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Tractors And Mother: Close To Earth, Hardworking, And Undervalued

Cowboy Bob Hill
Apr 15, 2008
The landscape of American farming changed dramatically between 1850 and 1950 due in large part to the introduction of farm tractors. Initially, tractors used steam engines, until these gave way to internal combustion engines in the twentieth century. The turn-of-the-century steam engine tractor was gigantic and primitive looking, using chains on a rotating shaft to steer.

Not long after they were introduced, farmers soon found that engine driven tractors were more economical to use than using animals to till the land, so tractors began selling widely across the land. Agricultural machinery dealers often received cattle as partial payment for tractors and they in turn would sell the cattle on the meat market. Farmall, one of the most familiar and famous names in tractor history was one of early tractors. Tractors, which were made to be work horses, had few niceties and few even had even a fuel gauge.

In the farm business tractors are necessary for cultivating crops, so a tractor or tractors have been a must for farm owners. Tractors are also used in excavation, in manufacturing and industry, or on construction sites. The number of tractors needed on a farm and the selection of an optimum equipment set Is driven by farm size, availability of labor and custom services, crop selection, and cultural practices, such as the choice of tillage system. Even though the demand for tractor power typically increases with farm size, there are many commercial farms that still operate efficiently with only one tractor.

Tractors are designed to operate at different travel speeds, but the final drives are not necessarily designed for all torques theoretically available. Engine power, which typically ranges from about 12 to 120 horsepower or more and over the years have ranged between 20 and 400 horsepower, is transmitted through a gearbox usually having from 4 to10 speeds (these transmissions are manually controlled via a lever to determine how fast the tractor can go) to the differential gear which drives two large rear-drive wheels. Slow speeds are necessary to give the farmer more control while doing field work although some farm tractors can reach speeds up to 25 miles per hour.

Farm tractors are designed to be operated with additional weight or ballast when pulling heavy loads to reduce wheel slip. Insufficient ballast can cause excessive wheel slip and increased fuel consumption. Tractors need large tires to avoid compressing the earth, and to avoid digging in. Thus only the rear tires really need to be large and the front tires can be small and smooth unless the tractor has four wheel drive. Tractors used on ground of irregular contours have tracks so mounted that their left and right front ends rise and fall independently of each other. However, soil undulations induce tractor and machine vibrations, reducing driver's comfort and their capability of controlling the linked machinery.

Usually tractors are used to pull, but in some cases, push objects and are designed to pull either large loads using slow speeds or lighter loads at higher speeds. Field speeds up to 10 mph are may be used, but rangeland applications usually vary from 2 to 5 mph. Tractors are generally classified as two-wheel drive, two-wheel drive with front wheel assist, four-wheel drive (often with articulated steering), or tracked tractors (with either two or four powered rubber tracks).

Tractors are equipped with a hitching point below the rear axles to prevent roll over. Unfortunately, some people will attach to a point above the rear axle in a foolish attempt to get more weight/traction on the drive wheels and this can lead to disaster. Also, if a tractor is used to free and tow a stuck vehicle, the operator should hitch the vehicles front-to-front and drive the towing tractor in reverse, which minimizes the risk for rollover, by transmitting all the engine power of the towing tractor through the chain to the other vehicle.

A drawbar or three-point hitch is used to attach most farm implements to the rear of the tractor. The three-point hitch which allows the operator to lift the implement being towed and which transfers the weight and stress of an implement to the rear wheels of the tractor, has been standard since the 1960's and was invented by Harry Ferguson in 1926.
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This story is continued, click here to read the rest: Farmall Tractors; If you need financial help in order to get a tractor visit: financial help. http://www.farmalltractors.net
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