The Big Bud 747 or 16V-747 Big Bud is a large, custom-made farm tractor built in Havre, Montana in 1977. It is billed by the owners and exhibitors as the “World’s Largest Farm Tractor”.
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The tractor was originally designed by Wilbur Hensler and built by Ron Harmon and employees of his the Northern Manufacturing Company, at a cost of $300,000. It was made for the Rossi Brothers, cotton farmers of Bakersfield or Old River, California, where it was used for 11 years, then it was purchased by Willowbrook Farms of Indialantic, Florida; both farms used it for deep ripping.
The Biggest Tractor In The World
After a period of disuse, it was purchased by Robert and Randy Williams, of Big Sandy, Montana, within 60 miles (97 km) of where it was built, in 1997. It was used on the Williams Brothers’ farm in Chouteau County to pull an 80-foot (24 m) cultivator, covering 1.3 acres (0.53 ha) per minute at a speed up to 8 miles per hour (13 km/h).
The United Tire Company of Canada, which made the tractor’s custom 8-foot (2.4 m) tires, went bankrupt in 2000, partially contributing to the decision to stop using the tractor for regular work in July 2009, to move the Big Bud 747 to museums.
After its work on the farm, it was displayed at the Heartland Acres Agribition Center in Independence, Iowa. In 2014, the Big Bud 747 was moved to the Heartland Museum in Clarion, Iowa, on indefinite loan from the Williams Brothers; the museum constructed a separate shed for the tractor in 2013.