Roths Industries, Inc. (1946 –1958) was a manufacturer of small garden tractors and other agricultural equipment started by Herbert C. Roths in Alma, Michigan. The company manufactured Garden King Walking Tractors, BesRo Riding Tractors, Columbia III Planter-Fertilizer Attachments, and Till Ro Stalk Cutters.
- * Walkbehind Tractor Models: Model W-Garden King, Model G-Roths Tractor
- * Riding Tractor Models: Model R-BesRo, Country Boy, Little Jeff
Herbert C. Roths was born in Lyon, Iowa
in 1904 and passed away in Gratiot County, Michigan
in 1978. At the time of his first patent Herbert Roths was a resident of Alpena, Michigan
and the company must have been in the early stages of foundation. With the submission of the second patent, the late Roths had settled into Alma
, in Gratiot County, Michigan
The first patent (D146,947) was applied for by the late Herbert C. Roths on August 24, 1945 for the design of an ornamental tractor. This patent was awarded on June 17, 1947. At the time of the second patent (D157,432), Herbert C. Roths was an assignor to Roths Industries Inc., Alma, Michigan. The patent was applied for on December 19, 1946 and awarded on February 21, 1950. The second patent was also an ornamental garden tractor design which would later become the Roths Garden King walking tractor. According to patent records the company may have been established between mid-1945 to late-1946. The first production Garden King walking tractors would begin sometime in 1946. The company may still have been producing Country Boy riding tractors as late as 1958.
Herbert Roths had two patents issued in 1970 and 1973 for a transplanting loader and transplanting machine. On these patents his name was stated as Herbert C. O. Roths located at 316 Wilson Drive, Orchard Hills, St. Louis, MI 48880. These may have been some of the last of his agricultural work as he died in 1978.
Model W-Garden King
The Roths Garden King-Model W is a self propelled two-wheel tractor
which was introduced sometime around 1946. The number of units produced remains unknown. According to a March 15, 1949 part list, the 6 H.P. standard Garden King walking tractor and reverse drive with 6x12 tires had a domestic shipping weight of 504 lbs, a net weight of 420 lbs, and a list price of $375.00.
- Type: Two Wheel Walking Tractor with Steeromatic Control. Operator always has control over the cultivator.
- Engine: Wisconsin AB Engine, 3 H.P.
- Transmission: Steeromatic Draft Control, Differential Slip, Forward/Reverse, Automotive type differential carried on four Timken bearings
- Final Drive: Worm and worm gear and differential operating in a bath of oil. On each side of differential housing is chain reduction to final drive axle, each operating in a bath of oil.
- Speed: From ¾ to 3 miles per hour, speeds variable by throttle control
- Clearance: 14 inches through center of tractor. Front and rear wheels adjustable from 20 to 32 inches on tread centers
- Wheels/Tires 1946: 6.00x9 Firestone Industrial Rib 4-Ply tires
- Wheels/Tires 1946-1947: 4.5x12 Knobby Garden Tractor Tires
- Wheels/Tires 1947-1949: 6.00x12 Garden Tractor Lug Tires
- Weight: ~ 500 pounds
- Colors: Green and Yellow
In 1949, the Model "W" and "WKS" were made available.
- Model W: Wisconsin AB Engine, 3 H.P.
- Model WKS: Wisconsin AKS Engine, 5 H.P.
Attachments include: 36 inch Toolbar Cultivator, 6 Blade Disc (Six 12 inch Blades) Draw Bar Type, 8 Blade Disc (Eight 12 inch Blades) Draw Bar Type, 6 Blade Disc (Six 15 or 16 inch Blades) Draw Bar Type, 8 Blade Disc (Eight 15 or 16 inch Blades) Draw Bar Type, 14 Tooth Expanding Type Harrow (tool), 8 inch Moldboard Plow with rolling coulter, 48 inch Snow Blade, the Columbia III Planter with Fertilizer, 36 inch (Special Order) or 40 inch Sickle Bar Mower, Cultipacker and Cane or Vineyard Cultivator.
Columbia III Planter-Fertilizer
In late-1947, the Columbia III Planter had been introduced along with a fertilizer
attachment. According to a December 19, 1947 advertisement, the new Columbia III Planter was a power-agitated attachment which had two adjustable opening shoes. The fertilizer
was sowed in two bands with the seeds planted in-between the fertilizer
bands. Roths Industries stated that this eliminated the danger of damaging the seeds during germination
. The planter accurately planted all types of seeds from the smallest flower
seed to the largest seed, including Spanish Peanuts
in the shell. Any desired seed spacing could be obtained. Roths Industries also had special seed cylinders that could be furnished to suit a wide range of requirements.
According to a March 15, 1949 part list, the Columbia III Planter with Fertilizer Attachment: Push Type Model and Tractor Mounted, both had a domestic shipping weight of 62 lbs, a net weight of 50 lbs, and a list price of $47.50. Also a Furrow Marker was available for the planter(required for Tractor Mounted use) which had a domestic shipping weight of 5 lbs, a net weight of 5 lbs, and a list price of $8.00.
The Garden King Model W was introduced as a high crop walkbehind garden tractor but sometime in 1947 or 1948 the tractor was also available in a lower stance version. This new design came equipped with a new type ratchet differential drive based off the original Model W differential. By 1950 the tractor had became known as the Model G. To steer this type of tractor, the operator did not have to overcome the power in the drive wheels because of the differential design. When the clutch is disengaged the tractor can be easily moved in forward or backward motion.
- Type: Two Wheel Walking Tractor
- Engine: 1 ½ to 2 H.P. or 2 ½ to 3 H.P.
- Transmission: Ratchet Type Differential, Forward/Reverse, Ratchet type differential carries on two Timken bearings
- Drive: An all gear driven unit using Timken bearings on differential and power input shaft of worm
- Speeds: 1 to 3 miles per hour
- Clearance: 8 inches through center of tractor. Wheel adjustment 16 to 30 inches.
- Weight: Unknown
- Colors: Green and Yellow
An optional steering assembly with a sulky
seat and wheels may have been available to convert the tractor to a riding unit. This may have been the precursor to the BesRo.
- Type: Four wheel riding tractor, rear engine drive
- Engine: 7 ½ H.P. heavy duty gas burning engine, Special order for burning No. 1 fuel oil of 38-42 Baume or octane rating 35 or higher.
- Transmission: Automotive type differential carried on four Timken bearings, Forward/Reverse.
- Drive: Worm and worm gear and differential operating in a bath of oil. On each side of differential housing is chain reduction to final drive axle, each operating in a bath of oil.
- Speed: From ¾ to 4 miles per hour.
- Clearance: 17 inches through center of tractor. Front and rear wheels adjustable from 32 to 44 inches on tread centers.
- Weight: Unknown
- Colors: Green and Yellow
The Roths Counrty Boy was introduced sometime around 1950. It is unknown how many of these units were manufactured. These riding tractors had the following attachments available: Bulldozer Blade, Disc Harrow, Cultivator
, Sickle Bar, Rotary Mower, Trailing Gang Mowers, Moldboard Plow and optional: Parallel Rear Tool Lift
- Type: Four wheel riding tractor
- Engine: 3 sizes - 6.6, 8 1/2, 9 H.P., Wisconsin , Clinton, or Kohler
- Transmission: 3 speeds, Forward/Reverse, Standard Automotive Type
- Wheels/Tires(Front): 4x8, 4x12
- Wheels/Tires(Rear): 6x16 or 7x16
- Weight: ~ 700 pounds
- Length: 74 inches
- Width: 31.5 to 36 inches
- Height: 40 inches
- Color: Green and Yellow
- Redman-Roths Distributing Company
- 309-11 E. Superior St.
- Alma, Michigan
- Roths Tractor and Equipment
- 25048 Five Mile
- Detroit, MI