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Cletrac

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Cletrac, Inc. (Cleveland Tractor)
Predecessor Cleveland Motor Plow Co
Successor Oliver
Founded 1916
Founder(s) Rollin H. White
Defunct 1944
Headquarters Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Products agriculture machinery tractor
Cletrac logo
Cletrac HG31 at Scorton NY 09 - IMG 2418

A Cletrac HG 31 at Scorton North Yorkshire 2009


Cletrac Inc. was a manufacturer of tractors for military and civilian use, was organized by ROLLIN H. WHITE as the Cleveland Motor Plow Co. in 1916, with capital of $6 million. White, a founder of the White Motor Company, had 10 years earlier formed this new firm to produce the crawler-type tractor he had developed for general farm use. First located at Euclid Ave. and Lamb, the plant later moved to 19300 Euclid Ave. Renamed Cleveland Tractor Co. in 1917, the company sold 40,000 tractors in the U.S. and 70 foreign countries during its first decade. In the early 1930s, the needs of the Civilian Conservation Corps. and public works projects kept the plant open, and by 1937 the firm, which employed 1,500 workers, enjoyed record tractor sales here and abroad. Two years later, the company introduced 3 new lower-priced tractors with 4-cylinder engines for use by the small farmer. The military application of Cleveland Tractor's products became dominant during World War II when the firm manufactured a new, high-speed tractor for hauling artillery. Although the company received a steady flow of orders, the low profit in defence work and the research costs for new products convinced company President White to sell the company to the 96-year-old Oliver Corp. of Chicago in 1944. Oliver invested $3.5 million in the aging plant to develop new products. However, Cleveland Tractor remained unprofitable until the Korean War revived its business. When White Motor Company took a 2-year option to buy the tractor plant and acquired exclusive rights to the Oliver name in 1959, Oliver renamed its Cleveland facilities Cletrac Inc. In 1961 White Motor bought the local Cletrac inventories, engineering designs, and machine tools and closed the plant, consolidating all production at a second plant in Charles City, Iowa.

Model RangeEdit

Cletrac M2 at Kettering front IMG 1868

Cletrac M2 in U.S. Air Force colours at Kettering Steam Fair, fitted with front winch

Cletrac The General & Avery equipment ad - 1940

1940 Cletrac 'The General' and B.F.Avery & Sons Co. equipment ad

Preserved machinesEdit

These are not common machines in the UK and most of the imported ones were military models, brought in by the USAF in the war.

  • A Cletrac M2 (shown above), this machine can be seen at shows in the midlands.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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