Tip #1: Finding a Long Lost Tractor, Kristin Gall

I would start to answer by asking what type of tractor, and to how it became long lost. Was it traded off, was it sold to an individual, or was it sold at auction, as there are a few ways to approach this issue.

First, if it was traded off to a dealer, start asking the older salesmen that was around the dealership at the time it was traded. Sometimes records still exist on who it was sold to, second talk with service managers at the dealership. Lots of times a clue to where it went begins with this group of individuals if it was traded off.

Second, if it was sold to an individual, you are limited on the amount of people who was in contact with the tractor to ask these questions. Talk with anyone involved in the transaction, people who may have been hired to haul the tractor, relatives etc.

Third, if the tractor was sold at auction, once in a blue moon, auctioneers may remember who bought that tractor, or may even have those records. Ask neighbors or anyone who may have been at that auction.

In all cases, try to point out any odd items that may have been modified over the years since it was new, something different that stood out, such as things about the paint, tire sizes, cab company brand. Anything to jog someone's memory.

If you are trying to locate the serial number of the tractor to verify a tractor or aid in your search, things like sales receipts that many people saved from the year they bought it, tucked in with their receipts in a shoebox for taxes that year will have the number written on that. Old insurance forms where the tractor was insured, Bank loan papers if a loan was taken out on the tractor. Repair records, sometimes dealers kept track of the serial numbers in their service dept. records.

Today, there are many forms of internet help available to finding long lost tractors. Search out and join the many online forums dedicated to the brand of tractor you are looking for. There are people from all areas of the world, mostly here in the USA and scattered from one end of the US to the other, who participate in these forums. Tell the story of the tractor and see if you can find anyone who was at that sale, or knew of that tractor with the extra fuel tank that was handmade bolted to the frame, the ugly cab etc. – point out anything that would make that tractor stand out in the readers mind. If the tractor was used in tractor pulls, there are also many dedicated tractor pulling fans reading tractor forums or forums dedicated to pulling tractors only. Many times old pulling tractors had dedicated fans who somehow have kept track of where those tractors are over the years.

Facebook is another social media site where there are many tractor and farming groups. These same farmers who visit tractor forums are also very active on Facebook, and many times others who aren't active in those brand specific forums who may have been at that sale or know who owns that tractor.

Over the last several years, some people have started serial number registries for certain models of tractors. These can be mostly found by visiting brand specific tractor forums, where you'll find the individuals who record the whereabouts of a certain model tractor, listed by serial number, last or current owner, where it was seen, such as tractor show, internet site it was listed for sale, etc...It has become a fun hobby that also has helped many find their long lost tractor.

Last but not least, don't give up! Finding that tractor that means a lot to you for one reason or another, being it was your father's tractor, grandfather's tractor, etc.. Has an amazing reward after working hard to find it. The satisfaction and accomplishment as well as being reunited is worth the effort. Ask anyone and everyone, you just never know who has a great memory or remembers that old tractor.

Tip #2: Replicating Tractor Parts, Leo Milleman

 Before attempting what may be a daunting task and faced w replicating parts, I can't stress enough one must start by thorough research and study the project FIRST. Collect all available information one can and study it, a project that internet searches may help in today’s age. Once the data is in front of you, study it well and don't go it alone! Network with friends or experts who share your interest and may provide a fresh look at approaching a current or future problem. Let experts help or fabricate where you may not have the skills, but they must be supplied by the plan and what needs be done. For example, in building ARMY A-II, we had only photos and army testing information from which to work. What was used for that wide front axe? ...Was it from an AR? A standard wide front? Or something we had not considered? But upon looking at the photos carefully and with a magnifying lens, I noted there was a serial number on that axel!  Blowing it up via computer it contained an "X.” In JD lingo, that means experimental. We were not going to find one. I thus purchased the expertise of an excellent antique tractor mechanic who knew an excellent machinist. We calculated measurements from the photos and the experts were able to fabricate the axel in a machine shop.

In summary a project like this takes pre-project research to exhaustion, networking with experts, thinking together, and letting the experts do the tough stuff!  Finding the experts may be the toughest part of the job accompanied by patience by all!   Most of us are not an expert at everything!

Tip #3: Restoring a Foreign Tractor, Dean McCloskey

A guy told me once, “the only things holding you back are feet and fear.” That being said, when it comes to foreign tractors, information, parts availability, and technical resources are not as prevalent as that of some of the more common brands indigenous to the United States.

I like to research and learn all I can about a piece before I begin. Twenty years ago we didn’t have the capability, but nowadays, the internet can be a helpful tool in reducing the amount of time spent accessing information and obtaining parts. At times, it may still require good old fashioned phone calls, and of course, plenty of patience.

During the disassembly process, don’t be afraid to take notes, sketch simple illustrations, and take plenty of photos. Generally speaking, it will take longer to acquire parts and restore an obscure foreign tractor, so this documentation will help facilitate the process. Besides, doing these simple little things will add to your restoration “story,” and people will enjoy learning about the details.

Tip #4: Showing Your Tractor, Jacob Miller

There are many things that one can do before showing a tractor for their first time. It can be a very nerve-racking event for some people so what we recommend is just to stay calm and confident. Don’t get nervous because then your words will just stumble and you won’t remember everything that you did to your project. Another good tip would be study the night before. Of course, you should know what you did to your tractor, but studying it helps to be more acquainted with each step in the process and helps one think quicker when asked about it. While studying, look through pictures showing the process of the restoration, shop manuals, and owner manuals. The judge could ask very specific questions to test your knowledge such as paint codes, what metal the gears are made from, paint mixtures, or even tappet settings so study things that could sneak up on you that you wouldn’t expect. Preparing to show should be like studying for a big test, because like on a test where you want a good grade, at a show you want a great prize.

Since studying happened the day before showing, the next big step would be talking to the judge. When they come up, put on a big smile and act confident about your work. Restoration is a difficult task so be very proud of what you have done! Start by shaking their hand and keeping good eye contact. The biggest tip would be to talk to them like you would talk to anyone else about your tractor. Just act casual and calm and it will be over before you know it. Also, do not lie about the work you have done. Honesty has always been the best policy, so lying will not get you anywhere. Showing tractors is a simple thing that in the end will make you a better speaker, and make showing the next tractor even easier. If you are calm and confident, you will be begging to go show another work of art like the tractor that you’ve restored.

Tip #5: Starting an Antique Tractor Social Media Page, James Fred

When setting up a group page you want to keep it interesting and attention getting. I suggest start by having lots of pictures of the tractors that you're trying to promote, by setting up photo albums for everyone to see.& Make sure that you have beneficial information on the page such as history of the company, etc., because for many younger people, they may be getting into antique tractors for the first time and don't know much about that particular make or model. More times than not people will find the social media page while searching Google for more information and it leads them to your page.

Another thing that I believe is really important is to keep continual activity on the page so that it doesn't go inactive for months on end. When that happens people fail to check back in and most will pass it by. Keep the site updated with upcoming shows, auctions, tractors or parts for sale, etc. is a great way to keep peaking people's interest. Once you have a regular following you will tend to get new people coming to your page regularly because of the word getting around. Also take every opportunity to promote your page by giving out your link in antique magazines and antique forums online.