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| History of our Cletrac K-20 | Photos of our Cletrac | History of Cletrac tractors | Most Cletrac tractor models between 1916 and 1936 and serial number sheet | Some technical data of our Cletrac | Links concerning old tractors |

Logo of CletracPicture of CletracPhoto of Cletrac

History of our Cletrac K-20

My grandfather Arvo Kallio (Mellilä, Finland) had an old tractor named Cletrac. Cletracs were manufactured by the factory named "Cleveland Tractor Company (Cleveland, Ohio, USA)". Speaking about our Cletrac, according to the plate in the radiator, the import dealer in Finland was Forselius, Turku-Åbo. And according to the plate in the engine the serial number of our Cletrac is 10388, and the model is "K". I have also the Service Manual and Parts Manual of Cletrac 20-K.

Our Cletrac was used as pulling machine in farming. Later my grandfather gave it to his daughter (my mother). It was very rusty, but I was charmed with this little old tractor! The bearing of connecting rod was broken and that is actually the reason, why the tractor was abandoned to the near forest at 60's or 70's. I started to repair and restore it in 1988. It took many summers to restore and repair it, but it was fun and worth it. Nowadays the tractor is working. If you own a Cletrac or have technical data or any kind of information about Cletracs, please email me!

Our Cletrac is Model K-20, known also as 20K, K, and 20-27 tractor. Here you can see another picture of same-looking Cletrac (the air cleaner is different). And here you can see Dave's Cletrac. I am not sure, if it is Model K, because there are some differences compared to our Cletrac (missing slits of the hood and a wheel instead of crank. And here is one photo more of Cletrac Model K. Its fuel tank has been modified, but otherwise it looks the same as our Cletrac. Here is one photo more about Cletrac K, and also about Model 15-25. Tzafrir Margalit from Israel sent me this photo of Cletrac K-20.

Photos of our Cletrac at the beginning of restoring 1988 ->

We pull Cletrac out of the forest. Notice that Cletrac is a little smaller than the pulling tractor Nuffield. My grandfather is driving Nuffield. I am standing front of the Cletrac. Finally in Virrat at the destination of Cletrac We pull Cletrac out of the interchangeable platform Cletrac in pieces Cletrac running. There are my father, me and my grandfather Arvo Kallio in the picture.

Newer photos of Cletrac (click for big size)

The exhaust pipe and the muffler are not original. Originally there is no muffler (and sound is VERY loud!).
Picture of our Cletrac Another picture of our Cletrac Cletrac 2000 Cletrac 2000 Cletrac 2000 Cletrac 2000 Cletrac 2000 Cletrac 2000

History of Cletrac tractors

Cleveland Tractor began as "Cleveland Motor Plow Company" v. 1916, founded by Rollin H. and Clarence G. White. Cleveland "20" was one of the company's first tractors. It is known also as Model "R" (1916-1917). White renamed the company "Cleveland Tractor Company", and so by 1918 Cletrac was born. Although White Motor Corporation appeared late on the tractor scene, it was and old, established business. White sewing machines were first made in 1866, followed by steam cars. Then came gas-powered cars and trucks and finally tractors. Important innovation, which remained unique to Cletrac, was differential steering.

The first Cletracs were advertised as "Geared to the ground" to emphasize their superior traction over conventional wheeled machines. In the 1920s, Crawler tractors (equipped with continuous roller belts over cogged wheels) were gaining in popularity, especially Cletracs. Cletracs were excellent tractors, sold well, and remained a popular make until the end of the Cletrac Company in the 1940s. Cletrac, with one exception (the GG General), made only crawlers.

Cletrac Model W,12-20 was manufactured between 1919-1932 about 17000 units. Here's photo of Cletrac catalog cover, the tractor seems to be Model W. In Kauhajoki, Finland, there is Mr. Mäenpää's Cletrac (Model W??). In Gårdskulla museum Siuntio, Finland, there is this Cletrac W. And still one photo of Cletrac (W?) at the field.

Autumn Mahoney Quick kindly sent me photos of Cletrac (model W, I suppose) . Her grandfather was Gerald J. Mahoney (1893-1941) and he was a dealer in Evansville in 1920. These photos were taken when they advertised at a fair.

In 1920 Cletrac introduced four versions of Model F, including small "Hi-Drive Model F 9-16", which was suitable for small farms. Here's another photo of Model F, Glenn's Cletrac. It was manufactured until 1922. This model was driven by a floating roller chain that traveled between the drive gears and the tracks. The entire track assembly runs without lubrication. Model F was designed especially for use with cultivator and other front-mounted implements.

Model 30A (30-45) Cletracs were built between 1926 and 1928. This was followed in 1929 and 1930 with the 30B tractor. Production of both was rather limited.

Our Cletrac is made in 1928. It is Model K-20. Early Model K Cletracs were equipped with the water air clarifier (a box outside the hood), but the latter (as ours K-20) were equipped with air clarifier which used oil and was installed inside the hood. According to some sources, it had 20 horsepower on the draw bar and 27 horsepower on the belt pulley, but Cletrac manual says that horsepowers are 15/25. K-20 was manufactured 1925-1932 about 10000 units. Some new engineering refinements advertised on this tractor were redesigned track, an instantaneous oiling system where the entire track could be oiled by pushing a plunger, and simplified track layout. Only models W,F and 20K had had Clectracs own engine, the other Cletracs used engine of some else manufacturer (Buda, Weidley, Wisconsin, Hercules, Continental, or Cummins).

Furthermore, here is a photo of Cletrac E, 1934. And a photo of 1933 Cletrac brochure. Model 35 is in the picture. It was manufactured in 1932-1936. And here are photos of Cletrac AG, AD, BG and BD, photos of DG and DD, and FD.

The majority of the tractors built 1920-1930 used kerosene fuel, because it was cheapier than gasoline. Gasoline was used for starting. Cleveland Tractor Company introduced their first diesel-powered Crawler (Cletrac Diesel 80 or Cletrac 60-80) in 1933. It used six-cylinder Hercules engine with about 90 hp. Cletrac used electric start on their diesels and indeed from about 1930 offered them on all their crawlers. This, combined with the controllod differential steering using band brakes that allowed both tracks to be driven whilst turning, helped Cletracs to become a popular tractor among farmers and industrial users.

In 1944 or 1945 Oliver purchased Cletrac and Oliver's Cletrac crawlers were produced in White's old Cletrac factory. The Oliver Cletracs remained substantially the same since Oliver took them over. Here's a photo of 1952 Oliver HG. Oliver's HG crawler was a continuation of the Cletrac tracklayer lineage, which had been bought by Oliver in 1944. The HG had controlled differential steering that gave full-power turns. Ironically, later in 1960, White Motors Corporation (same White family) purchased Oliver, reaquiring Cletrac, which then moved to the former Hart-Parr works in Charles city, Iowa, until its own crawler line was dropped in 1963. Changes in the crawler market, competition and Oliver's sale to White Motor in 1960 finished the Cletrac crawlers completely in 1965. White Farm Equipment (WFE) Company was created in 1973, a division of the White Motors Corporation. In 1991 White Tractor Division was bought by AGCO.

Most Cletrac tractor models between 1916 and 1944 and serial number sheet

R1916-191711000Buda Gas Same as tractor 
H1917-1919100113755WeidleyGas  3000143068
W(W12)1919-19321375630971Weidley Gas 4306952123
W(W12)1919-19321375630971Cletrac Gas 10119873
F1920-192213000Cletrac Gas Same as tractor 
20K1925-193210110207Cletrac Gas 625019884
30A1926-192861421Wisconsin Gas 12123584
30B1929-193016013057Wisconsin GasH12123584
1001927-193050158Wisconsin GasET11011179
401928-19311011833Wisconsin GasZ13882596
401928-19311011833Wisconsin GasZT11022680
55-401931-193218351889Wisconsin GasZT11022680
551932-193618903852 WisconsinGasZT11022680
151931-19337611999Hercules Gas00C223630 
20C1933-19361200014547Hercules Gas00C223630 
AG1936-19371454820201Hercules Gas00C223630245972
AG1937-19422X02022X3398Hercules Gas00C223630245972
AG-61944-3X0000 Continental GasF226-3395300 
AD1937-1Z00 Hercules DieselD00C450005 
AD21937-19401N005N80Buda Diesel4DT196/4DT2122100 
BD 4 speed1936-19391D004D236Hercules DieselDJX, DJXB, DJXC800001803259
BD 6 speed1939-5D000 Hercules DieselDJXC803260 
251932-1935761372Hercules GasJXC503495538234
30G1935-19361C002C79Hercules GasJXC528240553328
BG 4 speed1937-19392C802C798Hercules GasJXC553329 
BG 6 speed1939-3C000 Hercules GasJXD936242 
BGS1944-6C000 Hercules GasJXD1471509 
40-301930-193176399Hercules GasWXT600002601579
351932-19364002835Hercules GasWXT600002601579
CG1936-194228363246Hercules GasWXT601580 
CG1936-19425M0005M608Hercules GasWXT601580602076
35D 1934-19351000010217Hercules DieselDRX380002382586
40D1935-19361021810831Hercules DieselDRX380002382586
DD 4 speed1936-19391083211581Hercules DieselDRXB380002382586
DD 4 speed1936-19391L30001L4460Hercules DieselDRXB380002382586
DD 6 speed1939-1L5000 Hercules DieselDRXB382587 
DG 4 speed1936-19391E005E86Hercules GasRXC122685 
DG 6 speed1939-7E00 Hercules GasRXC122685 
80D1933-193660006321Hercules DieselDHX360000360264
FD 4 speed1936-193863226699Hercules DieselDHX360265 
FD 6 speed1938-8Y000 Hercules DieselDHXB360265 
FG 4 speed1936-19381CA0461CA054Hercules GasHXE321603 
FG 6 speed1938-1CA500 Hercules GasHXE321603 
GG (General) 1939-19421FA0001FA0164Hercules GasIXA-3664000682537
GG (Co-op) 1939-19421FA10001FA6886Hercules GasIXK-3682538 
HG 31-42-681939-1GA000 Hercules GasIXA-3664000682538
HG 31-42-681939-1GA000 Hercules GasIXK-3682538 

Some technical data of our Cletrac

Links concerning old tractors by Blake Malkamaki
Yesterday Tractors