© Bobbie Yokum
Type of Equipment:
Daniel Best Manufacturing Co.
San Leandro, CA
Daniel Best’s Steam Tractor #185, now in the Roots of Motive Power Collection, rolled off the assembly line in 1903. The tractor stands 17′ 4″ to the top of the stack, is 28′ long, and 9′ 7″ wide, weighing 18 tons 800 lbs. with full boiler and tank.
The tractor is #185 out of a total of 364 of this type build at the Best plant in San Leandro. During demonstrations at the California State Fair, the tractor pulled 50 tons up an 8% grade, 36 tons up a 12% grade, and 72 tons on level ground. Testimonials state that the tractor would pull 36 seven inch plows, pulled the equivalent of 60 to 70 horses, and could plow a field of clay and adobe at the rate of 12 acres per hour. The unit sold for $7,500.00 new.
[The above information was taken from a far more comprehensive article, by Bobbie Yokum, which appeared on Page 39 of the April 2007 of the Roots Newsletter, now available online at the link.]