Little Tractor Pumps Lots Of Air

Wilmer Hanson turned his SC Case into a self-propelled air compressor with a big storage tank. The tractor didn’t have what it takes for fieldwork anymore but its 31 hp belt drive was just right to power an industrial air compressor. Combined with a converted 200-gal. LP tank mounted to the other side, the SC is as useful as ever.

“It’s great to be able to drive it to wherever we need air,” says Hanson. “My sons use it to paint, sandblast and for anything else that needs air pressure. If the tank is full, you can paint an entire tractor before you need to start the compressor.”

Hanson took advantage of cultivator mounting brackets built into the SC front end to mount the compressor and tank. Wood planks bolted to the lower lip of a piece of channel iron extend back to brackets welded to the rear axle.

The compressor mounts on a plank just ahead of the tractor’s belt drive. Originally, it ran off a double belt drive, but Hanson operates it off a single on the tractor.

The LP tank mounts on planks on the other side of the tractor with a 1-in. line feeding it with air from the compressor. The air enters through a check valve. A stainless steel check valve also mounts on the outlet side to the standard air hose.

“We have a gauge mounted to the top of the tank and shut it off when the pressure reaches 160 psi,” says Hanson. “It only takes about 10 min. to fill the tank when it’s empty.”

While the tractor with its mounted compressor and tank are pretty basic, Hanson has dressed it up with a set of old steam whistles.

“The whistles are for when someone falls asleep on the job,” jokes Hanson. “They make a sound you can hear a long way.”