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Horespower Junkie

Not talking about those souped up hot rod cars, just good old fashioned raw horsepower billowing from iron-lunged-diesel powered machines.

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Largest tractor in the world.  Big Bud 16V747 built in 1977

Powerd by a v-16 Detroit Diesel.  Origionally thought to put out 700+ hp on the drawbar, but at the time of manufacture there was no mechanical method to prove its true hp.  At the time of rebuilding it in the late 1990's, it was discoved that it actually put out 900 some horses.  The 747 designation remained because in 1977 the Boeing 747 was the largest airplane built.  Kind of a tribute. 

Big Bud was based in Havre Montana and made some of the largest agricultural tractors in the world.  Some were exported to Austraila, South Africa, and Iran.  Nearly every tractor made was custom built.  Of course they had some off the rack models but nearly everyone was made to custom order.  The origional tractors started in the upper 200 horse range with 300 not being uncommon.  During the company's heydays of the 1970's agriculture boom tractors having horsepower of 350 to 500 with a 400+hp being common.  During that time was when the 16v747 was manufactured.  The slowing economy and farm crisis sent the company to bankruptcy. The plant stood idle for several years until new owners took the reigns in the late 80's.  For a short time they produced a new line of tractors with a new design.  But the economics of building and selling such a nich market tractor caused the company to abandon new manufacture.  Currently Big Bud specializes in rebuilds, parts, and sales of used tractors. 



Big Bud photos are coutesey of some German website dedicated to Big Buds.  Can't tell you the name off hand but credit is due.  I think the top photo might have been from the Dupon Classic tractors calender.


A New Zeland John Deere 4020. Notice the soundgard cab, the front wheel assist and the loader. Kind of a funky set up but I thought it was neat, especially with the mountain back drop. It's amazing at how one percieves things one way in one country and then it is compelely different in another. To me, a 4020 does not usually have a cab unless its yearround or Hiniker, two wheel drive, and not the rounded fenders. Apparently in many countries, home modification is the norm.


called into industrial service running fiber optic cable

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Back by popular demand, the triple engine Stieger



John Deere Four Wheel Drives

Ok, John Deere lovers, finally got around to finding some neat John Deere four bys. The John Deere 8020 was the second model of four wheel drive to be produced by Deere.  It was powered by a six cylinder Detroit diesel, had air brakes, and somewhere in the vicinity of 130 hp. Unfortunately the 8010 and 8020's were flops for both mechanical reasons and being ahead of the times. Down below is what followed next. The bottom is a picture of a WA-14 manufactured by the Wagner FWD tractor company located in Oregon. They made two models, WA 14 and WA 17 for Deere. This line was what they were using to supply the market when they figured out the 8010 and 8020 were not big sellers. However they needed a tractor to fill that market niche. Stieger was building machines for a variety of manufacturers, Allis Chalmers, IH, and Ford. From what I gatherd Wagner built these for a couple of years until Deere came up with their own design and model. Apparently there were less than 250 of these tractors being produced. Not many survived time. At the time they came out, crawlers still dominated the upper end horsepower market. However, these models gave John Deere a grasp of how to build and market a four wheel drive. Following the Wagners, the next Deere built tractor was the 7020 followed by the 7520.   

John Deere WA14






The pictures above show sugar beet harvesters. Until the last ten years or so, the beet harvest was done with pull type machines. Before the crop can be harvested, the green tops must be removed by a machine called a defoliator. It looks similar to a stalk shreder. The self-propelled craze took hold in Europe and eventually came to America. I cannot tell you the brand, make, or model designations of these machines pictured. Maybe someone can give some guidance. Photos courtesey of Toy Tractor Show.Com

Edmund Fitzgerald
Dissapeared in an early winter storm on the great lakes

Gordon Lightfoot made this ship famous by his song but the sad thing is it was based 100% on truth.  Nobody knows how it happened but at somepoint along the journey to Whitefish Bay for protection the ore frieghter sunk.  Some think the hatches may not have been secure thus allowing the cargo hold to swamp, but others think it may have been one of two scenarios.  The first was the waves on lake that night were strong and long, as long as the ship and by coincidence it happened to be that the head house was on the bottom side and the stern was on the crest, thus allowing it to be at nearly a 90 degree angle and plumet to the bottom.  The other theory is the frieghter was caught between two waves and the center section was over 20 feet from the water surface and snapped in two.  Back in 1996 a dive team was sent down to recover the ship's bell and they did discover the ship did break in two but only the crew knows how it happened.