With a packed schedule of major milestones this year, Richard Bradley takes a look at how a handful of manufacturers got to where they are today.
From ideas sparked on holiday, to machines which took years to develop from existing platforms, manufacturers are ever striving to improve products, make them faster, more powerful or more efficient.
We take a look at a handful of manufacturers which are having celebrations this year. Whether they are marking decades of history and building up product ranges, or landmark amounts of machines rolling off the production line, we look at what has made them the names they are today.
JCB is celebrating 25 years since it first launched the Fastrac in 1991 at its Cheadle factory.
JCB Chairman Anthony Bamford says: “The concept of a tractor better equipped for road travel and transportation tasks but also capable at undertaking field work has proven its worth over the years in terms of increased productivity and lower operating costs.”
An early Fastrac 145 Turbo.
John Deere is set to hold an event this year celebrating 50 years since it first officially started trading tractors in the UK and Ireland.
The manufacturer’s marketing manager, Chris Wiltshire, says: “It is as important to provide support to customers as it is to manufacturer reliable and quality products.
“Having a strong dealer network for 50 years, who are passionate about the products, has pushed the John Deere brand in the UK and Ireland.”
Deere's 5010 produced 121hp.
Claas is celebrating its 50,000th Lexion combine rolling off the production line in Harsewinkel, Germany.
The manufacturer says: “The biggest single advancement in the Lexion range is the hybrid threshing system, which is its longest standing feature and is at the heart of all Lexion combines. We have also seen a large uptake in automatic systems, such as GPS, telematics and yield mapping, plus the most recent Cemos Automatic driver assistance system, which allows the operator to focus on driving.”
Lexion 480 was the first in the Claas range.
Czech manufacturer Zetor is celebrating 70 years since launching its first tractor.
Since day one, its ethos has been to design affordable, low weight tractors, suitable for mass production.
After a cash injection from HTC Holding the Proxima tractor range was launched to comply with latest emission regulations.
Case IH is celebrating 20 years since launching the Quadtrack, the first articulated rubber-tracked tractor.
Based on its four-wheeled, articulated Steiger tractors, the manufacturer says the Quadtrac overcomes the limitations of twin-track crawlers by improving traction, floatation and reducing compaction, making fieldwork more productive.
The same basic design has remained since the Quadtrac 360.