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 (, Farmall M tractors have appreciated in value since 1996. He based this statement on the Rust Book (, 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.

8 Responses to “The Farmall M Tractor”

  1. Antique Tractors Says:

    Nice looking blog. Which template are you using? Nice post as well!

  2. admin Says:

    Why thank you!
    My next post will be a shot or two of the Bennett Farmall Tractor Museum near Rehoboth Delaware. It’s a labor of love.
    The theme is a custom one that is a bit clunky, but I could share it with you.

  3. Lane C. Freiberger Says:


    Nice blog, I have owned a 1950 M for many years, this tractor originated with my grandfather and we still use the tractor for what it was designed for. But I will make the comment that I did indeed put a 3 point hitch on my M and while it can be useful, do not fall into the trap of thinking you can use a 3 point type plow with the M because it lacks draft control and the tractor is nearly impossible to control with a mounted plow.

    Take Care,


  4. Jim W Potter Says:

    We had a one row cotton picker mounter on the M Farmall tractor. This was the first cotton picker I ever drove. I mounted a spread front end to driver better in the mud. This was in the 60’s.
    Double Bridges TN
    Halls TN

  5. farmallboy Says:

    we own a farmall M and have had it for a few years in use on the farm. back in 03 when we found it it was all rusty and brokedown but we got it back up and runnin we aint looked back since and it has deffinately turned us a big profit

  6. josh Says:

    does anyone now a place 2 get a complete working magnito for a 1953 model M tractor? trying to fix one up and cant find a good price for one. Thanks Josh

  7. cheryl finton Says:

    does anyone have pics of farmall m with a 3 point hitch? I want to put one on my tractor and a pic would help. thanks.

  8. Jim C Says:

    I have used Farmall M’s over 60 yrs. They are one of the best tractors ever made!