The Early History Of Tractor Sales And Tractors As Farm Equipment

Submitted by Koenig.Equipment on

History of Tractors and Tractor Sales

 

Tractor History

While our main thing is tractor sales in Indiana and Ohio, we still like to talk and write about other things too. In this case we delve into the history of farming, how tractors were used, and other forms of farm equipment before tractors.
 
The history of tractors in agriculture is a long and storied one. There's a lot to it that most people may not know. Sure, many of us have played with tractors as kids and we know that they're used in farming. But if you didn't grow up in a rural environment, you may well not be familiar with just how important they are in growing most of the food we eat.
 
Early on in colonial times in the United States of America, the most important things to a farmer was his oxen and/or horses. Oxen are stronger than horses and can pull more weight. Horses do a fine job but sometimes can founder a bit if they get worked too hard after a long layoff. Oxen can pretty much just get up and go. 
 
Oxen were pretty much the original tractors going back through history. Farmers have always needed to till the ground to keep it fertile and to sow seeds. But did you know that an ox is simply a cow? Usually it refers to a bull or male cow that has been castrated, although females (a.k.a. cows) are trained for use as oxen as well. Castrating a bull makes them calmer and able to take direction. Heck, oxen can even be ridden. So not only do we use cattle as a food source but they were a huge part of growing most of our other food. Thank goodness for cattle!
 
As trains and methods of steam technology grew, we began to invent machines that could do the work of our beasts of burden. The first of these were called traction engines. These were immensely heavy steam-powered machines that moved slowly. They were also referred to as road locomotives. Some of them weren't even self-propelled but instead were hauled to a location (sometimes by oxen or horse). These type of traction engines could be the source of energy to power things like a wheat thresher or do other similar tasks. 
 
But these traction engines were slow, clunky, and due to their weight didn't function very well on rich, tilled soil. They would sink right in despite having huge spikes on their iron wheels for better traction. 
 
Luckily technology continued to advance and we got what is known today as the modern day tractor. Steam power quickly gave way to the more powerful internal combustion engine. Tractors could be made much lighter then a traction engine and quickly gained acceptance among farmers everywhere, although some still used oxen and horses, even alongside their tractors. Whatever could get the job done to pull heavy equipment through soil would win out. Eventually the price of tractors combined with the amount of horsepower they could output made oxen and horses essentially obsolete, at least in terms of pulling things around a farm.
 
Farm equipment dealers soon arose and tractor sales quickly increased. Soon the tractor became an indespensable part of agricultural life. Perhaps this is why so many of us have an strong affinity for antique tractors. They were such an integral part of our transformation into modern society, we relied on them so much that we look back on them with fondness. 
 
In any case, tractor sales (especially in Ohio and Indiana) are the main part of what we do. It's the heart of our business just as tractors are the focal point of modern agriculture. So for every bite we take of farm-grown food, we must thank the humble tractor.
 
(Original article by Julian Crain. Adapted for use elsewhere and available for syndication, but original content belongs to Koenig Equipment)