Steam, and then cumbersome motor, tractors existed in small numbers before 1914, after which the need to produce more foods using less horse and man power saw the origins of the machine we know today. Thanks to mass production, Ford brought the price down to suit average farmers, and in the 1920s to 1940s numerous rivals brought in such novelties as diesel engines, pneumatic tyres, hydraulic implement lifts and even cost-effective all-wheel drive and weather protection. After the Second World-War, a strong new indigenous tractor industry was led by Ferguson, David Brown, Nuffield and Ford. This book highlights these developments and goes on to show the dramatic improvements of the 1950s and 1960s.
Nick Baldwin was driving a Standard Fordson as a schoolboy in the 1950s. He later worked in the Land Rover factory and became a writer on transport topics. He produced the first of several farm tractor books in the 1970s and now has a collection of old machines on his traditional farm. He writes regularly in Tractor and Machinery magazine.