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 The Love 3-Point Hitch

Manufactured by Love Industries, Inc.


During World War II Willys-Overland was busy thinking of new ways to market jeeps for the post war civilian market. Much of their testing and development centered around the jeep being used as a multiple purpose vehicle, including a farm tractor. During this time period the 3-point hitch, or implement lift, was becoming very popular with farmers. Several different 3-point hitches were offered as factory-approved accessories for the Jeep throughout CJ production. There were also a few hitches offered by other manufacturers that were not "Willys-Overland Approved". See the Farm Jeep web-site for more information about some of the many different 3-point hitches that were available for Jeeps. The photo above shows a Love 3-point hitch. As we will see the Newgren hitch was very closely related to the Love lift.

In the 1930s Jabez Love began to manufacture farm tractors in
Benton Harbor, Michigan. His tractors were specially suited for the local conditions on the Eastern Shore of Lake Michigan. Named "Tructor-tractor" they had the ability to travel much faster than other farm tractors of the time. In 1939 Mr. Love moved his business to Eau Claire, Michigan. In addition to manufacturing tractors, Jabez also made a variety of farming implements and hydraulic lifts that could be installed on different tractors. On February 26, 1945 a fire destroyed the Love Tractor Company in Eau Claire. By July work had been started on constructing a new factory. This was about the same time the first Willys-Overland CJ-2As were being produced in Toledo, Ohio.

On the left are drawings from Jabez Love's patented design for a tractor. The distinctive hood made a Love Tractor stand out from others.

Drawing from the United States Patent Office.

In 1946 Willys-Overland announced the availability of a 3-point hitch for the Jeep CJ-2A. It was initially called a Love Hydraulic Lift System. An article in The News-Palladium, Benton Harbor, Michigan on August 22, 1946 explains the Love implement lift for a Jeep.

"J. B. Love Invents Lifting Unit For Use On Jeeps"
"A new and revolutionary hydraulic lifting unit which can be affixed to the under side of a jeep to facilitate the operation of agricultural and industrial attachments was announced here today by Arthur J. Wieland, vice-president in charge of distribution for Willys-Overland Motors Inc., Toledo, O. The new device is known as the Love Hydraulic Lift System, and
will be distributed by the Newgren company, Toledo, a new firm independent of Willys-Overland. J. B. Love, Eau Claire, inventor of the unit, who was formerly an agricultural engineer with Willys-Overland, and now head of the Love Tractor & Sprayer Co., explained that the new device when attached to the jeep, hydraulically raises and lowers plows, discs, harrows, weeders and other implements which can be attached to the vehicle. New maneuverability of the jeep as a farm tool is afforded by the system, Love said. The operator of the jeep, through a push button control, raises and lowers jeep attachments quickly and with ease for turning, for driving from one field to another over roadways, or for returning to the barns. Plans have been completed for the manufacture of a three pin device for attaching the implement to the new system. The Love unit will be available through Willys-Overland dealers as a packaged unit. It can easily be installed in the field. In announcing the product, Mr. Wieland said that the unit and its connecting device does not interfere in any way with the jeep's load carrying capacity, and it can be operated without detaching the power take-off, spline shaft, or pulley drive of the jeep. The farm implements themselves can be detached in a matter of minutes by one man, as there are only three metal pins to be pulled out."

In September 1946 the Love Hydraulic Lift made it's debut at Cesor Farms, Michigan. Jabez Love,
George Newlin, and Robert H. Green were all present at the event. The "Love" 3-point hitch in the photos has the characteristics of a "Newgren" lift.

Apparently this Love hitch became more commonly known as a Newgren after a short time. Perhaps the reason for the name change was because J. B. Love would be marketing his own version of the Love lift in the near future.

Mr. Love applied for a patent for his 3 point hitch design on August 2, 1946. "The Primary object of the invention is to provide a novel, simple, effective and inexpensive hitch construction of this character.
A further object is to provide a hitch construction of the lift-up type which may be applied to a spring mounted motor vehicle, such as the quarter-ton 4-wheel drive automotive vehicles commonly known as "jeeps"."
Patent number 2,445,145 was approved on July 13, 1948. The hitch in these patent drawings appears to be a Newgren lift.

Drawing from the United States Patent Office.

Jabez Love sold his own version of the new 3-point Jeep hitch through his business, the Love Tractor & Sprayer Co. This Love hitch was very similar to the hitch he designed for Willys-Overland which became known as the Newgren hitch. A unique characteristic of a Love lift is the right side lift arm which incorporated a threaded mechanism to allow for implement angle adjustment. Less Jeep modifications were required to install this lift than a Newgren. Click here to see the "Love Industries brochure for the Love Hydraulic Lift-Hitch for Willys Jeep" located on the Farm Jeep web-site.

To the right is a page from a May 1, 1947 Love hitch parts and price list. This page illustrates the hydraulic pump, bracket and main hitch assembly. The complete Parts and Price List was published in the Empire Tractor Owners Newsletter, Volume 7 - January 1999.

Empire Tractors were small farm tractors that used Willys Jeep engines and drive trains. Some Empires were also equipped with Love 3 point hitches. The Empire Love lift was slightly different than the Jeep Love lift and the Jeep Newgren lift. On the left is a photo of Lonnie Deweese's Empire Tractor, with it's Love 3 point hitch, at the 2009 Midwest Willys Reunion.

Find out more about Empire tractors at The Empire Tractor Owners Club website.

Some of the smaller Love Tractors were also equipped with Willys engines and drivetrain components. The Love 1-Plow and 2-Plow tractors were powered by a Willys engine, transmission and rear axle. The 3-Plow tractor was powered by a "6-cylinder Chrysler or Ford motor". Click on the advertisement to the left for a larger view of the tractor descriptions.

1950 Advertisement from The News-Palladium, Benton Harbor, Michigan.

If you have any information about Love 3-point hitches please send an e-mail by clicking here for contact information.

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