We want to share important information about what tractor hitches are and how they work.
Let’s dive into the details.
The drawbar system was the only method of attaching implements (other than direct attachment to the tractor) before Harry Ferguson developed the three-point hitch.
Equipment attached to the three-point hitch can be raised or lowered hydraulically with a control lever.
The equipment attached to the three-point hitch is usually supported by the tractor. Another way to attach an implement is via a quick hitch --- which is attached to the three-point hitch.
This enables a single person to attach an implement quicker. It also puts the person in less danger when attaching the implement.
The three-point hitch revolutionized farm tractors and implements.
While the Ferguson system was under patent, other manufacturers developed new hitching systems to try to fend off some of Ferguson's competitive advantage.
For example, International Harvester's Farmall tractors gained a two-point "Fast Hitch," and John Deere had a power lift that was like the Ferguson invention. Once the patent protection expired on the three-point hitch, it became an industry standard.
Almost every modern tractor features Ferguson's three-point linkage or a derivative of it.
This hitch allows for easy attachment and detachment of implements --- while allowing the implement to function as a part of the tractor --- almost as if it were attached by a fixed mount.
Previously, when the implement hit an obstacle, the towing link would break, or the tractor could flip over.
Ferguson's genius was to combine a connection via two lower and one upper lift arms that were connected to a hydraulic lifting ram. The ram was, in turn, connected to the upper of the three links so the increased drag (as when a plough hits a rock) caused the hydraulics to lift the implement until the obstacle was passed.
Quick Connect Attachments
Recently, Bobcat's patent on its front loader connection (inspired by these earlier systems) has expired, and compact tractors are now being outfitted with quick-connect attachments for their front-end loaders.
Hopefully, this brief article has helped you better understand the evolution of the hitch.
If you need any further help or have any questions about hitches, tractors, implements, or anything else equipment-related, please contact your dealer, local mechanic, or call us at 602-734-9944. Please ask about our current new and used tractor supply.
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