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Doubled Up Tractors Give Cheap 4WD Power
"It gives me 4-WD power without the cost of a new 4-WD tractor," says Willis Homer, Brown City, Mich., who pulls his tillage implements with two 2-WD tractors hooked together.
Homer hooks a 1950's Massey Harris 44 gas tractor behind a 1960's Allis Chalmers XT 190 diesel. A heavy 8-ft. long "pull" bar, 2 1/2 in. wide and 1 in. deep, runs from the front tractor's drawbar back under the narírow front wheels of the rear tractor, holding them off the ground, and back to the rear tractor's drawbar. Homer mounted the controls for the rear tractor's clutch and throttle in front of the tractor, allowing him to reach back and operate them from the front tractor. Hydraulic hoses from the front tractor connect to a pair of metal hydraulic lines that run alongside the rear tractor to the implement, allowing Homer to raise and lower the implement from the front tractor.
Homer uses the hooked-together tractors to pull a 14-ft. offset disk and a 9-shank Soil Saver.
"A lot of people who drive by on the highway slow down when they see me working in the field," says Homer, who has been using the hooked-together tractors for five years. "I bought the disk new and pulled it with the Allis Chalmers tractor for two years. The 110-hp tractor could barely pull the disk, but I didn't want to spend the money for a bigger tractor. The pull goes straight back on the pull bar to the rear tractor's drawbar so there's no stress on the tractor itself. The Allis Chalmers tractor's 20.8 by 38 radial tires are 80% filled with chloride to provide added traction.
"I run the Massey Harris tractor in second gear which works fine for most general farm work. I operate the clutch by pulling or pushing the handle, and the throttle by moving it up or down. I set the throttle so it's
just nudging the front tractor. If I need extra horsepower going uphill or through a hard spot I might give it a little extra throttle.
"To disconnect the tractors I simply pull two pins that connect the pull bar to the front part of the rear tractor's drawbar, and the pin attached to the front tractor's rear drawbar."
Homer bought the Massey Harris tractor 10 years ago and used it for several years. When the engine wore out he replaced it with a 240 cu. in. Ford engine removed from a pickup. "The engine is rated at 150 hp but I only use about 50 hp to avoid spinning the tractor wheels or stripping the gears. The engine didn't have a governor so I installed a throttle. I wouldn't want a governor any-way because when I slow the Allis Chalmíers tractor down at the end of a field, the governor would open up and push the tracítor around. The two tractors turn as short as a single tractor and they turn easier. The front tractor's front wheels don't slide because there's no side pull like there is with a single tractor."
Homer beefed up the Massey Harris tractor's drawbar by welding another draw-bar on top of it. A chain and bolt hooked to a push bar in front of the Massey Harris tractor keeps the pullbar at the same height as the drawbar on the Allis Chalmers tractor.
When he first used the doubled hook-up, corn stalks kicked up by the front tractor tended to collect on the Massey Harris tractor's radiator grille. So Homer replaced it with a raised screen that's high enough to avoid cornstalks and allows air to enter from either side. He also added an extra radiator on top of the tractor for additional cooling.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Wilílis Homer, 5309 Van Dyke, Brown City, Mich. 48416 (ph 313 346-2689).


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1990 - Volume #14, Issue #1