The 2009 Wheel Horse Tractor Show: A pictorial review…

By Chris Moore:

This past weekend, I was out of town from Thursday to Saturday for the 11th annual Wheel Horse Tractor Show in Arendtsville, Pennsylvania.  This has become a yearly trek for my father and I — a highly anticipated and relaxing bonding experience as we drive six hours to the South Mountain Fairgrounds, walk around the show together, and spend the nights finding dinner and getting as much sleep as possible before our consistently early morning wake-up.

We have to get up early — after all, the show only comes but once a year and there’s a lot to do!

Thanks to my iPhone, I was able to capture some great images from our trip, and now I’d like to share them with you as a scrapbook of sorts, documenting our weekend.  I’ll start with a few from the road, but I promise that most of the pictures will be directly related to the tractor show.

The trip starts by packing up the truck, including driving my dad’s 1968 Wheel Horse Commando 6 into the bed of his Silverado.  After numerous bungee cords, ropes, and bed buggies, we’re ready to go.  A great addition this year was the cooler for drinks.  Just water and soda… :-)

Pennsylvania Bound...

Pennsylvania Bound...

On the road, we always run across some interesting sights.  This year, we were caught in some traffic on the Tappan Zee bridge with a tractor trailer.

Just a tractor trailer...

Just a tractor trailer...

It was a sky blue color with clean chrome, a clear title of the company on the door, and…

...except for the Batgear-esque spikes to shred the tires of your foes!

...except for the Ben Hur style spikes!

…huge spikes sticking out from the tires!

Now, I’ve seen some decorative hubcaps, but these take the prize for most potentially dangerous.

"Precious" Paper for Precious Cargo

"Precious" Paper for Precious Cargo

As a final personal photograph before I begin the tractor show images, I will share the extra toilet paper roll that I found in our hotel room.  I thought this was a great brand, and I couldn’t help but think of Gollum…

So, the show began on Thursday with the dropping off of the tractor.  We chose and were able to get a slot in one of the enclosed barns, which ensured that we wouldn’t have to worry about rain.  A few years ago, it rained and the mud that was kicked up onto the tractor was a pain to kick off.  My dad and I took turns to go “cruising” around the grounds, which was a lot of fun.  The best way to see the show really is to tour it on a tractor.

Cruisin' time...

Cruisin' time...

Some of the tractors at the show are in decent shape, some are terribly rusted and show the signs of age, and some are more pristine than the day they left the production line.  Then there are some that don’t look anything like any other tractors — these are the modified tractors.  Since I took so many pictures of the show-quality tractors last year, I decided to focus on some of the more unique ones this year…

Modified, articulating tractor

Modified, articulating tractor

The articulating tractors are intriguing to watch, and must be very interesting to ride.

Some like to add a softer touch…

How many horses do you think that tractor has?

How many horses do you think that tractor has?

And then there are some for whom the standard 6 or 8 or even 12 horse engines are simply not enough…

Yes, that tractor is faster than my car!

Yes, that tractor is faster than my car!

A constant throughout the show, whether the collectors be the purists who believe every part should be as loyal to the original configuration as possible or those that are more liberal with their restorations, is an interest in this ONE brand of tractors.  Take the classic slogan…

I've got a horse!  WHEEL HORSE, of course!

I've got a horse! WHEEL HORSE, of course!

Some tractor enthusiasts come up with new and different ways to involve the whole family…

A tractor for three

A tractor for three

…and others are interested in the stock tractors only, preserving the history of this brand.

Take this Toro Wheel Horse that is painted purple with flames.  Believe it or not, this is a stock tractor purchased directly from a showroom.

This must be a fast tractor!

This must be a fast tractor!

These tractors were produced as part of a promotional campaign.  Believe it or not, there is NOT an engine on this tractor.  (Note below that the chrome exhaust does not actually connect to anything!)  These were purely for driving interest in the standard line of tractors that Toro had to offer at the time.

Take a closer look... no engine!

Take a closer look... no engine!

A final — and quite possibly the most impressive — unique tractor at the show was a tractor that had been converted into a flatbed truck, complete with smoke stacks, a light bar, hydraulic lift and winch, and so much more.

Now THIS is a custom tractor!

Now THIS is a custom tractor!

Take a look from behind…

Mud flaps and all!

Mud flaps and all!

As a final pictorial note, the Tech Session — hosted by Bill Pearson — focused on steering systems this year.  One of the points he made involved a front axle that was used on many different tractors from the earlier years.  As you’ll see below, the same axle design is used in one direction for a series of years…

Take a close look at the shape of the front axle.

Take a close look at the shape of the front axle.

…then gets flipped upside down and used for another series of years.

Same axle, different direction.

Same axle, different direction.

Well, that about wraps it up for this post.  I hope you’ve enjoyed my scrapbook of highlights from the 2009 Wheel Horse Collectors’ Club Show!

This is one in a series of acoustic cover songs, original music, and free mp3 downloads here on the Laptop Sessions Music Video Blog.

4 thoughts on “The 2009 Wheel Horse Tractor Show: A pictorial review…

  1. Thank you for including the photos of the Wheel Horse rollback. As a partner in the build of this tractor I can tell you that it was quite an undertaking. A lot of fun, but a lot of work too. The 2009 WH show was the debut of the tractor and it seemed to go over quite well. Most people appreciated the amount of work and the workmanship of the build. Hopefully Duke will soon get the videos of the show up on youtube and then you will be able to watch the tractor in action. See you at the 2010 WH show!

  2. I can honestly say that your tractor was one of the highlights of the show for me and my dad. It was extremely creative and yet faithful to the Wheel Horse styling and design that has become their trademark. I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!

    And I’d love to see the video when you post it on YouTube — I’d appreciate you sending your username or the link, once it’s up.

    Take care and see you in 2010!

  3. Chris,
    I will not be the one posting the video, Duke and his wife did the video. They will be the ones posting it. Duke is the same guy who has posted the WH show videos in the past. See you at the show next year.
    Randy

  4. Hey,
    I am the owner of the Roll Back. Who is this Randy guy who is claiming to have built the rig. I built it by myself and nobody elese was around except for the occasional family member who drank beer and told me how much better they could build it. Hey now wait a minute. I do Remember Randy. He was the guy who drank the beer. Oh now wait another minute. I had too much to drink. Now I remember. Randy is the fellow who brought this tractor from the looks of a heap of scrap iron to something totally beautiful. I made it work. He made it pretty. And I was made work till I was pretty broke. Although him and I are nothing pretty to look at we sure can produce some nice offspring. LOL. Thanks for the compliments Chris.

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