7. When I do the 12 volt conversion, do I keep the voltage regulator? No. The voltage regulator needs to be removed when putting an alternator on.
  8. Can I just install an 8 volt battery on my 6 volt system? Yes you can. No changes are required. Many people choose this option.

Do you have videos available? Yes I do! If you are converting a Farmall tractor, you’re in luck! Here’s a link to a video I made on a Farmall tractor. Even though the demonstration model is a Farmall, though, the basic techniques are similar across all makes and models. If you’re looking for help on a different tractor, give a shout in the comments! I’m always happy to hear video ideas.

Tractor Quiz Answers

Tractor Quiz Answers

Earlier this week I challenged you to a quiz: can you recognize these tractors (make and model) without their color or decal?

Here are the answers. Kudos to Ryan Foster for being the first person to get nearly all of them correct!
Tractor #1: Ford 5000.Tractor1

Tractor #2: Cockshutt 20.Tractor2

Tractor #3: Ford 871 (give yourself a pat on the back if you got the select-o-speed or the gold color correct too!)

Tractor3

Tractor #4: Massey Harris 44 (with bonus points if you were able to tell / guess that it’s a special!)

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Tractor #5: Moline 4 Star.

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Tractor #6: John Deere 730 DieselTractor6

Tractor #7: Farmall MV.

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Tractor #8: Case VAC. Tractor8

Tractor #9: Oliver Super 99 GM.Tractor9

Tractor # 10: Massey Ferguson 180

Tractor10

Tractor Quiz

Tractor Quiz

Can you recognize these tractors (make and model) without their color or decal?

 

Give your answers in the comments below – and come back on Thursday for the results!
Tractor #1:

tractor 1

 

Tractor #2:

tractor 2

 

Tractor #3:

tractor 3

 

Tractor #4:

tractor 4

 

Tractor #5:

tractor 5

 

Tractor #6:

tractor 6

 

Tractor #7:

Tractor 7

 

Tractor #8:

Tractor 8

 

Tractor #9:

Tractor 9

 

Tractor #10:

Tractor 10

Do You Really Need a Manual?

Do You Really Need a Manual?

It’s a common question: “Do I really need to own a manual for my tractor?” After all, manuals aren’t free (most cost around $20), and with all the information available online these days it seems a little old-school to buy one. Besides, who wants to read the directions! It seems like a lot more fun to dive in and figure things out along the way.

You’ve probably heard these arguments against manuals before – you might even say these things yourself! If so, I hope to convince you otherwise. You really do need a manual (or three) to go along with your tractor.

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First, let me explain the three different types of manuals – then I’ll (hopefully!) convince you to buy one.

A shop manual (also known as a service manual) is made for mechanics. Each dealer’s service department would have a copy of the shop manual, which gave the mechanics the details they need to make repairs. If you are doing a major repair or restoration project, get one of these! It’s where you’ll find all the specifications you need to prevent a costly mistake and keep your tractor running perfectly. If you can only buy one manual, get this one.

An owner’s manual (also known as an operator’s manual) was given to each original buyer with their tractor. This is the basic manual, not unlike the manual you probably keep in the glovebox of your car. It’s where you’ll find information about how to make basic adjustments and regular maintenance on your tractor.

A parts manual is really fun to look at! It shows how all the parts in your tractor fit together, and gives the original part numbers for every piece in your tractor. Not only will using a parts manual make you a pro at ordering replacement parts for your tractor, it’s a real help if you disassemble something and can’t quite remember how to put it back together.

So, do you really need to buy one? Well, here are three reasons why:

  1. It’s hard to get this information somewhere else. I’m a huge fan of the internet, but not everything you read online is accurate and trustworthy – and some information just isn’t out there.
  2. It’s faster to own a manual. Consider the amount of time it can take to search for and find the answers you need (either online or by calling the Steiner tech department). Save yourself the time and frustration by putting the answers right at your fingertips.
  3. Mistakes can be costly. An incorrect guess on specs can be devastating to your tractor. Common mistake: over- or under-torquing a rod and having it pop through the side of your block.

My dad is an expert mechanic, and he has a whole wall of manuals. If our barn catches fire, that wall is what we’re running in to save (metaphorically speaking! Don’t run into a burning building, especially not one filled with gas and oil!) It’s the most important part of our shop.

If you are doing a repair on your tractor, lots of help is available for free on the internet (like my video tutorials). You can get even more help from the in-depth repair videos that my Dad makes. But nothing can replace the good old-fashioned manual

6 Reasons to Pick a Favorite Tractor

6 Reasons to Pick a Favorite Tractor

Multi-Brand Do you have a favorite antique tractor brand? If not, you should! Here are six reasons why brand loyalty matters:

  1. Repairs are easier. Once you’ve worked on one model of your preferred brand, you’ll probably have an easier time working on other models from the same maker. Every company has their own way of doing things, and learning this system makes things a lot easier.
  2. Learn from a local dealer. Even though many of our favorite brands are no longer producing new tractors, their old dealerships might still be around. If the major dealer in your hometown sold your preferred brand of tractors, you’re in luck! Make friends with the dealership owner or service manager for helpful tips and even (if you are extra lucky!) a source for rare literature. Soak up this knowledge while you can!
  3. Scope out the salvage yards. If your favorite brand is popular in your area, you might be able to find old gems in fence-rows and salvage yards near your home. My dad has saved more than one rare tractor from the scrapyard this way. If you become known as the go-to collector of a certain brand in your area, you might start getting tips from salvage yards around town too!
  4. Travel to fewer shows. This one might sound like a negative, but hear me out – I really like single-brand tractor shows. It seems like every major brand has one or two huge, national shows that draw the crowds. This is where the top-tier collectors bring out their very best. Compared to smaller, regional, all-color shows – well, the single-brand shows usually take the cake! If you want to see something really unique, picking a favorite and traveling to the biggest single-brand show is probably your best strategy.
  5. In-depth knowledge about your preferred company. Let’s face it: our brains can only hold so much! Instead of knowing a few things about many brands, some people prefer to learn EVERYTHING they can about just one brand. These are the folks I call when I have a serious question about a certain tractor.
  6. Everyone knows what to buy you as a gift. When your favorite colors are known to your family and friends, your birthday gets a whole lot easier!

How about you – are you brand loyal? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

How the Nebraska Tractor Tests Got Started

How the Nebraska Tractor Tests Got Started

nebraska test tractor founderWilmot Croitzer bought a lemon. He’d been duped by a fast-talking salesman, and now found himself the owner of a broken-down Ford tractor. Croitzer thought he was purchasing a reliable tractor produced by Henry Ford and the Ford Motor Company. Instead, he’d purchased a tractor made by the fraudulent “Ford Tractor Co.” of Minneapolis, who hired a young man with the last name of Ford to sign off on their tractor designs.

When Croitzer’s tractor broke, he unraveled the truth. Not only did the tractor fail to live up to the manufacturer’s performance claims, he was unable to obtain parts or service anywhere. The company seemed to have vanished into thin air, taking Croitzer’s money with him.

Lucky for us, the Ford Tractor Co. ticked off the wrong farmer. Croitzer was no country bumpkin – in addition to farming, he was also a legislator in the Nebraska House of Representatives. After purchasing two “excuses for tractors,” he got to work on drafting a law that would “induce all tractor companies to tell the truth,” and the Nebraska Tractor Tests were born.

ford tractor nebraska test

A colleague in the Nebraska State Senate, Charles Warner, had a similar story. Together, these two men championed legislation that would require all tractors sold in the state of Nebraska to undergo testing and receive approval from a panel of three engineers at the University of Nebraska. Tractor companies who wished to operate in the state would also be required to have a service station and an adequate supply of replacement parts located somewhere in the state as well. The law passed in 1919.

By 1920, the University of Nebraska was ready to begin tests. The first tractor tested was John Deere’s Waterloo Boy tractor, quickly followed by 68 more tractors tested that year.

waterloo nebraska test tractor steiner

The Nebraska Tests quickly developed an excellent reputation. They caught on around the world. Today, the University of Nebraska is at the forefront of the global Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, which coordinates tractor testing in 29 countries.

 

Three Ways to Save Money on a Used Tractor

Three Ways to Save Money on a Used Tractor

Rachel-Ford
If you’re in the market for a used tractor, check out these tips to get a good deal.

      1. Buy from a seller who doesn’t like your favorite brand. I’m partial to Ford tractors, and I often buy them at great prices from a seller who loves John Deere (and nothing else). When he takes in a Ford on trade, he doesn’t pay much money for it and is eager to see it gone. This is great news for me! He gives me a great deal every time, and I don’t bother trying to convince him that Ford tractors have their strong points.
      2. Get a package deal. If you can’t come to an agreement on the price, try asking about an add-on. Sellers might be able to throw in something else (like a blade or plow) that would make the package a good deal. At a dealer, you might be able to negotiate package deal for a used tractor plus needed tune-up or overhaul work. If you are using this as a negotiating tactic, be sure that whatever you accept is something that actually adds value to the machine. Don’t fall for gimmicks.
      3. Buy in the off-season. The worst time to buy a tractor is when you are desperate for one. Instead of waiting for your old tractor to give out in the middle of spring planting, do your shopping now. Dealers are slow this time of year and might be ready to give you a good deal. You can take your time to shop around, too. Just be sure that the cold doesn’t keep you from conducting a thorough inspection.

How about you – what are your best tips for getting a good price on a used tractor? Share in the comments below.