If You Thought Steam Engines Were Dead, This Tractor Pull Shows You Different
The steam engine is commonly thought to have gone the way of the Buffalo. And for good reason – who needs an engine that runs off charcoal and coal when we have this wonderful world of petroleum products to choose from? Well, that attitude will only get you so far. When you check this out, you might notice a few things out of place. The first is the tires. That’s because steam powered tractors work off much the same principle as steam powered locomotives. The flywheel feeds directly into the drive train. This means that a steam powered tractor has more in common with a steam powered locomotive than it does a John Deere.
It’s amazing to see such a great Case Steam Tractor find its proverbial feet in the world of tractors because, let’s be honest, even at only 110 horsepower, it has more pulling potential than many diesels equal to its weight. That’s something for just feeding wood and coal into a furnace and hoping for the best. And boy do you see the sparks fly out the exhaust! There’s enough to even get coal-powered mud truck enthusiasts jealous.
Unlike it’s more advanced brethren, this 110 HP Case steam tractor puts everything on those two back wheels. With other tractors like a John Deere 6210R or a Case lH Puma 210, there’s 4 wheel drive options that bring the gear ratio to the perfect level to push up out of the muck. We’d be afraid to find out what happens when one of these steam tractors gets stuck in the deep bog. (more…)
Who needs practicality when you have a thing like style points? When it comes to state fair tractor pulls, the steam powered tractors will always be a staple. They can pull off
Case Steam Powered Tractors: Cool To Impress – But Is It Practical?
Who needs practicality when you have a thing like style points? When it comes to state fair tractor pulls, the steam powered tractors will always be a staple. They can pull off impressive feats of strength in just a straight tractor pull drag. The Case steam tractor won’t win points for speed or handling, but she’ll sure win top prize when it comes to hauling cargo across flat ground.
It’s one of the really cool things about state fair tractor pulls – it brings out the inventions that we forgot about but are still forces to be reckoned with. Both in the case of the Case steam powered tractor and other equally cool mechanical monstrosities, they have a place and a purpose.
For the present day farmer, though, steam powered tractors are simply of no use in a petroleum dense world. Unfortunately, probably quite a few of the old Case tractors lie in scrap heaps or buried behind some old farmer’s barn. There’s something to be said for simplicity of design, the lasting power of the steam engine, and a good hard day’s work.
And a good hard day’s work it sure would be! A John Deere 6210R, for instance, has a 465 liter diesel fuel tank. One fill-up, and that Deere is sure to last throughout the entire day’s work and then some. With a steam powered tractor, refueling isn’t quite so simple. Ideally charcoal or coal is the main fuel source and both need to be ported out at regular intervals to keep this beast chug-a-chug-chugging along.
While it was certainly a revolutionary invention when it first came about, the Case steam tractor is now just a testament to the engineering prowess of our forefathers. When it comes to European heavy diesel engine design, we have tractors like the Case lH Puma leading up the world in turbo-charged innovation. And for the classic American farmlands, nothing other than John Deere will do.
Don’t tell that to anyone running a tractor pull at the state fair, though. They’ll be more than happy to point out that long after John Deere has quit the field (or, more accurately, the farmer doesn’t want to pay for a new transmission), this steam powered Case will be plodding along.
Worthy of mention is a simple thing called turn radius. Tractors have never been known for tight turn radiuses. And as bad as the worst conventional petroleum fueled tractor would be, it would handle like a motorcycle in comparison to turning around in a Case steam tractor. Case tractors are great at working in one direction – forward. Angles? Not so much. That said, if we ever exist in a world where petroleum isn’t as abundant, we’re guessing that these antique Case steam tractors will be worth well over their weight in gold.
Have you ever seen a steam powered tractor compete at a state fair? Tell us about it in the comments below.