Jump to content

Nominations for Tractor of the Month
Garden Tractors and Parts on eBay



Photo
- - - - -

One Ridemaster out - one Ridemaster in


  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 jdcrawler OFFLINE  

jdcrawler

    tinkerer

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 1639
  • 3,173 Thanks
  • 1,724 posts
  • Location: Madison, Indiana

Posted April 08, 2011 - 02:19 PM

You may remember this Bolens Ridemaster that I got last summer out of Illinois.

Posted Image


Well ... I sold it this winter and last month I picked up this one to replace it.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image


I know you're all thinking ... Why did he sell that good looking tractor and then buy that terrible looking tractor ??????
Well the good looking tractor was one of three, 1948 Ridemasters that I had.
The terrible looking Ridemaster that I got just happens to be a 1947.
Here is the tag off it.

Posted Image

You'll notice that the tag is different from the tags used on the 1948 thru 1958 Ridemasters.
The 1948 thru 1958 tags look like this.

Posted Image


The owner had taken it apart to rebuild it about 10 years ago and then lost interest in it.
... Why do these get painted John Deere green all the time ? ...

The front axle steering support was bent so I repaired that before I put it back together enough to get some photos.

Edited by jdcrawler, April 08, 2011 - 03:39 PM.


#2 daytime dave OFFLINE  

daytime dave

    Live long and prosper

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 531
  • 4,485 Thanks
  • 6,353 posts
  • Location: Upstate NY

Posted April 08, 2011 - 02:30 PM

Looks pretty good to me, congrats on the '47.
  • jdcrawler said thank you

#3 LPBolens ONLINE  

LPBolens

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 874
  • 1,176 Thanks
  • 882 posts
  • Location: North Central Illinois

Posted April 08, 2011 - 02:41 PM

Ray, my congratulations on the '47 as well.

As a part of my trip up to WI yesterday to get another Power Ho, I had the opportunity to visit with Hank Watkins. He lives in the same town as the guy that sold the Power Ho and snowcaster to me. While I was with Hank, he showed me his partially restored Ridemaster with the two-speed trans, AND his FMC Bean Cutler. Those all-steel rear wheels are something I had never seen before, and must be quite rare. Unfortuately, I forgot my camera!
  • jdcrawler said thank you

#4 jdcrawler OFFLINE  

jdcrawler

    tinkerer

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 1639
  • 3,173 Thanks
  • 1,724 posts
  • Location: Madison, Indiana

Posted April 08, 2011 - 03:15 PM

I've talked with Hank quite a bit but I've never met him.
As far as he knows, there are only two sets of those cast iron rear wheels still around.

#5 DMF OFFLINE  

DMF

    Tractorholic

  • Senior Member
  • Member No: 1337
  • 10 Thanks
  • 285 posts
  • Location: Warren, MA

Posted April 08, 2011 - 04:12 PM

I know you're all thinking ... Why did he sell that good looking tractor and then buy that terrible looking tractor ??????


I know that's what I was thinking....:(

After your explanation though, it all makes sense to me now! Congrats! :thumbs:
  • jdcrawler said thank you

#6 mjodrey OFFLINE  

mjodrey

    Accumulator

  • Senior Member
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 92
  • 2,343 Thanks
  • 13,481 posts
  • Location: Upper Granville, Nova Scotia, Canada

Posted April 08, 2011 - 06:19 PM

Hey ,congratulations.
  • jdcrawler said thank you

#7 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

Bolens 1000

    DR. Bolens

  • Staff Admin
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 7
  • 12,701 Thanks
  • 17,209 posts
  • Location: Western NY

Posted April 08, 2011 - 10:08 PM

Congrats on the new Bolens!
  • jdcrawler said thank you

#8 wilberj ONLINE  

wilberj
  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 51
  • 4,213 Thanks
  • 5,218 posts
  • Location: Michigan

Posted April 09, 2011 - 09:04 AM

I dont know if you seen my post on the other forum so i'll just post it here to.

Ray,
I dont see how it could be a 47 from what I learned the only 47 ridemasters were from ser#1-100 and were only test tractors that were not sold. Ser# 101 was the first tractor sold and that was in 1948. Maybe you know something I dont but Aaron has a ridemaster with the older tag and a lower ser# then yours and he told me it was a 48.

Wish I would of know you were selling a 48 would of liked to buy it.
  • jdcrawler said thank you

#9 jdcrawler OFFLINE  

jdcrawler

    tinkerer

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 1639
  • 3,173 Thanks
  • 1,724 posts
  • Location: Madison, Indiana

Posted April 09, 2011 - 02:06 PM

Jerome, I did see your post on the other forum but I'll go ahead and respond here also. ....
I know that the information on these tractors is often confusing and I can only go by what others have told me ( the same as you ).

I've not talked with Aaron much but I've talked with Hank Watkins a lot about the Ridemasters and the Bean Cutlers.
This is what Ive gotten from him:

.... FMC built the Bean Cutlers in 1946 and the factory called them "Huski Ridemasters" but that name was never actually put on the tractors them selves.
After FMC bought out Bolens, they modified the Bean Cutler and brought it out as the Ridemaster in 1947 using the same drive system that was used on the Bean Cutler.
Those first tractors had a Huski tag on them and the "Ridemaster" decal on the frame.
He isn't sure of just how many of the first Ridemasters came with the Husky tag before they switched to the later tag.
Hank said that Aarons Ridemaster with the huski tag should be a1947.

Hank also says that the first 100 Ridemasters being used as test tractors is wrong.
The testing was done on the FMC Bean Cutler and that same front drive was used on the Ridemasters so there wasn't any testing needing because the drive was already proven. ....

Thinking about that, I have to agree with what Hank says.
The factory would have done testing on the Bean Cutler before it was ever put out for sales so there wouldn't have been much ( if any ) testing needing to be done on the Ridemasters when they came out.

If they did do more testing on the Ridemasters, what would have need to be tested on them that it would have destroyed 100 tractors ?
Certainly not the front drive, that was already all tested out on the Bean Cutlers.


So we have two guys that are both experts on the Ridemasters and one says it's a 48 and one says it's 47.
Like I said, the information is often confusing and even the engineering changes sometimes contradict themselves.

........................................................................

Not letting you know the tractor was for sale was not anything that I intentionally did because it wasn't really for sale.
I've had a guy in Pennsylvanian wanting to buy that Ridemaster ever since I got it.
He would call every once in a while just to keep in touch with me.
When I found this other one up in the UP, I went ahead and sold that one to him the next time he called and used the money from the sale to buy this one.

Edited by jdcrawler, April 09, 2011 - 02:36 PM.


#10 jdcrawler OFFLINE  

jdcrawler

    tinkerer

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 1639
  • 3,173 Thanks
  • 1,724 posts
  • Location: Madison, Indiana

Posted April 10, 2011 - 08:26 AM

So we have a discrepancy as to whether or not the Bolens Ridemaster was sold in 1947 ?
There are two people that are very knowledgeable on the Ridemasters.
One says they were sold in 1947 and the other says they were not sold in 1947.

When I got my first Ridemaster I went searching on the internet for information on them and came across Aaron who told me ( as he told Jerome ) that the first 100 Ridemasters that were made in 1947 were all test tractors and they were not sold until 1948.
I also saw on the Smokstak forum where someone asked about Ridemasters and in answering that someone made this statement:
"Type 35AA started production May 26 1948 and Type 35AB started production July 2 1948. The Ridemaster Model 35AA is equipped with 4.00x18 front tires. The Model 35AB is equipped with 5.50x16 front tires."
So ... at that time, I also accepted it as fact that the first Ridemasters were sold in 1948.


After I got the Bean Cutler, I became acquainted with Hank Watkins.
Hank bought his first Bolens tractor in 1963 when he was 21 years old.
It was a 58 Ride-A-Matic and he has been collecting Bolens tractors since then.
He currently has 7-Ride-A-Matics, 3-Ridemasters and a Bean cutler.
He was written up in the July/August 2009 issue of Lawn & Garden Collector Magazine.
He has been keeping a registry of Bolens tractors and it has 300 Ridemasters and 27 FMC Bean Cutlers on it.
Now, after talking with Hank the last few months, I have changed my mind as to when the first Ridemasters were sold.

Jerome has brought the "first year" question up again.
I thought this would be very easy to settle by checking the serial number on the engine that came with my Ridemaster.
Unfortunately, this is what the tag looks like.

Posted Image


Last night I did some more searching on the internet.
Other than the response to the question posted on Smokstak, I did not find any statement that provided proof that they were or were not sold in 1947.

I did find photos on the Yahoo group of a Ridemaster with the serial number R-137 and the owner says it is a 1947.
I also ran across this photo on the Antique Tractors Forum.
It is an add for a Bolens Ridemaster in 1947.

Posted Image


Now you have to ask yourself a couple of questions ? ......
(1) If FMC was already selling the Bean Cutler in 1946 and switched to the Ridemaster in 1947, Why would they not sell any for the whole year of 1947 and why would they build 100 tractors and scrap them all ?

(2) If they did not sell any Ridemasters in 1947 then why would they have made an advertisement for a 1947 Ridemaster ?

As for explaining the serial number starting with 101 ... it is a common practice for manufactures to start their serial numbers at a higher number.
The first FMC Bean Cutlers started at serial number #J-26181 ( this is shown in the copy of the original owners manual that I have ).

Edited by jdcrawler, April 10, 2011 - 10:21 AM.

  • LPBolens said thank you

#11 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

Bolens 1000

    DR. Bolens

  • Staff Admin
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 7
  • 12,701 Thanks
  • 17,209 posts
  • Location: Western NY

Posted April 10, 2011 - 08:32 AM

Wow this is getting complicated!

Thanks for all the info you have posted here Ray!
This is definitely more confusing than the tube frame series LOL
  • jdcrawler said thank you

#12 NUTNDUN OFFLINE  

NUTNDUN

    Lost in Cyber Space

  • Admin
  • Staff
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 3
  • 10,266 Thanks
  • 15,618 posts
  • Location: Pennsylvania

Posted April 10, 2011 - 06:50 PM

I am leaning towards 1947 being correct. I really can't see the whole theory of 100 prototypes being built and scrapped. At least not back then. Great information Ray, thank you for posting it here.
  • jdcrawler said thank you

#13 jdcrawler OFFLINE  

jdcrawler

    tinkerer

  • Senior Member
  • -GTt Supporter-
  • Contributor
  • Member No: 1639
  • 3,173 Thanks
  • 1,724 posts
  • Location: Madison, Indiana

Posted April 11, 2011 - 04:34 PM

To try an clear this up a little, I talked with Hank Watkins again today.
He has a old Bolens implement shop service manual that is about 1/2 inch think.
It list the Ridemaster as being sold in 1947.

The manual also list the FMC Bean Cutler as being sold in 1946 and 1947.

The manual doesn't say specifically if the two models were sold together with the left over 46 Bean Cutlers being sold until they were all gone.
Or .. if the Ridemasters just came out mid year ( sort of like the 64-1/2 Mustang cars ).




Top