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Driven Front Axles for Agricultural Tractors

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan

Citation:  Driven Front Axles for Agricultural Tractors. ASAE Distinguished Lecture No. 14, pp. 1-17. Winter Meeting of the American Society of Agricultural Engineers, 13 December 1989, New Orleans, Louisiana  913C0789.(doi:)
Authors:   Michael Paul and Eberhard Wilks
Keywords:   History of Four-Wheel-Drive Tractor Development, Advantages of Mechanical Front-Wheel-Drive Technology, Design Features of Tractor Steering Axles, Position of Propeller Shaft, Drive System Concepts, Differentials, Steering Systems, Brake Systems, Constructional Criteria and Service Life, Reliability, Future Development Projects, Driveline Strength Increase, Steering, Driveline Management, Driven Front Axles for Agricultural Tractors

History of Four-Wheel-Drive Tractor Development. Overview. Since approximately 1920, besides crawler tractors, two-wheel-drive-type tractors with four wheels have grown in popularity (see Table 1). The first significant "representative" of this type of tractor construction was the Ford Fordson (Fig. 1.1). In its essential configuration, this modular construction design is till valid for modern tractor design concepts. Through its continued development, the four-wheel-drive concept was enhanced by implementation of front and rear hydraulic lifts as well as by driven front wheels.

Since the 1920s, various models of mechanical front-wheel-drive (MFWD) tractors have been manufactured, (for example, see Lanz Ackerbulldog in Fig. 1.2), but they were not produced in large quantities due to higher production costs.

The first useable, reasonably priced mechanical front-wheel-drive tractors did not enter the marketplace until after World War II. At that time, MAN launched the first production tractor with an optional four-wheel-drive version (Fig. 1.3). Similar designs were also developed by other manufacturers.

In 1948, Boehringer introduced the Unimog (fig. 1.4). The production and further development of this model was later taken over by Daimler-Benz. For the first time, this vehicle combined the features of a standard tractor with those of a truck.

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