View Full Version : Electric tractor! OT.

The Artful Bodger
08-02-2012, 09:53 PM
I thought some might find this interesting! It was an electric tractor which reeled a cable as it worked. The cable went to a truck which carried transformer and an attachment to connect to overhead supply wires.


An electric tractor works alongside a horse team in Canterbury in the 1930s. The electric tractor was developed in Ashburton to increase local demand for electricity. Although the machine looked cumbersome, with its pivoted turret through which the feeder cable was passed from a transformer on a nearby truck, it worked quite well. The eight machines built managed over 8,000 hours work between them. However, tractors driven by oil fuels proved cheaper to run.


08-02-2012, 10:36 PM
Turning around is fun.

The Artful Bodger
08-02-2012, 11:08 PM
Maybe, but they do say the turret was pivoted.

Ohio Mike
08-03-2012, 12:18 AM
That's not the first picture I've seen of an electric tractor tethered with a cable. It wasn't much of a stretch since companies like Bucyrus and Marion build electric power shovels. They of course were better suited to that arrangement since they didn't move very or very fast for that matter. I think the most intriguing example of a electric tractor was the fuel cell tractor that Allis-Challmers experimented with in the early 60s that was build out of a D-12 tractor. I believe the Smithsonian has it, but not sure its on display.

The Artful Bodger
08-03-2012, 01:03 AM
I think I know where one of these electric tractors is but I have no idea how much of it survives. I will take a look at it if I can find it and maybe a couple of pictures.

I vaguely remember the transformer truck being used to power an irrigation pump when I was a child but no one else seems to be able to recall that.