Sunday, November 23, 2014

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 37 years old, and started making things on the farm when I was 9 years old. 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 my talents to bless others.

Thanks for looking,
Kurt

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

1456 Diesel Front Wheel Assist...

I pulled the next one in the shop the other day. This is a White Field Boss 21. It is an imported Iseki and about 15% larger than it's little brother (the Field Boss 16.)

This one is going to be a 1456 with front wheel assist. I'm making a few tweaks to my measurements to accommodate the larger chassis.




These tires are MASSIVE (& expensive...)
 Making progress...



She's just about done now, the only thing left is the seat...

 The paint will fly tomorrow!

 
More later,
Kurt

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Friday, November 21, 2014

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.
 



Kurt

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Minneapolis Moline G750

Well I'm not afraid to say that I'm very excited about this project. A customer has asked for a Minneapolis Moline G750 to show along side his real one. I've never seen one of these in person... that may be because there were just over 200 of them made. All of the sheet metal will be the same as the Oliver 1650 that I did a year ago, but the grill will be totally new, and of course the paint color. :)

 This is what I'm starting with... a Cub Cadet 125. 12 horsepower Kohler with a hydro transmission.
The hood and grill are done...
 Fenders mounted, and making progress on the axle...
I always go through the hydro units on these tractors. New seals throughout and new seals in the rear end and engine as well.
 Finally started to paint...
 It's kind of weird re-assembling a yellow tractor... It's a first for me. :)
All done...



 
More later,
Kurt

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Red Power Roundup 2014

My Dad and I went to the Red Power Roundup in Huron South Dakota. We had nice weather for travel and the show. We took 2 orders at the show, and 2 more once I got home. All in all a very successful show for The Little Tractor Co.
 Thanks Dad, I couldn't have done it without you! :)
Who'd have thought that you teaching me to weld when I was 9 or 10, would lead to me building huge toys!

Kurt

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Monday, April 7, 2014

John Deere 4020s...

I just pulled in the next pair of tractors... They are both going to be John Deere 4020's, but will be significantly different. The AWD tractor will be used as a maintenance machine for a home owner. It will have a front end loader, and a mower deck. It will also plow snow in the winter. It needs to function as a useful yard machine. The other one will be a toy, just like most of my tractors...


 
 I finished the hood sheet metal...
 

All done...




I'm going to make some "old" Deere logo stickers for the loader arms.
 

 This isn't the final hood, but the "blank" that was made to make a fiberglass mold. I should have the finished part by Monday.
  She's all done!



 
More later...

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