Text Box: Heider D.U.
Product Summary

Heider 18-30 1926

When I started on this website, I was given a lot of information from various parts catalogs by SmokStakís Bud Tierny. One odd notation that showed up a few times was for a Heider D.U. 18-30 However, until I contacted the Western Development Museumís George Shepherd Library, I had not seen literature from Rock Island directly related to the D.U. so we had somewhat operated under the idea it was a misprint or unknown engine option. Thanks to Kirk Wallace at the Western Development Museumís George Shepherd Library, I was able to obtain this set of catalog pages showing I was wrong.

After receiving the WDM material, I was able to identify a possible DU and contacted the tractors owner, Jim Matson of Montana. Although the tractor had no serial number the engine was confirmed as a DU and a from pictures and description I had a high degree of confidence this was a DU. Another possible DU was located in a museum in Spain. In† spring of 2015 Jim contacted me and asked if we would be interested in purchasing his DU. Along with the tractor came pictures of the restoration and some history.†††

Jim told me he remembers a Heider on the family farm as a kid with the exhaust on the same side as the belt pulley. When he went to Reynolds-Alberta during their downsizing, he had the option of 2 or 3 Heider C types. This one he selected due to the location of the exhaust being the same as he remembered. Purchasing the Heider he brought it hoem and began a multi year restoration process. The result is the tractor pictured. Liking the Heider exposed gearing he left the tin sheets off the wheel gears and thinking the seat and pedestal were incorrect he replaced them. We believe the original seat and pedestal were correct from Reynolds, and had by happenstance gotten one on a previous tractor purchase and had not succeeded in identifying it except that the previous owner had said it was Rock Island.

The layout of the tractor is dictated by the engine, the chassis is basically a 15-27 with some extra guards and a handful of updated castings. The main differences besides the motor was the addition of a much larger than normal radiator. The extra height required the hood to be raised so extensions were added to the hood supports instead of making new longer ones. The controls were moved to accommodate the different carb and mag layout.

According to Waukesha, 36 D.U. engines were shipped, which would make the number produced on par with the Model A and vie with the A for being the least produced model of Heider.

The best guess for a timeframe is 1926 based on the engine years (both early 1926), a 1926 testimonial and the listing of the 15-27 in the same catalog.† Although still built on the Heider C frame, the new engine, higher horsepower and enclosed gears suggest this was a semi experimental tractor and was probably initially developed slightly before any Heider 18-36ís or Model 70ís. Its interesting to note that while the Heider 18-36 received the Buda engine, this one stayed with Waukesha with removable heads, making the later still Gís engine choice of a 1921 model engine even more interesting. Like the G though, this was still an older engine also found in the short lived Massey Harris no.3 model. Additionally, the air cleaner was changed at some point, this odd style of air cleaner has been identified on 15-27ís so was not unique to the 18-30 and was also used on the earliest model Fís.

The actual designation of D.U. however is out of character for Rock Island when one considers their normal naming procedure and is the only tractor so far to be named after its engine and also seems odd in that it would have likely caused some confusion with the much smaller 9-16 D.† The addition of the D.U. to the list makes for a very intense amount of new tractor variations in a short term around late 1925 through 1927 with the following tractors all appearing in the lineup around that time period:

 Heider C 12-20

 Heider C 15-27

 Heider D 9-16

 Heider M1 & M2

 Heider 18-35 & Model 70 Winch Tractor

 Heider D.U. 18-30

 Rock Island F

 Rock Island G


Mr Tiernyís catalogs also indicated the following engine notations besides the DU sharing certain parts: CU (Listed as in the 9-16), DR (in conjunction with the DU), and DK/DKR (DKR confirmed on the 1930 Canadian special F) and BU.† According to Waukesha Engine historical society however, No CU or BU engines were shipped to Rock Island. The BU may be a mislisting though as a number of EU engines were shipped and used for the Model E 18-35 and even a few unaccounted for GUís were shipped.

As always, I hope that more information about this tractor will appear, any information would be greatly appreciated.

HP: 18-30

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Copy write 2011-2016 not for republication or sale without express written consent. All images are the property of their respective owners and are not to be reused without their express permission.†

 Weight: 6290 lbs?

 Engine: Waukesha L head 4 1/2 x 6 1/4

 Mag: Dixie 46

 Carb: Kingston

†††††††††††††††† ††††††††††††††††

Below: Jim Matsonís DU as it arrived from Reynolds-Alberta collection and restoration photos and running it.



Below: Photos taken after our purchase of it in 2015. Note the throttle and mag controls moved to the left.