Power At Work

Can a six-legged ‘spider’ tractor handle tricky transport tasks?

The Mantis stands 2.6 metres tall to the top of its cab with five metres between opposing ‘feet’


A prototype “spider” tractor developed in Britain claims to reduce crop or ground cover damage during difficult transport jobs – or offer a unique cross-country transport for tourists. The so-called Mantis Hexapod from Micromagic Systems achieves this by avoiding wheelings altogether and relying on its six hydraulically powered legs to overcome demanding surfaces and obstacles.

Interest in tracked tractors grows across North America

So say the equipment manufacturers, citing better traction and compaction resistance. But tracks are more expensive than tires, and others are less certain about the overall benefits


Jean-Luc Jaquemet has been thinking about getting a tracked tractor for about 10 years. This spring, his opportunity came and he put his money on a 525-h.p. Challenger 865.

The robot revolution is about to arrive in European fields

Robotics in dairying has long been with us, but at last it seems to be coming to field crops with the experts predicting major commercial introductions in the next few years


Crop Scout, Bullseye, Sun-Rover or Flower Power – these names are not as well-known in farm field mechanization as New Holland, Massey Ferguson or Claas. But, given a few years, I’d guess that some of the former will be just as familiar to crop growers everywhere.

Gleanings from the Louisville show

New technology was the watchword at February’s National Farm Machinery Show in Kentucky

John Deere created a stir in Kentucky with the introduction of their ExactEmerge planter. The groundbreaking technology boasts increased accuracy and planting speeds up to 10 m.p.h., allowing farmers to plant more acres in less time, while optimizing their seed investment.

A century of progress in tractor design

Farm tractors have undergone major changes since the early 1900s and, since 1920, the University of Nebraska’s test reports have provided invaluable information about their capabilities. Today, they still offer the best source of comparative data available


By the beginning of the last century, steam-powered traction units had been used extensively to operate threshing units and to break prairie sod, but there was no hope of them replacing the teams of horses that were in use for field tillage work in Ontario and elsewhere.

OPINION: OPA and Hydro One are falling down on the job

Present policies of our utilities are not serving rural customers well and are encouraging large energy users to move away or set up their own generating facilities. And OPA’s off-peak rate increase is just a money-grab from consumers


Some of us remember the home farm being electrified. It saved us carrying lanterns, pumping water and hand-milking cows, as well as cranking the cream separator manually. Electrical energy (or hydro, as we did and still do call it in Ontario) made life a lot easier on the farm.


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