This morning, my parents and I had the opportunity to tour the Original Tractor Cab Co. and meet Wayne, its owner. I had no idea what to expect, but our visit was definitely a pleasant surprise!
When we walked in, we were greeted by Wayne, and he let us know that because we’re nearing the end of winter, there wasn’t much production going on at the moment. Most of their production happens in the fall when people are thinking about how they’ll be clearing the snow from their driveways on those cold snowy mornings. I’m sure my dad would be a lot happier plowing snow without having to worry about the cold and the wind at 6:30 in the morning! Even though the facility wasn’t at full capacity, we got to see several people doing their jobs and using the cool equipment they have.
Turns out, the company has been in Wayne’s family for three generations now (since 1939). Most of the machinery was built by his grandfather, and there’s some unique stuff in that facility. It seemed like there was some sort of inventive piece of equipment around every corner.
Everything these days comes with a bag of nuts and bolts, and the Original Tractor Cab is no exception. Wayne said he had tried getting other companies to help him sort and package these extra parts, but they kept being incorrectly counted and sent to customers with the wrong parts. Wayne’s grandfather had a way to overcome those problems, however. 50 cups surround a table with a bin on it for each type of nut and bolt, and someone simply spins the outside ring with the cups, placing the correct number of each part in each cup. Then, once all 50 cups have that one part, they move on to the next part, until all the components are in the cups. Then, the plastic bags can be fit around the cups and turned over, allowing the parts to fall into the bag. It seems so simple, yet I’d never seen it before!
They also had a giant tub of paint for dip painting their equipment. It was probably less than a foot wide, and only came up about a foot over ground level, but was apparently five feet deep and held 100 gallons of paint. Very impressive!
They had a lot of very old equipment, some from the 1880s. One giant machine punched holes in steel, and two others bent steel so easily it seemed like Play Dough. It wasn’t the newest, high-tech stuff, but it sure was useful and well-loved.
The tractor cabs themselves are fabricated in the “Cab Lab”, which held a 1025R with a hard-top cab on it awaiting our visit. I was surprised by the rigidity of the door, which was easy to open and close, as well as the amount of clear material (Lexan) which functions as windows. It was easy to see out of the cab, and there didn’t appear to be any gaps where cold air could sneak in.
Perhaps, like us, you live in an area with just a few cold, snowy days a year and don’t really need a full cab. Luckily for us, they also manufacture Sunshades that attach to the ROPS of almost any tractor. Think of this like a giant umbrella for your tractor. All you need is a nice cup of lemonade and you’re set to enjoy a lovely summer day! Okay, maybe the beach is more appropriate for that.
The company has some incredible history as well. During WW2, they switched from manufacturing tractor cabs to manufacturing backpacks, tents, and other useful things for the military. They have a hallway full of pictures of cabs from the very beginning of the company, when they used to direct the heat from the engine back towards the driver to keep them warm.
Overall, I was thoroughly impressed with Wayne and the company as a whole. They were very welcoming and interesting to talk to. If you ever find yourself in Arlington, Indiana, be sure to stop by!
Click one of the amazon links in this article to purchase a cab for your machine.