Thursday, June 13, 2019

About the Little Tractors...


 
 




 Hello, I thought I'd address a few questions about these custom, hand made, half scale tractors. When you reach the bottom of this page, be sure to click the "Older Posts" link for more tractors...

My name is Kurt Smith, I grew up on a 1,600 acre farm. In 1996, at the age of 19 I left the farm to pursue a career in Graphic Design. I started a family, and wanted to have a fun toy for myself. So, in 2007, I set out building my 1/2 scale IH 826 from an old Cub Cadet, which was finished in 2008. I showed it at a few tractor shows, and had a lot of questions about it, one of which was "where's the John Deere?" So, in 2009, I set out to build the John Deere 2030 for a friend. I finished it, and kept it for a season of tractor shows.

At one tractor show, a nice gentleman asked me what I'd charge to build a little John Deere 430. I gave him a rough idea, and didn't think I'd ever hear from him again. About a month later, he showed up at my place with an old Cub Cadet to start working on. Then I started thinking, "maybe others would like miniature tractors built." So I ran an ad, and created a new blog devoted to these "little tractors."

I'm 41 years old, and started making things on the farm when I was 9 years old. My Dad taught me how to weld when I was 10... Let's say those first few projects, when I was a kid, were... interesting, and didn't seem to work all the time. Now, I design the tractors on the computer so I have minimal "surprises" when I build them. They are completely hand made by me, and I enjoy every minute of it.
I don't have an "inventory" at all. I will build what ever color tractor you'd like. Each one needs to be quoted individually, because of the amount of work that may need to go into the build.

Each tractor would take anywhere from 1 to 3 months to complete, depending on how busy I am with other projects. I require $300 to lock a customer's name in the schedule, 60% down once construction begins, an additional 25% when the tractor's ready to paint, and the balance upon delivery. I will work with the customer on delivery, I have a few trucking company's that I work with, or if preferred, the customer can arrange all the details, or come and pick the machine up at my shop.

Please feel free to call me with any questions 734.368.3273, and also feel free to leave comments here on the blog.

I just wanted to mention the reason I am making "little" tractors for a living. I am a Christian, and in the fall of 2010, I had a very "heated" discussion with God about my state in life. I hadn't had a regular pay check in almost 2 years with no decent prospects, a wonderful wife, a 5 year old and a new baby in my home to take care of and provide for. When I say I had a heated discussion... there were quite a few expletives in it. :) Literally 2 days after that conversation, it dawned on me, (I was enlightened with the idea...) to give the "Red Power" magazine a call, and find out their rates. I know the power of a well placed ad, and discovered the ad space there was very reasonable. I decided I'd give it a shot, talked to my wife, and placed the ad. I have been counting my blessings ever since. I'm not becoming rich building these "little" tractors, but we are making it, and I'm enjoying every minute of it.

I count this chapter in my life as a testimony to how well God knows me, and how He can and will take care of His kids when they ask Him to. Jesus has the power to move mountains, even today.

I get to talk to people from all over the country, from all walks of life, in all stages in life, and we all have one thing in common, agriculture. Some are farmers or retired farmers, some grew up on a farm, and moved on to another career, others worked on their Grandparents or Uncles farm in the summer... Tractors mean something, the memory of these tractors takes us back in time, when some one we loved was still with us. When Grandpa taught us how to drive, to days in the potato field, or cutting hay. They help us connect to our past. That is why I built my tractor, and that is why I've built so many "little" tractors as well.

I am thankful to the God of the universe for caring enough for me, to use the talents He's given me, to bless others.

Thanks for looking,
Kurt

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

The Little Tractor Co. World Headquarters...

It's kind of funny, people think I have a high tech machine shop when they see the tractors I build... I thought I'd share some pictures of my huge (875 sq. ft.) shop...

This was the first building that my Grandpa Smith and his little brother, Gus, built at this location for "Smith Brothers Farms." It was constructed in 1955, and was their shop until the mid- 1970's
I use good old farm boy ingenuity, not high tech tools... I have a plasma cutter which is worth it's weight in gold, a mig welder, and a 3' break. I also made a break for all of the radius bends. When a part gets to precise for me, I have an awesome machinist who does fantastic work. I also have a diesel mechanic who is amazing with any machine you give him.
 

My shop is rarely this clean... I finished the 2 Oliver's and the customer came to pick them up... So I took some photos. :)

Kurt

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

I sent some parts out...

So this is cool... I ship a bunch of my parts off to North Carolina... and 6 months later I get to see photos of one of my tractors that I didn't build! This was built by a very talented guy named Boyd Copeland. The young fellow running it in the parade is Davis, he is the owner... Now Boyd told me that he has to build another one for his daughter... I truly get to meet and work with the nicest people that this great country of ours has to offer. I'm looking forward to meeting him face to face at Red Power...

Here are the parts I shipped...




 And here is one happy boy...
 Boyd is walking alongside...


Sunday, June 9, 2019

Red Power here we come...

Well... the tractors will be there... My family and I are going to Gettysburg PA for a few days. We are going to stop in Bloomsburg and drop the one, the only TLTC 0001... i.e. the first tractor I ever built. The first one belongs to my daughter Ava.

Along with the latest and greatest... TLTC 0050... Number 50 belongs to my son Eli. Yes, that is correct, I have now built 50 TRACTORS! Never did I think anyone would buy one of these little guys, let alone 50 of them.








More later,
Kurt

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

1206 Custom chassis...

I received a call from a gentleman in Indiana who wanted a loaded 1206 diesel... After looking on line for an Iseki chassis, and not finding one, I talked to my son, Eli and we decided to offer the chassis that I was building for Eli. The customer agreed and Eli and I started looking for a 4x4 tractor.

This is what I started with... a "Super" Cub Cadet with a bad engine.
 3 cylinder diesel out of a "Thermo King" straight truck refrigeration unit. Yanmar built the engine for Thermo King.
 Eli and I working on the tractor when it was still his...
 I don't normally scratch build swinging draw bars and 3 point hitches... but it was for my son so...

 Turbo and 1466 grill installed...

And then we sold it...

 This is the progress so far... She has turned to a 1206






Steering is done and works very nice...

 Headed to the sandblaster...
 Some red paint... This is this 1206 and my son's 1466's parts as well...







Starting to look like a tractor again...

Almost done...




More later,
Kurt

About the Little Tractors...

       Hello, I thought I'd address a few questions about these custom, hand made, half scale tractors. ...