Bates

Albert Bates started out by building machinery for wire fencing, but soon became interested in tractors. Around 1915 he designed his first tractor, the "Bates Steel Mule", which was subsequently manufactured by the Joliet Oil Tractor Company of Illinois. At around the same time, another company called the Bates Tractor Co. of Lansing, Michigan were also producing tractors. In 1919, the two companies merged to form the Bates Machine and Tractor Co. of Joliet, Illinois. A range of half-track tractors were produced, with normal steel tractor wheels at the front and crawler tracks on the rear. Eventually though, competition forced the company to concentrate on purely tracked models, which they produced well into the 1930s.

(Click on images below to enlarge)



Bates Steel Mule Model D at the Heidrick Ag History Center, Woodland, California, USA in 2005.



Bates Steel Mule Model D at the Musee Maurice Dufresne, Azay-le-Rideau, France in 2007.



Bates Steel Mule Model F (serial no. 5515) at Pioneer Village, Minden, Nebraska, USA in 2011.



Bates Steel Mule Model F (serial no. 5579) at the Booleroo Steam & Traction Preservation Society Museum, Booleroo Centre, South Australia in 2007.



Bates Steel Mule Model G (serial no. 5283) at the Midwest Old Threshers Reunion, Mt Pleasant, Iowa, USA in 2011.



Bates Steel Mule Model 45 crawler at the Heidrick Ag History Center, Woodland, California (USA) in 2005.

 


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