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Bolens Garden Tractor History

bolens tractor bolens garden tractor history bolens history fmc bolens fmc bolens history


Thanks for the walk through of Bolens history Brian! Love the old ad pics
Thanks for the excellent article Brian. Sure is nice to learn the history of these great old tractors. ( I forgot that your correct title is
Dr Bolens )
Good interesting article, I like it, thanks
Thanks for the history. I started this spring with one Bolens and have added 3 more to my collection. I am having fun with them

Thanks for the history lesson,I already knew it but was great to read it again.Good article Brian. :thumbs:

Thanks for taking the time to put this history of the Bolens garden tractors together. I wish that we had something like this for all the makes that we have on here. Learning something new everyday on this site.

Thanks again,

I've seen the Bolens history posted on several sights and this is by far the best presentation of all of them. Thank you for taking the time to post it.

If you don't mind, I can add a little information on the Ridemasters.

In 1946 and 1947, the Food Machinery Corporation ( FMC ) built a completely self contained riding garden tractor in it's Bean Cutler Division.
This tractor became known as the Bean Cutler.

Here is a photo of one:

Posted Image

After they bought out Bolens, they redesigned the Bean Cutler a little and brought it out as the Bolens Ridemaster.
The first 100 tractors were used as test tractors in 1947 and the first tractors sold to the public were brought out in 1948 with serial #R-101.

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.

The Ridemaster was first equipped with a Wisconsin AKS engine and then equipped with a Wisconsin AKN engine starting in 1950.

Type 35AC was equipped with Briggs and Stratton engine and 6.00x16 front rims with 7.00x16 tires. ( 4 tractors were built in 1949 )

Type 38AB01 was introduced in 1955 equipped with a Briggs and Stratton engine and 6.00x16 front tires.

Type 38AB02 and 38AB03 were the same as the 38AB01 except they were equipped with 2 speed transmissions.

Ridemaster production lasted thru 1958.

Bolens 1000
Dec 08, 2010 02:44 PM
Thank you for posting that information.
I tried my best to include all models in the condensed description but as you know Bolens has a huge history to cover.
I am fascinated by these ridemasters.
If you wish, you could make your own article to submit to the front page of GTT talking about the ridemasters. I am planning on writing an article that describes the Tubeframes in depth. It would be awesome if you could write up one for the Ridemaster. Mabye wilberj can write an article describing the Large frames?
Bolens 1000
Dec 08, 2010 02:49 PM
That would give us the 3 major makes and Models of the Bolens line
Yep, you are more then welcome to write an in depth article on the Ridemasters if you would like. GTtalk is even throwing in a shirt for published articles
steve johnson
Dec 19, 2010 08:36 PM

I am new to this site and it looks like it will be a great place to spend time. I have been collecting old garden tractors since 1995 and have more than my share. My favorites are my set of RIDE-a-matic's. I have a seven models restored and two RIDE-a-matic's that were made for Western Auto Stores. One is a 56-58 with a 4hp Clinton engine. It is orange with yellow wheels and the cast grill says "WIZARD" on it. The second one is a 61 model. It has a 7 hp Kohler. It is orange with cream colored wheels and the cast iron grill says "WIZARD". Most collectors that I have talked to have never heard of these. The serial numbers on both of them are very small so I would guess that they did not make many of them. I will try to figure out how I can post pictures and will try to do that.


Steve Johnson Salem Oregon

Bolens 1000
Dec 19, 2010 08:50 PM

Hi Steve we would love to hear more about your tractors.
We also love pictures here :wewantpics:


Welcome to GTT Steve,
You have a nice fleet of Ride a Matics there. I have heard about the bolens built wizard but I have only seen 2 of them myself. Now what would be that Tube frame hideing in the back ground of the pics?

Welcome Steve,nice looking tractors
Thanks for the History lesson Brian! Also thanks for the additions Ray! This is a very informative article, thank you both for taking the time to put it together!
tex tractor jack
Jan 29, 2011 11:24 PM
Great history lesson. I have a Husky 1257, I just bought a new starter for it and need to start restoring
Bolens 1000
Jan 31, 2011 07:07 AM

We would love to see some pictures! :D

great article nice to learn a little history
great showing of years at bolens
Very good writeup Doc.
I gotta rib ya a little bit though for not mentoning the Q series. lol
Great write-up, Brian! Thanks for sharing it!!
thanks 1000 i thought that the diesel was a ht20d the same as the export model also whats a 1455 with tiller snow blower and mower worth also the rear tires and rims are gone it might be hard to find the 6 blot rear wheels
thanks 1000 i thought that the diesel was a ht20d the same as the export model also whats a 1455 with tiller snow blower and mower worth also the rear tires and rims are gone it might be hard to find the 6 blot rear wheels
I see the typo 8tyman8 sees It was the HT20D not the HT23D.
I have a bolens i cant find any info on or any parts tractors. Can anybody lend me some knowledge? Email me or reply some how? This is the only place ive seen bolens talk so far. Sorry if this is the wrong place. Im just at a loss.