What’s LOVE got to do with it?

What does a LOVE Tractor have to do with this photo?

March is coming in like a lamb here at Farm Jeep. We thought we would be roaring like a lion about all our progress on projects. Unfortunately, the Hydraulic Lift Registry remains on hold. We haven’t been able to find software that will allow us to easily backup and restore the data. We will continue our quest.

Now on with the fun stuff (with apologies to Tina Tuner)

So what does a LOVE Tractor have to do with this photo? We always have multiple research projects open and on-going. Jabez Love designed the first “Jeep Approved” hydraulic lift. Barry has been researching Jabez for many years. He even visited Love’s hometown of Eau Claire, Michigan twice. He knew that before he became involved with Willys, Love had designed speciality tractors. But no real new information has been uncovered in the past 5 years.

A few weeks ago, Barry re-opened his Love project. He sent a note to the Berrien County Historical Association (Love’s home county) asking if they had any new information on Love. The curator was not aware of the Love story. However, he is interested in our research. He also put us in touch with the Michigan Flywheelers Museum(MFM). We learned the organization, only a few miles from Eau Claire, is beginning a Love Tractor restoration and they too are interested in our research.

The MFM was able to put us in touch with a man whose father had written an article on Love back in 2000. The son didn’t have any more information on Love, but he has a good friend in SE Ohio who collects Love Tractors and gave us his contact information.

That is how these things happen

Suddenly after 5 years of searching, we have news leads and new information. In the coming weeks and months, we plan to publish an article or two based on this new data. We are also building Jabez Love’s history here.

Daryl Dempsey is a Love Tractor collector. And a Friday Tractor collector. And a John Deere collector. You get the idea. Although we have only been working together for a couple of weeks, Daryl has provided new information and, importantly, photographs.

At some point, Daryl mentioned that his father had used Jeeps on the farm. He sent us the great picture above. We plan to write about Daryl and his tractor collection. And about those Jeeps too. Stay tuned.

A Valentine Jeep, a Pause in the Project, Plus Ordering a CJ3a Farm Jeep

Courtesy of eWillys.com

Dave @ eWillys.com has found several examples of WWII-era cards, including this one. We thought it would be a nice way to start our February post. Especially since the rest of the news isn’t so much fun.

Last month, we introduced a project to register or identify as many hydraulic implement lifts as possible. We are pausing the project to reengineer the data collection and display forms. We are hoping we can, in Barry’s favorite fashion, “throw some money at the problem.” If all goes well, we should be back in business in a couple of weeks.

Now back to something more interesting. Derek at CJ3b.info recently shared a post on Facebook about the “Jeeps on Broadway” story. It is a fun and informative read.

Above is one of the many dealer documents that have survived to tell the story in a manner rarely seen. Enjoy.

A New Year and a New Project

CJ3a with Newgren Lift

As we start our twenty second (!) year of posting our adventures and discoveries, we want to wish you a joyous and prosperous New Year! Thanks to all of you who have joined us on the fun ride.

Pictured above is the outline of our 1949 CJ3a Farm Jeep with a Newgren lift. This picture, along with period ads and other photos, can be found on our Farm Jeep Spotter’s Guide page. So why we would we need to post a spotter’s guide? Because we hope to recruit Jeep fans of all kinds to help us with our latest project.

Last fall, in a discussion with a group of Farm Jeep fans, we all were lamenting the lack of lift production data. A question we have heard a thousand times is how many Farm Jeeps were sold. No one has an answer. There are no – or they are yet to be discovered – production records for any of the Jeep Approved lifts. That discussion led to the idea of a simple hydraulic lift registry. After several iterations, we came up with a form for collecting a minimal number of items that may still yield useful data. The data are displayed in the Farm Jeep Hydraulic Lift Database. We are already looking for an improved display, so please hang in there while we find a better design. For now, you can at least view the data elements.

The focus is on the lifts. We want to know about them regardless of the Jeep they might be attached to or even if they are sitting on a shelf or barn floor. There is a shared concern for balancing privacy issues with producing a registry that has some research validity.

Our hope is that owners and non-owners will help us build the registry over the coming months and years. We plan to reach out across as many platforms as possible and to repeat our request throughout the year.

We look forward to an exciting Farm Jeep year!

Barry & Evan

The answer is a Farm Jeep Truck

The question is what do you call a Jeep pickup with a Monroe Hydraulic Lift and a plow hanging off the back?

Bill Norris/The Dispatcher Magazine

This unit is actually a Monroe Fire Lane Plow and Pumper Unit. You can read the complete story at eWillys. But it reminded us that Monroe made a lift for the Jeep truck, as well as lifts for the Dodge Power Wagon and some tractors. While our focus has always been on the CJ models, we hope to expand into the farm truck history too.

In the coming months, we will undertake a long-term project to create a database of hydraulic implement lifts for the Jeep. There were four lifts sold by Willys and a few models were produced and sold by companies that were not “Jeep Approved.” These were sold through Willys dealerships, and in one case appeared in a national ad campaign, There were also untold numbers of “homemade” (“farmmade”?) units that were classified as “other.”

We and others plan to use the data collected to further research into how many lifts were produced. It is more of a count than a registry. We will be collecting data by the type of lift and when it comes to the Monroe, we will include the CJ models and truck/tractor models.

As part of this project, we will also introduce a “spotter’s guide” that we can share with both Jeep and farm groups on social media. We know that many lifts remain on shelves and barn floors. We want to collect data on those lifts too. So the guide will focus on the lifts and not the Jeep.

We will be announcing the project soon. Stay tuned!

Where do I start to build a Farm Jeep?

Farm Jeeps were built, either at the Willys factory, the local dealership or assembled by the owner. The major components that allow the Jeep to function as a light tractor are all bolt-on items. So adding items to your Jeep to make it a Farm Jeep is certainly doable.

John Thompson asked us what he should do to make his 1947 CJ2a (pictured above) a Farm Jeep. We thought it was a great question and have added our response to the Ask Farm Jeep section.

Monroe Hydraulic Lift Parts Survey

Reproduction Monroe Hydraulic Lift Parts Market Survey

The Monroe Hydraulic Lift for the Universal Jeep was produced by the Monroe Auto Equipment Company from 1948 until sometime in the late 1950s. These units were available from the factory, or dealer or sold directly to farmers for installation on any model Jeep, including the CJ2a, CJ3a, CJ3b, and CJ5.

At farmjeep.com, we receive requests for replacement parts from individuals looking to restore these units.  We are not in the parts business but do wish to help facilitate restoration efforts.  To that end, we are exploring the possibility of making available a very limited set of items for the lift.  Using where possible the OEM blueprints, the items will be manufactured in small batches, and any production will be based on demand.

We need to gauge the market if any for these parts.  If you have any interest in purchasing parts, we need to hear from you.  Below are possible first offerings:


Lower Link Clevis (attaches arms to drawbar) – (sold as a set, machined, and painted)

Cast Aluminum – $126 plus shipping

Cast Brass –  $246 plus shipping

Ductile Metal (nearest to the original metal used) – $388 plus shipping

Top Link Adjust Plates (sold as a pair) – $60 plus shipping

Please contact us at barry@farmjeep.com indicating your interest in any of these parts and other Monroe lift parts you might need.  We cannot reproduce the main housing or tank and valve at this point.

End of the Show Season and a Little Update

We just finished our last show of the season. One of the joys of going to farm machinery shows is learning more about agricultural history in all its forms. When we arrived at this year’s Brown County Antique Machinery Show, we saw this monster yellow tractor. So we parked next to it.

The Brown Country show, although the smallest show we attend, remains a favorite. We get lots of local stories (the show is only twenty minutes are so from the Farm Jeep’s home) and almost always learn something new about farming. You can read about this year’s show here.

Bill Norris sent us a note about using his CJ2a that is chronicled in his Jeep story. We thought it would make a great follow-on to the story and we have added it to the page.

Happy farming.

Update – A face made for radio

I borrowed a line from the Car Talk guys when they did a TV show. Fred from the YouTube channel “Recommended by Fred” stopped by the Brown County show for a visit. He has posted the videos and I want to thank him for doing so. I can’t say I was thrilled about doing an interview, but Fred made it easy and I think he captured what Evan and I are trying to do.

Interview Part 2 and a show report

While the show season isn’t over, there is already good news to report. We have noticed a decline in both the number of participants and visitors at shows over the past several years. Then the pandemic happened and shows were canceled.

It appeared to us that last year’s shows were close to pre-pandemic levels. But something happened this year. Something very good we think. Three of the four shows we have attended thus far had large increases in both participants and visitors. That is reversing a decade long trend (at least according to our non-scientific observations).

The Rushville, IN show we wrote about in 2018 had grown from 600 tractors (and one Farm Jeep) to over 800 tractors on display. A new show for us in Martinsville, IN had the largest gathering in years and the Greensburg, IN show expanded to an extra day and drew more exhibitors.

While one season doesn’t make a trend, it is still heartening to see all the new interest. We talked to more people, and heard more stories. We will be sharing some of those stories later. For now, we wanted to share the good news.

Our interview with Luke – Part 2

In the second part of our interview with Luke Schimmel of White Horse Manufacturing, we learned more about the process of reproducing OEM parts for the Monroe hydraulic lift. If you haven’t read the first part, you should start here, otherwise click here to go to the second part.