Massey Harris built approximately 84,000 Model 44s in a number of different configurations between 1946 and 1953. Gas, distillate, diesel or LPG engines were offered in standard tread or row crop configurations. The tractor was also offered in orchard and vineyard versions using either gas or diesel engines.
A high altitude version of the 44 was also available however only with a gas engine. The high altitude engine had a higher compression ratio and a carburetor with smaller jets.
The Massey Harris Model 44, in whatever fuel version purchased, used a 4 cylinder Continental engine of 260 cubic inch displacement. The gasoline engine version produced 45 horsepower while the diesel version produced approximately 40 horsepower. The diesel engine option was offered in 1948, two years after the introduction of the Model 44.
Massey Harris 44’s can also be found with a six cylinder Continental engine identical to the engine used in the Massey Harris 101 Senior. As Massey Harris had been advertising the smoothness of a six cylinder engine, Massey Harris decided it should offer a six cylinder version of the 44 called the 44-6. As the engine had less power than the 4 cylinder it was not really popular but still sold 6,657 during a production run that lasted between 1947 and 1951. As the six cylinder engine was longer than the four cylinder engine the frame on the 44-6 had to be stretched 2 inches to accommodate the engine.
The Model 44 no matter the engine option chosen used a five speed transmission. The 44 was the first Massey Harris tractor to have live PTO which was operated by a hand clutch. Later production tractors offered a hydraulic lift for mounted implements.
The Model 44 vineyard was much narrower than a standard tread 44 and used a narrowed rear axle that caused significant problems so any 44 Vineyards that were sold, were recalled and scrapped with one exception.
The Museum has both a gas 44 and a diesel 44 in the collection. Both tractors are standard tread versions.
The Massey Harris 44 diesel was donated to the Museum in memory of Keva Kives by Phillip and Ted Kives, Keva’s sons.