Allis-Chalmers Model B

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Allis-Chalmers Model B
Allis Chalmers GDO 569-at Driffield-P8100559.JPG
An Allis-Chalmers Model B at a UK steam show
Type Agricultural tractor
Manufacturer Allis-Chalmers
Production 1938-1957
Propulsion 4-cylinder gasoline-powered engine
Length 110.25 in (280.0 cm)
Width 52.7 in (134 cm)
Height 76.75 in (194.9 cm)
Curb weight 2,060 lb (930 kg)
1941 Model B.
A Model B with a sawmill-style buzz saw.
Another Model B, with a Fordson behind it.
A Model B on steel—optional equipment that lowered the price. Most Bs were sold on rubber.

The Allis-Chalmers model B was a tractor produced by the Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing company from 1937 to 1957. With over 125,000 units produced, the model B became one of the best selling tractors for Allis-Chalmers and most loved tractors of its time. Known best for its versatility and adaptability, the model B was also one of the longest production tractors for Allis-Chalmers as well. Over the years of production the B came in several different variations including the Asparagus B, Potato Special, and the IB industrial tractor. The Model B was designed by Brooks Stevens an industrial designer and graphic designer.

History of the B[edit]

In the early thirties, Allis-Chalmers tractor division manager Harry Merritt studied the farm census figures and discovered that of the nearly seven million farms in America, some four million were of 100 acres (0.40 km2) or less. Furthermore, the million or so tractors at work on American farms were nearly all on the larger ones. Although the Fordson tractor and then the first-generation row-crop tractors, including the Farmall, Allis-Chalmers's own Model WC, and others, had been gaining significant market penetration and making mechanised agriculture ever more popular, Merritt concluded that there was a need for four million small, inexpensive tractors to fill the needs of the small farmers still using horses. Merritt set out to build the tractor that would finally put the horse out to pasture.

The Model B was Allis-Chalmers' second-generation row-crop tractor. It was small, light, and versatile. The combination of an excellent tractor and effective marketing helped the B to become a commercial success. Allis's marketing department had experience with such challenges as convincing doubting farmers of the benefits of pneumatic tires. Early sales literature for the Allis Chalmers B was devoted to convincing the farmer that the new B required less work to maintain than horses. It was also armed with government-supplied facts and statistics along with Allis's own research proving that the new B cost less to both buy and operate than horses.

The B would not remain the smallest row-crop in Allis's lineup. From 1948 to 1955 it produced the Model G, with only about 10 draw bar horsepower.

See also[edit]