The RAV4 of tractors: The White 4-150 Field Boss

White 4-150
This 4-150 Field Boss lives just northeast of Madison, WI for now, but goes home to a new owner tomorrow! Maybe that new owner should be you! Click the photo to see the description, more photos, and a link to get in on the bidding!

The story of how White Farm Equipment was born is a long one, and you’ll get bored hearing it. Suffice it to say that in 1969, WFE was born. At the time, they were still maintaining three different legacy brands underneath their umbrella – Oliver, Minneapolis-Moline, and Cockshutt. When 1974 rolled around, though, they decided to phase them out and start fresh with White.

WFE knew that it needed to make a big splash on the market in order to establish itself quickly. They saw a hole in the market for sort of an in-between tractor. Something that was a step up from a row-crop but not something real big like a Steiger. What they really wanted to do was create the “crossover” of tractors. One that could do it all…like a Field Boss. ?

In a nutshell, WFE wanted to build a tractor that checked off all of these boxes.

  • 4WD traction
  • Row-crop versatility
  • Utility-model stability
  • Articulated maneuverability
  • Reasonable power

If you think about it, that’s pretty much the same thing that Toyota did when they built the RAV4 in 1995 (sans the hinge in the middle).

Overall, they did a good job of executing on it, too. The White 4-150 Field Boss ticked off nearly every one of those boxes above. Very sleek, stylish and quiet, it sat lower to the ground than its 4WD competitors, turned sharper, and didn’t lose traction either! Occasionally, you’ll hear farmers complain that these are lightweight tractors that aren’t up to the job. No…that’s not true. The 4-150 wasn’t a deep tillage tractor. It was built as a beefed-up rowcrop tractor that would handle a little bit of everything. And at the end of the day, it did the job just fine! Can the 4-180 handle more? Yep, you bet. White built it that way…on purpose!

Frankly, this particular tractor has aged better than most early Field Bosses. The body panels are nice and straight, there’s very little rust on the cab, and the best part? 3300 original hours! And, assuming it hasn’t been beaten like a red-headed stepchild, the 3208 Cat should have some life left in it. It needs new rubber (or will soon), and the seat is torn up a bit, too. But, other than those items, this is a pretty solid example of the Field Boss! It sells on Thursday, September 10 at an auction up near Madison, WI!

Now, that said, these motors are a little finicky. They don’t all run like the Lustik family’s Silver Bullet alky superstock pulling tractor. They don’t like to be lugged down real low, nor do they like real high RPMs for extended periods of time. Some of ’em tend to use quite a bit of oil, too, so make sure you’ve got plenty of that around. They DO sound pretty darn good with straight pipes, though. There’s a really good video from a knowledgeable Oliver guy on YouTube out there from a few years ago where he takes his for a drive (after he’d just bought it). Watch it here.

Here’s a little bit of the advertising that WFE put out when they released the 4-150. Interesting stuff!

White 4 150 Brochure
WFE was selling pretty hard against the high-horsepower row-crop competitors here. They took a swipe at a couple of the more popular 4WD options, too.
Field Boss 4-150 Brochure 2
Power with a purpose. Good slogan. (Still not sure about using the word ‘efficiently’ in the same context as a 3208 Cat, though…)
White 4 150 Brochure 4
I thought the tagline at the bottom was pretty interesting.

White 4 150 Brochure.3 Copy

Big Blue: The Ford 9600

Ford 9600
Big power from small cubes! This beautiful Ford 9600 sells on August 24, 2020. Click the photo to learn more about this one-owner gem!

The 9600 is probably my favorite Ford tractor of all time. There’s something about these things that just looks right. A 9600 open station with a narrow front on a set of 20.8 Firestone Deep Treads, the white fenders with the lights in ’em, and a ROPS bar? That just screams muscle tractor to me.

The 9600 was the top dog in Ford’s lineup in 1975. It made just over 135 PTO horse from a turbocharged 401, which was one of the smallest motors of the era (I think the only one to make similar horsepower with a smaller motor was Massey Ferguson). This particular tractor also features Dual-Power, Ford’s version of a torque amplifier, which effectively allowed the operator to split the dual-range 4-speed into a 16-speed transmission. This one works, too!

The 9600 had a reputation for being a really torque-y tractor with lots of low-end grunt. It’s also known to be pretty fuel-efficient, too. I know a guy from Missouri who still farms with one today; even though he’s turned it up a little, he swears it only burns about 6.5 gallons/hour!

This particular 9600 is in BEAUTIFUL shape! It’s a one-owner tractor with good rubber all the way around, straight tin, and it’s absurdly clean both inside and out! Here’s the best part, though…it’s only got 3033 hours on it! It’s barely broken in! It lives in Minnesota until next week when our friends at Zielsdorf Auction & Real Estate send it home with a new owner!

If you want to see some video of a nicely-restored Ford 9600, our friends at Successful Farming interviewed a farmer in Grinnell, IA not too long ago for their Ageless Iron segment. Watch it here!

Useless Trivia:

How do you tell the difference between an 8000-series and a 9000-series Ford without looking under the hood? Look at the grill. On the 8000-series tractors, the rectangles are vertical. On the 9000-series, they’re horizontal!

The Loudest John Deere…in the world.

John Deere 435
The 435 was one of the loudest tractors that John Deere ever made! It sells at an online auction near Philadelphia on July 16. Click the photo to see the listing and lots more photos!

Before we talk about the John Deere 435 in the photo above, let me set the stage for you.

1959 was a hectic year for John Deere. They were six years into their biggest project ever – the New Generation tractors. These tractors were radically different, and nothing (not even the green and yellow paint) was sacred. Nearly every single operating system needed redesigned, and that meant that it was an all hands on deck kind of deal.

Still, Deere needed to keep selling equipment, and farmers were still looking for improvements in the two-cylinder lineup. When Deere needed to buy itself some development time on the New Generation series, they chose to “redesign” the 430 for the 1959 model year. They reworked a few things on the tractor, but when it came to the powerplant, they couldn’t pull engineers away from the New Gen motor development to tweak the two-cylinder just as a stop gap. They needed a creative solution and they wanted a small diesel motor (the 430 didn’t have one); so, Deere called GM in Detroit and worked a deal to use their supercharged two-stroke 2-53 motor. Presto! Now they had a “new” (ish) tractor called the 435 AND one with a small diesel motor! Two birds – one stone!

The 2-53 Detroits are reliable little motors that make somewhere in the neighborhood of 33 horse on the PTO shaft. They’re also INSANELY loud, especially if they’re straight-piped. Fortunately, this one isn’t, so it might be a little more manageable. Still, if I ever meet the buyer, I’ll give them a fresh set of earplugs and a big bottle of Excedrin!

This 435 lives just north of Philly, and our friends at Alderfer Auction are handling the auction. The owner recently restored it, and it’s in great shape! The spin-out wheels don’t appear to have any wear on them, either! They should work about as slick as advertised! The 435 was among the last two cylinder Deeres ever built; and with only about 4600 of ’em out there, they’re not all that common! I’d imagine this one probably gets close to the $10K mark!

The Roadless 95

The Roadless 95: Ford 5000 MFWD
This rare little Ford 5000 conversion packs a lot of MFWD power for its size! It’s selling at an auction in NY on July 10, 2020! Click the photo to see the listing and more photos!

It seems like there are more unique and interesting Ford conversions out there than with any other tractor brand. Most of them never made it over to American soil, though, which makes this one, a Roadless 95, all the more interesting! Goodrich Auction Service in Newark Valley, NY, sends this fairly rare tractor home to a new owner on Friday, July 10. I’m really interested to see what it this odd little tractor sells for!

The Roadless 95 started as a Ford 5000; however, before selling it, the Roadless Traction Company made some “minor” modifications to it. The British company stretched the frame about 6″ so they could stuff a 95-horse 6-cylinder Ford diesel motor into it. Roadless also turned it into a 4WD using a transfer case (built in-house) and the axle from a military 6×6. They’re pretty beefy!

I think this is a 1966-68 model. If it is, that make this one VERY rare. Roadless only made 210-215 of these, and I don’t think many of them made it over here. They’re still quite popular with English and Dutch tractor collectors as I understand it.

Admittedly, this one is rough. At some point in its life, an aftermarket turbo kit has been added to it (possibly an M&W?), so this tractor definitely makes more power than your average Roadless 95. Evan Goodrich, the auctioneer, says that it runs well and that the 4WD works too. This would be a fun one to bring to a plow day!

I have no idea what this tractor is worth, but to the right collector, it might be just what they’re looking for! I’d imagine that if a collector does pick it up, that turbo might be the first thing to go in the restoration process.

If you’re that buyer, I’d love to hear from you! Shoot me an email!

The Corner-Carving Deere

John Deere 4455 Copy
This beautiful John Deere 4455 MFWD only has 2743 original hours on it, and it sells on July 13, 2020. Click the photo to see the listing and lots more photos of this beauty!

It’s getting hard to find a low-houred John Deere 4455 like this one these days; every now and then, however, one sneaks out of the barn and heads to auction. Like this one! This beautiful tractor only has 2743 original hours on it, and it sells at an auction hosted by Wears Auctioneering in Iowa City, IA. Sells with duals, full rack of front weights, new interior, and sales and service records.

The 4455 MFWD was a hot seller, because among other improvements, this tractor could turn sharper than the competition. Deere built a push-button system for the 50-series called Caster Action that tightened the turning radius. However, on the 55-series, it engaged automatically. By tilting the kingpin on the front axle a few degrees, the front wheels could lean over while turning; therefore tightening your turning radius. In fact, the stat nerds at Deere figured that if you dragged a 6-row 30″ cultivator through a square 100-acre field, you’d turn around 139 times! With Caster Action, the John Deere 4455 could cut about 18 feet off of each loop! When you do the math, that saves about a half mile per field! It doesn’t sound like much, but if you did the math all the way through the year, it’d add up to some decent fuel savings!

(That said…many owners turned their 4455s up a little, so the fuel savings went straight out the stack. Still, it was nice idea, right?)

This particular tractor is a 3-owner with 2743 hours (verified – service records and sale history comes with the tractor). The tractor has never left the state of Iowa all of its life, and each owner has maintained it very well. A Deere technician replaced the dash at 2727.9 hours in 2014; he engraved the original hours on the underside of the new dash to document the change. Since then, the owner has only it used a few hours per year mowing set-aside land. The new meter currently reads 14.9 hours.

Bidding on this one is pretty hot right now; I’ll be surprised if this tractor doesn’t hit close to $50K when the bidding is finished!

Final hammer price: $54,150.

John Deere’s Game-Changing 4430

John Deere 4430
Matt Maring Auction Co, Inc. will auction this John Deere 4430 off on July 24, 2020. Click the photo to see the listing on Tractor Zoom!

Click here to see the auction listing for this beautiful 4430!

It seems to me that cabs from the fifties and sixties were an afterthought. They’re pretty crude, cramped, and usually drafty. Yes, it kept you out of the elements, so they were better than nothing, but still…not all that great. Surely you can hear a conversation about tractor cabs in the engineering office, right? It probably went like this. “Y’know, we should build that tractor with a cab! Hey Harv, do we have anything in back that we can throw on this thing so it’s got a cab?”

Deere changed the game when they launched the 30-series in late 1972. Their engineers designed the tractor around the SoundGard cab using seals and bushings to isolate vibrations and engine noise. This really was a big deal! Nobody had ever built a tractor like that before! Was it a gamble? Maybe…but as bigger farms emerged, so did the need for more modern equipment. Farmers were spending more hours in the field than ever. They wanted to be more comfortable.

The gamble paid off, too. John Deere’s game changing 4430 established them as not only a front runner in the horsepower game, but also as a pioneer in the “modern” era of farm tractor. They built them with a cab in mind from the start, and that decision has changed the agricultural landscape. Talk to any farmer who’s run an open station and then bought a SoundGard. Spoiler alert: They won’t give the SoundGard back.

Here’s how well that gamble paid off, in sales terms.

Deere sold a 4430 every 36 minutes of every day for 5 years!

Let that marinate for a few seconds.

This one lives at a farm in Wisconsin for the next few weeks until Matt Maring and his team send it home with the highest bidder on July 24. It’s a one-owner ’77 model quad range with 7700 hours, and it’s loaded! Duals, a front-mount fuel tank, rear wheel weights, and a super-clean interior! All things considered, I think it’s an $18-20K tractor all day long. What do you think?

2020 NFMS 4430
Don Cummings, a farmer from Seymour, IN, owns this beautiful 4430 (that’s NOT up for auction on July 24). It was a HUGE hit at John Deere’s booth at the 2020 National Farm Machinery Show!

Matt Maring Auction Co, Inc.

International 1466: A Wisconsin Workhorse!

international 1466

Ask a red tractor fan what their top three models are. I’ll bet that either a International 1066 or an International 1466 slots in there somewhere – and for good reason. They’re great tractors! They’re one of the best (and last) muscle tractors ever built, and they’ll still work all day long!

The 66-series tractors combined the proven drive trains of the 26/56 models with brand new 300 and 400-series motors. IH invested $25 million bucks in the R&D of these things, and the result set a pretty high bar for their competitors! The direct injection motors were cheaper to run than older designs. With rising fuel and input costs, this sold a lot of farmers.

The International 1466 was the big hoss for most of its 5-year run. It was beefier than the 1066, with a DT436 rated at 145 horse, bigger axles and brakes, and a heavier clutch. Overall, it was a good performer in the field. I’ve heard some farmers say that the rear ends are failure-prone if overworked. I look at it this way; as long as you’re not dragging a 40′ field cultivator with it, I think you’ll probably be fine.

So what’s the story with this particular 1466? According to our friends at Wilkinson Auction & Realty, it lived a good life on a small dairy farm in SW Wisconsin. The current owner overhauled and painted it 9 years ago. Original hours are unknown. I’m told that it runs and drives well; it definitely looks right with those 20.8s on it, too!

Bidding has held steady (it’s at $3700 right now), but I’m know it’ll start climbing later today. My guess is that this one ends up in the $12-14K range when it’s all done. If you want a nice 14 to keep your 10 company, this one is worth watching! Bidding wraps up tomorrow morning, so don’t wait too long to get your bids in!

Hammer Price: $16,000.

Click here to see what other IH equipment is changing hands at auction in the near future!

The Most Interesting Equipment We’ve Seen Cross The Auction Block in 2019!

“Ryan, you must see interesting equipment auctions all the time. What’s the coolest stuff you’ve ever seen on Tractor Zoom?”

I get this question all the time, and we DO see some pretty interesting equipment auctions every week. In fact, I write a fun weekly email about that; it’s called Interesting Iron, and you can sign up for it here!

Continue reading “The Most Interesting Equipment We’ve Seen Cross The Auction Block in 2019!”