Prior to the invention of the tractor, farmers primarily relied on horses and other draft animals to plough fields and perform other tasks. The tractor, with its internal combustion engine and hydraulic system, was able to replace the work of many animals, allowing farmers to cultivate more land and produce more crops.
In this blog, we discuss the history of the tractor and how the use of hydraulics has transformed farming.
The history of the tractor dates to the late 19th century when inventors began experimenting with steam-powered and gasoline-powered engines for use in agriculture.
The first successful gasoline-powered tractors were developed in the early 1890s, with the most notable being John Froelich's "Froelich tractor" which was built in 1892.
During the early 20th century, many companies began to produce tractors, including the Fordson, which was first produced by Henry Ford in 1917. The Fordson, along with other tractors of the time, such as the International Harvester and Allis-Chalmers, were primarily used for ploughing and other tillage tasks.
In the 1920s and 1930s, tractors became more versatile, with the development of models that could be used for a variety of tasks, including planting, harvesting, and hauling. The introduction of rubber tyres and power take-offs (PTOs) also greatly increased the versatility and efficiency of tractors.
In recent decades, tractors have continued to evolve and improve, with the introduction of new technologies such as hydrostatic transmissions, electronic controls, and GPS systems. Today, tractors are an essential part of modern agriculture and are used in a wide range of applications, including large-scale commercial farming, small-scale subsistence farming, and even in construction and landscaping.
Hydraulics are widely used in agriculture for a variety of applications, including:
1. Tractor operation: Tractors use hydraulic systems to control their movements, including steering, lifting, and lowering.
2. Harvesting machinery: Hydraulics are used in combine harvesters, balers, and other harvesting equipment to control their movements and adjust the speed and flow of material being processed.
3. Irrigation systems: Hydraulic systems are used in centre pivot irrigation systems to control the movement of the sprinkler and regulate the flow of water.
4. Plough and cultivators: Hydraulic systems are used in plough and cultivators to control the depth and angle of the blades.
Hydraulics bring several benefits to the agricultural industry, including:
1. Precision control: Hydraulic systems provide precise control of movement and power transfer in farm machinery, enabling accurate and efficient operations.
2. Increased efficiency: Hydraulics allow for smoother and consistent operation of machinery, reducing downtime and improving productivity.
3. Durability: Hydraulic systems are designed to withstand harsh conditions, reducing wear and tear on equipment, and extending its lifespan.
4. Safety: Hydraulics offer greater safety for operators, reducing the risk of injury or accidents while working with heavy machinery.
5. Versatility: Hydraulic systems can be easily adapted to different types of farm machinery, making it a versatile and cost-effective solution for the agriculture industry.
6. Comfort: Hydraulics provide a more comfortable working environment for operators, reducing fatigue and improving their overall experience.
FPE Seals have been trusted supplier for agricultural customers for many years and have a particular expertise in providing sealing solutions and hydraulic cylinder parts for aftermarket equipment and machinery used in this sector.
View what is on offer on our website or contact one of our knowledgeable team today who are happy to advise on finding you the best part for the job.