The Allis Chalmers WD tractor was an improvement of previous Allis Chalmers tractors, the A, B, RC, U, UC, WC and WF.
Production of the Allis Chalmers WD tractor began in 1948, and production was continued on a yearly basis until 1953. The WD was manufactured to be a replacement of the WC models, which was discontinued in 1948.
After 1953, the WD was then phased out, and the WD 45, G, and the D series were then manufactured instead.
In 1948 when the WD was being manufactured, the preferred fuel at that time was called “tractor fuel.” Tractor fuel is what can be referred to as kerosene today. However, because kerosene does not burn or combust as gasoline does, it could not have been used to start the engine. Thus, the WED was built with a small gasoline tank. This was used to start the tractor, and then the fuel type was switched over to the kerosene tank when the engine was hot. Today’s tractors that were designed for kerosene are now fully operated on gasoline.
The engines were all manufactured by Allis Chalmers, and were designed for tractor fuel initially, and then the later WD tractors for gasoline.
The WD tractor is distinguished by the single or double front wheel configurations. These tractors were not designed with the wide front axle configurations that are typical of today’s tractors. The single wheel used a casted “U” shaped support to house the single wheel, with a wheel shaft between the two ends. The double wheel uses the unique inverted “T” shaped shaft, with the two wheels fixed to both ends. All of the WD tractors were two wheel drive machines (2WD).
The WD tractors were fitted with a manual transmission, and these transmissions were designed with four forward gears and a single reverse gear. This was used to provide thirty six (36) hp rear 540 rpm PTO take off shaft.
The electrical system was typical of the 6 volts (v) DC circuits that were popular in the earliest designed tractors. These systems continue to operate today, however a significant number of farmers and other owners have converted the 6V electrical system to 12V systems. Allis Chalmers WD parts are easier to obtain for the 12V system that the traditional 6V systems.
The serial number of the tractor varies from 1 in 1948 to 131273 in 1953, when the tractor was discontinued. This serial number is located at the top left of the differential brake housing.
Even though the hand crank systems gave way to the 6V starting systems, the Allis Chalmers WD tractor continues to provide motive power for thousands of farms in North America.