One Tough Terra

1803 TerraGator

By their nature, pieces of Big IRON tend to get a bit worn during their lifetimes. In fact, finding some classic machines in good condition can take some hard looking.

Yet, for at least one 1803 Ter­raGator sitting in Iowa, the years haven’t been too cruel. In fact, according to Troy Pitzen­berger, application and sales representative for Five Star Coop, New Hampton, IA, his company’s 1803 has stood up remarkedly well to almost 20 years of field service.

“About the only thing I’ve had to do over the years to keep this TerraGator looking good is apply a rubbing compound to it before the start of each season,” says Pitzenberger. “That’s pretty impressive for a machine that’s spent its entire life outside in the elements.”

Liquid Beginning

This particular 1803 TerraGator started its working life as a liquid applicator in 1989 in the small town of Dougherty at the Five Star location there. It covered about 800 acres per day.

Seven years later, Five Star replaced the liquid system with a 12-foot New Leader dry box that holds 11 tons of dry fertilizer. With this attachment, the unit will cover 600 to 700 acres per day.

Since that time, says Pitzen­berger, the only part of the Terra­Gator that has been replaced is the engine, back in 2003. “But it still has its original 18-speed transmission,” he adds.

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