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Uncovering the Hidden Treasures Of Vintage Tractor Seats

By Tom Seest

What Is The Value Of Vintage Tractor Seats?

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Don Wilson has spent years collecting antique implement seats. Not merely for financial gain, he gathers them because of their designs and manufacturer names carved into iron.
Collectors often locate their treasures at auctions and flea markets. Sometimes even sending out seat scouts in search of rare finds can prove fruitful.

What Is The Value Of Vintage Tractor Seats?

What Is The Value Of Vintage Tractor Seats?

What’s the Value of an Old Tractor Seat?

Suspension tractor seats provide extra comfort to anyone using farming or construction equipment. Their ergonomic design helps minimize bounce over rugged terrains, enabling long shifts without experiencing fatigue. Furthermore, suspension seats use water-proof vinyl material which makes them extremely comfortable to sit on.
The size and shape of seats play an essential part in their value. A round cast iron seat used on early corn planters could fetch over $7,000. On the other hand, rectangular pressed steel push rake seats often offer good bargains despite only measuring several inches across.
One other consideration when displaying an antique seat is how it was fastened to its implement. Many old seats had steel straps fastening them together – some collectors may remove these for better display purposes while some may leave them as is for collectors to display the seat as-is.
Height above ground also plays a key role in how much lateral vibration an operator experiences when driving, with research showing that vibrations increase linearly with tractor seat height above the ground – an evidence-based finding illustrating that current designs of most tractors do not provide adequate protection from vibrations for drivers.
Some of the finest tractor suspension seats are constructed of high-grade materials like alloy steel and polyurethane, featuring an easy sliding track that enables users to switch positions effortlessly. Furthermore, they are easy to install and fit any tractor, making them perfect for heavy machinery.
Early tractor manufacturing did not place much importance on operator comfort; farmers considered those who complained of backache to be weaklings. Today, however, collectors have recognized the value of having comfortable seats on these vintage antiques and are building networks dedicated to them.

What's the Value of an Old Tractor Seat?

What’s the Value of an Old Tractor Seat?

How Much is a Rare Old Tractor Seat Worth?

Early in tractor history, manufacturers lacked any thought for operator comfort. Farmers, typically hardy creatures themselves, saw this as unnecessary because any soreness caused by long hours driving was likely only temporary – plus any cushioned seat would quickly wear away with rain and sun exposure anyway!
To combat this issue, most seats were designed with holes drilled into them for ventilation and rain runoff. Though these holes weren’t decorative, they served their purpose so operators could focus on their task at hand without getting distracted from it.
Technology has advanced greatly over the past decades. Modern seating provides comfort, durability and safety – all essential qualities when operating heavy machinery such as tractors, forklifts or excavators. Furthermore, these seats can be adjusted to provide users with optimal working comfort on any terrain.
One such product is the VEVOR universal suspension seat, featuring a safety belt with a switch that ensures user safety and comfort. Furthermore, this seat can tilt between 13-260 degrees for tilted positioning; additionally it accommodates weights from 110-165 pounds.
Those not looking for suspension seats have many other choices available to them. A metal tractor seat, for instance, is often rated according to its ability to pass various safety tests; some even feature cushions capable of supporting up to 286 pounds!
As this hobby expands, the Cast Iron Seat Collectors Association is keeping tabs on prices paid for these unique pieces of equipment. According to Bud Porter, its newsletter editor, one key event that spurred renewed interest was when an estate sale for John Friedly (author of Cast Iron Implement Seats, considered by collectors a bible), took place. From there onwards, interest exploded; now spread throughout North America and Europe via their public Facebook pages – further adding fuel for collectors association growth.

How Much is a Rare Old Tractor Seat Worth?

How Much is a Rare Old Tractor Seat Worth?

Don Wilson’s Unforgettable Tractor Seat Collection

Don Wilson has dedicated his life to collecting vintage cast iron tractor seats. At age 90, he still searches nationwide for rare seats that add to his collection; this passion even led him to Wales, Russia and China in search of hard-to-find antique implement seats.
Wilson uses several factors in his search for rare seats: manufacturer date, company name, and decorative features such as fretwork or pierced openings that allow air and rain drainage; size and reputation of the company all play an integral part. Wilson points out the example of Messinger foundry of Stockertown, Pennsylvania, which produced many different cast seats spanning the mid-1800s through the early 1900s; these seats could command premium prices if found.
Don keeps most of his seats mounted on wooden A-frames on a flatbed trailer at his family business, with more prized pieces placed as ornaments in his home lobby as an antique collection.
Don, hailing from Blanket, Texas, also keeps an eye out for reproductions. Most authentic seats feature old rust while reproductions may have painted front and rear surfaces to cover new metal. Unfortunately, new dealers and collectors may be misled into thinking these seats are genuine; unfortunately some collectors have fallen victim to such inauthentic pieces, according to Don.
Don is driven to collect seats by his love of hunting and learning about their history, which keeps him traveling all around the world in pursuit of rare pieces. Along the way he’s met some great friends such as Ted who collects seats in Wales. Each year they trade seats from their collections while also paying membership dues of each others seat collector associations – and trade items they purchased online!

Don Wilson's Unforgettable Tractor Seat Collection

Don Wilson’s Unforgettable Tractor Seat Collection

What Can Cast Iron Seat Collectors Tell Us About Value?

Farm equipment manufacturers during the 1800s didn’t think much about how comfortable tractors would be for drivers. While there was one patent dating back to 1892 for a padded seat designed for use on horse-drawn vehicles, steam cars, bicycles or tricycles, most seats were simply made from metal or cast iron and weren’t particularly supportive in bumpy fields or after long days at work; farmers considered themselves tough enough not to complain too much; eventually though implement makers began opening up their seats so air could circulate through while keeping raindrops out – though not without controversy!
Over time, they realized they could also utilize these holes to increase the visibility of their names. At first, these names would appear in stenciled type; over time however, companies started carving more intricate names into their seats using intricate engraving techniques – this may have been when seats reached their artistic peak with designs such as clover leaves or sheep’s heads.
Seats were also painted, with collectors often specializing in restoring or repainting old ones to create works of art using them as canvases for various themes and colors. Each year the Cast Iron Seat Collectors Association holds an annual “Paint the Seat Contest”, in which hobbyists compete in four categories. Traditional Class requires paint to match its color and finish when new; Limited Class allows participants to paint any one type of brand/type (this year the South Bend Chill Plow seat) any way they see fit!
Wilson trades his seats with other collectors online and travels frequently between Wales and Australia/New Zealand to hunt down rare seats that he will add to his collection if found. Though Wilson does not yet possess one himself, Wilson knows it exists somewhere and hopes that one day soon it can join his collection so he can share his passion for this utilitarian work of art with fans of agricultural history alike.

What Can Cast Iron Seat Collectors Tell Us About Value?

What Can Cast Iron Seat Collectors Tell Us About Value?

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