The Biggest Oliver Tractor Ever Made

Richard VanDeWalle

March 24, 2023

Oliver was always searching for a big tractor to put on the market. It took a little while for the company to come up with one. They called it 2255. It was a 140 PTO horsepower V8 tractor with a Cat 3150 engine. It was promoted in several pieces.

The 1855

When Oliver redesigned the Super 99 in 1954, it included a modular two-stroke Detroit Diesel engine. This engine was tough as nails and made a lot of horsepowers.

In the 1950s, Oliver redesigned its track tractor models and added a new machine identification system called OC (Oliver-Cletrac). The OC-3, OC-4, and OC-9 were all the same machines, but they had different cab styles.

The OC-4, designed in the middle of the OC-3 and OC-9 range, had a more beefy industrial look. This was a departure from the stylized look of the other models in the series.

The OC-18 was the most significant track-type tractor that Oliver ever produced. It sat between D7 and D8 in the track tractor world and was powered by a Hercules model DXFE diesel engine, putting out 161 flywheel horsepower.

The 1955

Amid America’s baby boom, powerful tractors were a must for busy farmers. Oliver knew this and went all out in designing their Fleetline series tractors. They didn’t just go for horsepower either; they also wanted a tractor that looked good. And 1955 was one of them!

It was the giant Oliver tractor ever made, wearing meadow green paint and branded as an Oliver. It was available from dealers nationwide and had a factory-installed cab.

Unlike the earlier models, this one was equipped with a diesel engine. The 5.1 L (310.0 cu*in) engine used 161 flywheel horsepower and had a 14.7 liter displacement.

The 1950-T

The giant Oliver tractor ever made was the 1950-T, produced in 1954. Its 310 CID engine came from 1750, was turbocharged, and put out 105 certified horsepower on the PTO.

This engine was made by Detroit Diesel, a General Motors division that has been making modular two-stroke engines since the 1930s. The company had a good reputation for producing rugged machines that made a lot of power.

It’s easy to see why Oliver would choose Detroit Diesel over Continental or Waukesha. They didn’t have to worry about building their powerplants, and they could use the same gear that other manufacturers were using if it made sense for them to do so.

The 2255

The 2255 was a big step for Oliver as it was the giant tractor ever made to wear meadow green paint and the Oliver name on it. It was also one of the earliest tractors to feature a six-speed over/under transmission.

The over/under was a new design for Oliver at the time, allowing the tractor to have a much higher ground clearance than any other track-type tractor. It was attached to the main transmission using a trunnion mount that eliminated most of the shaft alignment problems that plagued other tractors at the time. It was rated at 145 PTO horsepower. That number was achieved by the use of a Cat 3150 engine.

Another exciting thing about this model is that it was available with the Cat 3208 engine as well, which traded places quite easily with the Cat 3150. That means it was possible for 2255 to have both machines on it simultaneously, and it could even be an export version of a domestic tractor or keep one in the United States while sending out one.