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Discussion Forum
Show Parts for Model:

Gafner IRON MULE.....Ford based

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Brad

01-12-2000 21:41:46
152.163.213.67



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I'm trying to find out some info on a 1977 Iron Mule........fowarder/shortwood skidder used in logging....It's engine/driveline is derived from some model of Ford tractor. These units (built by Gafner) were basically Ford tractors (or Massey? during some years) customized/modified to be used in logging operations. Picture a tractor with the front axle removed, connected to another rear axle with an articulation joint, making 4 drive wheels, pivoting between the drive axles. They were built into the late 80's or early 90's. Does anyone know which Ford tractor would be the comparable farm tractor? 1977, 3 cylinder diesel, 50-55 h.p., 4 speed w/hi-low. Any advice, on how to determine "which" model tractor this unit is based on, would be appreciated.

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mark

07-09-2001 15:31:33
205.242.56.60



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 Re: Gafner IRON MULE.....Ford based in reply to Brad, 01-12-2000 21:41:46  
i don't know what model you have but my 1985 5500 has ford a62 loader axels in place of the tractor axels. it is a combination of ford parts. i would like to know which ones they are also. i replaced a broken axel and through ford it was less than half price.



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JED

08-15-2001 15:50:19
206.151.160.56



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 Re: Re: Gafner IRON MULE.....Ford based in reply to mark, 07-09-2001 15:31:33  
BOB AT K2 ENGINEERING HAS A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF KNOWLEDGE WHEN IT COMES TO THE GAFNER IRON MULE. HE WAS INVOLVED IN THE ORIGINAL MACHINES. IF HE CAN'T HELP YOU I DON'T THINK ANYONE CAN. BOB IS A WEALTH OF INFORMATION ON ANYTHING MECHANICAL. GIVE HIM A CALL AT K2 ENGINEERING (906)356-303 I'M SURE HE'D ENJOY A GOOD CHALLENGE!



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mark

07-09-2001 15:31:32
205.242.56.60



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 Re: Gafner IRON MULE.....Ford based in reply to Brad, 01-12-2000 21:41:46  
i don't know what model you have but my 1985 5500 has ford a62 loader axels in place of the tractor axels. it is a combination of ford parts. i would like to know which ones they are also. i replaced a broken axel and through ford it was less than half price.



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Sam Morrow

12-30-2000 20:49:15
24.213.60.83



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 Re: Gafner IRON MULE.....Ford based in reply to Brad, 01-12-2000 21:41:46  
I just purchased a used Gafner IRON MULE. I have no manual. It has a 5 speed with high/low range. A Ford 3 cylinder diesel. I am told around 1980. Any information would be appreciated. Thanks.



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Jed

12-19-2001 15:46:48
206.151.160.135



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 Re: Re: Gafner IRON MULE.....Ford based in reply to Sam Morrow, 12-30-2000 20:49:15  
Talk to a gentlman by the name of Bob at K2-Engineering. He was involved in the original Iron Mules and I'm sure he could help you out. Call 906-356-6303. Otherwise E-mail K2 and it will get to him.



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Bill OH

01-14-2000 06:24:06
198.8.253.11



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 Re: Gafner IRON MULE.....Ford based in reply to Brad, 01-12-2000 21:41:46  
It sort of sounds like a Ford County.



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kim hartshorn

01-13-2000 05:47:56
137.142.82.129



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 Re: Gafner IRON MULE.....Ford based in reply to Brad, 01-12-2000 21:41:46  
In the book Ford and Fordson tractors they show a Fordson Tiple D tractor that is made the way you describe from 2 Fordson Super Majors. I believe the Fordsons were sold in this country during the 70's as the Ford 2000 and 4000. It is possible that they (Fordson, English Ford) built the same configuration with their smaller tractors? OK....I just looked it up in the book...Through 1977 the Ford 2000 was sometimes called the Fordson Dexta (outside the US) and was a 3cylinder diesel. Hope this helps...it is mostly a guess :-)

Good Luck

Kim Hartshorn

P.S. Do you have one of these I would love to see a picture.

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Moye

01-13-2000 16:13:34
208.60.111.2



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 Re: Re: Gafner IRON MULE.....Ford based in reply to kim hartshorn, 01-13-2000 05:47:56  
In the early 60's, they called the English made Fordston the Dexta Diesal. In '63, they came out with the 2000 Super Dexta Diesal.(Granddaddy bought one) This tractor used a 3 cylender Perkins engine. Past this point, I can't help much except to say it was a good tractor, but hard to crank in cold weather, even in South Georgia. Would hate to have one in Canada.:) Moye



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Brad

01-15-2000 14:46:45
205.188.200.23



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 Re: Re: Re: Gafner IRON MULE.....Ford based in reply to Moye, 01-13-2000 16:13:34  
Well I'm damn near in Canada....brrr. But we've got "ways" to deal with what Mother Nature throws at us.:)..Curiously enough, some of these units manufactured by Gafner, were powered by a Perkins diesel (not mine, but some others). I think this is where some people get the "Massey-Ferguson" connection, as they used Perkins in their diesels.



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Brad

01-13-2000 10:16:21
205.188.193.47



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 Re: Re: Gafner IRON MULE.....Ford based in reply to kim hartshorn, 01-13-2000 05:47:56  
Thanks for the "leads"....Do you know if the Fordson/Dexta had the same insignia as the standard Fords? The engine and I believe the transmission (?) both have the standard Ford "oval" and Ford name. I did discover that the starter is stamped as being made in Britian. This may or may not lend credence to the British connection, depending upon whether or not regular Fords used British built starters. I too have seen a picture of the double Fordson Major that you described. The mule is similar except it has only one engine. The back axle is powered via a driveshaft coming from the front axle. Thanks again, and yes I do have one of these machines. Maybe I'll try to get a picture scanned somehow.

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outdoorsknight

01-29-2005 12:36:03
207.231.114.123



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 Re: Re: Re: Gafner IRON MULE.....Ford based in reply to Brad, 01-13-2000 10:16:21  
Go to webpage, "uspto.gov" type in patent number 2914203, and then wait, hit "image". The 1959 issued patent for a "pulp wood loader" with diagrams that Emil Gafner was granted will appear. Assignee, Gafner Machine, Inc.
A lot of interested stuff can be found on "uspto.gov". Who invented what.



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d deveraux

10-25-2002 18:33:27
198.81.26.238



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 Re: Re: Re: Gafner IRON MULE.....Ford based in reply to Brad, 01-13-2000 10:16:21  
iron muel is closest to ford country six info i can find. i have a county six for with loader but have not been able to find any info on it help as where to look thanks



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Tony Jacobs

01-13-2000 20:26:24
216.67.45.49



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 Re: Re: Re: Gafner IRON MULE.....Ford based in reply to Brad, 01-13-2000 10:16:21  
Brad It may have british background with newer ford tractors but not the Fordson/Dexta/Major/County lines because I belive they were all out of production by the mid 1960's, the newer tractors were made in England but were not dextas,majors or countys, they were now in the thousand series of tractors, I have been doing Logging equipment repair for over 20 years, and have never heard of this machine,Where was it built and sold ? Thanks Tony Jacobs

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JED

12-19-2001 15:36:45
206.151.160.135



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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Gafner IRON MULE.....Ford based in reply to Tony Jacobs , 01-13-2000 20:26:24  
The Gafner Iron Mule was built by a mechanical genious by the name of Emil Gafner. The Iron Mule is a logging forwarder that was originally built using Ford tractors as a base unit.

Emil Gafner has since died but not before he sold his company to Valmet, now Partek Forests. The company is based out of Gladstone, Michigan.

We have a gentleman, by the name of Bob working at K2 Engineering that was very much involved in the developement of the Iron Mule and is extremely knowledgable when it comes to the Iron Mule and other logging equipment. Drop him a line or call (906)356-6303, I'm sure he could help you with any questions you may have.

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Jame Gabor

10-29-2003 16:50:36
64.12.96.199



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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Gafner IRON MULE.....Ford base in reply to JED, 12-19-2001 15:36:45  
Hey there....I'm the proud owner of a Gafner 152 Mini-Skidder(Massey based)...one of only 2 made...been a good machine for 24 years now an' still going strong.....wish I could find the mate to it....last known locale in North Central Wisconsin...Latter jim



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Art Hebert

07-24-2006 18:35:38
67.130.87.57



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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Gafner IRON MULE.....Ford in reply to Jame Gabor, 10-29-2003 16:50:36  
Hello, Jim--I own a Gafner 152 Mini-Skidder, which I believe is Massey-based. I am interested in selling it to the highest bidder. The machine was purchased by my father-in-law in Menominee, MI. If you are interested, please contact me.



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Brad

01-15-2000 14:39:21
205.188.200.23



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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Gafner IRON MULE.....Ford based in reply to Tony Jacobs , 01-13-2000 20:26:24  
Tony, The owners manual shows both Eufala, AL, and Escanaba, MI. Gafner also produced just the loader (knuckleboom & clam) portion for use on other machines such as a catepillar. I'm not sure of their sales territory, but I know they were quite popular in my part of the country (northern Wisconsin). It's (according to the manual) "the original fowarder". Basically the same principle as fowarders built today such as Timberjack, Valmet, Ponnse, etc.. They were built into the 90's, but currently not in production. The later units did away with any of the resemblence to farm tractors. The earlier units (like mine) retained the styled hood/dash of a regular farm tractor. The very front of the nose was not tractor styled, but rather was built with heavier steel to withstand the constant abuse of tree limbs. Since my original question, I've discovered that mine was based on a Ford 4000.

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JON (CT)

01-15-2000 18:57:41
209.150.23.155



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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Gafner IRON MULE.....Ford based in reply to Brad, 01-15-2000 14:39:21  
Brad,

They had an Iron Mule where my dad works, it was a nice machine. I thought i heard once that Timber Jack bought out Gafner? but I could be wrong. I asked my dad to check to see if they might still have the service manuals for it... but probably not. they traded it in on a D5 Dozer last year. I will try to post a couple of bad photos that I had around so you can all see what they look like.

Jon

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JON (CT)

01-16-2000 06:45:38
209.150.23.209



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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Gafner IRON MULE.....Ford based in reply to JON (CT), 01-15-2000 18:57:41  
Sorry if the photos didn't work... Xoom likes to change whatever you put on there! Try this one instead...

Jon



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W.Tilley

04-24-2001 17:10:51
209.128.34.2



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 Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Gafner IRON MULE.....Ford based in reply to JON (CT), 01-16-2000 06:45:38  
I'm from Nf Canada,I have never seen an IRON MULE in person but there are some in the maritime provinces.I have an s-7 International skidder which has a four cyl ford diesel.A fordson four gasket kit will fit it.We also have a rough terrain forklift with a three cyl ford diesel,which looks just like a shorter version of the four cyl.I got parts from a local New Holland dealer for it.



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