• If you like antique engines, vintage tractors or old iron, please register and join us. When registering, please provide your CITY and STATE in your location!

Iron Foreman tracked tractor ~1936

Craig A

Moderator
Staff member
Age
68
Last Subscription Date
12/20/2015
Can someone shed any light on this?
A friend called today and asked about a supposed mail delivery vehicle on rubber tracks called an "Iron Foreman" powered by a 4 cylinder engine.
I have a hunch he'll buy it if some information turns up....... :brows:
 

Craig A

Moderator
Staff member
Age
68
Last Subscription Date
12/20/2015
Re: "Iron Foreman" tracked tractor, 1936'ish

Thanks explor.....
I called my friend and NOW that he actually SAW it (versus what the owner TOLD him....... :bonk: ) he says it has a flathead SIX engine and cleated rubber tracks about 12' long and 2' wide driven by "studded" rear drums which engage with the track and lever steers like a crawler.
It has a riveted 2 door half cab with not much of hood over the engine.
 

Elden DuRand

In Memory Of
Age
78
Last Subscription Date
12/22/2017
Re: "Iron Foreman" tracked tractor, 1936'ish

Xplor:

I looked at the article and it said that the photo was taken in 1919. This is not possible since the mail truck is a modified 1930 or 1931 Model A Ford sedan. I'd say that, since the car is obviously at least a couple of years old, that the photo must have been taken sometime after 1930.

I tried to find a comment page to suggest a correction but couldn't immediately find one so I left it lay.

Take care - Elden:wave:
http://www.oldengine.org/members/durand
 

xplor

Registered
Re: "Iron Foreman" tracked tractor, 1936'ish

And neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, nor the winds of change, nor a nation challenged, will stay us from the swift completion of our appointed rounds.

It could be a Tom Kruse and the Birdsville Track story behind this machine.

Early snow cats have a place in museums and shows too.

Are the doors rounded off?
 

Brad Kelley

Subscriber
Age
38
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
Re: "Iron Foreman" tracked tractor, 1936'ish

Can anybody identify this thing?



ebay #370419155032
 

Eric M.

Registered
Age
27
Re: "Iron Foreman" tracked tractor, 1936'ish

Thanks explor.....
I called my friend and NOW that he actually SAW it (versus what the owner TOLD him....... :bonk: ) he says it has a flathead SIX engine and cleated rubber tracks about 12' long and 2' wide driven by "studded" rear drums which engage with the track and lever steers like a crawler.
It has a riveted 2 door half cab with not much of hood over the engine.
Heavily modified Cletrac Bomber Nurse?
 

John Davidson

eMail NOT Working
Age
87
Last Subscription Date
11/25/2019
Re: "Iron Foreman" tracked tractor, 1936'ish

The picture looks quite a bit like a Lombard except for the front wheels so far forward. Maybe a early version.
 

xplor

Registered
Re: "Iron Foreman" tracked tractor, 1936'ish

I am hoping it's a Tucker Kitten with a 6 cylinder Chrysler Flat Head or a M29c Studebaker L-head, 6 cylinder..
 

tharper

Registered
Re: "Iron Foreman" tracked tractor, 1936'ish

That is a Phoenix Centipede made in Eau Claire, WI. Phoenix made steam powered log haulers under license from Lombard. Later they produced a limited number of gasoline powered tractors.
 

Brad Kelley

Subscriber
Age
38
Last Subscription Date
07/10/2019
Re: "Iron Foreman" tracked tractor, 1936'ish

I just saw this picture on the Allis Chalmers forum. It looks like the same kind of machine as the printer's block above.

 

Paul E

Registered
Re: "Iron Foreman" tracked tractor, 1936'ish

that looks like a centipede truck built by the phoenix manufacturing company of Eau Claire Wis
 

Jon Nessel

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/12/2019
Re: "Iron Foreman" tracked tractor, 1936'ish

Says Allis Chalmers tractor truck across the side of the box. you can see the writing above the louvers too. Might say tractor truck there as well. If you had one today, you'd likely be the only one.
 

Phil Johnson

Sponsor
Last Subscription Date
07/12/2019
Re: "Iron Foreman" tracked tractor, 1936'ish

The Allis Chalmers tractor truck was built in 1915 and a very small number were manufactured. It was pretty expensive then at $5000. A few apparently were sold to Russia.
Two others of about the same period were the Centibed tractor built by Phoenix of Eau Claire, Wi. and the Lombard of New York. Litigation was initiated by Lombard over patent rights, but results are unknown.
 

tharper

Registered
Re: "Iron Foreman" tracked tractor, 1936'ish

The Allis Chalmers was indeed an offshoot of the Phoenix Centipede which was itself a development of the Lombard patents which were licensed to Phoenix. The Allis Chalmers version appears to have been built at the urging of Charles Tolles who was the President of Phoenix.

Thus the similarity.

Lombard did indeed list a Corporate New York office (as did many firms ) However they were built in Waterville Maine. An un-known number were built by John Barron in Elizabeth, N.J. Barron was the exporter for Lombard.

In regards to the lawsuit - it was initially instigated by Best as part of thier protected battle with Holt. In an effort to gain advantage they had aquired many patents including Lombards. Lombard seems to have been urged to file suit in support of Bests legal efforts. I have some of the photos from the defendents exhibits.
 

Ed Bezanson

In Memory Of
Last Subscription Date
05/05/2016
Re: "Iron Foreman" tracked tractor, 1936'ish

Dear Brad This unit is definitely an Allis Chalmers Truck Tractor Your newspaper block print looks very much like a tractor in my files. the radiator looks different but the rest of the unit is nearly a twin of the ad for a Tractor Truck manufaftured by Allis-Chalmers. The ad shows this unit equipped with a dump body raised by a single hydraulic cylinder and cables that go over shives to pull the dump up.. The layout of the frame and long extended front axle are identical. Nitoce that the tracks use an inner string of rollers much like the Cletrac F and Avery Trackrunner. These were all built in the 1920's and I would date this unit at the same time period. The ad reads practical outfit for contractors and roadbuilders and lists hauling trailers, roadgraders,scrapers and scarifiers as some of it's jobs. This one page ad out of an old unknown contractor magazine is the only time except for the print block I have ever seen this unit. Has anyone ever seen or heard of this rare Allis tractor???? Ed B.
 

sledhaus

Registered
Craig kindly gave me his friend's number and we chatted a couple weeks ago about the machine he looked at. He didn't know where the "Iron Foreman" name came from because he said he saw no markings or manufacturer info and the door handles were rusted shut so he couldn't get inside but thought there was an ID plate in the cab. After several questions and a more detailed discription it sounds like a Frandee SnoShu, the prelude to the Thiokol Sno Cats. Sounded really rough as was an old utility company rig and he said everything was pretty rusty. Likely trailered on salt-laden roads many a Wisconsin winter and has been sitting now for over twenty years. Originally Frandee had wooden grousers but this one had steel on rubber belts which would be a normal upgrade for a machine still in regular use up into the 70s or 80s.
 
Top