RA-140 Stand/Drive and Sit/Drive
1954 International RA-140 Stand & Drive
International Delivery trucks were very popular in our area of Pennsylvania. As a matter of fact about half of Rutters Dairy fleet were Internationals. They were very durable trucks and parts were no problem. One reason that parts were not a problem to buy was the interchangeability of them from Model to Model and year to year. This was over a 25 or 30 year span for the parts as well as the engine. The 240 cu. in. engine and the 264 cu. in. 6-cylinder engine were popular and durable for many years. The V-8 engine made its debut in the late 1960’s and the 345 cu. in. was the popular engine of that design.
International tried different transmissions to work into the “Stand & Drive” business. They started with the standard transmission in the 1930’s and around 1950 they came out with a “Torque” transmission that used a one speed forward gear box with an additional low range forward gear. The shifting was done by pushing on a button on the gear shift lever that would stop the output shaft of the trans with a brake band until you would engage the trans into reverse or vica versa. The trans connected to a torque convertor which allowed the truck to be driven without a clutch. It was like a Dynaflow or Powerflight trans that General Motors was using in their cars at that time. This type of trans had its problems of popping out of gear.
To overcome the Torque transmission, International came out with a two speed Hyrdra-matic truck trans in 1953. This truck is one of those trucks. These Auto trans were NOT built to handle the load of milk trucks. We had four of these trucks and the transmission were in need of having to be rebuilt about every year. After about ten years we replace the auto trans with 4-speed manual trans. Most of the other dairies did the same thing. This truck happens to have a fully operational Hydra Matic trans with a Metro Style body. It is a full “Stand & Drive” Truck and is very easy to drive. Rutters later bought International trucks with the Borg Warner 3-speed Automatic Trans trucks during 1954 thru 1957 models. Those were good working trucks and gave a few problems.