There is no doubt the 06 series tractors, particularly the 706 and 806, brought International Harvester out of a tailspin induced by several serious engineering and marketing errors of the late 1950s. The 706 and 806 were so right on target, they heralded a nearly full reputational recovery.

The 806 was one of the most powerful tractors on the market when it debuted late in 1963 and was a loud and accurate shot over the bows of the new John Deere 4010, another legendary tractor of the era. The 806 came powered with either gas or LPG 301 ci sixes, or a brand new diesel engine that would become legendary in IH circles, the D361. Even better, the 06 tractors featured a new final drive worthy of the name “stout.” It’s the final drive engineers were working on in ‘59 when the ill-fated 560 debuted with it’s rehashed M-Series hind-end that proved so weak behind the then-new 282 and 301 cubic inch IH sixes.

In its Industrial Yellow paint, you can probably see the Nelson family’s 2806 tractor from space. From this angle, it’s a very typical 2806, with the correct style skinny non-ag tread front tires and 23.1-30 rear. The austere perforated grill is unique to the 2806. The steps leading up to the platform via the front are an accessory found on Wheatlands or Industrials that have 3-point hitches (which negate the rear platform) as a way to mount the tractor. A front weight rack was optional but this tractor is not equipped with it.

Three Amigos

The 806 was offered in three guises, the Farmall, the Wheatland and the Industrial. All were similar tractors that shared the same engine options and final drive but differed in detail and options. The Farmall, of course, was the rowcrop tractor, and it came equipped with either a narrow front axle or an adjustable wide front and adjustable rear tread width. Typically they also had 3-point hitches, PTOs, flat top fenders, fender-mounted lights and taller, narrower tire choices. The Farmall was the most produced model in the line by far.

The working end shows some options. By the serial number (the presences of an “S”) we know it was factory equipped with a TA (Torque Amplifier, a hydraulically operated planetary gear set and clutches to split the ratios on the fly), but a three point hitch and PTO were optional items that are not indicated in the serial number. We were unable to talk to the owner to find out if they are original, though they very well could be.

The Wheatland and Industrial were the fixed-tread “standard” models. The Wheatland was designed for the heavy tillage of the wheat belt, where tip-toeing through rows of crops was not needed. They typically came only with a swinging drawbar and without a 3-point hitch. They most often had a PTO but it wasn’t standard. The Wheatland also had a heavy, non-adjustable front axle. The fenders were round and covered much of the tire to protect the operator from dust and the tractor had a rear platform which the operator mounted at the rear. There were dust guards that protected the front of the platform. The tire choices were most often shorter and wider than the Farmall to deliver the maximum drawbar performance for the largest implements.

IThe operator’s station was plush for the era. About this time, IH would begin to offered factory cabs but the Deluxe Seat was standard and this tractor appears to have the optional seat suspension system for a smoother ride. A hand operated clutch was optional on the 2806.

The Industrial was a very rare offshoot of the Wheatland and was given the separate model designation of 2806. It was equipped for duties like pulling equipment around yards or factories, pulling construction equipment on building sites and so on. As a result, they came standard with a fixed drawbar, no PTO, the standard 12-gallon-per-minute hydraulic system but they did have the Deluxe seat. It had different tire sized than the Farmall or Wheatland, and non-ag front tires. It’s most distinctive visual features were the Industrial Yellow Paint, “INDUSTRIAL” badge across the front and an austere grille.

Low Production

The Industrial was not a big seller. The 806 line ran from late ‘63 through 1967, with almost 43,000 Farmall 806s built and just over 8,000 Wheatlands. In that Wheatland production number are the Industrials and reportedly only 124 were built. We have not been able to verify that via primary documentation. The Wheatland and Farmalls had different serial numbers, the Farmall prefix being “F806” and the Wheatland and Industrial being “I806.” Each line started with the typical “501” sequential serial numbers. The Industrial had no separate serial number indicators and while there was probably a list at IH that kept track of them, so far that list has not turned up. Only a handful survive and they are hotly collected.

The D361 became legendary in short order as one of the most durable and long lived powerplant made by IH. Given this is an early ‘64, low serial number tractor, this is one of the earliest iterations of the engine. It was dry-sleeved, direct injected and had seven main bearings. Original output was 94 horsepower at 2400 rpm, as rated by Nebraska. On the flywheel, it cranked out as many as 130 horsepower at 2600, with 99 horsepower at 2400 being the continuous rating. The only torque output we saw was 262 lbs-ft of torque at 1200 rpm. There was a UDT-361 turbocharged stationary variant at this time that was rated for 146 horsepower maximum and 114 at 2400 continuous. An MDT351 marine version was also offered and it cranked out 190 horsepower maximum at 3000 rpm, 125 at 2400 maximum. An IH model RD pump, which this engine still has (see nearby image) supplied fuel, though later 806s used a Roosa-Master pump. In ’66, the 1206 debuted a 112 PTO horsepower turbocharged DT-361 version. It evolved into the D407, 407 cubic inches made via increasing the bore and stroke to 4.31 x 6.25 inches. The D407 was used in a host of tractors at 100 horses naturally aspirated and the turbocharged  DT407 cranked out nearly 120 PTO horsepower in the 1256 models and 130 in the even later 1456. Don’t confuse the D361 or DT361 with the much later DT360, which is an evolution in  the DT466 family of engines.


1964 Industrial 806

Engine: D361, NA inline six
Displacement: 361ci
Bore & Stroke: 4.125 x 4.5 in.
*Rated PTO Power: 94.93 hp
*Rated Drawbar Power: 86.30 hp
Compression Ratio: 17.0:1
Transmission: 8-speeds (4×2), opt 16-speeds (4x2x2 w/TA)
Weight: 9,850 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 42 gal.
Tires: 7.50-20 front
23.1-30 rear

*Fuel Consumption: 6.344 GPH @ max power
*Drawbar Pull: 9182 lbs @ 11,895 lbs weight
*Top Speed: 19.84 mph

* Per Nebraska Tractor Test 857, Farmall model


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