Saturday, July 30, 2016

Nebraska Tractor Testing

When Henry Ford started producing tractors as well as cars, he called them Fordson instead of Ford because a fraudulent businessmen in Minneapolis had already incorporated a "Ford Tractor Co." One of the farmers screwed by the fraudulent company, Wilmot Croitzer, was also a member of the Nebraska House of Representatives. Not only did many "tractor companies" make horsepower claims that were way too high, they did not have support for replacement parts and service when their lemons broke down. "A colleague in the Nebraska State Senate, Charles Warner, had a similar story."
Together, these two men championed legislation that would require all tractors sold in the state of Nebraska to undergo testing and receive approval from a panel of three engineers at the University of Nebraska. Tractor companies who wished to operate in the state would also be required to have a service station and an adequate supply of replacement parts located somewhere in the state as well. The law passed in 1919.
By 1920, the University of Nebraska was ready to begin tests. The first tractor tested was John Deere’s Waterloo Boy tractor, quickly followed by 68 more tractors tested that year.
The Nebraska Tests quickly developed an excellent reputation. They caught on around the world. Today, the University of Nebraska is at the forefront of the global Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development, which coordinates tractor testing in 29 countries.

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