1949 Sheppard SD-1
Sheppard Tractors are usually among the most rare of the orphan vehicles. We covered a ‘51 Sheppard SD-3 for you back in 2015 and you will see the story online at the Diesel powered World website linked below. This time around we show you the smallest Sheppard, built-in very small numbers from early ‘49 into January of 1950. When you will learn, it’s one of the rarest treasured tractors you will ever see.
“The motor used in the SD-1 was constructed around a 3 x 4-inch weary and stroke. The air-cooled device in the SD-1 was indirect inserted and rated at 5. four gross horsepower at 2000 rpm. ”
We won’t rehash the entire R. H. Sheppard Firm history, which you can read in the on-line story, but we will tell you that will Richard Sheppard designed and began building diesel engines in 1937 as a sideline to some of their other business pursuits. The motor business was his main attention and passion, so he extended it as he could and when the particular rearmament push came in 1940, then outright war in 1941, he or she was ready to supply engines for your war effort. That translated primarily into generator sets and single-cylinder engines for lifeboats and the wartime production boosted the diesel company.
Post War Aspirations
After the war, Sheppard was starving to create a diesel empire in the world of farming. He started in 1948 with a repower kit to put the three-cylinder, 188 ci Sheppard diesel into IH Farmall M tractors. In 1949, Sheppard debuted his own line of vehicles, the SD-1, SD2 and SD-3 tractors. Contrary to some reports, the particular “SD” in the tractor model designations did not stand “Sheppard Diesel. ” According to Peter Sheppard, son from the founder, it was the first and final letters of “ShepparD. ” The particular 1, 2 or 3 in the designation pointed out the plow rating and coincided with number of engine cylinders. The particular R. H. Sheppard Company might also build and sell bare diesel powered engines, generator sets, power models, and marine engines.
In the ‘40s and ‘50s, there were a lot of inexpensive compact vehicles on the market, useful for plowing up the vegetable patch, moving small wagons, probably pulling a gang mower on the golf course. Because Sheppard had one-cylinder diesels, it seemed logical to begin the lineup with a small tractor in this category, to be called the SD-1.
To accomplish all this quickly, these people used as much outside-sourced material as you can. In the case of the diminutive SD-1, these people bought an almost complete small tractor and installed a Sheppard one-cylinder, air cooled diesel. The SD-1 was built on a rolling framework sourced from Doylestown Machine Organization, of Danboro, Pennsylvania, about 132 miles from Sheppard’s Hanover, Pa plant. Doylestown produced a little tractor called the Atomic Babe, run by a Novo gasoline engine. Sheppard made a few changes but with the particular exception of the engine, the SD-1 and the Atomic Babe are almost identical.
The engine used in the SD-1 was built around a 3 by 4-inch bore and stroke. The particular air-cooled unit in the SD-1 had been indirect injected and rated on 5. 4 gross horsepower from 2000 rpm. A similar water-cooled engine has been rated for up to 8 hp, however it was apparently only used in a single experimental SD-1.
Fate from the SD-1
The SD-1 was obviously a resounding failure. First off, list cost was $1095, about 20 % more than many equivalent competitive products. Secondly, Sheppard was harsh using their dealers. They had no floor or even financing plans for the dealers and they also had to buy their own demo vehicles and all purchases were “cash-n-carry. ” It appears from the sales ledgers the dealer cost was about $995, therefore it appears there wasn’t a huge revenue margin, either. On top of that, it was a real so-so to average tractor in any case and there wasn’t enough “whizbangness” to overcome the other obstacles. It is only unique feature was the diesel powered engine and in the tractor marketplace of 1949, that was as much the detriment as a draw. Diesels had been still looked a skeptically simply by most small farmers.
In looking at the production ledgers with Wendell Kelch, owner of the SD-1, we could find only a complete of 17 tractors, most of that have been leftover units sold at bargain-basement costs to an outfit in the Philippines within January of 1950, after manufacturing had ended. The SD-2, and particularly the SD-3, were more successful. The particular Sheppard line was further enhanced by the intro of the SD-4 within 1954, but that was near the finish of the tractor era at Sheppard. In most ways, the SD-4 was your best Sheppard and compared properly with other diesel tractors in the market, unfortunately he overpriced and dealers still were not incentivized. Sheppard left the tractor biz in 1956.
Ironically, Sheppard added power steering to the SD-4 and that changed their fortunes. To keep their factory hitting on every eight during the tractor era, they will took on side manufacturing work, one of which was power steering techniques. They began innovating and today, they may be a foremost builder of strength steering systems for trucks plus tractors. They are still in Hanover and recently built an art gallery highlighting their manufacturing history.
1949 Sheppard SD-1
Shift: 28 ci
Bore & Cerebrovascular accident: 3×4 in.
Compression Ratio: 20: 1
Flywheel Power: 5. 4 hp @ 2000rpm
Weight: one, 100 lbs
Fuel Capacity: 1 ) 5 gal.
Tires: Front- four. 00-12
Rear- seven. 50-16