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Mid-Size Tractor Made From Used Parts
"America is the most wasteful nation in the world, and we're taking advantage of that by making a tractor out of throw-away parts and leftovers," says Vern L. Schields, Waverly, Iowa, manufacturer of the Buffalo, a tractor made primarily from used auto parts.
"There are two ideas behind this tractor. First, by making a tractor out of perfectly good recycled auto parts, we've got an inexpensive machine that can be serviced by any mechanic in the world. Secondly, we're making a tractor size that has gone out of style. If you want to buy a mid-sized tractor with row crop clearance today, you'll have to pick one up at an auction - and pay a premium price - because tractor manufacturers stopped making them in the United States almost 30 years ago,'R says Schield.
His new Buffalo tractors come in 16 to 25 hp models, all of them made mostly from used auto parts. The differential, for example, is a Chevrolet. "Chevrolet differentials used between 1955 and 1964 were practically indestructible, and most of them far outlived the cars that housed them. There are thousands, probably millions, of them lying around in perfectly useable condition. And, they will probably again outlast any machine in which they are installed."
Schield says such a differential is the perfect choice for a small tractor since the tractor will do only about 1l3 the work the car did, which means that wear and tear on the differential will be almost minimal.
"In effect, we're taking parts from a 60 or 80 hp machine and installing them in a 15 to 25 hp unit. The result is an amazingly efficient and durable tractor that's much more affordable," Schield points out.
The Buffalo also features a recycled steering sector- a Saginaw, which is standard on GM cars - and a completely recycled drive train. The transmission is a late model, 3-speed, quick-shift and comes from several different makes and models. A 3;1 reduction from the engine to the transmission is accomplished by v-belt drive. A regular disc clutch with pressure plate and throw-out bearing are all automotive and are readily-available in automotive accessory stores.
The tractor runs on a 2-cylinder, air-cooled Kohler gasoline engine, one of the few parts on the Buffalo that's new.
Front wheels on the tractor are 15 in. automotive rims. Sheet metal and steel used in its construction are in part reclaimed by a large auto salvage operation near Schield's Waverly, Iowa, factory.
The tractor has rear PTO drive and a 3-pt. hitch with two hydraulic cylinders. The electrical system is 12-volt. Rear wheels have independent disc brakes for sharp turns and the standard rear tires are 24 in. truck tires.
The Buffalo can be fitted with duals and there are a number of other accessories available, including a rear-mounted fork lift that can lift one ton up to a height of 10 ft.
"One real advantage with this tractor, besides the price, is the easy servicing," says Schield. "Kohler has service centers throughout the U.S. for the motors, and the rest of the tractor can be fixed by auto mechanics."
The 25 hp Buffalo, with 3-speed transmission, sells for $3,250, FOB Waverly, Iowa. Schield is setting up dealers throughout the U.S.
For more details, contact; FARM SHOW Followup, Vern L. Schield, Waverly Tractor Co., Waverly, Iowa 50677 (ph 319 352-3130).

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1978 - Volume #2, Issue #6