Ingersoll Power Equipment
Case garden tractors came into existence in 1964, after the purchase of Colt Equipment. The motive behind the acquisition was a revolutionary hydraulic drive system. This heavy duty drive system could easily power a wide range of accessories uncommon to tractor owners; And incline customers to buy these attachments to operate with their Case tractor. Production began with the Case 130 and 180. Both were powered with the reliable Kohler K-Series engine, and 12" or 16" rear wheels respectively. Until 1966, Case dealers were still selling Colt tractors. Other Case models sold between 1965 and 1968 were the 120, 150, 155, 190, and 195. These tractors were nearly identical to their earlier counterpart, aside of a chrome Old Abe badge on the grille and Desert Sunset(tan) and Flambeau Red(burnt orange) paint.
1968 was the last year for the 100 series, and 1969 brought on the 200 and 400 series. Frequent drivetrain failures in 180, 190, and 195's (axle breakage caused by narrow axle shafts and large diameter wheels) prompted Case to debut a new, heavier duty transaxle. In truth, very little was retained in the next generation of Case tractor aside of the engine, hydraulic drive system, and mower deck.
The early 1970s brought on more changes. During this time, larger rear fenders and engine vibration isolators were added for operator safety and comfort; But most notably this is the time 'Snap-Fast' attachment pins came onto the scene. Frequent complaints regarding the time and work required to remove the mower deck or snowcaster led engineers to devise a system to streamline the process. Snap-Fast has been such a successful system that it remains unchanged to this day. 1973 brought the introduction of the model 210; A 10 hp tractor physically identical to others in the same series, but sold at an introductory price by eliminating the Hy-Drive system in favor of a four-speed Peerless transaxle. Lack of a hydraulic system prevented the use of any hydraulic attachments. 1976 was the first year Case tractors donned a fully 'Power Red' paint scheme, 1977 was the last year for the tried and true Delco-Remy Starter/Generator. 400 series tractors built late 1978 and afterwards had a two-inch-longer frame to accommodate a new 60-inch mowing deck.
In 1983, during the Case Corporation acquisition of International Harvester assets, their garden tractor division was sold to Ingersoll. Until 1987, all tractors remained in Case badging. 1983 through early 1985 models sport a black frame, white seat, and white attachments from the dealer. The most obvious change Ingersoll made immediately following their purchase was hood "flaring" or "bulging" to the sides.
1989 marked the end of the 200 and 400 series, and the debut of the 3000 and 4000 series. While these look nearly identical to 200 and 400 models, Their engines were turned the opposite direction. This was done to eliminate the hand-engaged PTO in favor of an electrical unit. Doing this required the use of right-hand discharge mowing decks (earlier models were left-hand), opposite spinning snowcasters, and a relocation of the hydraulic oil cooler. Through the late 1980s and 1990s, Ingersoll continued tweaking and refining their tractors. It was during this time Perkins Diesel engines and shaft-driven PTO's briefly came onto the scene. Power steering and foot controls have had a longer lasting impact. Tractors with hydraulically powered attachments termed "All-Hydraulic" were introduced, but built in small numbers due increased cost over the already expensive price tag. In the late 1990s the tried and true, yet obsolete and expensive Onan twin cylinder engine was abandoned for the Briggs & Stratton Vanguard OHV twin.
In 2005, Eastman Industries, manufacturers of commercial landscape equipment, assumed control of Ingersoll after bankruptcy. Operations in Winneconne, Wisconsin were ceased and production relocated to Portland, Maine. Currently, Ingersoll garden tractors are in full production.
- Colt from Old Abe News Vol XIII, NO 1 Winter 1997. "A Brief History of the makers of Colt from Old Abe News Vol XIII, NO 1 Winter 1997". Retrieved 28 August 2012.
- "Case Colt Ingersoll History".