In the years following the Second World War International Harvester set out to develop a tractor that would meet the needs of the small acreage farmer. In 1947 they introduced the smallest tractor in their line, the Farmall Cub, a single plow row crop machine that weighed as little as 1,477 pounds. Powered by an International Harvester four cylinder inline water cooled gasoline engine it was rated at 8 drawbar horsepower, 9 on the belt in test number 386 at the University of Nebraska.
It appears that the cub was just what the farmers in this market segment were looking for. Starting at serial number 501 in 1947 by 1964 the red farmall row crop tractor had reached serial number 223453. That would be 222952 tractors over the 17 year production run.
Cub production continued after 1964 with mainly cosmetic changes. By 1965 when this International Cub owned by Wayne Smith was built, the yellow and white color scheme had become standard. Prior to 64 Farmall Red was standard for agricultural models with the yellow and white used on landscaping and road maintenance tractors. The International Harvester Cub was produced at the Louisville, Kentucky plant until 1979 with production ending at serial number 253136. The number on the data plate of this tractor reads 225469 J.
There were a few performance improvements with the new version as well. Over the years the engine performance had gradually improved to a claimed 10 hp on the drawbar and 11 hp on the pto. In 1964 the 6 volt electrical system was replaced with a 12 volt system. Electric start, front and rear lights, a belt pulley and a hydraulic system were available as options.There were 2 seat styles offered as well. The traditional metal pan seat plus the “Deluxe Seat” that featured a cushioned seat, back and arm rest.
The Cub was designed from the ground up as a row crop machine. The front axle was adjustable in 4” increments from 40 ⅝ “ to 56 ⅝”. The rear wheels were adjustable likewise from 40” to 56”. The clearance available for crops was 20 ⅜”. Implements like cultivators and planters mounted to the frame well forward of the operator who had an unobstructed view thanks to the offset position of the seat to the engine. The engine was moved 8” to the left while the seat shifted 6” right. International Harvester dubbed this arrangement “Culti - Vision”
International Harvester manufactured a variety of implements for the cub. Sickle Bar, rotary, flail, belly mowers and rear mounted mowers were available. Plows, cultivators, planters, listers and fertilizer spreaders rounded out the agricultural offering. Grader blades, front end loaders, buzz saws , and post hole diggers added versatility.
In production for 32 years the Cub has to be one of the most popular tractors ever built. It met the needs of truck farmers and gardeners. It was well received by landscape contractors and grounds maintenance providers. The Lo-Boy version was designed specifically for mowing work. Road maintenance departments of local governments found that the Cub was a versatile addition to their fleet. Reliable and economical the Cub gave its owners years of service. No doubt there are thousands of them still hard at work today.
International Harvester advertising brochure titled : Farmall A,B,C Vegetable Truck Farming. Downloaded from the Lester F. Larsen Tractor Test and Power Museum at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln
Antique Tractor Internet Services www.atis.net
The Steiner Tractor Parts catalog provides a very handy list of serial numbers for the tractor brands they offer replacement parts for. You can often pick up one of their catalogs at your favorite tractor show, or you can request one at their website: www.steinertractor.com