His Super “ATV” Is A Tractor Show Novelty
“I thought I’d seen just about every tractor configuration possible in the past 50 years until I saw an ad for a tractor mounted on rubber and metal snow tracks,” says Fred Burkhardt, a Texas farmer and tractor collector. “I bought it from a guy east of San Antonio who used it in a hunting operation.”
Burkhardt describes his unusual gem as a Super A-ATV. “The tractor is a Farmall Super A with a wide front end, built in 1954,” says Burkhardt. “It’s got the original engine, the original steering and the original transmission. The rear wheels were removed and replaced with rubber-coated sprockets to drive the twin metal tracks, which are 16 in. wide and 8 ft. long.”
Burkhardt says he’s done a lot of research to find out who built the rig, but hasn’t been able to come up with the answer. “I found out the tracks and sub-assembly were made by Bombardier, and probably came from a snow cat used to plow logging roads or groom ski slopes,” Burkhardt says. The tracks roll on 3 wheels that could accept standard 15 by 5-in. auto tires, but these are smooth and filled with foam. They oscillate, are spring loaded and provide a smooth ride over uneven ground. Burkhardt has taken the rig to tractor shows and says people look at it and just shake their heads. “The tractor runs great and it sounds just like a normal Super A,” says Burkhardt. The transmission has 4 speeds forward plus reverse, which works just fine to move the rig over open ground or across rough terrain.
Burkhardt speaks with authority on tractors because he’s collected, restored and refurbished them for the past 50 years. “I’ve got about 100 tractors right now, and this Farmall painted camouflage green is the most unusual one in my collection.”
The platform for the Super A-ATV is 8 ft. long and 6 ft. wide. It has a sturdy metal frame with plywood flooring and 2 bench seats from an old school bus that were widened to fit the platform. Three steps on the right front allow easy access with a handrail so people don’t fall off.
“I think the rig was real practical for the hunting operation,” says Burkhardt. “It could probably transport a dozen people at a time, and even had a gun rack where the muzzles pointed away from the riders.”
Burkhardt says anyone who might know where the Super A-ATV was built or who built it should contact him.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Fred Burkhardt, 3060 County Road 57, Robstown, Texas 78380 (ph 361 265-9309).
During WW2 when production swung away from farm machinery to build military goods, many farmers converted their Ford Model A’s to tractors. They were called, ‘Doodlebugs.’
This is from the Snow Motor sales film, it was a conversion kit that you could put on your tractor (or car!) during the winter. They show it pulling huge loads, and, on dirt it plows as it goes! Works on any surface but pavement. You can still see a few examples around, as well as a few massive military versions… try here:
(Source: catastrofe, via pricklylegs)
Listen up all you perfectionists and naysayers: If it looks stupid, but it works, it ain’t stupid.