There’s nothing quite as fulfilling as seeing your blood, sweat, and tears turn an old, rusty piece of equipment into something that looks sparkly and new. If you’re a homesteader, part of the local FFA club, or run a small business in construction or landscaping, your DIY restoration project might include a personal mini-dozer or tractor.
Here are a few examples of what your hard work and resources can do to that weathered metal farm equipment:
FFA Tractor Project
One of the most popular projects among high school FFA members is the tractor restoration project. This local club took a 50+ year old farm tractor and made it look as good as new. They stripped everything down, piece by piece, cleaning and painting like there was no tomorrow. The end result wasn’t just a beautiful piece of farm equipment — it was the learning experience of a lifetime.
College Kids Like Restoring Tractors, Too!
Did you know that there are actual contests, like the Delo Tractor Restoration Competition, where individuals have their hand at restoring aged farm equipment? One recent winner was a college freshman and his family six-generation dairy farmers. He says that it was one of his great grandfather’s most prized possessions.
Involving the Entire Family on the Dozer Rebuild
Some Mini Dozers are small enough for kids to drive! This dad took an old mini dozer and rebuilt it for his son. After a new engine, a trip to the carwash for some decreasing, and a whole lot of welding, it all started to come together.
The “Get it Working” Method
For some people, restoring a mini dozer or tractor means they just want it to run again, so that they can get jobs done around the farm. They don’t necessarily care if it looks pretty or has a new coat of paint. This one gentleman took a dozer that hadn’t run in three years and turned it into his newest toy for his recently purchased farm.
Tracked Tractor Rebuilds
This four speed transmission MT-1800 was rebuilt by a father and son team. They found it was easy to use, but opted to replace the existing bucket with a larger 48” one for digging and hauling purposes.
1968 Mini-Dozer Struck Rebuild
The Struck company is long known for their service, various sized mini dozers, and guidance on refurbishing tractors that they manufactured decades ago (the customers are that loyal.) This particular rebuild was on a MD34 Mini-Dozer that one man found, sitting dilapidated, as his neighbor’s house. It wasn’t long before the pile of rust looked as if it were a brand new piece of equipment.
Modifying a Magnatrac MT1800
Tractor and mini-dozer restorations sometimes involve some pretty significant modifications to the original machine. This man’s project involved everything from installing a gas tank to adding a modifiable counterweight, plus over a half dozen other changes.