The first tractors were steam engines on wheels. They were originally pulled to the work area by horses or oxen. The next style of these tractors used the steam engine to power a drive train and move the machine to where it needed to go. These machines were very large and weighed up to 18 tonnes (20 tons), which is the same as about 12,800 bricks.
The first steam engine was invented in 1849 by A.M. Archambault & Company. This later was later turned into a steam tractor that could move through fields and pull farm equipment.
This tractor is powered by a steam engine.
John Deere bought the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company in 1918 and continued to develop and sell the lineup of Waterloo Boy tractors. These tractors ran on kerosene, not gasoline. It cost $1,150 to buy a new Waterloo Boy Tractor.
The Waterloo Boy tractor was powered by kerosene.
Take a look at how the 1920 Waterloo Boy Tractor ran and imagine farming entire fields with this tractor!
Many companies have contributed to the expansion of tractors and continue to develop new designs and concepts to help make the most efficient machines for farmers. Today’s tractors range in size and horsepower. The bigger the equipment the tractor is pulling, the bigger the tractor needs to be! There are even tractors that do not have tires, but 4 large tracks instead. The advancements in tractors have played a role in modernizing farming and allowing farmers to grow more food with less manual labour.
Tractors with tracks are more fuel-efficient and better in wet soil.