John Deere Tractor vs. 1800s Steam Tractor.

John Deere Tractor vs. 1800s Steam Tractor.

PostBy: grumpy On: Sat May 17, 2014 3:22 pm

A modern John Deere tractor with 850 horsepower plays tug of war with an 1800s era steam tractor that has about 18 horsepower. While both are capable of getting an honest day's work done, there is only one that proves its dominance through sheer power.

http://www.wimp.com/steamtractor/
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Re: John Deere Tractor vs. 1800s Steam Tractor.

PostBy: tsb On: Sat May 17, 2014 5:25 pm

It's a matter of weight !
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Re: John Deere Tractor vs. 1800s Steam Tractor.

PostBy: wsherrick On: Sat May 17, 2014 5:33 pm

No, it's a matter of foot pounds of torque. Any steam engine can destroy an internal combustion engine because of that. I know from experience.
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Re: John Deere Tractor vs. 1800s Steam Tractor.

PostBy: Hambden Bob On: Sat May 17, 2014 5:38 pm

Thanx,Grumpy! Sorta puts things in perspective. I'd be wearing the crash helmet,too,if I was the other Guy! In reality,they're both purpose tools. The Massive Boat Anchor Steam-Powered Monster blew the Race-Built J.D. out of the water. I think they'd both have a little trouble in the working fields of massive acreages that compose a lot of the Farms of Today. It was still nice to see the Beast Win without breaking a sweat! toothy
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Re: John Deere Tractor vs. 1800s Steam Tractor.

PostBy: Flyer5 On: Sat May 17, 2014 8:27 pm

The way the 2 tractors were tethered gave some disadvantage to the JD as the Steam tractor pulled it also lifted the weight off the back of the JD. The JD lost due to poor traction . I wonder why the front of the JD wasn't driving? I do agree the Steam engine probably has way more torque.
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Re: John Deere Tractor vs. 1800s Steam Tractor.

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Sat May 17, 2014 8:53 pm

Flyer5 wrote:The way the 2 tractors were tethered gave some disadvantage to the JD as the Steam tractor pulled it also lifted the weight off the back of the JD. The JD lost due to poor traction . I wonder why the front of the JD wasn't driving? I do agree the Steam engine probably has way more torque.

It also weighs probably five or more times the JD and the wheels are flat across the contact area. Added together, a significant advantage. The steamer would win if the chain advantage went to the JD, it didn't even labor.
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Re: John Deere Tractor vs. 1800s Steam Tractor.

PostBy: Rob R. On: Sat May 17, 2014 9:07 pm

That JD tractor is a joke, get one straight out of the cornfield that is properly weighted and setup to pull. Weight and torque is what counts.
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Re: John Deere Tractor vs. 1800s Steam Tractor.

PostBy: wsherrick On: Sat May 17, 2014 10:08 pm

This is a very small steam tractor. Even so steam tractors of this size can have up to 3,000 foot pounds of torque. All the other variables can be changed any way you want to. The steam tractor will win a pulling contest every time. And it can get all this torque at 1 to 2 RPM. Again no contest.
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Re: John Deere Tractor vs. 1800s Steam Tractor.

PostBy: wsherrick On: Sun May 18, 2014 12:24 am

Another example of the astounding raw pulling power of steam. This is from Cass West Virginia. This railroad was an old logging railroad which is now preserved as a State Historical Landmark. I have been there. If you like trips out to the woods, away from everything this is one place to go.

Anyway, the video shows Shay geared locomotives in action. These locomotives climb grades up to 18 percent as they were designed to do. They are excruciatingly slow. They have a top speed of about 15 MPH, however; they are all torque. Pound for pound these engines are the most powerful locomotives built to this day, proportion wise.
No diesel could make it a mile on this line without frying their traction motors. Here, steam is and will always be King.
Watch at about 3 or 4 minutes into the video and you will see the train go up a switch back with a 15 percent plus grade.

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Re: John Deere Tractor vs. 1800s Steam Tractor.

PostBy: Sunny Boy On: Sun May 18, 2014 4:36 am

That's an expensive rototiller ! :D

Thanks for the vids guys - very interesting.

Paul
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Re: John Deere Tractor vs. 1800s Steam Tractor.

PostBy: stovepipemike On: Sun May 18, 2014 7:29 am

When we took that trip on the Cass Railway, in conversation with the engineer, he explained the real work was getting that train safely off the mountain with flat cars fully loaded with tons and tons of trees in the real old days. Brakemen were particularly at risk of falling between the cars while hopping on logs from car to car to set brakes. Amazing machines even today. Mike
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Re: John Deere Tractor vs. 1800s Steam Tractor.

PostBy: carlherrnstein On: Thu May 22, 2014 8:00 pm

More weight and torque will always beat less weight and torque.

Most of a traction engine's advantage comes from its gearing, the engine might have to turn 50 or 75 times to make the drive wheels turn once. That's a lot mechanical advantage. I don't know about trains but, I suspect that the same thing is going on with the shay geared locomotive given the very low top speed.
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Re: John Deere Tractor vs. 1800s Steam Tractor.

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Thu May 22, 2014 8:27 pm

carlherrnstein wrote:More weight and torque will always beat less weight and torque.

Most of a traction engine's advantage comes from its gearing, the engine might have to turn 50 or 75 times to make the drive wheels turn once. That's a lot mechanical advantage. I don't know about trains but, I suspect that the same thing is going on with the shay geared locomotive given the very low top speed.

Steam engines make peak tourqe at zero rpm, an obvious advantage. It becomes painfully obvious when he allows the JD a courtesy start and pulling him backwards. As soon as he starts the steamer, the JD is done.
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Re: John Deere Tractor vs. 1800s Steam Tractor.

PostBy: tjnamtiw On: Thu May 22, 2014 8:51 pm

I was at an antique engine and steam tractor meet where two steam tractors were hooked to opposite ends of a car. They literally pulled the car in half. Just unbelievable. If you've ever seen pictures of them pulling multiple plows, you can get some idea of the power.
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Re: John Deere Tractor vs. 1800s Steam Tractor.

PostBy: SMITTY On: Thu May 22, 2014 9:52 pm

Thanks for that vid William! I am SO there! ROAD TRIP! :D

Well, someday anyway. Maybe I'll take the bike. :idea:




I have a large boiler (not the one heating the house) .... all I need is some steam cylinders, pistons, etc. and the Jimmy could live again, this time STEAM POWERED! :lol: That would be sweeet! I'd get rid of all my tires on the maiden voyage ... which would be on earth day ... and I'd take it straight through Worcester! :funny:

Ahhh the fun I could have with a limitless budget!


That vid reminded me of the Cog Railway up Mt.Washington, NH - that one has to be the steepest around. The steam engines were specifically designed for this massive grade in 1869.

Disregard the treehugger train in the beginning ... why anyone would waste their money on THAT when there's a steaming, smoking piece of history ready to roll right behind it is beyond me! :roll:

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