DES MOINES - During the 2013 Iowa State Fair, Tyler Casady, 17, of State Center, entered a tractor - a 1963 Allis-Chalmers D17 - that he restored and earned a purple ribbon.
If he needed to prove that his success wasn't a fluke, he brought another back - a 1963 Allis-Chalmers Two Twenty Landhandler - this year and repeated the feat.
The vice president of the West Marshall FFA Chapter, Casady said that while his 2013 project was being readied for the fair, he and his family were looking for his 2014 project. They found it in Missouri, bought it and brought it to Iowa.
FARM NEWS PHOTO BY LARRY KERSHNER
Tyler Casady, 17, of State Center, checks over the wiring of his 1962 Allis-Chalmers Two Twenty Landhandler, which he restored over the past year and entered into the 2014 Iowa State Fair. His project earned him a purple ribbon.
"It was in pretty decent shape," said Casady, who will be a high school senior this fall. "It had some dings and dents, but it had only 4,500 real hours on it."
Used farm machinery is classed by the hours worked, not by mileage.
"So it's been just about a full year ago," Casady said. "It took about 300-400 hours."
When new from the factory, the Landhandler retailed for $13,500. Casady estimated $27,000 had been invested in its restoration.
When asked if he'll sell it, Casady said, "Well, maybe for the right price. But it's not really for sale. We'll use it for tractor rides and maybe do some hay."
Casady said the tractor, when new, ran about 135 horsepower.
"But we turned it up to about 145 hp," he said, "by getting 25 percent more fuel into the injectors."
Although he really wanted to find an A-C D21 for this year's project, Casady said he settled for the Two Twenty because "they replaced the D21 with a heavier rear end."
Casady said he's learned much in restoring the two machines. On this project, he improved on his knowledge of testing and reworking fuel injectors, running compression tests and adjusting valves.
When asked if he was disappointed it wasn't chosen for the FFA Parade of Champions on Saturday he said he thought he had a shot at it.
"But there were so many really nice tractors down here," he said. "It must have been a hard decision. I don't know how the judges do it."
Ag mechanics has always been an interest.
"I've wanted to restore a tractor ever since starting high school," he said.
So far, for the 2015 season, he has no plans for working on a third restoration.
The son and grandson of the owners of Casady Brothers Implement, in Webster City, and Central Iowa Farm Store, in Marshalltown, Tyler said his post-high school plans include studying ag business, likely starting at Kirkwood Community College and then transferring to Iowa State University.