Readers ask: Who Sold Bolens Lawn Tractor?

By Jim Cunzenheim

Hank Watkins purchased his first home in Piano, III, along the Fox River in 1963, after a friend offered him a 1958 Bolens 6 1/2-hp Ride-A-Matic lawn tractor in exchange for a Kawasaki motorcycle.
The first tractor to bear the Bolens name was the Power Hoe, built around 1922 by Gilson Manufacturing Co. in Port Washington, Wis. In 1982, Garden Way Corp. of Troy, N.Y. purchased Bolens and phased out the Bolens brand. He has an example of each model of Ride-A-Matic, his favorite Bolens, from when they were first produced in 1956 until production ceased in 1982.


A pair of early Ward walk-behind tractors are among a Michigan man’s vintage tractor collection. Restoring Marx wind-up climbing toys helps an Illinois man relive his childhood. Check out this tractor retrofitted with Ford Model T parts and see if you can identify its maker.

What happened to Bolens tractors?

Unfortunately, after 1987, Bolens’ quality began to deteriorate; they were bought out by Troy built and then by MTD in 2001. Fortunately, many older Bolens garden tractors remain on the market today, and many people are beginning to collect and restore these wonderful garden tractors.

Who made Bolens tractors?

Bolens was founded in Port Washington, Wisconsin, by Harry Bolens and John Gilson. In 1987, Garden Way purchased Bolens and merged it with the Troy-Bilt brand. Garden Way was then purchased by MTD in 2001, and MTD continued to use the Bolens name on lawn tractors until about 2010.

When did FMC buy Bolens?

FMC purchased the company in 1946 and owned it during the production of the Ride-A-Matics and Ridemasters. In 1982, Garden Way Corp. of Troy, N.Y. purchased the company from FMC and phased out the Bolens in favor of Troy Built tractors.

See also:  Question: Who Makes Kioti Tractor?

Are Bolens mowers any good?

This is a great little mower if you’re looking for a no-frills, low-cost, low-maintenance push mower. Assembly is simple and takes less than 15 minutes, and it comes with oil, so it fires up right away once you put in the oil and gas.

Do they still make Bolens tractors?

Bolens was founded in 1850 and has since grown to become a respected brand in some markets, introducing their first power-driven garden tractor in 1919. The company is now owned by MTD Products.

What does FMC Bolens stand for?

FMC purchased Bolens Lawn and Garden Equipment in 1946, changed its name to Food Machinery and Chemical Corporation in 1948, and then to FMC Corporation in 1961.

Who owns Bolens?

MTD Products is a mass-market outdoor power equipment manufacturer that has acquired the Troy-Bilt, Bolens, Cub Cadet, Craftsman (owned by its minority partner), and Yard-Man brands and/or companies over the years, as well as private labeling for other brands under the “247” model prefix.

What brands are made by MTD?

MTD’s regional brands include Troy-Biltu00ae in the Americas, Roveru00ae in the Pacific, and WOLF-Gartenu00ae in Europe, as well as Remingtonu00ae, Yard Machinesu00ae, Columbiau00ae, and MTD Genuine Partsu00ae in the Americas, and Robomowu00ae in the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East.

Is Troy-Bilt going out of business?

Garden Way, of Troy, N.Y., which makes Troy-Bilt rototillers, one of the most recognizable products in the American garden, has filed for bankruptcy protection and plans to close operations, resulting in the loss of 550 jobs.

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