Built by Ron Harmon and Montana-based Northern Manufacturing in 1977, and owned by Randy and Robert Williams (Williams Brothers) of Big Sandy, in Montana (US), the monster tractor has been on loan to the Heartland museum in Clarion, Iowa, for the past seven years.
The tractor’s original eight Canadian-made construction tyres, each of which are 2.4m tall, were well past their expiry date, and when we saw the tractor at the museum in September 2018, two of its front tyres and rims were already away for inspection.
Iowa-based (Des Moines) tyre and rim manufacturer Titan International offered to supply the Williams Brothers with eight new Goodyear LSW (Low Sidewall) 1400/30R46s.
These massive boots will not only see the ballasted weight of Big Bud 747 nudge 50t, but will increase its width to over 9.0m, this is about the same as three Case IH Quadtracs or three John Deere 9RXs parked side by side!
The burning question concerns what will happen to the world's largest tractor when the new boots are in place. Will it be returned to the museum or do the Williams Brothers have other plans for it on the family farm and is there any truth in rumours that it could make it to a North American farm show later this year?
We will have to wait and see. The only thing we know for sure is that the 747 has not done any serious field work for a decade, and will need a bit of attention should the plan be to prepare her for active duty.
More information about the Big Bud 747: