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Article Comments
Comments for Cletrac General History
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George From Ontario wrote on Sunday, January 26, 2003 (PST):
  • Thanks for this very interesting and informative Article . George
    Bob George wrote on Wednesday, February 12, 2003 (PST):
  • Thanks for the informative article.I live in South Carolina USA and have two General GGs that I am planing to get restored into one good one.The serial numbers are GG4FA412 and GG8FA846.I don't know what year they are but both have electric starters.You stated that most didn't.Don't know if this is something special southern USA. Thanks and keep up the good work Bob George
    Jay Cramer wrote on Monday, April 07, 2003 (PDT):
  • Back in the 60's I had a neighbor in South Dakota who owned an Avery (he said it was a '45) that he bought from Wards. He had repainted it with a brush, but you could still see the Avery markings on the side of the hood. It had the hand brakes like the General, and a hand lift for the plow--no hydraulics. It also had those button tread Wards tires that plugged up with mud very easily. With the 2-bottom mounted plow, it was a handy rig for plowing gardens, but I wasn't big enough to use the hand lift when plowing sod without either backing up to release the plow bottoms from the ground, or standing up on the tractor frame and leaning on the lever.
    Ron Wiebe wrote on Sunday, April 20, 2003 (PDT):
  • I have a 1942 General GG Ser# 8FA380. I also have the original instruction and parts list manual that came with the tractor. it list 4 paint colors as follows48000Cletrac Orange(Standard) 2032 Black 37994 Buckskin and 37999 Chestnut Brown I believe that the tractor I have was originally buckskin I have not found cletrac Orange in any unfaded areas. If you know of any one who might have a herc motor for me please e-mail me. If you need any info from the manual I have I would be happy to scan pages for you
    DALE DOAN wrote on Wednesday, April 23, 2003 (PDT):
  • Would you have any information on a clevland crawler with a model number DGH , It has a HERCULES six cyl. diesel looks like about the size of a D6 of the 40s or 50s Thank you DALE DOAN
    Abe South wrote on Thursday, May 29, 2003 (PDT):
  • I have my father's one horse turning plow and would like some info about it. It is made of cast iron and has enbossed on it, the name B F Avery, and also has a number 27 on it. Does anyone know when it was made, or anything about it? Your help would be appriciated. Abe South
    Daren Anderson wrote on Monday, June 30, 2003 (PDT):
  • Great article - very interesting. We have two Avery's - both restored by my Dad, who has since passed away. Would anyone know what these would be worth? I really do not want to sell them but my Mom is getting up in age and she could use a central A/C on the farm. Thanks.
    Jack B wrote on Sunday, November 09, 2003 (PST):
  • I have located what I think is an avery near my home but all I see that that has avery on it are the rear axles, and it says B.F. Avery.It is a small tractor and it looks like it has hydraulics on it.It is in very good shape as far as sheet metal and tires and it has a narrow front end with two tires it kind of orange in color paint still in good shape.The guy says it runs very good.Where would the serial number be located, thinking about buying it but don"t really know what it is any help would be appreciated.
    Jim P wrote on Sunday, November 16, 2003 (PST):
  • I got remarried last year and with the new wife I got a 1947 B.F.Avery , it was is the shop half torn apart all rusty but the sheetmetal was in good shape. the engine was full of rust and stuck really bad but I got it apart and sent the engine block to to a machine shop to get rebored and one cylinder sleeved, He had a hard time getting new pistons but he did find them in Los Angles. the rest of the parts no problum. I have all the sheetmetal and parts painted waiting for my Engine to complete my restoration . This tractor has no PTO but it dose have Hydrolics hooked to a Bracket under the front (must be for a cultifator)and rear bracket for lifting ? Jim
    Craig Kern wrote on Friday, December 12, 2003 (PST):
  • My Avery A has the serial number stamped on the top of the right frame rail at the rear, I removed several layers of paint to find it. Early "A's" had hand brakes, later foot brakes. MIne has an Hercules IXK-3 engine.
    S.E. Miller wrote on Friday, January 16, 2004 (PST):
  • I just supposed that the huge Avery's of the Teens and 20's were one and same as B.F. Avery. Living in North-Central Ohio, I've seen many B.F. Avery's and a few Generals. I've never seen brochures on either, but I have seen each offered in Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalogues and in Montgomery Wards catalogues, both of which were strictly mail-order operations until the 1960's when both opened full department store chains. Montgomery Ward also offered A much larger Wards tractor which was in fact an Intercontinental. It had a 6 cylinder Chrysler Industrial engine coupled to the manual trans. via Fluid Drive. B.F. Avery's and I feel certain Generals sold by Sears and M-W at tumes carried their own names and at times the store name. I have never seen a red B.F.Avery - but all of these and the Generals were painted the exact same color; an un-assuming orange being perhaps slightly yellow-orange. They were not brightly colored and except for home paint jobs, this one color was the color of all of them. Also, I don't remember any being equipped with anything other than a single front wheel. On that subject, single front wheels were rare everywhere. Most commonly seen so equipped was the Silver King which was manuf. about 50 miles from my home, and on Allis Chalmers WC and WD models (never saw any WD-45's so equipped - but I think every tractor maker offered that optional configuration.
    JON HUCKABEE wrote on Saturday, February 05, 2005 (PST):
  • i have recently adopted a(i think is an avery a) not sure. the serial#'s on the enigine block reads a 1xk3, 15, 3-1/8times4, 686959, and then below on the tag it reads .008 .006 . on the rearend the tag reads (THE GENERAL, CLEVLAND TRACTOR COMPANY, SERIAL# 1FA3056, PATENT #'S 1803447,1810635) EXHAUST#28818-D, DISTRIBUTOR 1113B,076018, GENERATOR#114080,ELECTRIC STARTER# AUTOLITE MZ-4098,TRANSMISSION#4880 3SPEED W/REVERSE. I HAVE READ THE WEB SITE AND I DO BELIEVE I HAVE ON. I AM TRYING TO FIND A SITE SO I CAN PUT THE SERIAL NUMBER IN TO FIND OUT EXACTLY WHAT MAKE AND YEAR IT IS. IF YOU COULD HELP ME I WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE IT. THANKS, JON FROM GATESVILLE,TX. CELL#210-355-2433
    RED TAIL HAWK wrote on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 (PDT):
  • Good article would have nice to have had a couple of pictures to go with it
    Esev wrote on Tuesday, August 23, 2005 (PDT):
  • During the mid 1940's my Grandfather was a tennant farmer on a small dairy here in Vermont. The owner of the farm was the owner of the Elgin Watch co. in Chicago, IL. Mr. Potter ordered a new Wards Twinrow from Montgomery Wards for Grandpa to use at the farm. Dad about 15 years old at the time recalls the day the tractor arrived along with crates, and pallets full of attachments. He said they scratched their heads a lot, but were finally able to figure out, and assemble all that beautifull new equipment !! All of which had the name WARDS on it, but I am sure most of it would have been manufactured by BF Avery.
    Richey Wasserman wrote on Monday, May 22, 2006 (PDT):
  • Just got a 4200# crawler at auction in N. California in good shape. She's got a chain-driven winch with H158 embossed on it, and a Waukesha gas 4-banger. Can anyone give me any info about this fine little Cletrac?
    Charles Milton wrote on Sunday, January 28, 2007 (PST):
  • My father had a Model GG General Tractor purchased from Massey Harris dealer in Milton,Ont.This was in the early 1940 s.This was a very fisty little machine it pulled a 2 12 inch plow.We had ahilly farm so it had to work very hard, also we used it on a grain grinder which worked well.
    Don Tiffin wrote on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 (PST):
  • Very helpful. I plan on restoring my grand dad's old GG one of these days and would appreciate any help on parts availability for my seized up engine.
    Jon Holman wrote on Friday, March 28, 2008 (PDT):
  • The two Cletrac Generals that I have seen pictures of on the web that look like original tractors have been painted yellow. Of course pictures can be deceiving. They were listed as being in original condition though.
    wally eckard wrote on Monday, September 08, 2008 (PDT):
  • where is the ser # on the cletrac . my crawler has the name oliver on the eninge. iam looking to find out what year this crawler was made. i also need the track tool. thanks wally
    G. L. Perry wrote on Monday, September 22, 2008 (PDT):
  • Finally a story on the Gear Manufacturer! My gears from my MM BG have an E with Big C around them, in a square with knocked off corners. I was told Clark Equipment, which makes sense with the markings, but no one knew for sure. They say were used in Clark fork trucks. Was also told AC's of little size had same gears. Mine is a 4spd, which makes it harder to find, not the plentiful 3spds. My engine was stuck bad, and finding sleeves is hard. I now have leads on some. All Herc parts are way high. Place in Ohio called Hercano Propulsions is what is left off all the factory stock. Also Zimmerman's Cletrac crawler site has some parts. Wish I could find some gears, then mine could get chassis back together at least. Anyone? Thanks for this story. I see it was older, but just popped up on the YT site front page today.
    Earl Wilson wrote on Thursday, March 12, 2009 (PDT):
  • I am restoring a 1949 B.F. Avery A Row crop from George White and Sons London Ontario, original sales point. My question is, What was the original paint colour for the frame and also, for the wheels?
    Ron TePoel, texas wrote on Sunday, March 29, 2009 (PDT):
  • I have owned several of these, and they are very satisfactory
    Evelyn Avery wrote on Wednesday, May 20, 2009 (PDT):
  • I would like permission to put your article in the BF Avery and Associates Newsletter. It may be of interest to our members. I just didn't want to copy and use it without permission from the author. Evelyn Avery Editor, BF Avery & Associates
    Donald E. Elliott wrote on Tuesday, November 16, 2010 (PST):
  • I was raised on a farm near Harpster ( Wyandot County ) Ohio and as a kid, drove our B. F. Avery with the name " THE GENERAL " and it was painted a light orange. That was in the 40's.
    Adolf Jaeger wrote on Thursday, July 28, 2011 (PDT):
  • The name of the founder of Cletrac was Rollin (not Roland, as in the article) H White.
    ShadetreeRet wrote on Friday, September 23, 2011 (PDT):
  • I do enjoy and appreciate articles such as this! Not book length, but packed with information! I grew up on a small farm in the 1950's but left to seek my fortune elsewhere upon graduation from high school. I have always been fascinated with anything mechanical, especially farm equipment. I knew that many brand names disappeared over the years, but never knew just what happened to them. Since discovering this site, I have found many answers, in that most of them were absorbed by larger companies for one reason or another. Thank you again for the information. L.D.H.
    Susan DeMaison wrote on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 (PDT):
  • I have a1839 "general" with crank start for sale. My husband refurbished around 2000. My son gad if running the other day. Am looking for interest
    Rosemary Smith wrote on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 (PDT):
  • My brother recently bought a General tractor, serial number IFA3062. Is there a serial number list to determine the year? Also, he needs an exhaust manifold and a grill. Any ideas on where to acquire these?
    Wiley Bowman wrote on Monday, September 23, 2013 (PDT):
  • I have two 1941 General GG tractors. One was bought brand new and the other was found in a junk yard. My uncle bought one the same time as my dad, so I think it may have been his. Both are equipped with PTO and a 6 volt electrical system with magneto that powered headlights and a starter, though both are equipped with a hand crank. We seldom had a good battery, so we used the hand crank most of the time. The original color was a mix between yellow and orange with black lettering "The General". I plan to restore my dad's tractor first as all parts are there except for the fenders. As a kid, the fenders were my seat when riding with my dad and probably broke off with metal fatigue. Suggestions for fenders will be appreciated. I also have iron wheels that were bought after market for use in plowing new ground. Dad said they rode too rough, so he put the rubber tires back on.
    Jesse Gibbons wrote on Friday, August 08, 2014 (PDT):
  • I actually own the yellow one. We've never had any photoshots done or anything but maybe they took pictures at a show we were at. Its yellow because my pap (who restored it) sanded it done and the last color before primer was yellow and there was no orange. Please feel free to comment back because to be honest this thing just gets more interesting everyday!
    James Hearn wrote on Sunday, October 04, 2015 (PDT):
  • I have a general gg, was wondering if you knew where I could get parts ? Thank you
    James Hearn wrote on Tuesday, October 06, 2015 (PDT):
  • I have a general gg, was wondering if you knew where I could get parts ? Thank you
    Dave devine wrote on Monday, March 27, 2017 (PDT):
  • Hi I have a 1945 general tractor for restoration need to know what it is worth I am selling it thanks
    Hayden Stone wrote on Tuesday, August 08, 2017 (PDT):
  • We have a General GG (s/n 1FA3582 that came with a starter on it. My father purchased it new from a Massy Harris Dealer. It is the orange color and we are just restoring it and they color matched it from the underside of the hood and parts. We also have a Twin Row (s/n 9FA762)that does not have a starter on it but everything else is the same as the GG other that its red but is orange underneath the red. I am looking to get a steering wheel as it has been replaced and is not correct. We also have a 47 Avery A and a 49 A that I need a starter for.
    Kevin Van Oirschot wrote on Sunday, September 16, 2018 (PDT):
  • First of all, I want to say how awesome it is that an article written in 2003 is still generating comments in 2017 (2018 now!). Anyway, I don't know anything about these tractors (I'm an old outboard motor guy) but found this article because I noticed two 'tricycle' tractors for sale here in Michigan. One is a yellow Cletrac GG (serial # 4FA752) while the other is a red BF Avery Model A (no serial # but advertised as a 1946). Both appear to have a hole in the grill for a crank start. The grill on the BF Avery appears a bit fancier than the one on the Cletrac, having a more bubbly appearance which, based on earlier comments, seems to indicate that it is a later model (1946, per the ad). Thanks for a great article. I might become a tractor guy yet! BTW, did anyone respond to Evelyn Avery's request?

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