Skip to comments.John Deere Tractor vs. 1800s Steam Tractor
Posted on 05/17/2014 11:31:00 AM PDT by SWAMPSNIPER
A modern John Deere tractor with 850 horsepower plays tug of war with an 1800s era steam tractor that has about 18 horsepower. While both are capable of getting an honest day's work done, there is only one that proves its dominance through sheer power.
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Weight advantage trumps horsepower.
The upward angle of the pulling line puts the newer tractor at a bit of a disadvantage, but it would have probably lost even with a horizontal line.
18 horsepower and about 1500 ft/lbs of torque. Also, the steam tractor was taller than the John Deere.
So which is greener, the John Deere tractor or the steam tractor? At only 18 hp, I suspect the more powerful steam tractor is greener.
Wow — they just don’t make horses like they used to.
Together the team makes a great trencher.
Those farming innovations made industrial-scale farming possible and led to the 95% reduction of labor needed to feed the world. Of course, that led to obesity, heart disease and death, but it's much better to die well-nourished at 75 than under-nourished at 45.
I also wondered if the huge wheels on the drive shaft of the steam engine contributed to its advantage. I am not an engineer but maybe one could comment on that?
Unfiltered coal smoke is nasty stuff.
The steam engine may have put out a rather unimpressive 18 horse power but the torque from that steam engine is impressive
That isn’t a JD engine, by color maybe a CAT.
Hitch is angled enough to lift the back wheels up reducing traction significantly for the JD.
The JDs 4 wheel drive wasn’t engaged.
Where was that picture taken?
A stock John Deere 8130 is only 240 HP and weighs 25,000 pounds
This one has been modified for tractor pulling
Lots of things to consider that contributed. Speed times Force over 5252-if I remember right.
Weight is the advantage. The steam tractor has traction. The farm tractor does not in this case.
Looks like he needed 850 actual horses.
Challenger pulling full stack train up Archer Hill.
Don't know the true dynamics, but the steam engine has 100% torque while sitting still - would have to break something to get it to back up. As long as it had traction, the newer tractor would have to drag it and probably had trouble with spinning tires.
A Chessie working HARD!
At the end of the video the JD tires had dug in sufficiently enough to give it plenty of traction but the old tractor continued to pull it thru the deepening trench.......
That looks like the Palouse.
Right you are! See #13.
Probably. As you watch the steam tractor pull the JD, you notice that the JD is digging into the soil much more than the steam tractor.
Since the combination of the two tractors isn't accelerating very much, one would conclude that the forces generated by each tractor are roughly equal.
In the case of the JD, the force is being generated over what looks like a smaller area and is sufficient to make the soil fail, which reduces the pulling force. If the JD was equipped with wheels identical to the steam tractor, one might expect that the greater horsepower would prevail, if the gear ratios were identical and the weight of the tractors was the same; which they probably aren't.
My smaller JD tractor has many plastic parts, to reduce manufacturing expense, and gets its weight from the frame of the tractor, the water-filled larger wheels, and some weights added to each wheel. It may be that the steam tractor is just inherently heavy because it's virtually all metal.
Yet farmers still lead the way when it comes to whining and crying for illegal alien slave labor.
Farmers who use that kind of tractor got no use for serfs. Californians, Floridians and Texans, by contrast...
The steamer weighs probably double, if not triple what the hJohn Deere weighs, Then, with the steamer pulling UP on the drawbar at a 10-15 degree angle (depending on how deep the JD had gotten in), the Deere’s back wheels simply had NO weight on them. (As the JD was pulled up and out of the ditch, the JD back wheels were not even touching the ground!)
So, to run the JD. Get on. Turn key. Start work.
To run the steamer. Go to barn, begin warming the burner and set all boiler valves and feedwater. (Melt feedwater and boiler and feed pump and all valves and sightglasses if in winter.)
Grease and lubricate EVERYTHING!
Regulate fire, monitor steam pressure, temperature, boiler level, and boiler heat up rate.
Blow down all steam pipes as boiler and pipes keep heating up.
Maintain fire and temperature.
2 hours later.....
When at proper steam temperature, pressure, and feedrate, begin moving steamer tractor out of barn.
At each 1 hour of work, return to barn to load up and water and fuel.
Return to field to use more water and fuel.
Regrease and lubricate everything each hour stop period.
Everyone knows the first part f the saying, “Nothing runs like a Deere”. Few know the second part, Nothing smells like a John.” Thanks to the late Ed Johnson at the Ohio State Fair many years ago.
I am a just few miles south but use the handle ‘Palousex86’ on other forums. Interesting what you say about the terrain challenges...very hilly and irregular contours. I like Dayton area and just to the east and south in Blue Mountains.
Well, duh. The John Deere. They all come painted that way.
“nav,” not “nag.”
Farmer’s wife is NOT in the cab.
Low end torque is worth something, especially for stump pulling.
When I was a kid, we used to drive between Hayden, Moscow, and Ketchum all the time visiting relatives. Always enjoyed the all-day drive up and down Idaho and going through The Palouse. The highway departments have taken a lot of the fun out of the drives by building superhighways. We drove the old Lewiston Grade last summer for fun. It isn’t called the “Spiral Highway” for nothing!
Scared my wife.
It isn’t power that did it, it was weight. Note also that the John Deere was a four wheel drive equipped vehicle, but it was only running in two wheel drive (the front wheels weren’t spinning. The drivers intended the steam tractor to win.
Wow, what a picture!
Mine, too. Didn’t like it at all. It was a huge thrill when I was 6.
It isn’t a matter of horsepower or torque both of which are in favor of the newer tractor. It is simply a mater of traction. That is why the newer starts winning in most cases and then it reaches a point where it just starts digging itself into the ground like a power tiller. The steam tractor most likely outweighs the Deere by 2 or 3 times.
Not as much as one might think. Power is the product of torque and speed. Note that the diesel gets smoked every time he tries to move from a standing start (Speed = Zero!) Ie no power. A steam engine develops maximum torque at zero RPM and thus has the advantage over the combustion engine from the get-go every time.
The "engineer" driving the steamer knew his equipment and how to maximize its strengths. The diesel jockey didn't stand a chance.
If those old engines could turn up RPM like the modern engines,I imagine the horsepower ratings would be phenomenal.
There is a weight advantage but it is compression that won the day. The huge piston in the steam tractor immediately gives almost full torque to the flywheel because of the larger compression force pushing on it, with no exhaust values. The JD horsepower was mostly lost in spinning wheels and exhaust. It was out torqued by the larger compression advantage of the steam tractor. A level draw bar hookup would not have changed the outcome nor would have weight added to the JD to match the syeam tractors weight.
The steam tractor’s hitch gives it a tremendous mechanical advantage because it is lifting the JD’s rear end upward. Therefore, the JD’s has very little ground pressure on it’s rear wheels.
Drove this from the west about 20 years ago, looked over the edge & way down there was an old truck “parked”. Apparently hadn’t made the turn. Probably still there.
Only 3% of illegal aliens work in the ag industry.
10 HP would be enough with the style of wheel and weight of the tractor. the rope being on such an angle is enough to negate ANY differential in HP over the Green Machine!
Nothin’ doesn’t run like having mass on your side. :’)