Set­ting the gauge

South Western Times - - Wheels -

Sixty years ago, a pair of North Amer­i­can brothers on a farm near Min­nesota needed a high-pow­ered, four­wheel drive trac­tor for their busi­ness.

When they couldn’t find one on the mar­ket they built it them­selves, and the first Steiger rolled out of the shed and into the pad­dock.

Dou­glass and Mau­rice Steiger built the first Steiger in 1957 for their own use, but the re­ac­tion from fel­low farm­ers was im­me­di­ate, and in 1958 they built another for a neigh­bour, and the Steiger dy­nasty was es­tab­lished.

The brothers went on to es­tab­lish a full-scale man­u­fac­tur­ing busi­ness.

It’s hard to imag­ine now, but the trac­tor looked very dif­fer­ent in the be­gin­ning, start­ing out life painted a vi­brant shade of lime green.

That all changed, of course, when the brand was pur­chased by Case IH in 1986, but many older farm­ers still have fond mem­o­ries of those first Steiger trac­tors at work in Aus­tralia, set­ting the bench­mark for per­for­mance, power and re­li­a­bil­ity.

To­day, the Steiger name lives on at the top end of the Case IH trac­tor range, with five mod­els from 400 to 600 horse­power, in­clud­ing Quad­trac and Row­trac four-tracked row crop sys­tems.

It’s still mak­ing a name for it­self in the his­tory books, last year be­com­ing the world’s first ar­tic­u­lated trac­tor to of­fer Con­tin­u­ously

Vari­able Trans­mis­sion (CVT).

As well as tar­get­ing fuel ef­fi­ciency and op­er­a­tor fa­tigue, CVT trans­mis­sion pro­vides faster ac­cel­er­a­tion to field or road speed, full power avail­abil­ity at low ground speeds for spe­cial ap­pli­ca­tions and im­ple­ments, and full hy­draulic flow avail­abil­ity at low ground speeds, for drilling and plant­ing.

Case IH Aus­tralia/New Zealand High Horse­power prod­uct man­ager Alyx Selsmeyer said it all adds up to a trac­tor de­signed

The Steiger of to­day is very dif­fer­ent to its pre­de­ces­sors.

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