Research and Development of mechanisation in agriculture led to the innovation of the first tractor in the late 19th century. In 1892, this innovation was led by a blacksmith called John Froehlich. He, with his team, designed the first gasoline-powered tractor. The design of tractor, then, was mainly focused on ploughing the farmland.
Tractor design today is highly driven by CAD (Computer Aided Design). The design of a tractor mainly decides its stability (in both moving and standing conditions). Furthermore, it also decides the viability of the powertrain of the tractor.
Speaking of the modern era of mechanized arable and non-arable farming, this blog will briefly explain how your tractor gets designed. Furthermore, we will also discuss the reasons behind the the design of tractor.
Note: For designing a tractor, you need to have basic engineering drawing skills. For example, using a mechanical drafter.
The fundamentals of the tractor design
Before discussing the design of tractor, we are going to discuss the preliminary design constraints, concepts and definitions.
Let’s begin with concepts and definitions considered while designing a tractor.
- Parts design projections
The design of tractor starts with its projections prospects. Design projections are the views of a tractor from various angles. For example, front view, rear view, top view, etc.
- Parts design assembly:
The design of engine parts takes place. Then after design, parts assembly take place
- Parts assembly analysis
The designed tractor parts are henceforth put to the test for viability in practical conditions. This is called parts assembly analysis.
The property, when studied divided as ‘aero’ and ‘dynamics’, gives us the definition. It can be called as the movement of air when the tractor is in motion. This property, when studied in detail, decides the stability of a tractor when it is in motion.
This is a tractor property when the tractor is static (i.e. not in motion), but its implements are in moving condition.
- Weight distribution
This is a property of a tractor that decides the power it can provide in both static and dynamic conditions.
- Drive train: A drivetrain is the component of the tractor that transfers the power of the engine to the various driving components of tractors, such as wheels, hydraulic cylinders, etc.
A gear is a mechanism improvised part of the tractor’s powertrain. It divides the usages of power transmitted by controlling acceleration to velocity conversion to the wheels and other auxiliary drives of a tractor.
The transmission among gears is managed by the clutch.
Constraints that define and control the design of tractor
1. Tractor design projections
There are mainly four types of tractor design projections. They are
- Orthographic Projection
This projection is meant to present a 3D object in 2D. Hence, including the front view, side view, and top view, we have got three styles of projecting a tractor design. Further, this projection includes a section view. This view, as per the name, represents the angle at which an object is cross-sectioned through a plane. This is one of the most accurate projections, as all measurements are done on the same scale.
- Axonometric Projection
This projection is another type of orthographic projection. The projection is most commonly used in designing square or rectangular objects rather than curvy objects.
- Oblique Projection
This projection is one of the most basic projections and uses the 1:1 scale (cavalier Projection) and 2:1 scale (cabinet projection).
- Perspective Projection
This projection is an approximate projection and represents the object as seen by the eye, sensualized by depth perspectives.
2. Assembly of projections
In this process, the projections are considered together to see a common tractor design coming out of the assembly.
3. Analysis of assembly
The assembly is analysed for its stability, compatibility, and viability in this process.
In the design of a tractor, each element of the tractor is designed independently through CAD software such as Autodesk AUTOCAD. In the complete process of the design of the tractor, the following processes occur with the given below order.
- These independent designs take place in the same file format.
- The assembly of independent designs happens in the same file format.
- Henceforth, the analysis of the designed product through CAI (Computer-Aided Inspection) software such as MATLAB takes place.
- And finally, the design is engineered through CAE (Computer Aided Engineering) software such as HyperWorks and Optistruct.
Thus, moving forward in the following section, we will discuss how the tractor components, such as tractor chassis, body, transmission box, etc., are designed.
1. Tractor chassis design: Brief and constraints
A tractor chassis contains the drivetrain, engine and its components, and wheels. Let us discuss the design of each component in brief.
A. Design of the drivetrain of a tractor
The design of the drivetrain of a tractor consists of 2 axle shafts, 2 joints and 2 boots. These three parts designed independently and simulated to draw the component.
B. Tractor engine design
Tractors commonly use compression ignition internal combustion or diesel engines. These engines designed on CAD software in projections discussed above. Talking of the tractor’s engine, the cylinder designed first, followed by the piston, crankshafts, camshaft, connecting rod, cylinder head, and valves.
C. Tractor transmission box design
The tractor transmission box consists of a clutch and gearbox. There is a variety among both, and they change from model to model among tractors. At first, the gear designed, and then the clutch designed to match the pair for maximum achievable efficiency.
D. Tractor axle design
It includes the design of the following axle components:
- Axle beam design
- Trunion support design
- Differential support design
- Wheel hub
- Steering system (Steering cylinder, tie rod and swivel housing design)
2. Tractor body and bumper design
The tractor body varies in constituents as required per model. The tractor body covers the chassis and other important components. Aerostatics and aerodynamics motivate its design.
Note: The more powerful and speedy a tractor, the better aerodynamics and aerostatics are required from the design perspective.
A tractor’s bumper is there to secure the front part (that contains important parts like the engine, drivetrain, etc.) from accidental damage. The bumper design varies as per tractor sleekness (varies from model to model) in the front.
3. Tractor canopy and cabin design
A tractor cabin consists of the driving controls of all the major output parts of a tractor, including the tractor itself. While designing a tractor’s cabin, the major constraints are:
- The power of the tractor that runs the parts in the cabin. For example, an AC cabin is more suitable for tractors with a power range of 55 HP and beyond.
- The tractor’s power backup decides the digitalization of panels in the cabin.
Note: Every step in the above components of a tractor is followed by assembly and analysis, as discussed earlier.
The tractor’s canopy consists of two simple metal folds consisting of a customizable roof. Therefore, designing two metal rods that fold at the end of the design might seem easy for you now!
Some common trends in the design of tractor
Tractor design, unlike in the past, is witnessing more and more reliability on CAD software. The technologies like cloud computing, virtual simulation, AI, and machine learning are developing day by day. Motivated by such technologies, the design of tractors is also shifting towards automated design simulation.
Thus, the future will witness more comfortable tractors with greater fuel efficiency, reliability, manoeuvrability, comfort and safety. As per news resources, the industry is also seeking possibilities in purely electrical and hybrid tractor powertrains.
Until now, you might have gotten the idea of the design of tractor and the recent trends associated with it. In recent years, tractor design has revolutionized. Thus giving rise to designed and engineered marvels in the tractor industry. The modern farm industry has much to see from tractor design perspectives in the coming future. Stay tuned with us, and you won’t miss any!