An Introduction To Tractors

The word tractor originated from the Latin word “trahere,” meaning pull. Today, tractors are used for drawing in, towing or pulling objects that are extremely hard to move. You commonly see a tractor on farms used to push agricultural machineries or trailers that plough or harrow fields.

The first tractors from the 1800s and early 1900s, were powered by steam engines. These tractors were phased out due to the instability of the steam engine that caused explosions, or trapped the driver in a belt driven attachment. The successors were built with an internal combustion engine.

Modern tractors are built with a rollover protection system (ROPS) that protects the operator from being crushed in the event that the vehicle rolls over. It was the New Zealand legislation that first required the ROPS to be built-in to tractors in the 1960s. Before this system was required, many farmers were killed in accidents when the tractors rolled on top of them, crushing them in the process. Usually these accidents happen when tractors were driven along steep slopes.

Technology has found its way into modernizing the tractor. Nowadays, you find Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and on-board computers attached to farm tractors. With the use of advance technology, corporate-scale farms are using a combination of unmanned tractors and manually driven vehicles to plow through fields.

Aside from the standard farm tractors, there are other types of tractors. There are the backhoe tractors used for construction, small demolitions, and light transportation, powering building equipment, digging holes, breaking asphalt and paving roads. Tractors can also be fitted with engineering tools for construction purposes. Road tractors that are often used for freight transfers are also available, and locomotive tractors are used in railway vehicles. Artillery tractors used by the military to tow artillery pieces can also be seen.