Thursday, November 10, 2011

Farm Memories #4...The Allis Chalmers D-17...

I had a fun surprise this morning!

retired farmer and "author"

My father in law walked into the barn around 6:30 and handed me a slip of paper with this story written on it.  I had asked him a few days ago if he'd write me another story about farm memories...this time about the Allis Chalmers D-17...and he came through again!  Thanks Lloyd!

                        A Story From A Guest Blogger...

 My father purchased this Allis Chalmers D-17 tractor in the late 1950's, when it was almost new...

Jim and Eric ( age 1...on the newly painted D-17) in 1997

It wasn't a big tractor, but I sure thought it was! The D-17 has about 55 horse power.  The Allis Chalmers tractors had a very quick governor, which means when it started working hard, the engine sped up quick as a wink.

Before the D-17, I plowed with a Ferguson TO30.  The D-17 pulled a three-bottom, 16" plow, which it pulled very well in corn stalk ground.  It had a snap coupler hook up, which pulled from the center of the tractor, which made the plow easier to pull...

Another unique feature the tractor had was a hand clutch that we called the "big stick", which had a high and low gear, with neutral in the center.  This made it easier for my wife Norma to drive.  She drove the D-17 to bale a lot of hay.  When she came to a groundhog hole, she would pop the big stick into neutral, and motion for me to drive around the hole for her.  I would say, "Just go slow!".   Norma would just smile at me and motion for me to drive around the hole!

The D-17 went from my father to me...and then I sold it to my son.  (Jim)  The D-17 is still running!   When I go back to the farm, I enjoy using it.  I have a lot of memories on it!

To sum it up, I really liked the tractor and so did Norma.  It was very easy to drive....

...although one day when I was very busy, I asked Norma, "Do you want to harrow, or put the cows out?"  Norma said, "I will harrow."  After some time, I saw her and the tractor, stopped at the far end of the field.  I thought, "What could be wrong?"  When she came in, I asked "What happened up there?"  Norma replied, "I just got sleepy and took a little nap!"

Better than hitting a tree!  :) 

*to see another thing we use the D-17 for, click  here.

*Linking to Farm Friend Friday and Farm Girl Friday !


  1. I'm trying to imagine Norma on a tractor ...

  2. Durelle...apparently she drove often...for baling hay and discing, etc...

  3. Great story I enjoyed it. I love the fact that Norma drove the tractor and worked with it reminds me of my mum a real good ole country women. Awesome photos as well. Thanks for sharing all of this. Have a wonderful day !

  4. I love your guest bloggers story. It is always very special to hear about tractors from the source. I love Norma I to have been known to park the tractor and have a little nap. ssshhh don't tell My Hero :) B

  5. So much fun to hear your father-in-law's stories. I love how tractors have been handed down through three generations.

  6. Love old tractors...we have two of them ourselves. I love that yours has been in the family for a long time.

  7. I'm trying to remember if I ever got to drive the Allis-Chalmers, but I definitely remember driving the Ferguson and the old Farmall H!

  8. How cool that the tractor is still being used in the family!
    Tell your father-in-law thanks for the story! :)

  9. A well loved tractor never dies. Too bad they can't write books!

  10. Wondeful story-made me laugh! I hope he keeps writing them!

  11. Very nice article! AC's are great...I enjoy blogging about them too!


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