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Massey-Harris "Horses" Don't Need Riders
George Smyth turns heads when he takes his covered wagon to parades. The horsepower he uses to pull it grabs people’s attention – a Massey-Harris Pony tractor with a Massey-Harris Pacer tractor in tow. Neither one has a driver.
  Smyth controls the Pony from the wagon. He uses a version of technology invented in the 1950’s by Purcell McMaster, who worked in sales and service at Massey-Harris. He created a foot control to drive a string of up to 7 tractors without drivers. Smyth, an avid Massy-Harris collector, met McMaster in the late 1990’s and the two became good friends. Before McMaster died just short of his 105th birthday, he shared his invention with Smyth, and Smyth modified it into a handheld device with toggle switches.
  “It has electrical toggle controls for the clutch and steering,” Smyth says. “And it has a kill switch.”
  A 12-volt battery in the wagon powers the control, and the wiring is only connected to the Pony tractor up front. The second tractor is running and in gear. Its front hitch is the real key. When the first tractor stops, the hitch slides ahead and pulls the clutch and brake on the second tractor.
  Smyth says he has considered adding two more “horses” to his team, a Massey-Harris Mustang and a Massey-Harris Colt.
  Besides attending parades, Smyth says he used the Pony/Pacer team to pull a ride-on plow. That also earns him a few startled looks.
  Smyth and his wife, Barb, are used to drawing attention. They have a 14,000 sq. ft. building to showcase Smyth’s 37 Massey-Harris tractors, 100 implements and other collectables including scale models of several trucks, a fifth-wheel trailer, bulldozer, and stock trailer that Smyth carved out of wood. The show room was built to look like an old-fashioned dealership.
  The Smyths invite people to call ahead to tour the museum.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, George and Barb Smyth, 95 Southampton St., R.R. 1, Dungannon, Ont., Canada N0M 1R0 (ph 519 529-7781).

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2012 - Volume #36, Issue #4