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A Corporate Tragedy

IH Cub Cadet Tractor Forum

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bjamison

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Dennis - what I don't understand or ponder is this:

What was the perception of hype IH end user? After 1950, was IH really a better farm tractor, or what about through the 1960's, '70's, etc. How much better, worse or equal was IH than Deere, Ford, A/C or MF or was it just a Ford vs Chevy deal - you liked what you liked and facts really didn't matter.

Deere couldn't have been all bad as they apparently ate IH's lunch after 1960ish time frame. Deere's offerings couldn't have been successful without some quality there.

Not sure what happened to Allis Chalmers in all of this - Ford and MF, I can understand them.

Very interesting stuff.
 

jdiederichs

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Bill,

I'll jump in and say this about Deere in the 60'; Introducing differential lock and power shift transmissions was a giant step into the future for Deere. Is it any wonder why all those farmers using their "obsolete design" 730's and 830's were dazzled and sales went up so fast.

When the "New Generation" Deeres debuted it was backed by a giant advertising campaign, probably the largest ever in the industry. Because of the big-bucks advertising, magazines like Successful Farming and Farm Journal posted only "favorable reviews" afraid to miss the advertising dollars. Dealer lots filled with the old 2 cylinder tractors as every Deere owner seemed to be bitten by the bug.

Truth is, not everything went well for big green then, as example the 2010 series engine was a total disaster for Deere. People not using Deere Hy-guard hydraulic/transmission fluid suffered contamination of hydraulic systems and failed steering as the wet brake linings delaminated.

Like any new product intro, problems were found by customers after the purchase. However the fierce loyalty (blind loyalty) of the Deere buyer kept much of this from the buying public. Deere used incentives when issuing "campaigns" to solve some issues.

Can't wait to read Denny's take on your question, Bill. He is truly a goldmine of knowledge on the subject.
 

dfrisk

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BILL - I'm probably more than a little biased in my opinion.... BUT, many people say that IH's down-fall was the 460/560 fiasco, in certain small areas of the US, farming practises included "middle-busting" in spring to form furrows & ridges to plant on. Spring of '59 the first 560 rearend failures started occuring on nearly new tractors in those areas. IH started their big "Tent city" repair project, took three attempts to finally get them right, but any of the first two repairs made them a more reliable tractor than they were originally. But around home, there were a lot of 560's and they all proved to be good tractors, but we didn't use middle-busters to prepare ground either. But the failures proved that the 560 was rushed into production before IH could fully test the tractor and find out that the Farmall M rearend designed for 35-40 HP was not up to the task of transmitting 60 HP to the ground over the long term. The problems that plagued the 460/560's were first evident in the Super M-TA, 400 & 450 Farmall's when HP creeped up to 48+ to 55 HP.

When JD came out with their New Generation tractors, finally abandonning the 2-cylinder engines, in the fall of '60, they were popular right off, but having tried to keep a 5 yr old 4010-D running, they were probably more trouble-prone than the 560's. Neighbor aross the road farmed 320 acres with a 560-G being his ONLY fieldwork tractor for several years, and never had a problem with his 560 that kept him out of the field. We had a 5 yr old 4010 that was truthfully, a POS, always something different wrong with it. Was hard to keep it running to only farm 200 acres. The 4020's were a much improved machine. But by the time they were introduced, IH had the 706/806's in the field. There were a few around home who still ran new IH tractors and they seemed to be every bit as good & reliable as the JD's. Seemed to make more power and use less fuel doing it.

Ford's were never popular around home, nearest dealer was 30+ miles away, Massey-Ferguson also not common, closest dealer was 20+/- miles away, mostly the smaller utility tractors were where you'd see a M-F. Allis, Minneapolis-Moline, and Oliver did have some market around our extended area. Allis was fairly popular in the mid-late 1950's and declined in the 60's. To put that all into perspective, we had two, then three IH dealers within ten miles, one JD dealer 10 miles, and another 20 miles away. You may or may not need parts, but in the event that you do, you want the dealer close by.

Many people feel that IH didn't innovate enough during the 1960's. Once the 706/806's were out in 1963, there really wasn't many changes until 1981 when IH introduced the 5X88 series. There were incrimental changes with the 56-series, 66-series, and 86-series, bigger engines & better shifting on the 56-series, the 300-400 series engines in the 66-series, a great factory cab on the 86-series. But every 2-3 years IH & JD seemed to leap-frog each other with their latest "New & Improved" model. JD had full power shift at some cost, by hiring the engineer responsible for the Ford "Select-O-Speed" transmission they rushed into production too soon. The first P/S was on the '64 JD's, which IMO, was met with lack-luster results. At least around home, 90+% of the 3020/4020's were still the Synchro-Range trans released on the 3010/4010, which was a huge improvement compared to the old gated 6-spd with hand clutch on the old 2-cylinders, but still no clutchless shifting until 1973, 20 yrs after the T/A. IH on the other had, was still using their Torque-Amplifier, but a more modern design than the first version they released back in 1954. Just the ability to slow travel speed 22% and increase pulling power 28% made IH think they could wait longer to release a full power shift trans. They may have waited too long. But they did release a full hydro-static transmission tractor as an option on the 656 in 1968, and over the next few years made models from 65 to over 100 HP which is something no other major ag equipment co. ever did. The Hydro's stayed in the product line through to the very end in 1985.

I REALLY think that if JD had not released their New Generation tractors from their little "Skunk Works" in fall of '60, and tried to compete with IH with a 2-cylinder tractor for 4-5 more years, after IH had the 706/806's in production, that JD would not have survived, and IH would own the ag equipment business. They were both that dominant in the ag equipment market.

You add in things like corn & soybean planter technology improvements, combine threshing improvements, tillage equipment improvements, and IH was easily the match of ANY and every other company. Even though John D. himself gets credit for the first steel plow, which is actually incorrect, name of the actual inventor escapes me, and a lengthy internet search hasn't helped, but JD's latest tillage equipment has NOT been well received in the midwest. Many many new green tractors pulled red plows when farmer's still plowed, either IH or White, which the White traced it's roots back to Oliver.

I have a book about IHC, which mentions the CEO of JD, forget which one, said JD would never enter the reaper business for fear IH would enter the plow business, and BOTH moves would end badly for JD. Think that quote was from the late 1800's, or 1900's, 19-teens.
 

bjamison

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I'm speaking out of turn on IH in most every way. My connection to the company is that my first car was a 1970 Scout 800A. And one of my Wife's grandfather's was an IH man through and through. He ran IH trucks and Farmall tractors, I know of for sure, H and Super H models on his mom and pop dairy farm. I also worked for a company that built firetrucks one time and the preferred truck chassis - according to the veteran engineers, was International. But IH was really never a long term everyday part of my life growing-up or in trenched in our community like Dennis F, Steve B and others - but is is neat that I do have some direct historical connection to IH at a personal level and with me, that was the Scout.

When you read the book, it's clear that IH was trying to be all things to all people. My feeling is that - that ain't all bad. IH was making money prior to the big strike and if McArdell had done nothing and/or Brooks McCormick had still ran the company, they might have averted the strike and survived the perfect storm that lied ahead - but as a 3 or 4 percent profit company. Hey - something is better than nothing and 3 or 4 percent IMHO was a far better deal than the eventual bust-up of the company as it finally came down. I think IH could have separated themselves with some of their steel mill, Solar and labor in more of an incremental way.

But back to all things to all people and my earlier question - was IH really better than Deere or was it a perception, kind of like a Ford vs Chevy deal. I loved my Scout, my Wife's grandfather loved IH trucks and tractors. Growing-up, we always knew when we saw a yellow/white IH Cub Cadet, that was a special tractor. Probably most businesses would have ran from those overly heavy duty, simple - yet somewhat complicated (as compared to my other color tractors) designs, options and costs that went with them. However (until I read this book) to me and likely most every other end user, all things to all people was a very good deal - something I am sure many miss across all industries. Probably if you were an IH guy - that was your tractor and if you were a Deere guy, same deal - like Ford vs Chevy. You probably bought into a brand and rode out the peaks and dips with respect to the competition.

So - yes, IH had corporate problems, but on the other side of the sales counter, out on the farm and in our back yard and gardens, IH was just GREAT!!!!!

The past is interesting with our 20/20 hindsight vision, we can learn from it, but ultimately it can't be changed. My take on the whole deal is - it's a shame what happened to IH, but they left us with some GREAT stuff to collect, restore and work like crazy for a long time to come!
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Wonder where my Federal yellow can of spray paint is...
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dfrisk

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BILL - If you haven't suscribed to Red Power Magazine, you should. Got my latest one Saturday, read a couple articles every night. Lots of CC, Scout, & truck stuff in it too.

Anyhow, just this AM was reading a really good article by Guy Fay, who worked at the WIS Historical Society when the IH archives were first shipped there. He still does a HUGE amount of IH research there.

He was writing about IH and it's WW II production of military equipment. He explains how IH reviewed and bid on military projects. Most were done by the construction equipment engineers, who were already over-worked and too few in number. CEO at the time, John McCaffrey "Wanted to build EVERYTHING for everybody", in the post WW II time frame, late 40's & early 50's, which also coincides with another black eye IH got with the TD-24 & TD-25 crawler tractors. He didn't want to add man-power, expend ANY capital towards making production space available, buy machines, or add people to build military equipment. The Executive V.P. at the time, R.P.Messinger explained in some detail in a memo to McCaffrey how IH should organize a Defense Dept. project team, even described where the offices should be at 401 N. Michigan Ave in IH's corp. office building, anticipated manpower that needed to be added, how factory floor space should be assigned, etc. And what exactly did McCaffrey do with the information in this memo? Absolutely NOTHING. This isn't the first time McCaffrey had led IH astray. IIRC, he came to be CEO by way of MARKETING.

You mention McArdle, while running IBM was much different than running IH, good business practices & goals are the same in both companies. IH had not really been profitable since back in the late 1940's, they always paid dividends on their stock to stock holders from profits instead of re-investing back into the company.

For major renovations to their old mfg. plants, they used borrowed money. In the early 1980's, with 20+% interest, that was expensive. FARMALL spent a mear $7 Million Dollars for capital equipment, mostly two HUGE Ingersoll Transfer machining lines in 1979, one to machine the speed trans housing on the 5X88's, the other to do the range trans housing. The final drive was similar enough to the 86-series to use existing machines with different tooling. But at 20% interest that's $1.4 Million a year in interest!

The BIG STRIKE of '79 & '80 was inevitable, too many "hot Button" issues between company & union. Manditory over-time, outsourcing, etc. etc, pension funding, many issues. But it could have been a LOT shorter. Should have been a lot shorter, it was draining IH's ready cash at a staggering rate with no money coming in. But one thing good happened, IH dealers sold off quite a bit of inventory in preparation for the huge decline in ag equipment sales coming real soon.

With the debt load IH was carrying, declining markets in ag & trucks, giving all their cash away as dividend to stock holders, I don't think IH could have survived. Selling off CC, Solar, IH Construction division, etc. was needed to pay interest on outstanding debt, fund pensions, etc. Things like Wisconsin Steel IH found they couldn't sell for both un-funded pensions and environmental reasons.

The fact that IH has been able to survive 30 yrs as a medium & heavy-duty truck & diesel engine mfg'r amazes me. Truck was NEVER as profitable as ag equipment, WAY too much purchased content, engines, axles, transmissions, tires, wheels, brakes, etc. Our Plant Mgr @ FARMALL told us in summer of '81, that if FARMALL could have run wide open, 150-175 tractors per day, when tractors the size we produced were only selling 100-125 per WEEK, we could have single-handedly bailed IH out of debt, because of ALL the other IH plants we would have kept busy. Think we were around 90+% IH content on tractors, and about the same on combines.

The fact that Tennaco wanted to buy IH and merge IH & Case was fortunate. Reduced a HUGE amount of excess capacity in the ag tractor field. Back in 1952 & '53 FARMALL was building 350 Super M's per DAY plus sending parts for 25 more complete tractors to IH LVL because they had assebmly space. With farming technology of the early 1980's, the world just didn't need that many new tractors. That trend has continued, one 300 HP new tractor today can do the work of over twenty Farmall M's made back in the 1940's.
 

mhomrighausen

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Marlin Homrighausen
I remember reading an article awhile back about just how IH actually developed the 706-806 transmission. A lot of the engineers that had worked for years for IH were getting up there in years and about ready for retirement. They tried a lot of different transmissions including a Chevrolet heavy duty automatic transmission. That transmission would literally bring the front end off the ground and quickly proved unreliable. They finally gave the project to a young engineer only months out of college and told him that he could change everything inside the transmission however absolutely nothing as for measurements on the outside and overall dimensions. I remember this young engineer finally loosely basing his final and approved design on the John Deere transmissions. Thus the eight speeds forward and two reverse. Add the TA and bingo... 16 forward and four reverse.

Allis Chalmers was the same operating mode as FARMALL execs were. They refused to listen to both dealers and customers.
 

bjamison

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Dennis F - I will give the Red Power Magazine a try.

Wonder what and how Case did in absorbing IH at without it being a money loosing deal. I'd assume the same farm crisis existed for them, just like IH. Wonder if Case had to assume any IH debt or pension obligations or union work rules?
 

jgoodine

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Joel Goodine
Does anybody have a comparison, say what a dealer would sell a tractor for, and model vs model, example=jd140 vs CC149, not trying to start a big debate, just wondering what price differences were back then when they were sold new, abviously this is not a straight forward question but just curious, I was only born in the 80's
 

dfrisk

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BILL - When Tennaco bought IH Ag, they got the product lines, machine tools and tooling, everything needed to produce the equipment. But in the case of FARMALL, IH retained ownership of the physical plant, because Case already had their own tractor plant. In the case of the IH East Moline, IL combine & planter plant, they took ownership of that plant.

IH kept all their debt, but the cash paid to IH by Tennaco paid some of it off, pension obligatons stayed with IH, and if the Case plants that got the new work had unions, that union's agreements stayed in place. In the case of IH E. Moline, I believe Tennaco/Case had to abide with the existing IH contract until it expired, then deal with the UAW in getting a new contract. IL was and is still not a "right to work" state, to work in a union shop, you have to join the union. Iowa is a "Right to work state", even if you work in a union shop, you really don't have to join the union, but most workers do.

I had a job placement for a month my senior year in college with Case's Service Parts Supply division. I did a traffic study for them, tracked order dates and delivery dates on thousands of parts shipments. Tennaco was MUCH more than just J.I.Case, they were big in oil exploration, owned Walker Mfg, an OEM supplier to many auto co's for exh. components, and seems like there were a couple other small co's that made good money, so Tennaco could survive the poor ag economy much better than IH ever could have. I was REALLY sad when I saw the first "Case/IH" tractor, same as the prior Case tractor, just painted IH 2150 red. Took two years for them to release the first real "Case/IH" Magnum with 90% IH parts & design. Those tractors, and the two versions after it are still breaking records for durability & outstanding performance in ag equipment today. And the price they bring reflects that, "Machinery Pete" posted a video of a 7130 C/IH Magnum selling for $60,000 this past weekend, about what it sold for brand new.

Tennaco & Case/IH also got the great Axial Flow IH combine & Cyclo planter from the East Moline plant, IH's great line of tillage equipment, so they went for a "short line equipment co." to a full line equip. co. instantly with a complete line of great products to sell.

I will say that Tennaco/ Case-IH did a great job of merging the two companies as far as tractors went. Surprising that available CASH for R&D, testing, enough engineers, and a stable company can do! Case had a partial power-shift tractor clear back in 1970, they used their past experience with the work IH had already done with the 5X88 series to make a world-class full power shift trans on the first Magnum's. Only the very first few tractors needed an up-date kit installed to make them last about TWICE as long as ANY other power-shift trans anybody else made, including the green tractors with yellow wheels.

So just like MTD fixed several historical weak spots on the Cub Cadets, Tennaco/Case fixed several weak areas in the IH tractors. IH just couldn't afford to spend the money or time & man-power to fix all the problems some of their equipment had. They were working on many of these problems, but the infusion of cash from new owners really shows how good the original designs really were, they just needed more time and money to perfect them. Time and money IH did not have.
 

jdiederichs

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Jim Diederichs
Thanks Dennis, for the great informative write up. I always enjoy the information from a real "insider" that knows what goes on.
It is obvious not easy to review some of their mistakes ( bad leadership) by the 560 fiasco and the TD 24 and 25 failures, these were quite a black eye for the company that was already struggling.

Do you think if they had focused on their core products more like FARMALL and E Moline produced, they could have survived the 80's?
 

dfrisk

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JIM asked, "Do you think if they had focused on their core products more like FARMALL and E Moline produced, they could have survived the 80's?"

Oh definitely YES. But they should have started deciding if they wanted to be an ag equipment company, or truck company, or construction equipment company WAY back in the late 1940's. The way the company was set-up organizationally just didn't allow them to concentrate enough on ALL those businesses. Due to lack of engineering resources, and needed cash for product improvements, all their product lines grew old compared to the competition.

As things progressed into the 50's, when they started loosing market share to JD, and into the 1960's, they could have still survived the coming ag down-turn of the early 1980's. But by 1979, when they had their biggest sales year EVER, it was WAY too late.

IH wanted to be bigger than CAT, bigger than Massey-Ferguson, JD, Allis, White Farm, etc, plus be the biggest medium & heavy truck company.

I heard a very interesting comment one day at FARMALL made by the #3 Quality person @ FARMALL. He said that IH "should concentrate on making the Best ag tractor they possibly could... just like Allis-Chalmers." My buddy is an Allis fan as much as I'm an IH fan, I was looking at his copy of C.H.Wendell's book on Allis-Chalmers, very similar to 150 Years of IHC. Now Allis was into as many or more different product lines than IH ever was. 20-20 hind-sight says that maybe Allis wasn't a good role model either, but in the mid-1970's they spent a BUNCH of cash making much needed improvements to their ag tractors. That was something IH should have started doing back in the 1950's & 1960's.

The 706/806 came out just in the nick of time to replace the 460/560's. But they should have released something like the 5X88's around 1970/'72. Meaning no 66 or 86-series. Then around 1975/'77, instead of releasing the 86-series, they could have released the full power-shift version of the 5X88's. Back in '79, IH Melrose Pk Plant was maxed out on production capability of the 400-series engines. Farmall could have used the 530 and later 570 CID engines, and as tractor tire & FWA technology advanced, IH could have made even bigger displacement engines for ag tractors. The IH 800 CID V8 was a power-house in the big Stieger built 4WD's, but had a real short fuse, needed to run several hundred RPM slower, needed bigger intake air filters, and the frt & rear transmission & final drives needed more beef, they were basically 1066 & 1466 rearends. A big "DT-700" or '750 would have been nice along with a power-shift since the big 4WD's were getting so popular.

When I flip pages through Wendell's 150 Yrs of IHC, and see some of the ridiculous low production numbers on some of IH's equipment, I wonder why they decided they needed to make those items at all. I know why they did, Marketing wanted to be a "one-stop shop" for all of the farmer's equipment needs, trucks, tractors, combines, planters, plows, even milking machines, milk coolers, etc. Refridgerators, freezers, even window air conditioners. AND IH should have learned how unprofitable that was when they closed the Evansville, Ind. plant back in 1956 and sold it to Whirlpool. And in most cases, those low production items shared tooling & processes with other high volume items, but still, the amount of engineering time needed to design, modify, test, and then build them was something IH could not afford. Back in 1952, FARMALL had just finished building over 290,00 variations of the M, and over 390,000 H's in the last 13 yrs, their biggest problem was building enough Super M's to meet demand, they were making 350/day @ FARMALL and shipping parts for 25/day more to LVL, why couldn't they have spent a little money on something they were making, selling, and obviously making LOTS of money on. Yes, IH did spend some money on the M, like the Super M-TA, 400, 450, but if the 706/806 had come out in 1958 instead of the 560, who in their right mind would have bought a new 730?!?!
 

dfrisk

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KRAIG - Thanks.

Good friend of mine that I've never met, you all know how the Internet works.... even goes back further than I do to where IH started going astray.

He's made many posts on the RPM forum about how when IH released the Super M-TA back in '54, they should have made a rowcrop version of the Super W-9 that he names the "Super R-TA", the R being the same number of letters beyond the M as the M was beyond the H in the alphabet. If IH had tried to just lengthen the hood & frt frame rails to fit the 350 CID 4-cyl. engine into the M chassis, the 65 HP engine would have quickly showed the weaknesses of the M's transmission & rearend during durbility testing, and a heavier trans & final drive would have been designed. The W-9 was MUCH heavier behind the engine than the W-6, the M's standard tread counter-part, and even with the added beef, the W-9 had durabilty issues and received several up-grades during it's production run from 1940 to 1958 as the IH 600 & 650.

By 1954, farmer's were ready for more HP, they were experimenting with tandem tractors, tying two tractors together to pull larger implements over more acres, the larger row-crop tractor would have made a LOT of mid-western farmers happy.

I remember Dad walking into his favorite IH dealer back around 1960 asking what IH had for a 5-bottom tractor. The dealership's owner knowing the ground Dad farmed said the only thing he'd be happy with was a 660, the 560 while rated a 4-5 bottom tractor was really only a good 4-bottom tractor in our hills. That's all anyone who had one pulled around home. Dad didn't like the idea of the standard tread tractor. The 706/806 was still on the drawing boards up in Hinsdale. Dad was thinking he'd have another 160 acres of Grandpa's to cover every spring and two 3-bottom tractors would not be enough HP.
 

dfrisk

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BILL - I could have told you all that stuff in a WHOLE lot less than 17 pages!
 

mhomrighausen

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I also recall the John Deere engineers and dealers wanted to have one more series of two cylinder tractors. It would been dubbed the 50 series. They were willing to skip the potential 40 series and give one big last hoorah to the two cylinders before introducing the 10 series four and six cylinder engines. Upper management quickly nixed that idea. I also worked with the son of one of the guys selected at the very start to help develop the 10 series. He literally signed papers to not talk to anyone (even his family) about the new tractor line under development. This young man said it brought HUGE tension between mom and dad since dad suddenly went from being very talkative about daily work to complete silence. She even suggested that he was having an affair.

When the newly formed CASEIH company decided to go with the IH colors one dealer was quoted as saying, "That literally solved 90% of my sales problems." Some diehard IH farmers swore they'd never buy another new red tractor since it wasn't a whole IH tractor with an IH engine. Some even wondered if that new Cummins engine had the lugging ability of an IH engine.
 

dfrisk

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MARLIN - Years ago I was killing time at a Barnes & Nobel book store while my Wife looked for a book she wanted. I leafed thru a book on JD, there were pic's of some "prototype" 3010/4010's. They ALMOST had V4 & V6 engines that were Nix'ed because the heads & valve covers extended beyond the sides of the hoods & grills. Would have interfered with mounting corn pickers & obstructed vision when using frt mounted cultivators. Those short little engines would have wasted lots of space up front too. Something JD never worried about with the old 2-cyl's. JD could have put bigger fuel tanks on them which they needed, the 4020 diesel's weren't too bad, but a gas 4020 burned around 7 gallons of gas per hour plowing w/5-14's in 4th gear while a diesel 4020 burned five gal/hr pulling the same plow in 5th.

I remember back in the 1960's, I always thought the BIG GMC 60 degree V6 truck engines were about the neatest engine ever built, lugged like an in-line 6 and revved like a V8. The narrower 60-degree engine would have made a great tractor engine. Then I ran my first turbo-charged diesel and quickly forgot about BIG gas tractors.

I have to laugh at what 25+ yrs experience with the CDC/Cummins engines has proven. They don't lug quite like the CAT engines did back in the olden days, but they certainly have some grunt! They burn a little more fuel than an IH engine would on light loads, but still a lot less than a comparable JD would burn.

Summer of '82 after I was laid-off from FARMALL the last time, I worked for my best friend's Dad, generally considered a "BTO", (Big Time Operator) harvesting potatoes, HEY... It's a row crop! They also grew a LOT of corn & soy beans. They used all old Oliver's and had a big newer White 4X4. They were looking for a new BIG tractor, and when I suggested a new 5488 I got a half hour lecture about why a new IH was not an option. Sadly, I had to agree that IH was NOT on firm financial ground back then, and long term parts availability and dealer service is an important part of the buying decision. They bought a different shade of a green tractor. But after the Case/IH merger, I know they field tested a new Magnum. By then, both the JD & C/IH dealers had moved out of down-town with their old cramped dealerships and built new shops right next to each other on the edge of town. I moved out of that area about that time and lost touch with my Buddy, but I remember somebody telling me they finally bought a Magnum. And probably a C/IH axial flow combine too.
 

mhomrighausen

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Marlin Homrighausen
Dennis F. Back in 1968-69 in high school, my band director came from a farm background. His family had Allis Chalmers and one day he told me about how John Deere apparently had set up at another neighbor's farm a field demonstration for their products. Our band director had a neighbor that also farmed with AC tractors that owned land next to that field deomonstration plot and was spring plowing that morning. It turned out that for some reason or another the John Deere field Deomonstration wasn't progressing as planned and it wasn't long before the John Deere potential customers' attention turned towards how well this nice Allis Chalmers kept rolling smoothly across the field. Soon the green guys sent some reps over to the neighbor and asked him if he would stop plowing or at least go to another field. When the neighbor found out why he very politely turned down their request and stayed in the field all day until the JD event was over.

I think if IH would have never made a Super Letter Series and when introducing the 3/400 series had gone to either a three speed low/high similar to Massey Ferguson with the torque amplifier or a four speed with high/low and torque that would have helped immensely. Plus IH needed more tractors in different horsepower ranges. Along with two, three and four bottom plow tractors they actually needed a strong five to six (and able to easily pull six bottoms) tractor. Both tractors available in Wheatland and Row Crop. Three point and live power steering and pto and heavier disc brakes. In 1945, IH had a prototype FARMAL M with live pto and other such necessities. I can understand not introducing it during the war however they waited too long after the war to introduce those things. One more thing. IH proved with their prototype FARMAL H with a torque amplifier that the rear end couldn't stand up to the added strain with a torque amplifier introduced so they made special gears for that prototype tractor. They should have learned their lesson then.
 

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