On Guard While Making Hay

We have written about the role the Farm Jeep had in making hay. While doing some research on another topic, we were reminded of another hay making story. At one of our first shows, we heard a story about raking hay with a Farm Jeep. The story teller’s father had managed a dairy farm and had asked his young son (he was 10 or 11) to help with the hay making by using the Jeep to rake the grass into windrows. The father was careful to tell his son to not drive over the windrows. He didn’t explain why, but the son was just too excited to get to drive the Jeep to worry about the warning.

Forgetting his father’s instruction, he drove the Jeep all over the hay field. Suddenly, the Jeep began to slow, no matter how much gas he gave it. It finally rolled to a stop. When he got out of the Jeep and looked underneath, grass was wrapped around both drive shafts. It was so tight that it had stopped the shafts from turning and the driver spent a long period with a pocket knife freeing the shafts. Needless to say, after that experience, he listened to his father.

We recalled this story while reading through some very early Service Bulletins. In June of 1946, Willys announced the introduction of a “Propeller Shaft Guards” kit. Ten days later, they sent out another bulletin urging dealers to install the new shields as soon as possible. What happened?

While we may never know for sure, it is possible that farmers, treating the newly introduced Jeep as they had their tractors, were encountering the same problems as the boy above. Wording in the Special Equipment description would indicate the possibility of damage to bearings and even possible fires from grass or straw wrapped around the shafts.

These service bulletins certainly give us clues to how the first Farm Jeeps were being used. Given the short period of time between the bulletins, this must have been a common and serious issue. Along with the PTO shield, these guards seem to be among the hardest to find Farm Jeep accessories. Perhaps it is because when service on the shafts was needed, the shields were removed and not re-installed. Tossed in a corner they became another forgotten item.

Always hopeful, we keep looking for a set of guards. We doubt that we will be able to purchase them for the original $11.15 price.

New “Ask Farm Jeep” section

Over the years, whether via email or at shows, we have gotten lots of questions about Farm Jeeps. We try to answer these question and decided we should share the questions and our answers in a new section. So far, we have listed a few of the questions that we have answered in posts or have answered a number of times in emails or in person.

We have been reviewing archived emails containing questions while developing the new site. In some cases, we have found that we couldn’t give an answer or flat-out gave wrong answers. We will correct those situations in future posts.

For now, we invite you to check out “Ask Farm Jeep” and keep asking those questions.

Old Stuff New Stuff

It has been almost a month since we launched the new version of the site. In the process we have rediscovered some old stuff. We have reorganized material from the old site and placed items under one heading. For example, any post dealing with the Newgren lift is now in a single location – Parts>Hydraulic Implement Lifts>Newgren Lift.

We have added new items too. There is now a section for “Other Hydraulic Lifts” that includes information on three lifts that didn’t make the “Jeep Approved” list. There is a “1947 Equipment Book” available now under Parts>Implements and Accessories.

More new material will be coming soon. We plan to do more regular posts and will continue our efforts to find and fix lost links. If you do find a broken link, please let us know.

Breaking News – Orphan & Oddball Tractors to be Featured!

We just received the Farm Collector Show Directory 2019. While marking the calendar for the shows we regularly attend, we noticed some exciting news. These shows normally feature one of the major tractor manufactures. These tractors get the best display locations and therefore receive the most traffic. Since at many (most) shows we are the only “Jeep” brand tractor we have assumed that we would never be granted “featured” status.

Until this year. Two, that’s right two, of the shows we normally attend are featuring, in one case, “Ford, Orphans & Oddball” tractors and “Lesser Known Classics…” in the second case. We prefer the term “Lesser Known Classics” to “Orphan” or “Oddball”, but we won’t complain (actually we will, but not until we have secured a prime spot). We will be sure to report on this development this summer.

Edit – Shortly after posting this, Bill Norris sent me the following show ad. As far as I know this is the only show of 2019 featuring Farm Jeeps!

Now back to your regularly scheduled program.

Speaking of programming, we are working hard to complete the transformation of farmjeep.com. We have added new sections including Stories, Shows and Ask Farm Jeep. We have also added history sections for each of the “Approved” lifts. Based on suggestions, we have added a section on equipment and options and will, in the future, be adding information on other hydraulic lifts made for the Jeep .

Please continue to help make farmjeep.com better. Help us find errors and fix broken links. We look forward to hearing from you.

New (&Old) Farm Jeep site!

We are happy to announce the launch of the new www.farmjeep.com site  It is still a work-in-progress, but this update is long overdue.  We have saved the old site at oldfarmjeep.com just in case you might wish to access it.  Everything has been moved over to the new site, except for broken items.

We have several goals for the new site.  The first is to keep it up to date, eliminating broken links and adding new resource material.  The second is to make it easy to find the Farm Jeep information you need.  We are making sure all the information we have posted on a subject, the Newgren lift for example, is located in one place.

The third goal is to increase the amount of historic material available from our own research and from others.  We will be making articles and resource materials available from our own collection in addition to linking to other sites.  We are aware of important farm jeep related sites that have disappeared and hope to bring them back.

The final goal is to continue to tell farm jeep stories and most importantly to have fun sharing them with you.