Howard Rotavators


Joined Jan 2 2013
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53 years old
Western Australia
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Howard Rotavators

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hi, i like all types of machinery, the older the better. part of this is that the design inovations and changes are more visible which makes them more interesting and more accesible to fix.

unlike mobile phones which i also have a collection of through forced obselesence and malfunction.

got hooked on Howards after finding a junior 12 years ago. had to sell it when we moved, but 2 years ago got back into them to put on a line-up for national vintage rally held here. borrowed a truckload and did my bit for the show and Howard. was not organised enough to pick up all the big ones (8,12, 2000). at the time i knew they made several models of walkbehinds and tpls in aust and england, but had no idea just how big the Howard companies were.

am now compiling a list of howard models, it is sort of evolving into a mini history, with constant updates. there are slightly different versions of events and dates floating around. i am not really trying to include all the current modern machines, just some obvious representatives. i would like to be able to say the list has x number of names, but it all depends on how you count them. prime example: does Gem = 1, or 5 for the series,  or 7 for series plus 2 width variants, or 10 for engines used (at least, i dont know if i have found them all yet...) also i cant find out much about ww2 machines. 2 gensets, 2 variants of each, 2 variants of the HAC Enfield revolver, "mortars and ammunition" in england. it is a bit like typical political list - tells you everything and tells you nothing.

best to say my list is 2 and a half pages long. the next local show is in may, so that is when i will put the list on the net somehow, hopefully thru

my list includes Little Digger. i reckon this might have been an emergency name when Howards had to "not" use Bulldog, but hadnt decided what to call it permanently.  this is from an australian advertisement 1955, they must have been appealing to australian patriotism of the army "Diggers". an older very knowledgable Howard "ex collector" says this is most probable, the court case cost heaps, and they would have stopped selling "Bulldogs" asap. he had a couple, they were no rarer than Bulldogs, they had a larger than normal Little Digger decal on the rotor cover. i have yet to get a pic of one, i only have this ad.

santa claus should wear orange (hoe hoe hoe)


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1 Comment

Reply K-TRON
11:52 AM on January 2, 2013 
I have no idea how many Gems made it over to the USA. Not a whole lot, maybe a few thousand back in the day. I hear that Howard imported most as a tiller less the engine. In the states, most if not all are powered by Wisconsin engines. The early ones had one cylinder AHH's AEN's and twin cylinder TF's TE's TH's. When the series 4 and 5 came to the USA in the late 60's THD's TJD's were more commonly used. I have seen them with Kohler K321's and S8D's but they were not the original engines. I have seen a very few with the original Hatz Diesel, Sachs Diesel, Villers and JAP engines. I have only seen 1 Howard with the Howard Twin in my two years of looking so I bought it :) They usually go for a ton of money over here. They seem to sell anywhere between $500 and $1800 depending on condition. Usually around the $1200 mark.

My Wisconsin powered Gem has the original engine on it. I know my machine was used rather extensively as the previous owner used it to till his 15 acres of land 4 times a year every year for 35 years before I bought it from him. The engine does not have any major wear. In the states, Wisconsin made the best engines. Extremely heavy duty and built to take the challenge. Briggs, Tecumseh, Kohler, Honda, Kawasaki, you name it could not build anything which touched their engines. I converted mine to electric start because of how difficult it is to crank the engine over. It is an alternate firing 880cc engine with a ridiculously high compression of 8:1. It usually fires within five cranks no matter what, but when you are in the field and need to restart when you are exhausted, it is no easy task. I will post up some new pictures shortly. I replaced the tires on mine with some new Titan R-1 Agricultural Tires.

Feel free to email me at:
[email protected]

Christopher Kouttron