The Model 312 Three-Bottom McCormick-Deering Fast-Hitch Plow

by

                                                            Brian Wayne Wells

 

 

This article remains under construction. Periodically new  blocks of text and media may appear and/or the present blocks of text will be modified or corrected.

The three-bottom semi-mounted Model 312 Fast-Hitch plow attached to a Farmall 560 tractor.

At noted in the previous article located immediately below, Mark Wells, brother of the current author negotiated and purchased a Farmall Model 656 Hydro tractor in the summer of 2018. 

Later, Mark purchased a three-bottom McCormick-Deering semi-mounted plow at the 2019 Swap Meet held on the grounds of the LeSueuer County Pioneer Power Association.  This plow was a Model 312 Semi-mounted Fast-Hitch plow and was purchased from Jay Gardner from eastern South Dakota.   Wthe intended to be matched to the Farmall 656 Hydro Tractor that he had purchased the previous summer.  The Model 312 Fast-Hitch plow .  He purchased the plow from Jay Graber from Freeman, Huchinson County in eastern South Dakota. 

The International Harvester Company had been making Fast-Hitch plows since they had introduced the Fast Hitch on their Farmall Super C tractor in 1951.  This plow fitted to the Super C was the Model C-20 Fast-Hitch fully mounted two-bottom plow.  Fast-Hitch plows for the Letter-Series tractors, other than the Super C tractor were not available.  However, with the introduction of the Super MTA in 1954, International Harvester anticipated the Hundred-Series Farmall Tractors all of which would be sold with the option of a Fast-Hitch drawbar.  International Harvester manufactured two-bottom and a three bottom Fast-Hitch plows to be used with these new Hundred-Series tractors optionally fitted with Fast-Hitch.  The “Fast-Hitch” drawbar consisted of a two-point hitch with two receptacles or “hitch sockets” on the back of the tractor.   

The Fast-Hitch hitch sockets on the back of a Farmall tractor.

The hitch sockets on the back  of the Farmall tractor were meant to accept the two implement prongs on the front of all the Fast Hitch implements.  These prongs were made to fit into the hitch sockets on the tractor as the tractor was being backed up to the implement.  When the prongs were far enough into the sockets the hitch latches would automatically lock into place and secure the implement to the Farmall tractor. 

An International Model 311 Fast Hitch plow. Note the implement hitching prongs on the left side of the picture.  This is a fully mounted plow and the the wheel near the rear end of the plow is only a gauge wheel to help the plow maintain proper depth when operating in the field.

The operator of the tractor had only to back the tractor far enough to hear the latches on top of both sockets snap into place.  Then the operator would lift the implement with the tractor hydraulics and shift the tractor into a forward gear and head out to the field, all without getting off the tractor.  The advertising of the Fast-Hitch system had the simple slogan “Back, Click, Lift and Go.”       

This is the Model 411 Fast-Hitch plow mounted to a Farmall Model 560 tractor. The four-bottom Model 411 Fast-Hitch plow represented the extreme limit of the fully-mounted plow in the late 1950s. The drawbar horsepower of the new Model 560 demanded that a fifth bottom be added to a Fast-Hitch style plow. However, adding a fifth bottom to a fully-mounted plow would cause the front end of the tractor to become very light on the ground Accordingly, a semi-mounted format was developed to share the weight of the plow with the tail wheel when the tractor and plow were in transport.

The production run of the Hundred-Series was divided into two sub-categories.  The early-style Farmall Hundred-Series (including the Models 200, 300 and 400 tractors) was produced from November of 1954 until Sepember of 1956.  These were the tractors which first featured the Fast-Hitch system. 

The Farmall Model 400 represented the top of the line of the early-style Hundred-Series tractor.

(Despite the fact that the early Hundred-Series tractors were the first tractors to be sold with factory-installed Fast-Hitch drawbars, there are more than a few 1954 Farmall Model Super M-TA’s which are to be seen today with Fast-Hitch system hitches attached. 

Looking rather light in the axle housings and differential, this Super M-TA has a Fast-Hitch attached .

Because the Super M-TA represents the very tail end of the Letter-Series Farmalls [including the Farmall Model A, B, C, H and M).  Some observers have assumed that some of these Farmall Super M-TA were fitted with the Fast-Hitch system “from the factory.”  However this is not true.  All of the Super M-TAs with Fast-Hitch are “after-market” creations by collectors and restorers.  Indeed, the current author is trying live out a childhood dream by adding a Fast-Hitch to the Super M-TA bearing the Serial Number    .  The story of this Super M-TA is contained below on this web site at the article called “

r and     to receptacles   had their production run early in 1954 well prior to the introduction of the early style Hundred-Series in November of 1954 Farmall Model I

In August, 1956 the Farmall Works in Rock Island, Illinois, all production of the early-style Hundred-Series Farmall tractors was closed down to allow for the retooling of the assembly lines at the Farmall Works in preparation for the introduction of the two-color late-styled Hundred-Series Farmall tractors (including the Models 230, 330, 350 and 450 tractors). 

The two-color late-style Hundred-Series Farmall 450 replaced Model 400 as the flagship of the the late-style Hundred-Series line of Farmall tractors.

Production of this two-color late-style category of the Hundred-Series tractors began in November of 1956 and lasted until April of 1958 when the Farmall Works was once again closed down for another more extensive retooling of the assembly lines at the Farmall Works in preparation for the introduction of the new streamlined tractors introduced in the late summer of 1958.  This line of Farmall tractors included the Farmall Models 560, 460, 340and 240.  By this time the two point Fast-Hitch drawbar was almost standard equiment on these tractors.     

another obegan Trac.    The second sub-category sHovember of started in November, 1958  the  and the two-color late-style Hundred-Series (the 230, 350 and the 450 tractors).    

and a  and an 

These plows were all of the fully mounted style.  In the autumn of 1956, the two-color late Hundred-Series tractors were introduced.  Producion of the two-color late Hundred-Series During the production run of the two-color Farmalls of the late Hundred-Series, a four-bottom fully mounted plow was introduced.  

 Nhad made a a x McCormick-Deering Model 312 semi-mounted plow as part of its first introduced to the farming public of North America in the autumn of 1958 as part of the Series 12, line of Semi-mounted Fast-Hitch plows (the Models 312, 412 and 512 semi-mounted plows.  The Series 12 semi-mounted plows were introduced together with the McCormick Deering Series 11 fully mounted line of plows (the Models 211, 311 and Model 411 fully mounted plows.        

Largest of the McCormick Deering Series 11 mounted plows was the Model 411. mounted plow–shown here in this advertising photo mounted on a Farmall Model 450 Tractor.  This implies that the Series 11 fully mounted plows were introduced sometime between the autumn of 1956 and the autumn of 1958 during the production run of the 50 series Farmall Tractors.

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