1985-09-01

A Historical Review of the Evolution of Farm Tractors, Earth moving Machines, and Concurrent Evolution of Safety and Operator Rollover Protection 851498

The evolution of farm tractors had its beginning at the turn of the century. The designs were limited by the preference of purchasers who made their buying decisions motivated by profit making ability. Each new generation of tractors included safety features, but these virtues were disguised and advertised as productivity improvements.Earthmoving and material handling machines came into existence after World War II to displace the practice of adapting farm tractors. A whole new industry was created to meet the demand for immense construction and logging machines. The purchasers of these machines were employers who made their buying decisions based upon a different perspective than the former buyer-user farm tractor buyers.Regulations and requirements pertaining to safety became a part of the logging and construction industries in the latter part of the 1960's. Regional producers came into being to provide safety devices that met these requirements. Federal regulations were promulgated in 1972, which provided uniformity of requirements and facilitated mass production of machines with standard safety features. However, pre-1969 machines were exempted and because of tractor and machine durability there still exist many machines that are not under the umbrella of regulations and consequently are lacking protective features.Until an absolutely safe machine is produced, continued efforts are needed to stimulate the purchase of safety features and motivate the use of the devices.

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