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Tractor

wheels, farm, rear, hour, ground, machine and trailer

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TRACTOR, a machine that draws a load, especially a power-engine mounted on wheels for traveling on roads or rough ground and hauling wagons, trailers, plows, cultivators or the like; a traction-engine. The locomotive (q.v.) was the first common form of tractor, but does not bear the name, and by common consent the term has been confined mainly to road-engines that do not operate on a track or ride on rails. The word tractor began to be used when steam plowing became general. For this purpose a road-engine was developed with massive wheels, having broad metal tires that would not sink readily in soft soil, and to give them greater grip on the ground, or tractor capacity, cross-pieces were fixed on the rims, so as to resist slipping when there was hard pulling. This engine was provided with a long, horizontal boiler, an upright smoke stack and many of the conveniences of a locomotive. At the rear was usually a draw bar, to which could be hitched a gang of plows, or cultivators, or mowing or reaping machines. It has made possible the extensive wheat farm ing of the Great Northwest, and has been largely introduced in the principal agricultural countries of the world. International plowing matches have been held with these farm trac tors, notably at the Canadian government ex perimental farm in Ontario.' These have been instituted by the Ontario Department of Agri culture in co-operation with Plowmen's Asso ciations. But these farm tractors have been so large and costly that their use was prohibited on small farms, and they have been satis factory only on approximately level areas of ground.

It has remained for Henry Ford and Son to produce a small and inexpensive tractor adapted to the use of the small farm. This machine is known as the Fordson tractor, and as introduced in 1918 carried a 22 horse power kerosene engine, of the four-cylinder type. The frame is like a small auto-truck, and the fore-wheels are of steel construction, with ball bearings, dust protector, and flanges to pre vent side slipping. The rear wheels-42 inches in diameter and 12 inches wide — are the drivers, and carry most of the weight; the gripping flanges of these are of angle-steel, set at an angle of 45 degrees. The driver's seat is between the driving wheels, and the method of control is very similar to that of a light auto truck. A bevel-pinion and sector are con

nected with the steering wheel, and entirely enclosed and lubricated by oil splash. Directly under this is the throttle lever, the spark lever being mounted on the dash. The distance be tween the wheels, constituting the tread, is hut 38 inches, and the machine can turn a com plete circle within 21 feet.

The ordinary plowing speed is two and three-quarters miles an hour, with a low speed of two and one-half miles an hour, the draw bar pull being 1,800 pounds and 2,500 pounds, respectively. When traveling or doing light work, a speed of six and three-quarters miles an hour is available. Fairly good ground can be plowed at the rate of about three-quarters of an acre an hour, varying, of course, with conditions. A little less than three gallons of kerosene per acre is a fair average consump tion. With fuel and water tanks full the machine weighs 2,700 pounds.

Automobile Tractors.— As soon as the modern auto-truck was perfected and began to have a considerable sale, it became apparent that it was a convenience to separate the truck Into two or more parts, one being a tractor and the others trailers. Many of the manu facturers of auto-trucks build tractors on the same general lines as their trucks, but instead of providing them with a rear body for carrying a load, there is simply space for attach ing a °fifth-wheel') device, or else a draw-bar, to which a trailing car can be easily attached. A typical form of these is shown in the illustra tion, the tractor having four low heavy wheels, with radiator, motor and cab in front, and the rear of the chassis clear for supporting a fifth wheel or turntable device, on which the forward end of a trailing car may be supported and swiveled. About 40 per cent of the weight of the trailer is designed to be carried on the tractor, and as the trailer has but two principal wheels, located at the rear, it is provided near the front with a pair of light supporting wheels, that are swung out of the way when it is attached to the tractor, but which can be used to keep it upright when not connected with the tractor. This type of trailer is often called a semi-trailer to distinguish it from a four-wheeled trailer, that bears all its own weight, and is pulled by some form of draw bar.

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