Tractors, as we know them today, have evolved from the two-wheel driven tractors introduced in the 1920s. Basically, the design has not changed over the years, but the power output has increased more than 10 fold and the weight of tractors has increased by a similar factor. The weight of agricultural machines is compromising the productivity of soils, and the size is a challenge when manoeuvring on public roads. Tractors were successful in replacing horses, but it is now time for redesigning the basic tractor design. In an attempt to counter the mentioned negative effects of modern agricultural machines a new Wide Span (WS) tractor concept has been designed and a prototype tractor with a span of 9.6 m (wheel centre to wheel centre) has been built. It is designed to optimise the Controlled Traffic Farming (CTF) system that is already in place on the vegetable farm where it is being tested. The tractor is designed to carry out all operations during vegetable production including harvest. Using the tractor means that less than 10% of the field area is affected by compaction due to field traffic. The economical and environmental effects of such a wide span CTF growing system will be assessed.
Land, Technik, Proceedings of Ageng 2013: Components and Systems for Better Solutions, 2013, p. 47-53