The Amazing World of Tractors
After my recent trip to the Midwest, I thought about what I liked about tractors
I recently went up the Midwest to visit family, many of which live out in the country. And after looking at the old tractors my family has, I became more interested in these machines. After all, without tractors we wouldn't have food on our tables. So, it makes sense to take an interest in tractors. Also, who doesn't love a big vehicle that runs on diesel. I know I do!
John Deere 6620 (credit: clarkemachinery.ie)
John Deere is an iconic American tractor company based in Illinois. It started out with John Deere creating an innovative steel plow used for farming in 1837. In 1918 John Deere began producing the Waterloo Boy, and John Deere tractors. During the Great Depression, John Deere also extended the payment terms for farmers. Making many farmers loyal buyers of the company. John Deere continued innovating throughout the 20th century, and even in the present day.
1918 John Deere Tractor (credit: blogspot.com)
John Deere's reputation for making good quality farm equipment is still present today. With one of the most modern advancements in farming being produced by John Deere in 2009; by manufacturing a cotton picker that makes round bales on the go. Increasing efficiency and allowing farmers to continue farming without stopping to bale the cotton.
2009 John Deere 7760 cotton picker (credit: John Deere Machine Finder)
However, John Deere has also run into some controversy in the modern age. With the increased machine's dependence on computer systems, John Deere has made it so only certain mechanics can work on tractors. This of course limits the farmers, who normally are used to doing the maintenance themselves, or having a small-town mechanic do it for them. This of course makes it difficult on the farmer, who now has to pay more money to transport and repair their tractor at a specified mechanic from John Deere.
Regardless of its controversies, John Deere remains popular among many farmers. With one of my family members, who is a farmer in the Midwest stating that he would love a John Deere if he could afford one. As farming is very expensive, and because John Deeres are high-end tractors, many farmers can't afford them. But the fact still remains that John Deeres are normally loved by their owners, and they are very good-looking tractors in my opinion.
New Holland T7.31 5HD (credit: used.russels.uk.com)
New Holland is probably not the first name that pops into your head when you think of tractors. But when I was a kid, they were my favorite tractors. Mainly because my favorite color is blue, but that's beside the point. New Holland came around in 1895, and they became famous among farmers for making good farming implements such as bailers. The company was bought out by the Sperry Corporation in 1947. And was later bought out by ford in 1985, then the company was sold to Fiat in 1990. Where it had remained to this day.
1895 New Holland Harvester (credit: equipmtl.com)
From its founding, New Holland has had one goal in its company, and that is to make things easier on the farmers. A quite noble goal if you ask me. And looking at their history they seem to have done that. New Holland is widely considered to be a good company if you ask many farmers, I asked one member of my family who owns a farm what he thought of New Holland when I was a kid.
And if I remember correctly New Holland was a good company, and if the dealership wasn't overpriced on the New Holland he was looking at, he would've bought it. So New Holland may not be as exiting, or as well-known as other companies like John Deere, but they still have made quite a contribution to the world of farming.
Kubota M7 Gen2 (credit: potatogrower.com)
Kubota is my current favorite tractor company. Primarily because most farmers in my family have them, and it is the one that I have driven. They are good and reliable tractors, and they work well for farm work. Which is why so many of my family in the Midwest drive them. They are also increasing in popularity from what I observed while up in the Midwest during Thanksgiving.
Kubota was created in 1890 by Gonshiro Kubota with the sole goal of stopping world starvation and making food more accessible. A quite commendable goal if you ask me. They became famous for creating small tractors that helped Japanese farmers who had smaller farms than other countries. Kubota also has gotten into making larger tractors to accommodate other markets such as the U.S. Another notable contribution Kubota has made to the world of farming is helping to produce tractors for the Indian market. Allowing for the expansion of Indian agriculture.
Kubota T15, their first tractor (credit: steenent.com)
A tractor worth mentioning is the Kubota T15. This was the first tractor Kubota made in 1960. Before it began making tractors, Kubota made things like engines and implements such as cultivators used in farming. But then it began making tractors, and like all Japanese imports to the U.S. it revolutionized its market. The T15 was a diesel tractor, which were considered unreliable for the time.
However, Kubota was different from other tractor makers, with its T15 being reliable and becoming fairly popular in the U.S. And by 1972, Kubota had sold 2,000 tractors in the U.S., quite a number for back then. Kubota was so successful in the American market, that it set up operations in Compton City, California to accommodate the American demand. In 1988, Kubota starting a manufacturing operation in America in Gainesville, Georgia as well. Kubota has not stopped innovating, in 1993, Kubota was the first diesel powered tractor to meet California's new increasing emissions standards.
If anything is clear by Kubota's history, it is this. Kubota cares about innovation and pleasing the customer. And it continues to do so to this day. Giving companies such as John Deere a run for their money.
Massey Ferguson Tractor (credit: masseyfurguson.com)
Massy Furguson is an interesting company, because when I looked into its history it wasn't what I was expecting. I originally thought that Massy Furguson was originally an American company and had remained like that to this day. But I was wrong, Massey Ferguson began as a Canadian company called Massey-Harris, and a British company called Ferguson. These two companies merged in 1953 becoming Massy Furguson.
The company was based in Ontario, Canada up until 1997 when they moved to Buffalo, New York in the U.S. The company is now based in Duluth, Georgia where it continues to produce tractors for markets in the U.S. and Europe. With factories all over the world from Minnesota, U.S. to Beauvais, France. It is no wonder why Massey Furguson is so popular in the world today.
Case IH tractor (credit: TractorData)
If you've ever heard the song International Harvester by Craig Morgan, this is the tractor he is talking about. And it is mainly because of that song that gives me and interest in this tractor, I mean what other song is better to have playing while driving through the countryside. Case IH is made up of a merger of two companies, Case and International Harvester. Both of these companies are famous in their own right, and many times Case IH's are often referred to by the name of their previous companies.
The Case part of the company started off by making a name for itself early on in the history of tractors. In 1869, J.I. Case and Company made the first steam powered tractor engine. This was not self-propelled however and needed horses to pull it. But it powered many other farm implements, making farming a far more efficient way of doing business. In 1876, Case built the first self-propelled tractor, adding onto the innovation of the company.
1976 Case Tractor (credit: caseih.com)
In 1902, International Harvester was found by J.P. Morgan after creating a merger between the tractor companies of McCormick, Deering, and a few other brands. International Harvester began creating larger tractors than the competition, such as in 1910 with the Titan tractor. International Harvester became famous soon after for creating large red tractors for only the most serious farmers.
In 1985, after some financial troubles, Case and International Harvester merged together to the company that we now know today. And they have been continuing to innovate and create good quality products for the farmers. With things such as the Magnum tractor in 1988, a quite large tractor that is still sold today. And continued innovation of combine harvesters and constant updates to old models such as the Farmall.
As you can tell, I love tractors and would love to learn more about them. Please feel free to let me know what you think of tractors, and your experience with them. Thank you for reading.
Sources: John Deere History | Tractor History | John Deere US and John Deere's Digital Transformation Runs Afoul Of Right-To-Repair Movement (forbes.com) and The History of New Holland Tractors - Reliable Aftermarket Parts, Inc® Blog and Kubota Tractor Information - History of Kubota Tractors (tractorjunction.com) and From tractors to utility vehicles, a look back at Kubota firsts - Steen Enterprises and A History of Massey Ferguson Tractors - Farm Tech Supplies and History | Case IH