Buying new tires for your vehicle is an exciting day. No other part of your car or truck is supposed to touch the ground next to your tires, which is the connection between your vehicle and the road. That excitement isn’t just relegated to a set of new summer tires for your sports car or a set of 35 inch mud tires for your off-road rig, even the world’s largest farm tractor is excited about the prospect of a new set of rubber. Replacing the massive eight tires used by the world’s largest farm tractor, Big Bud 16V-747 is a special event to watch thanks to the team at Heritage Iron Magazine and the Welker Farms Youtube Channel who covered this special event. .
The Big Bud 16V-747 is a cultural icon and one of the world’s best-known tractors. This bespoke tractor was built by Ron Harmon and the Montanna-based team of the Northern Manufacturing Company in 1977 for a cotton farm in California that planned to use this huge tractor for deep mulching. Deep mulching is strenuous work that requires a very powerful and heavy tractor to effectively cut through the soil, which is why the 1100 horsepower Big Bud 16V-747 was the perfect tool for the job.
As the Big Bud was a one-off design, it was quite difficult to find aftermarket parts, especially tires that were originally custom-made by the now defunct United Tire Company of Canada. With help from Williams Brothers who supplied new wheels, spacers and their expertise, Big Bud now owns eight Goodyear LSW1400 / 30r46, which are the world’s largest agricultural tires.
Today Big Bud is now a cultural icon and an example of superb engineering for a very specific task. This 1,100 horsepower tractor is now parked at the Heartland Museum where you can visit Big Bud and sign their guestbook and see this massive monument to tractor excellence.