The Buffalo

The Buffalo is an outgrowth of a little tractor Vern Schtcld invented in 1963 called the Self-Helper. It was developed to aid emerging nations in their transition Irom muscle to machine power. Self-Help, inc., manufacturer of these tractors, is a nonprofit organization that only sells outside the United States.

The Waverly Tractor Company in Iowa modified the -Self-Helper design to meet United States safety standards and now produces their model, the Buffalo, for sale here. They use recycled automotive parts to allow the Buffalo to compete in price with imported models. Vern Schield, inventor of the Self-Helper, makes these points about the Buffalo, "We have found that the Chevrolet differential used in 1955 to 1964 cars invariably outlasted its original application. When gears run together for 50,000 miles and still mesh within specifications, you know the differential was well

The Buffalo

The Buffalo

designed. General Motors made millions of them and we only pick the best. In our application, it can last tor years. Sure it helps America not to waste its waste, but most of all it helps ns build a tractor you am afford. We have no reservations about guaranteeing everything we use."

The transmission is from a %-ton Ford or Chevy pickup. V-belts acting as a clutch make a two-to-one reduction from the 25 horsepower, air-cooled engine to the transmission. Except for a few later models, all America »-manufactured combines and forage harvesters have such a V-belt drive from the engine.

Waverly Tractor Company's original intentions were to purchase a steering section from one of the manufacturers that make this type of equipment for small tractors. However, they found a Saginaw steering section which was standard 011 most General Motors cars, as well as Ford and Chrysler. It was easier to install and much heavier than the steering sections manufactured for this purpose. So, naturally, this was their choice.

Waverly Tractor doesn't fit any mold. The factory is in an old buffalo pasture, next to the shed where the first prototype now lives. The field testing is done by teenagers—nobody can break things faster than two kids competing. Everyone who works for the company wants to be there. Some employees have quit better-paying jobs to do so. Others have started cottage industries, working in their homes and usually furnishing their own equipment. Several partially handicapped people are turning out quality parts for the Buffalo. Schield feels that this, too, is a resource that should not be wasted.

Turning discarded materials into marketable products is not only a rewarding experience, but it is also good business. Seeking this combination has led Waverly Tractor into many interesting developments.

Waverly Tractor Co. Sleeping Giant-Hwy. 3 East Waverly, IA 50677

25 of Grandpas Top Tips

25 of Grandpas Top Tips

Everything from making a Camp Stove that you can Carry in Your Pocket and a Magical Fish Bait Formula to Get the Big Ones! through to How to Make an Emergency Clothes Brush.

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment