«Previous    Next»
Unitized 525 hp tractor
Hours and hours of labor and 10 years of planning and saving materials have produced a "unitized" 525 hp tractor for Floyd Knewtson and his son, Kevin, of Madelia, Minn.
"Building this tractor was much harder work than farming for us," says Floyd. "In the winter of 1982-83 we worked on it steady for six months starting early in the morning and working as many hours as we could take, usually quitting shortly before midnight." Previously the father-son combination had worked on the project for two months each during the winters of 1980 and 1981. Last fall the tractor was used to plow the fields and also for working the ground for planting this spring. "We still have the power take-off to complete and the paint job isn't finished," notes Floyd. Eighteen gallons of paint have already been applied with an additional two gallons expected to be needed!
The Knewtsons are extremely pleased with the tractor's easy handling. With the plow attached, the two pieces of equipment measure 60 feet in length. "It is unbelievable how well the tractor maneuvers, so the extra length didn't hinder us a bit," Floyd points out. "Another nice thing is that the back wheels follow the front wheels and don't fall in when turning a corner so, if the front wheels will fit through a space, there isn't a problem in getting hung up."
The "unitized" tractor consists of 10 units. Each unit was built on the floor of a shed and then bolted into place after it was finished.
The 10 units of the tractor are the cab, cab floor, two fenders, engine, cooling system, transmission (two units), three-point hitch and draw bar and the frame. One big advantage of a unitized tractor is obvious when it comes to doing repair work, says Floyd.
"Instead of tearing the tractor down to get at something, you just lift the whole unit out and the repair time is down to one-fourth of what it takes on other tractors."
The control panel, which is situated directly in front of the seat in the cab, has been scaled down in size, enabling the operator to have both front tractor wheels in sight at all times. This enables the operator to see the furrow tire and the land tire at the same time from the tractor seat, a rather unique feature.
"Most tractors struggle with loads. To offset this, we doubled the horse power per pound of weight so with the power take-off at full power and the wheels carrying a full load it still doesn't exceed 80% of the horse-power," explains Floyd. "We also wanted to stay in the range which is economical for us. When plowing, the tractor burns 12 gal. of fuel an hour."
The tractor has a full-time coordinated steering and full hydrostat steering. Fifty gallons of hydraulic fluid are circulated every 30 seconds for the hydrostat steering.
Weight of the tractor frame is 5,000 lbs. In the spring, when dual wheels are in place, total weight is right at 18 tons.
There are three fuel tanks (one under each fender and one located on the tractor's side) which together hold one ton of fuel. The tractor has six radiators and uses 27 gals. of coolant.
About the amount of money it took to build this four-wheel drive machine, Floyd compares it "to about the same amount that the interest would be for one year if you financed a tractor that size."
Reprinted from the Madelia Times Messenger, Madelia, Minn.

  Click here to download page story appeared in.

  Click here to read entire issue

To read the rest of this story, download this issue below or click here to register with your account number.
Order the Issue Containing This Story
1985 - Volume #9, Issue #2