Sunday, March 8, 2009

Here are a few more pictures

I took these pictures with my phone shortly after I got the tractor. I was plowing the 4 inches of snow that had just fallen.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Restoration begins

Here are a few pictures of the Workbird before and during the start of the restoration.

Information search

I sent an email to Agri-Fab to see if they had information about Workbird tractors or if they had any old-timers around that would know anything about the tractors. Here is the email and response:

Hello, I have been doing some research on an old tractor I am restoring and have been led to Agri-Fab. The tractor was manufactured in 1965 and is called a Work-Bird. It was made by George Garden Tools which was bought by a few companies then by MTD which shut the plant down. As I understand it, the plants' workers and managers formed a new company which is the current Agri-Fab. I am looking for any old timers that might still be around the company or area that would have any information on Work Bird tractors.
Thank you in advance,
Matthew Wente


You are correct, this used to be George Garden Tools many years ago, but I’m afraid there is no one here now that could help you. There was a gentleman that worked for George Garden Tools that kept up with parts for quite some time after the company went out of business, but he passed away several years ago. Agri-Fab itself has never had anything to do with tractors, only lawn & garden equipment that can be attached to tractors. All of the original owners of Agri-Fab who would have had anything to do with George Garden Tools have retired in the last 10 years. I’m sorry that we couldn’t help you more.

Vicki Rhoades

Customer Service

Other websites with pictures

I found these websites that have some pictures of other Workbird tractors.

A little history I found

I found a little history about these tractors online with a Google search.

"Although this is an old ad I thought I'd respond. The WorkBird was made by the George Tools Division of Community Industries in Sullivan ,Il. They were in business from 1946- 1966 then bought by Montgomery Wards then Yardman then MTD and then the plant was closed by MTD. The management/employees/and others went on to form Agri-Fab within 6 mo. of the plant closure.The WorkBird was way ahead of it's time and would have been a great product for the late 90s thru today.With it's basically zero turn capability, up front cut and add on accessories it would survive today but at that time nobody was ready for such a machine.Parts are virtually impossible to get except as with most all machines the engine parts. The Vintage Garden Tractor Club of America web site has manuals for sale on these units. Hope this helps! Gary"

I found this at,

I have since emailed Gary, the author, and he seems to have a good deal of knowledge about these tractors.

Workbird discovered!!!!!

I was looking for a new lawn tractor on Craigslist when I stumbled upon an antique tractor. It was an odd looking piece with front wheel drive and rear wheel steer. The title of the ad stated 'Work Bird Tractor". I had never heard of such a tractor and quickly called to inquire about the tractor. A couple of days later I had a Workbird sitting in my driveway. This is where the story of the Workbird begins. This blog will be filled with pics of the restoration and the information I find out about these tractors.