International Harvestor engineers developed this 4WD tractor because of a desire for a high horsepower tractor with better maneuverability and less soil compaction. The result was this articulated 4WD tractor called the "2+2" model because it consisted of one two wheel tractor mated with another. The tractor is actually steered by pivoting the front half of the tractor.
While the "2+2" is an "all wheel drive" tractor, it is a full-fledged row-crop tractor capable of handling any job from plowing, cultivating, planting, haying, and harvesting. The operator sits behind the articulation where the equipment is attached and has a clear view of the field.
Powered by an IH diesel engine producing 177 hp, it has 150.4 PTO hp. With the use of HI/LO combinations, there are a total of 16 forward speeds and 8 reverse speeds.
The IH-3588 was built from 1978-1981 and this particular tractor appeared (based on serial number) to be a 1979. The air-conditioned cab and windshield wiper provide amenities for that "all weather farmer." This particular tractor had 2 new batteries when purchased and always started quickly. The tires while not new were in very good shape with lots of life remaining. Two additional wheels and tires (not shown in the pictures) were a part of the tractor but were not in these pictures since they must be removed for transport purposes (and to get thru some more narrow gates). The extra wheels and tires could be installed either on the front or the rear axles depending on operator needs. As shown in one of the pictures, a quick attach unit for attachment to large implements was installed on the back of this tractor.
This model tractor is obviously too large to work the typical "garden plot", but if one needs a real tractor capable of handling just about any large task this could be the answer. One farmer who looked at the tractor (he had one new in 1980) claimed that on one occasion his 11 year old daughter plowed 111 acres in one day with a similar tractor. Amazing!
Somewhere during its history, the long nose has resulted in a nickname of "The Anteater". And one can certainly see why!
This "Anteater" became mine at a farm equipment auction where I was looking for a hay baler (which I didn't find). The low bidding on the tractor simply didn't represent the value of the tractor so I made an "investment."
Five weeks after I got it home, a person needing the tractor and realizing its value purchased it from me. It's new use? It will be pulling a rock picker in the development of an electricity windmill farm being constructed northwest of the Denton area.
This impressive tractor, while not only a real beauty and very unusual in appearance, was very different to drive/operate due to the "articulating" arrangement of the two parts of the tractor. Needless to say, it attracted lots of attention from on-lookers and likely is the most interesting and unusual tractor that I will ever own.