Vintage And Classic Tractor Section 2007

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Vintage And Classic Tractor Section 2007

With the advent of the internal combustion engine powered farm tractor at the turn of the last century, farm mechanisation began to take on a new meaning. The traditional methods of horse and steam power were labour intensive, laborious and costly.

Prior to the first World War several makers produced various tractors which basically combined a stationary engine mounted on a chassis to drive the wheels using a chain. While useful for powering thrashing machines and other devices using a belt pulley for drive these tractors were for the most part a novelty.

With the advent of the First World War and the consequent shortage of manpower and blockades, it became imperative that far more efficient methods of farming be introduced. The introduction of the mass-produced Fordson in 1917 at much lower costs then other makers products set the standards for all other makers to attain. By the early 1920's Ford had captured 75 percent of the tractor market, this resulted in intensive competition and the introduction of many fine tractors by a host of makers, such as: International, Case, Ferguson, Allis Chalmers, John Deere, David Brown and many others all of which became well known names in the farming industry and a common sight in the countryside.

Sadly with the advent of globalisation and rationalisation the number of tractor makers is now reduced to a few very large manufacturers and a small number of specialist firms who convert or enhance other makers products for specific needs. Gone for ever are the days when the farmer had a host of choices when he required a new tractor. Thankfully those involved in the preservation movement had the foresight to preserve many examples of yesterdays products for the future enjoyment of those fascinated by mechanical farming history, we shall be forever in their debt.