Custom Tractor Art - MaddKStudio.com
classic-tractor-news-logo

We Save You Time and Resources By Curating Relevant Information and News About Classic Tractors.

Unlock the Hidden Power Of Classic Oliver Tractors

By Tom Seest

How Great Are Classic Oliver Tractors?

At ClassicTractorNews, we help classic tractor lovers keep up with the latest news for classic and vintage tractors.

Oliver industrial and crawler tractors were designed for work. Vintage advertisements and historic black-and-white photos together with modern color images tell their tale of this enduring brand.
This 2255 was constructed in 1973. This was the last year that this model wore meadow green paint and carried Oliver’s name.

How Great Are Classic Oliver Tractors?

How Great Are Classic Oliver Tractors?

Uncovering Oliver Tractors’ Past?

From James Oliver’s chilled plow in 1870 to the last Oliver-branded tractor coming off of assembly lines in 1976, this is a story of entrepreneurialism and industry, from machinery to American know-how that changed farming forever. Tractors, crawlers, implements, and international ventures bearing his name are illustrated through vintage advertisements, historic black-and-white photos, and contemporary color images that vividly present this rich history.
Throughout the 1940s, Oliver Corporation continued its growth into nonagricultural production, with 37% of its output going toward defense contracts. Their Battle Creek plant produced airplane fuselages for Boeing RB-47E Reconnaissance planes; Charles City, Iowa, made transmissions for 25-ton crane carriers; while Shelbyville, Ohio, assembled 106mm recoilless rifle gun mounts used by Army tanks.
Beginning on February 6, 1973 and concluding on December 11 with serial number 266 683-705 being produced over 100 tractors were assembled, 21 being two-wheel drive Olivers while 64 being front wheel assist Olivers built for export purposes.
For 1975, production run was extended to cover an entire year and all tractors were painted white. For the first time ever, some were sold as industrials (painted yellow with different transmission codes than standard model).
Are you dreaming of an Oliver 2255 fitted with a Cat 3150 V8 diesel engine? Well, here it is. Several competitors attempted to copy this idea with V8-powered tractors of their own; none did so as successfully as Oliver’s V8 tractor did. Its Cat engine proved far more effective than its standard straight six engine in terms of performance as well as looking cooler.

Uncovering Oliver Tractors' Past?

Uncovering Oliver Tractors’ Past?

Uncovering the Classic Oliver Tractors: Which Models Were Revealed?

James Oliver sold his first chilled plow in 1870 – chilled because the cast iron plow bottoms were rapidly cooled to harden them quickly and make them stronger than competing models – never realizing it would become one of the most successful and beloved tractor brands of all time. Classic Oliver Tractors documents this historic agricultural brand from its founding in 1855 up until 1976, when their last Oliver-branded tractor left their assembly lines.
In 1929, Oliver Chilled Plow Works, Hart-Parr, American Seeding Machine, and Nichols & Shepard joined forces to form what many consider to be one of the finest crawler tractors ever manufactured. Their merger eventually produced Oliver Farm Equipment Corporation, which offered various models that appealed to consumers across a broad market segment.
In 1956, Oliver introduced their OC-4 model with Hercules four-cylinder engines for greater power and functionality. Available as either a gas or diesel power source, this rugged industrial-grade tractor also features Series B durability for maximum productivity.
The 2255 Oliver tractor employed an innovative method of connecting its over/under transmission to its main transmission: rather than using chain couplers, its over/under was placed inside a flange on its front and lubricated with transmission oil – eliminating any possible belt-related problems and saving on maintenance.
In the 1940s, Oliver Manufacturing flourished quickly as it produced non-agricultural machinery such as graders, forklifts, and even road rollers. By 1962, White Motor Corporation purchased it and combined its Oliver and Cletrac lines into one brand called White, closing their original building in Charles City while demolishing most buildings to create an industrial park.

Uncovering the Classic Oliver Tractors: Which Models Were Revealed?

Uncovering the Classic Oliver Tractors: Which Models Were Revealed?

How Powerful are the Engines of Classic Oliver Tractors?

Classic Oliver Tractors chronicles the history of this iconic agricultural brand from James Oliver’s purchase of a quarter share in South Bend Foundry in 1855 until their last Oliver-branded tractor left Charles City’s production facility in 1976. Vintage ads, historic black and white photos, as well as modern color images provide insight into the various tractors, crawlers, implements, and power units bearing their namesake brand name.
The 2255 was one of Oliver’s final models at Charles City, and it was an exceptional one. Equipped with a powerful Cat 3150 diesel engine that produced ample power to make this tractor very responsive. For cooling purposes, its engine was kept at optimal temperatures using a fan installed behind its radiator; unfortunately, this caused some additional noise as its fan rotated.
The Oliver 2255 stood out from other Oliver tractors by featuring disc brakes on all four wheels instead of just two, giving a much greater chance of stopping abrupt turns or stops when turning or stopping suddenly. These brakes were controlled via pistons pushed by brake pedals.
At the time that White Motor Company built their 2255 tractor, Cockshutt Farm Equipment of Canada had recently been acquired and integrated into their Minneapolis-Moline brand; as part of this merger process, tractors were being painted red while their name tags changed from Cockshutt to White; an exception being Co-op Federee in Quebec which imported Olivers for sale without using red paint or the Cockshutt name tag.

How Powerful are the Engines of Classic Oliver Tractors?

How Powerful are the Engines of Classic Oliver Tractors?

What Makes Classic Oliver Tractors Special?

Oliver purchased and renamed Cleveland Tractor Company as Cletrac before continuing production in Charles City with one goal in mind: creating a tractor that would ease farmers’ workloads.
This led Oliver engineers to the creation of their OC series of crawler tractors. At first, these large machines were powered by 3-cylinder Hercules GO-130 and DD-130 engines, but with time, the engineers saw they could improve traction by lightening these large vehicles further by replacing their cylinder heads with aluminum blocks and adding lighter rocker arms.
In the mid-1950s, the OC-4 tractor was introduced with a four-cylinder Hercules engine, providing these large tractors with improved traction. Later that same year, its cousin model, OC-3, also received this engine and its more rugged industrial design.
At this point, it became clear that the market for smaller crawler manufacturers had reached saturation point, and they needed to come together in order to survive. Thus, Oliver Corporation was born, and once Hart-Parr Company and Cleveland Tractor Company joined with Oliver Chilled Plow Works (later Oliver Chilled Plow Works) in 1929, these combined forces provided enough resources for the dominance of small crawler tractors within this new marketplace.
Oliver had long relied on engine suppliers such as Continental, General Motors, and Perkins for powerplants in their higher horsepower tractors, like the 2255. For this tractor, they chose Caterpillar’s 3150 V-8, which produced 145 PTO horsepower; see the TR 49 brochure from 1973 for the image of White 2255 with Oliver decals on it.

What Makes Classic Oliver Tractors Special?

What Makes Classic Oliver Tractors Special?

What Exciting Features Does the Classic Oliver Tractor Offer?

Oliver tractors offered many optional accessories. Some were immediately obvious, such as their factory-installed cab with ROPS (roll-over protective structure) and windshield wiper, dome light, windshield wiper, windshield wiper washer, and heater capabilities – with heater upgrades also available as an additional upgrade option. Another unique option available on these tractors was their optional tampo roller that could compact asphalt pavement pavement layers.
The 2255 model provided the most unusual options. Oliver owners could order it with a Cat 3150 engine in an attempt to compete with V8 offerings from competing tractor makers; unfortunately, this engine had many complications that required extra costs and maintenance costs to maintain its proper running order – not exactly something many Oliver owners appreciated!
Schaefer explores the history of Oliver Corporation, which at one time acquired Cockshutt and remains controversial among Cockshutt enthusiasts today. Additionally, she covers its rise and fall as well as any companies it acquired over time.

What Exciting Features Does the Classic Oliver Tractor Offer?

What Exciting Features Does the Classic Oliver Tractor Offer?

Please share this post with your friends, family, or business associates who may like old classic or vintage tractors.