What is a Jeep-a-Split?
Near the end of WWII, Willys began looking for ideas to help introduce the Jeep to the civilian market. Willys pioneered specially available implements for Jeep, such as trenchers, backhoes, welders, snow blowers, sweepers, farming equipment, etc. Converting the war-horse into the work-horse wasn’t always easy. Many of these implements often overloaded the Jeep and led to a short life. These implements continued into the Kaiser Jeep era through the 1971 model year.
The log splitter shown here on display at the All Breeds Jeep Show (PA Jeeps) in York PA is a working example of one man’s concept of work-horse era implements. It is powered by the engine through the rear power-take-off (PTO) on the transfer case. Although a “Jeep-a-Split” never really existed in the work-horse years (1945-1971), it could have easily proved to be very useful and not such a burden on the Jeep itself.
The work-horse era expired for the 1972 model year, as American Motors took the helm of Jeep. Never again would such an array of contraptions be offered for a production vehicle.
Below are some of the early examples of the Willys Overland Universal Jeep’s implements.