Text Box: Rock Island H3&H4
Tractor Summary

· Weight: 4400 lbs

· Engine: Waukesha CSR 4 1/4 x 5 3/4 1100RPM

· Mag: Dixie 46T

· Carb: Stromberg M2 (H3) or SF2 (H4)

· Serial Numbers: H3 330xx

                                        H4 340xx         

H3 1933 (overstock sold through 1934)

H4 1934

In 1933 the Rock Island Plow Company removed the Waukesha CS4 series from its G2 line and replaced it with the newer Waukesha CSR. Along with the new motor came a new designation, the H3. Despite the name change and upgrade, Rock Island chose not to enter the H3 into the Nebraska Test for unknown reasons, most likely feeling the change did not warrant a new test despite the higher rpm motor. The weight increased marginally to 4400lbs although from comparison there seems few places the weight would have been added.


Documentation from the H3 and H4 line is sparse, as by this time Rock Island had abandoned large scale advertising. Shipments were still being sent out to dealers, but the depression was taking a massive toll on equipment sales. “Rock Island Reunion” In Farm Collector June 2003 magazine talks about 25 H3’s being shipped to Texas in 1934 only to sit unsold until being shipped back to Wisconsin. It is likely that the total production of the H3’s was very low.


1934 brought a new name, the H4, which was basically the same tractor as the H3.  A back log of H3’s and an increasingly tight management likely meant even fewer H4’s were actually built despite a rising recovery.


Identification of the H3 and H4 appears to be mainly possible only through the serial numbers. Identification of a Waukesha CSV will identify it as an H3 or H4, but won’t narrow it down from there for certain. Unfortunately, many Rock Islands have lost their serial plaque, which removes the only concrete method of ID, due to the visual similarity between the G2 and the H3 and 4, it is highly probable that an occasional H is sold as a G2. As we have dug into H4 34069, we are starting to notice a few minor things, however, as we are comparing to early G2’s we are unsure if these changes were also part of the later G2 line. 


Both the H3 and H4 retained the sliding style shifter found on later G2’s and a Dixie 46T magneto. The H3 featured the same Stromberg M2 found on the G2 while it appears the H4 made the switch to the newer Stromberg SF2 which would also appear on the H5.



HP 15-25

Ken Dinse and his H3 from “Rock Island Reunion”

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Below: Alistair Robertson of Scotland’s H4 #34080            


Below: H4 34069

Rock Island H4 first startup after we bought it. Hadn’t been started in a while, but after a little work cranked off pretty easily.

Above: 33033 & 33035 From Farm Collector “Rock Island Reunion”