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Minneapolis-Moline: A Strong Tractor Company Built from Three

In the early part of the 20th century, the tractor and farming equipment marketplace was extremely competitive and cutthroat. Companies had to do all kinds of maneuvering in order to survive. It is for this reason that three companies merged together in 1929 to form the Minneapolis-Moline Company located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Those three companies were the Minneapolis Steel & Machinery Company, the Moline Implement Company, and the Minneapolis Threshing Machine Company. Together, they built the prairie-gold “Minne-Mo” tractors which were powerful workhorses from the beginning of the 1930s to the postwar years.

Twin City was the brand of tractors that came from the Minneapolis Steel & Machinery Company. Twin City tractors were lightweight, more compact, and more affordable. They were also engineered to high standards and were the baseline for all future Minneapolis-Moline tractor production. Production of Twin City tractors started in 1908. The Minneapolis-Moline Twin City 21-32 was a popular model. It was sold between 1930 through 1934 and recognized by its Twin City nameplate. Other Twin City models included the 17-28 and 27-44.

In 1938, Minneapolis-Moline produced the innovative UDLX. The UDLX model was also known as the Comfortractor and it was the company's attempt at making a closed-cab model. Looking at a picture of a UDLX, you think it's a passenger sedan because it has an auto body on a tractor chassis. It came equipped with an impact-resistant cab that had safety glass, heater, defroster, windshield wipers, and even a radio. Actually, it was said that you could work the fields all day and then drive it to town like an automobile in the evening. It was rated at 40-45 horsepower and could reach speeds as high as 40 mph. Of course this tractor was very expensive at a price tag of $2,155. Between the years 1938 through 1941, only 150 were sold probably due to its high cost. There were other U-series tractors to include UTU, UTS, UTL, UDU, UOPL, UB, UTIL, and UT.

The Minneapolis-Moline GTA was released in 1934. This tractor could pull 4-5 plows. It had a four-speed gearbox and an engine with 55 horsepower maximum belt power. The engine ran smoothly as it had a balanced camshaft. The engine also had a standard feature of force-fed lubrication.

The G-series tractors were the powerhouses of Minneapolis-Moline. Starting in 1959, Minneapolis-Moline produced the G-VI. Then, starting in 1962, they produced the G-704. Later G-series models were 705, 706, 707, 708, 900, 950, 1000, 1000 Vista, 1050, 1350, and 1355. The G-1355 had 142 horsepower and was the most powerful ever built by Minneapolis-Moline.

Minneapolis-Moline sold the M-series tractors beginning in 1960. The first M-series tractor was the M-5. In 1962 the M-504 was released followed by the M-602 and four-wheel drive M-604 in 1963. The last M-series unit was the M-670 released in 1964.

In 1963, Minneapolis-Moline was bought by the White Farm Equipment Company. Its tractor production operation moved to Charles City, Iowa in 1974. Eventually, White replaced the Minneapolis-Moline name and in 1991 AGCO bought White.

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