Tractor Arrives!

by Ben N on November 15, 2019

Today’s excitement is that the tractor arrived!
When we went to look at the International Harvester 300 Utility tractor, one of the appealing things about it was that the seller offered to be able to deliver it.
So, today, I’m waiting for the tractor to show up on a gooseneck trailer. The seller, Wayne, showed up right when he said and backed his trailer into my driveway.

The tractor was quickly unchained, but being such a cold morning, it didn’t start right up. I brought over a large 12V battery and jumper cables and then it fired up fine.

We unloaded the tractor and parked it in my driveway at idle while I finished moving a few things around my garage.

I was planning to park the tractor in the right-hand side of my garage. That’s the side with the “Passive Solar Garage Door”. The whole idea of that is to create a giant window which lets in light AND HEAT on a sunny winter day. Unfortunately, today was winter, but NOT sunny. I also designed it so that I could still open the glazed door, similar to a French Door. I also realized that I’ve never actually done that before to bring a vehicle in and out!

Operation of the tractor itself is pretty straight-forward. On the other hand, I’ve never actually operated a tractor. I tried out the hydraulics first, raising and lowering the loader, and tilting the bucket. It was easy to drop the loader fast, and I also learned that I need to give the tractor a little more throttle when I want to lift it at a decent speed.

Driving the tractor is easy too, other than the fact that there was no shift pattern shown! I guessed where first gear was, and learned that’s actually reverse. Flipping the stick the opposite direction put it in first gear. Both the clutch and brakes are heavy-duty. I practically had to stand on them for full pedal travel!

Since my car (a Mitsubishi iMiEV electric car) was handy, I also needed to shoot a quick side-by-side comparison!

Once I was ready to bring the tractor into the garage, I also realized it was too tall! This version of the tractor has the muffler coming straight up. I had already noticed that earlier, but when I was backing into the garage, most of my attention was on not crashing into the sides. Luckily, I remembered the muffler BEFORE getting all the way in. I grabbed my welding gloves and used them as hot-pads to remove the muffler.

Once I had the tractor parked, I was happy to turn it off. Tractors are noisy enough, let alone when the muffler is removed! I have enough space around the tractor to move and work, but I’m not really looking forward to dismounting the front-end-loader. That will be a trick and be a project all by itself.

Since we now HAVE the tractor, we can start taking measurements and figure out which motor, batteries, and other equipment will be appropriate for this conversion.

Don’t worry, there will be many updates on this project as it progresses!

Stay charged up!
-Ben Nelson

Last night, I had to run an errand over to the Fleet Farm store. My daughter was with and headed straight to the toy section. We found there a 1/16th scale model of the tractor! I was temped to buy it, but really don’t need to shell out $40 or so on a toy! Maybe by the end of the project as a keepsake….

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