The Farmall M Tractor
Considered one of the most dependable tractors in farming history, International Harvester started production of this farm tractor in 1939. It released many variants over the 14 year production of this tractor, namely MD, which has a diesel engine, AM, the Australian Model produced from 1949 to 1954, BM, the British model produced from 1948-1953, W-6, the one with the standard front, and I-t, the industrial model.
So, if you’re into collecting antique farm or agricultural tractors, then the Farmall M tractor should definitely be included in your list. Next to the venerable Farmall h and Cub Farmall Tractor, the M stands tall and solid.
Farmall M tractors were produced in three locations: Rock Island, Illinois, USA; Doncaster, England, and Geelong, Australia. In 1952, International Harvester officially ceased production of this farm tractor. However, there are some reports that International Harvester continued to produce Farmall M tractors at its Doncaster facility until 1954.
Essentially used for plowing, Farmall M tractors were popular among large-acreage row-crop farmers because of its large size, power and capability. It has been reported that Farmall M tractors can handle three to four bottom plows. It’s not really very surprising since the Farmall M tractor weighs between 5,000 to 6,000 pounds. It is 133 inches long, stands at 78.3 inches, and has width of 84 inches. It is powered either by a high-compression 4-cylinder gas engine or a distillate version with lower compression. For the record, the Farmall M tractor is the first of the Farmall tractors to have an optional diesel engine. This variant, the MD, uses gasoline on start up and switches to diesel once it is warmed up.
Approximately, International Harvester produced around 290,000 units of the Farmall M tractors. Those who still have their units made a wise investment decision when they bought their Farmall M units because most of these tractors are still very much in use today. By just using three-point hitch kits, farmers can modernize Farmall M tractors with the latest 3-point implements. This makes Farmall tractors as useful as modern, more expensive tractors on the farm. This is a testament to the reliability, dependability and usefulness of the Farmall M tractor.
Perhaps this is the reason why auction prices of Farmall M tractors have gone up in the last decade. According to Greg Peterson of Agricultural online (http://www.agriculture.com), Farmall M tractors have appreciated in value since 1996. He based this statement on the Rust Book (www.rustbook.com), a definitive guide to current values of all farm machinery and equipment that are at least 30 years old. Peterson reveals that in 2006, the auction sale price of Farmall M tractors averaged at $1,438. This is 38.1% higher than the average auction sale price recorded for 1996, which is $1,041.
So if you have any plans of acquiring a Farmall M tractor either for farm use, an addition to your collection, or both, there is no better time to do it than now. Who knows how much prices will increase in the coming years. And the same thing goes for parts needed to restore Farmall M tractors, too.