Detailed Allis Chalmers WD45 Reviews: Is It the Best Model From the Brand (2023 Guide)?

Built in the 1950s, the Allis Chalmers WD45 tractor is an old-fashioned small hydraulic tractor with great popularity. This row-crop tractor was one of the biggest John Deere competitors at the time of production.

The modern-built tractor offers a variety of features that can help you achieve days worth of work efficiently. The Allis Chalmers WD45 review discusses this row-crop tractor’s essential features, specs, pros, and cons. All the information you must know before buying or selling the ACWD45 is right here!

Take Away Key Notes:

  • The Allis Chalmers WD45 tractor is the first brand to introduce power steering and a diesel engine.
  • The horsepower rating of the Allis Chalmers WD45 tractor succeeds the competitors during production.
  • The row-crop tractor is compatible with various implements and is built with a narrow front end.
  • The Allis Chalmers WD45 tractor delivers quiet and long service if maintained properly.

The History of Allis Chalmers WD45

difference between allis chalmers wd and wd45

The history of the Allis Chalmers tractors dates back to 1847. However, they first entered the market in the 1950s while battling with tractor leaders such as International Harvester, John Deere, and Massey Harris.

The “WD” tractor model was first produced in 1948, succeeding the “WC” predecessor. The WD tractor was known for its incredible single hitch implements, two-clutch feature, and power-shift wheel, allowing the tractor to reach different row widths.

Although the WD tractor delivered only 24-30 HP, Allis Chalmers brand decided to work harder on the next model, which would provide an even bigger power output. By 1953, Allis Chalmers announced the new and improved model, the WD 45.

The mighty vehicle resembled the WD tractor in many features but was significantly smaller, especially in the first year of production. In response to the new IH and John Deere tractors delivering over 40HP, Allis Chalmers’ WD45 model provided 30-39HP on the drawbar.

With the Allis Chalmers tractors, the significant power increase launched the WD45 tractor within the four-plow class category.

The WD45 tractor was the first model equipped with a diesel engine and power steering. Between the years of manufacturing in 1953-1957, Allis Chalmers produced and sold over 90,000 models of the WD 45. Compared to the John Deere’ 60′ model that sold 61,000, Allis Chalmers takes the win!

The model included an open operator station with all of the controls by hand’s reach. The Allis Chalmers half cab was also available as an option.

As the years went by, the WD45 tractor was further upgraded. The 1970s version included a medium-duty frame with an unsynchronized transmission. The transmission had the Class 4 and Class 5 implements.

Key Specifications

Tractor ModelWD45
Tractor TypeRow-Crop tractor
Length128 inches
Height81.5 inches
Wheelbase87.7 inches
Weight3.990 lbs
Fuel tank capacity56.8 L
Cabin TypeOpen operator station

Allis Chalmers WD45 Engine

The Allis Chalmers WD45 allows users to opt between two engine types: a diesel and a gas engine.

Allis Chalmers gas engine: the gas engine is a 3.7L engine with four cylinders and 226.0 cu·in. The cylinder bore measures 4.02 inches while the piston stroke is 4.49 in. The compression ratio of gasoline is 6.45:1 or 7.2:1 for the LP gas version.

Allis Chalmers diesel engine: The diesel engine in the Allis Chalmers tractor was available after 1954. The diesel engine is a 3.8L, six-cylinder engine with a 3.43-cylinder bore. The compression ratio for the diesel version is 15.5:1.

Both engines are four-stroke liquid cooled. The liquid-cooled engine uses water-based coolant that prevents the freezing and oxidation of the engine due to low temperatures.

The four-cylinder tractor engine is one of the most impressive components of the Allis Chalmers WD45. The four-cylinder engine is fuel-efficient and smaller in size. Although it offers less horsepower than some competitors, it does not add extra weight to the tractor, allowing it to operate better in most tasks.

Gas Engine

Engine typeFour-stroke, liquid-cooled, inline
Number of cylinders4
Displacement226 cu·in
Bore and stroke4.02 in X 4.49 in
Compression ratio gasolineGasoline: 6.45:1
LP gas: 7.2:1
Torque390.5 N·m
Spark plug gap0.030 in

Diesel Engine

Engine typeFour-stroke, liquid-cooled, inline
Number of cylinders6
Displacement230.0 cu·in
Bore and stroke3.43 in X 4.13 in
Compression ratio diesel15.5:1
Starter electric
Oil capacity6.6L
Coolant capacity16L

Allis Chalmers WD45: Transmission

how many allis chalmers wd45 were made

The Allis Chalmers WD45 is a 2WD tractor with a sliding gear transmission featuring a wet disc clutch, four forward, and one reverse gear.

The sliding gear transmission is effective but not the best for a novice farmer. It will require effort to operate well. Thanks to the wet disc clutch, the tractor is reliable in all conditions and will require fewer repairs. The damp disc clutch can sustain more abuse and generally offers a quieter operation than the dry clutch.

The steering allows you to choose between power steering and manual steering.

Although experienced farmers can enjoy manual steering, first-time operators best appreciate power steering. Power steering is easier to use and versatile, while the response is much quicker thanks to manual steering.


Chassis4 X 2 WD
Steering typePower steering or manual steering
BrakesMechanical band
Transmission typeSliding gear with wet disc clutch
SpeedForward: 18.0 kmh
Reverse: 5.2 kmh
Transmission oil capacity16L
Oil typeSAE 80EP

Allis Chalmers WD 45: PTO, Hydraulics & Hitch

During the 1940s and 1950s, tractor companies began to develop specific hitching mechanisms that enabled implements to be mounted directly on the tractor. The Snap-Coupler is one of the most beneficial additions that make WD45 a good tractor.

The Snap-Coupler was trademarked by Allis Chalmers, signifying a mechanism that allowed farmers to back up over the implement until a tongue snapped into the hitch. This was something that a standard three-point hitch could not do for years, making Allis Chalmers a unique company among competitors.

Before this hitch, Allis Chalmers had single hitch attachments. However, the single-point trap was only sometimes found practical by operators. So the system was replaced with the Snap Coupler, allowing farmers to attach implements quickly.

As far as the PTO goes, the WD45 features a live rear PTO with 540 rpm.


Oil TypeSAE20W


Rear-pto shaft typeLive
Rear PTO speed540 rpm


Hitch typeSnap-Coupler

Allis Chalmers WD45: Dimensions and Performance

The WD45 is a well-built tractor with quality features. Due to the Snap Coupler hitch, the WD45 is excellent for snow clearing, plowing, loader work, and other agricultural tasks.

The heavy-duty tractor features a wide front end that gives excellent weight balance.

Furthermore, the rear tires of the diesel tractor enable it to work in narrow fields and rows. The narrow front end is additionally perfect for row-cropping. In addition, it allows the implementation of various attachments and other things that can help achieve numerous farm jobs.

The rear tires might need reinforcement if you purchase an aftermarket tractor. A good fix of chains can help you quickly move the snow in heavy snow.


Front tires5.50-16
Rear-tires12-28, 13-28

Belt Pulley

Diameter9 inches
Width6.5 inches


Steering wheel height68 inches
Exhaust height81.5 inches
Gas weight3995 lbs
Diesel weight4285 lbs
Ground clearance29 inches
Rear tread55.6 to 90.1 inches

Common Issues With Allis Chalmers WD45

how to tell an allis chalmers wd from a wd45

The Allis Chalmers is a terrific budget-friendly tractor with a wide front end that enables the operator to navigate through narrow rows easily. However, there are a few common issues operators seem to come across.

For starters, the WD45 does not have the best rear rims. As a result, the rims can quickly rot away, and the repair can be pricey. The same issue applies to the rear tires, which are costly to replace and not of the best quality.

Additionally, the Allis Chalmers WD45 offers an open operator station with the optional Allis Chalmers half cab. However, many operators complain due to the lack of comfort in the cab. If you are tall, the hand clutch can often get in the way of comfort.


Are Allis-Chalmers tractors good?

Yes, Allis Chalmers’s tractors are good. While they were discontinued by AGCO years ago, Allis Chalmers tractors were one of the better budget-friendly tractors in the business.

What is the most popular Allis-Chalmers tractor?

The most popular tractor by Allis-Chalmers was the WD45. The WD45 tractor was the first from the brand’s line that featured power steering and a diesel engine. Although the horsepower rating is not ranked high, the overall performance of the WD45 is what made it so popular.

Are Allis Chalmers tractors still made?

No, Allis Chalmers tractors are no longer made. The last tractor Allis Chalmers made was back in 1985, after which the company was sold to AGCO.

What is the difference between Allis Chalmers WD and WD45?

The Allis Chalmers WD tractor has a maximum power output of 30 HP, while the WD45 delivers 39 HP on the drawbar. Additionally, the Allis Chalmers WD45 tractor uses second gear for reverse, while the WD uses first gear.

How much horsepower does an Allis Chalmers WD45 have?

The Allis Chalmers WD45 tractor delivers 39 HP on the drawbar.

Final Words

We hope you have enjoyed the Allis Chalmers WD45 review! This row-crop tractor was the first line to reach such global success. Although the WD45 may not be sufficient for the demanding loader work, it’s still an excellent tractor for medium-sized farms.

If appropriately maintained, the WD45 tractor can last you for a long time, offering reliable service. In addition, most parts are easily found in the dealer’s shop and even easier to work with!

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Ben Bareja

Ben Bareja, the owner-founder-webmaster of This website was conceptualized primarily to serve as an e-library for reference purposes on the principles and practices in crop science, including basic botany. Read more here

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