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, 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 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.

Reproducing parts for the Farm Jeep lifts

Over the past couple of years, we have been trying to find individuals/companies who would make reproduction parts for the Newgren and Monroe lifts. We continue to work with E&K on developing OEM parts for the Stratton lift. We have a listing of those individuals/companies currently making parts, but it was also clear that we didn’t understand the reproduction process.

So we asked Luke Schemmel to help us out. Hopefully, this will be the first of a series with Luke where we can all learn about what it takes to make a reproduction part today. As Luke explained, it is part ultra-modern (3D-printing) and part ancient (sand casting) techniques.


When Evan was a 1st grader, he was cast in the role of Davy Crockett for the school play. He marched across the stage as his fellow classmates sang “The Ballad of Davy Crockett. ” After the performance, I asked him why he didn’t sing along. His response was simple – “Dad, you don’t sing your own song.” I should have known that.

Today, I’m going to break that rule and sing my own song. At this year’s Spring Willys Reunion, I received a “Toledo Brick” – a brick from the Willys-Overland factory – given to me for my work in documenting the history of the Farm Jeep. This is the second award that I have received from the Jeep community and I’m honored and humbled by both. This will be the acceptance speech I could never give. (I have given up public speaking after fighting stage fright for 50 years.) I have lots of people to thank.

Evan and I have had so much fun with this site and with the people we have met. I do the majority of the research and writing. I have that most precious of all commodiates – time. Being “retired” means I can afford to spend hours looking for tidbits of history. Evan is my collaborator and sounding board. His name should be on the award too.

Paula, my wife and partner of fifty-five years, deserves a special award. When I find a clue to an obscure fact, she has to listen to me go on and on, even when only one person in a million might be interested.

Then there is Bill Norris, editor of the The Dispatcher, who asked me if I would be interested in writing the history of the Farm Jeep lifts. I would never have considered writing a magazine article.

Leslie McManus is the editor of the Farm Collector magazine. I wrote to her when an article on the Farm Jeep that contained many errors was published. Leslie invited me to submit articles that would correct those errors. She also helped me improve my writing and kept me focused on her audience. I was honored when she made the Farm Jeep the cover photo and story for the first time in the magazine’s history.

I wish there was a way I could thank all of the many people in the Jeep community that have helped me. A few of them are listed on this site under the Family and Friends section. I do want to thank Keith Buckley for taking the time to search his vast collection of technical documents for items related to the Farm Jeep. Those items have been the key to uncovering many facts about this tiny slice of Jeep history.

Finally I want to think Clint Dixon. Clint and I have never met in person, but have collaborated on research and writing projects. Just this week, Clint and I have been working on what may be the most obscure item that appeared on some Monroe lifts, the “adjustment bracket.” Together, we will solve this mystery and will have great fun doing so. A post will appear soon that maybe a handful of people will find interesting. But it will make Clint and me very, very happy.

Thank you for letting me sing my song.


Ask Farm Jeep – What Lift Do I Have?

May is our favorite month of the year here at Farm Jeep. It is the beginning of antique machinery and Jeep shows. But before we get to that fun, we have a news item, and as the title says, an Ask Farm Jeep update.

Walck’s 4 Wheel Drive has been our go-to vendor since we started this adventure twenty years ago. Carl Walck is retiring and has sold his business to Kaiser-Willys. We can’t tell you how many times we have been stuck or just plain lost when working on our Jeeps. Carl himself would most often answer a call to Walck’s. He always took the time to put us on the right path and never made us feel we didn’t know what we were doing. We will miss him and wish him a happy retirement.

Allan Knepper sent us an email asking for help in identifying a lift he had just purchased. Much to our surprise, it looks like a very ingenious modification to a Newgren.

New 7 passenger CJ5!

No joke! According to the 1955 brochure the new CJ5 could haul two passengers and the driver in the front. Four passengers, two in the rear seat and two on the wheel wells could ride in cushioned comfort.

A portion of the center fold-out.

You can view the entire brochure by clicking here.

Personal Use

This may be the first brochure where “personal use” of Jeep gets equal billing along with the traditional uses in agriculture, industrial, and other work activities.