Need a job accomplished down on the farm?
Call out the Tractor
By: Dave Cole
A tractor is a machine that was designed to provide enough
traction to move over even the most rough or unstable of
surfaces. Tractors are usually slow and normally have very large
treaded tires on the back axle for the extra traction.
Tractors are often used to pull a wide variety of attachments to
do many different jobs. On farms the tractor usually pulls a
plow, harvester, or other machine for crop management. Tractors
also move many types of tools and supplies in the construction
industry, and the power unit of a semi-trailer truck is often
called a tractor because of its pulling assignment.
The tractor got its name from the Latin derived word "trahere"
meaning "to pull". The tractor was a machine that was invented
because earlier inventions could not pull well enough over
difficult terrain. When steam power became popular the first
steam tractors were used in pairs, one on each side of a field,
to pull a plow back and forth between them by way of a wire cable
stretched between the tractors. Later, in the USA, because the
lighter soil, the tractors were able to simply pull the
John Deere 5205 Tractor
Naturally after the combustion engine was invented the tractors
were then outfitted with combustion engines and still to this day
most run on diesel or gasoline. Tractors are no longer just farm
implements; they can now be outfitted with any number of
attachments and can be found on most construction and job sites.
Tractors are very useful and are invaluable to today's farmers.
Where ploughs used to be pulled by draft horses farmers are now
able to plough multiple rows in a lot less time and effort with
the tractor. Tractors move slowly but with great power. A tractor
can go over most surfaces with little threat of toppling or loss
The first workable tractor with a combustion engine was developed
outside the United States in Britain. It was the Ford company
that made the gas powered tractor a viable alternative in the
early twentieth century in the United States. Until then most
farmers used the more available steam traction engine or steam
You can now today buy a tractor from many different companies in
all kinds of sizes and designs with lots of different attachments
and even with air-conditioned and stereo-equipped cabs. They are
probably one of the most versatile of machines used in
construction and agriculture.
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