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Published by: Baliram Bhosle on Feb 25, 2012
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158
TRACTOR MOUNTED IMPLEMENTSAND ADAPTATIONS
By
W.
.
Hockey*
The modern tractor has been adapted for use as part of a mechanized farming system and many noveladaptations are now produced. These additional facilities have influenced basic tractor design and havemade tractors
a
much more useful machine. Details of some tractor-mounted implements are given.
INTRODUCTION
WHEN
THE
AGRICULTURAL TRACTOR
of
the type we howtoday was introduced to farming
in
Great Britain roughlyforty-five years ago, it was used purely as a replacementfor the draught horse. Fig.
42
shows an early tractor ofthe type which was
first
produced in the United States ofAmerica during the
1914-18
war. In keeping with thetrend that had started a few years earlier, its powerlweightratio was much higher than that of earlier machines. Thetype of construction used was different, and its price wascomparatively low.
grain
binders are still in use in Europe of the type shown
in
Fig.
43.
Here it will be seen that an additional operatoris still carried on the binder itself.
Fig.
43.
Sunshine
grain
binder
Fig.
42.
Fordson model
N
Tractor
Courtesy
of
Ford MoIor
Co.
Lld.
For many years the implements used were, basically,implements designed for use with horses, converted fortractor use by replacing the horse shafts or pole by asuitable drawbar and hitch. Operating speeds were largelykept down to the working speed applicable to a horse,and in some cases the machine being towed required anextra operator, sitting in the place normally occupied bythe sole operator when using horses. A large number of
The MS.
of
this paper was received at the Institution
on
25thSeptember,
1961.A
report
of
the meeting,
in
London, at which thispaper was presented
is
on
p.195.Chief Field Test Engineer, Massey-Ferguson (United Kingdom)Ltd.
At this stage, the tractor must have been
a
rather doubt-ful proposition economically, although the provision of apulley to enable the tractor to be used to drive stationarymachinery, particularly threshers, and a power take-off atthe rear to permit trailed machines to be driven by thetractor’s engine, effected a considerable improvement inthe situation.Greater changes took place in the case
of
implementsand machinery. Controls were modified and repositionedso that the tractor driver could
carry
out, single-handed,
such
operations as raising the implement out of work,adjusting its working position, and
so
on, thus enablingone man to do many operations where
two
had beenneeded hitherto.However, the tractor still largely retained the characterof a mechanical horse, and, although capable of a compara-tively high work
output,
was limited by the unwieldynature of the tractor-implement combination, especially as
Proc
Instn
Mech Engrs
(A.D.)
No
4
1961-62
 
TRACTOR MOUNTED IMPLEMENTS AND ADAPTATIONS
159
larger machinery was produced in an endeavour to exploitthe output potential of the tractor. Although the tractorswhich were being produced in fairly large quantities in theUnited States of America at
this
time were much smallerand of lower power than those in use prior to the
1914-18
war, endeavours to improve their tractive capabilitiesresulted in the general tendency for the driving wheels tobecome larger, and more
and
more weight to be built intothe tractor itself. Consequently, the agricultural tractor wasagain becoming larger and heavier with the demand forincreased power and work output.Steel wheels, accompanied by the various traction aidsused, such as spade lugs, imposed severe limitations,making the tractor unsuitable for road work, and giving
rise
to
extreme operator discomfort in hard ground con-ditions. In the early
1930’s
the application of pneumatictyres to agricultural tractors brought considerable relief,giving a much easier ride, reducing vibration and wear ontractor parts, permitting higher road and field speeds,reducing rolling resistance and generally giving rise to anall round improvement in operating efficiency.In the late
1920’s~
erious attempts were made to breakaway from the ‘draught horse’ conception of the tractor,resulting in the introduction of a number of so-called‘semi-mounted’ implements. These implements wereattached
to
the tractor in such a way that, although theyretained their own load-carrying or depth-control wheels,some of the weight of the implement would be transferredto the rear of the tractor and thus to the driving wheels.The overall length of the tractor-implement combinationwas reduced, and, in some cases, the implement was onlyallowed to move relative to the tractor
in
a vertical plane,being rigidly attached in the horizontal plane, thus pro-viding a considerable improvement in manoeuvrability andease of operation in confined spaces.
So
far, the heavier implements had been equipped, inmany cases, with their own means of mechanically raisingthe equipment out
of
work, while the lighter implementswere still manually controlled from the tractor seat.Otherwise, considerable changes had taken place over theyears and most agricultural machinery was now speciallyengineered for use with tractors, and no longer bore anyclose resemblance to the old horse-drawn equipment.During this period, an entirely new approach to thegeneral problem of agricultural mechanization was evolving,entailing a dramatic departure from accepted practice.This approach involved the introduction of a new systemof coupling, whereby the tractor and implement were nolonger treated as separate entities, but as complementaryunits to be coupled together in such a way as to become,virtually, a self-propelled implement.Commercially, development in this field was, for mainlyeconomic reasons, much more rapid in the United Statesof America than
in
Great Britain, and by
1930
tractors werein production there equipped with a mechanical power-liftfor attaching and lifting fully mounted implements.At the same time, Harry Ferguson was developing atractor having a three-point hydraulically operated hitch
Proc
Instn
Mech
Engrs
(A.D.)
Fig.
44.
Ferguson
tractor
(1933)
in Northern Ireland (Fig.
4).
he three-point hitch com-prises
two
lower links and a single top link, forming atriangular attachment for implements by means of threepivot pins. The lower links resist rotation of the implementabout the longitudinal
axis,
and convergence of the top andbottom
links
in a vertical plane, provides an instantaneouscentre of rotation (virtual hitch point) as shown at
F,
inFig.
48.
A
virtual horizontal hitch point is provided byhorizontal convergence and pivoting of the lower links.After many years of experimentation, tractors incorpora-ting the Ferguson system were produced
in
small quantitiesin England. In
1939
an agreement between Harry Fergusonand Henry Ford resulted in the mass production, in theUnited States of America, of tractors embodying the newsystem. This was a revolutionary, easy method of implementcontrol that has greatly influenced the whole trend oftractor design ever since.The implement now became fullymounted to thetractor by means
of
a linkage which enabled it to be raisedout of work, and controlled
in
work, by power suppliedfrom the tractor. This resulted in the possibility of a highdegree of weight transfer from the implement to the tractor.Although other methods have been tried, the hydraulically-operated three-point linkage has become the universallyaccepted system for integral-mounted implements.The effect of this development was the reduction in size
(I
Trailed.
Fig.
45.
Three-furrow plough
Courtesy
of
Roudless
Traction
Ltd.
NO
1961-62
 
W.
S.
HOCKEY
b
Mounted.
Fig. 45-continued
and weight of both tractor and implement, (resulting in atractor of considerably higher powerlweight ratio thanhitherto) due, on the one hand, to the fact that the weightrequired for traction no longer needed to be all built intothe tractor, and, on the other hand, to the elimination ofload-carrying wheels and mechanical lifting gear from theimplement.Fig.
45
illustrates the contrast between a trailed ploughand a mounted plough.
As
can be seen, the reduction inironmongery is quite considerable. This, together with thespectacular improvement in manoeuvrability and compact-ness of the tractors-implement combination, effected aconsiderable improvement in operating efficiency, as well
as
reducing initial and running costs.
DEVELOPMENT
OF
TRACTOR AND EQUIPMENT
The agricultural tractor is essentially a prime mover, andthe
only
remarkable thing about it is the linkage andhydraulic system that couples it to the implement. Inconsidering
this
feature in some detail, we shall approachit from two aspects; firstly, concerning the effect producedon the tractor and implement; secondly, the operation ofthe control system itself.
It
will help to appreciate the effect of mounting tillageimplements on the tractor, if the forces acting on
a
tractordrawn plough are considered. Although
this
is by no meansthe simplest implement to choose for the purpose, the factthat
it
has, in some form or other, always been the basictillage implement, and exercised the greatest influence on
I
\
I.-.
I
0
200
400
600
800
POUNDS
Fig. 46. Typical values and locations
of
R,
from
tests over
a
wide range
of
soil
conditions with a
14
in. plough cutting6t-7 in. deep
Courtesy
of
Agricultural
Engineering
Proc
Instn
Mech
Engrs
(A.D.)
the early stages of development of mounted implements,makes it a logical choice.Fig.
46
shows a typical mouldboard plough bottom orbase, and
R,
represents the resultant of all useful
soil
forces acting upon the base, shown only in a vertical planeparallel to the direction of travel. Side forces will be ignoredfor the purpose of this analysis, and it will be appreciatedthat the magnitude and location
of
R,
will vary according tothe shape of the plough base and characteristics of the soil.
ON
TRACTOR
LINE OF PULL
Fig. 47. Force relations, in
a
vertical plane,
for
a
trailedimplement receiving no support
from
the tractor
Courtesy
of
Agricultural
Engineering
Fig.
47
shows the forces acting, in a vertical plane, on atrailed 3-furrow plough, receiving
no
support from thetractor. In this and succeeding diagrams the followingsymbols have been used
:
R,
the resultant of
all
useful forces acting upon theimplement, in a vertical, longitudinal plane;
Q,
theresultant of all parasitic forces acting upon the implement,in a vertical, longitudinal plane;
P,
the resultant pullexerted on the implement by the tractor, in a vertical,longitudinal plane;
W
he weight of the implement, actingthrough the centre of gravity; and
G
the point of concur-rence of
Q,
and the resultant of
W
nd
R,.
In Fig.
47,
AB is the resultant of
W
and
R,
and thelocation of
G
is established by the intersection of AB andthe line of pull, which passes through the hitch point
F
onthe tractor, and the hitch point
E
on the plough.
QV
includes the vertical support forces and longitudinalfriction forces and/or rolling resistance.
It
will readily be seen that changes in hitch adjustment
will
produce a change
in
the location of
Q,
with consequentchanges
in
the stability
of
the implement.Fig.
47a
shows a desirable hitch setting, while
Fk.
7b
illustrates
an
example of an extremely bad hitch adjust-ment in which
E
is
so
high that
Q,
is almost under thefront wheels of the plough. Owing to lack of weight on therear
of
the plough in
this
condition, the implement will bevery unstable.The most commonly used hitch for mounted implementsis the three-point hitch with converging
links.
Two systems
No
4
196142

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