This month Mr. Kirby concludes his speech with a few more shots at the competition’s transmissions and threepoint systems. There is also a paragraph or two whose point has been lost in the 40 years since the speech was originally given. We hope you’ve enjoyed these installments and thanks again to Steve Just for finding this speech and sending it to us.
Let me get to what they call their Case-0-Matic drive and this is a torque converter, a genuine torque converter, another mystery item. A torque converter is very similar to a fluid clutch that we know of as explained by the automotive trade. As a matter of fact, all of your present automatic transmissions, a torque converter plus an automatic transmission, but Case doesn’t have an automatic transmission. They have a torque conversion. They are going to try to parallel it to an automatic transmission in the cars we drive today, but it’s not the same thing. They’ve got a regular gear box with a torque converter in it.
Now what does a torque converter do? Say, for instance, that your engine was running at the manufacturer’s rated RPM and putting out its maximum horsepower, say a thousand RPM and developing 50 horsepower. You’ve got a torque converter between that engine and the rea r wheels then, say for instance, that at a thousand RPM and 50 horsepower, your tractor can pull 5,000 pounds. Now with a two to one torque converter, it would be possible by the advantage gained in this torque converter to pull not the 5,000 pounds that you were pulling at rated speed and maximum horsepower, but 10,000 pounds. See how they are raising the pounds pulled with this torque converter.
Now one thing they don’t very clearly explain to the public while all this is going on and all of this is happening is what is happening to your horsepower. Horsepower is a function of weight through pistons in a given length of time. In other words, a t one horsepower, you pull 33,000 pounds one mile in one minute or something like that. It doesn’t make any difference but that’s the idea behind it. While all this is going on, what’s happening to your ground travel speed? It has been dropping from what you know it at maximum horsepower down to nothing and by the time you have doubled your torque, your speed has fallen off so sharply you are not moving. So, while you have gotten twice the twisting effort, you are not going anywhere.
Now they are going to use this in their advertising schemes in this way. They will put their tractor in one of their higher gears, like sixth for instance, and I don’t know what sixth speed in this new Case transmission will be. They will ask you to put your tractor in a speed with a comparable advertised ground travel speed, put it in a gear with a comparable advertised ground travel speed. All right, you can’t pull a load they are going to put on their tractor when you are in that gear, but they’ll put their tractor in that gear. Say, for instance, that the gear goes eight miles an hour. They’ll put their tractor in eight miles an hour and pull a lot more load than you can pull and people are going to buy it. They’re gullible enough to buy it. So while they are in that gear, they are not going 8-1/2 miles per hour. You drop down, drop down in your transmission and then take off with that load and thumb your nose at Mr. Case.
I say thumb your nose because here is something that no one who has designed a torque converter has yet been able to design around and that is the fact that a torque converter at its very best will be around 85 percent efficient. Immediately by using a torque converter, you will have lost 15 percent of your horsepower somewhere and where does it go? It goes in the form of absorbed heat in this fluid clutch. Don’t be scared of them. Just don’t let him set up the standard of operation. You set up the thing you want to show. Just ask him to come along and pull a weight you can pull at a given speed. Tell him he can pull it in any gear he wants to and hoop-de-doo around with this torque converter all he wants to. Well, right away 15 percent of whatever size engine he’s talking about has been lost in heating this oil up.
I’ll tell you another thing—if he wants to get really nasty and show a lot of torque, a lot of pull in a pulling contest and if he puts enough weight on it, he can do a good one here. You just put on enough weight so his traction stays up, ask him to do that, then you load down his load to the point that he can stand there and not move the load. He won’t kill the engine, he’ll just keep slipping these two fans in the torque converter and churning up the oil and he’ll put his total horsepower out of that tractor in the form of heat in the oil and if he does that for one minute’s time, and I hope that he does, he’ll be looking for a new torque converter and you will have won another demonstration. That’s like running a genera tor through an electric iron and putting a 40 horse genera tor on and plugging in an electric iron. That’s how much heat he’s going to make. It’s got to go somewhere. You can’t destroy energy. So all that glitters about all these things certainly is not gold.
If we could make a torque converter ourselves that would have degree of efficiency, we would have it in a tractor. How would you like to go out and compete with somebody on a field demonstration and know before you started that you are going to use 15 percent more fuel? You’re going to get 15 percent less work done. Are you going to try to sell a tractor that way? No, you are going to devise a scheme to sell the thing that you have to show. But what you men have to show is the fact that you can do a certain amount of work for a certain amount of cost in a given length of time and, by gosh, you invite Mr. Case with his Case-o-Matic or whatever else he has to do it. Don’t be scared of him. Just don’t fall for his tricks. You set up the standards, that’s where your finesse as salesmen comes in. Well, that’s about all I know about Mr. Case. We don’t have one personally yet at Waterloo. We have an 800 ordered which is their big row crop job, of course; we are vitally interested in seeing what they can do in the spring.
I would like to tell you before we leave this afternoon a little about another feature on your tractor that increases the adaptability and that’s power steering. You’ve sold power steering for some time. You’ve not given credit for as good a device as it is. You know these darn International people, when we came out with power steering, they were just nasty enough to make the remark, “Well, with a John Deere tractor, you’ve got to have power steering.” But then when they came around and introduced power steering, when we were putting ours out at the time for $125 (it’s roughly $130 today), they had enough gall to think that it was such a damn handy outfit and so desirable that they could ask almost $170 for it. Well, that doesn’t make much sense either, does it?
Now there are a few things you’ve got to understand about power steering outfits that makes them different. We have one of each tractor that I am going to mention in Waterloo and we performed the following tests on them. We put the tractors on dry concrete, tested them first without any additional front end weight, then we put 900 pounds of additional front end weight. You know, we are using cultivators today that weigh up to 2,400 pounds and manure handling equipment that’s going to have to lift a ton, don’t forget that either, and I said we put 900 pounds of additional weight on these tractors when we tested them and found out how they performed. Well, it was quite interesting.
You know when we designed power steering, we again went back and tried to figure out what the basic requirements of power steering were going to be and what would determine how we would go about the job. We knew that we didn’t want to put the power steering motor, for instance, up in here between the steering wheel and the worm and sector gear because that’s basically unsound. Hydraulically put all the wear and tear on a worm and sector gear that you can do. You know the degree of finish on those parts determine greatly the ease with which they work and you can’t maintain any degree of finish putting the 12,000 inch pound of torque on them with a power steering unit. Unless what? Unless you don’t have that much torque developed by your power steering in it when you’ve got a load in your front end. You might remember that, too. I would like to have you fellows tell me where the hydraulic power steering unit is on that tractor and that one. Now this is their final effort, their element so far at least.
Now there’s another thing about power steering outfits. Here’s another fellow that falls in this category, the 450. There are several ways of doing it. To supply the hydraulic pressure, you can do it with your present hydraulic equipment or you can do it by an independent hydraulic source. If you do it with the present equipment, you just darn well better design that present equipment that supplies both your power steering and your lift system. You better be sure that equipment has adequate capacity to handle both jobs and I hesitate to believe that International has given that consideration to their unit. I think you’ll find if you get out on that tractor and turn and try to get some action out of your power lift at the same time, you’re going to suffer because it has a floating divider in the system using one source of oil for units. And it doesn’t have the basic capacity.
You know how we handle it. Float divider not only in the IHC but in the Massey-Harris 444, for instance, the Minneapolis Moline 445. These are all guilty of the same fallacy. Centering hydraulically, in other words, you turn your valves, what centers that valve after your turning ceases. That’s determined in part how much feel of the wheel you’ve got and how much pressure it takes on the wheel to turn it under varying load conditions. Some tractors use a hydraulic device to center their valve. Such a device will be the Case 400, the Ford 960 or the MasseyHarris 444. Now when they use a hydraulic centering device, it means exactly this—that the effort required for steering wheels is going to be directly proportional to the resistance overcome by the front wheels or by the power steering unit. So, isn’t this nice. Right when you have a load filled up and you need power steering the worst, your effort at the steering wheel builds up. Is that the correct way to do it?
It’s not true on the tractors we have to sell. We found that the power steering unit, in order to handle all types of loads that are required today by row crop tractors, must have the ability, the hydraulic power steering unit now must have the ability to overcome 12,000 inch pounds of resistance on the front wheels, in other words, to handle the present type integral equipment under various field conditions. That’s the amount of effort that your power steering unit should put out so that you never have to apply any more force at the steering wheel than that initially required without any additional weight at all.
Well, we found for instance in the IHC 450, they can produce 8,000 pounds, about two-thirds of what they need to cover the complete line. When they get over that amount of torque required, then the job reverts to manual steering so you can see the capacity of the system. The Minneapolis-Moline Five Star is doing pretty good. It has 12,500- inch pounds and that’s plenty of capacity, but it was short, you remember, in some other circumstances. Massey Harris, before the Minneapolis Moline Five Star came along, was the closest one of our competitors who started supplying plenty of hydraulic effort. They had 11,260 pounds; Ford, 5,300; AC-WD 45, 5,500; Case 400, 6,700 pounds. Now, here are some tractors, what happens? Right when you need the advantage of power steering, it goes caput; you’ve received the capacity of it and then you steer manually. Now, is that of any value to you? It certainly isn’t what you have to sell, gentlemen. Under all conditions, it will take three to five pounds to turn the steering wheel, the load becomes no greater and no less.
Now, there is a little something that has come out in the John Deere line in the way of new equipment this year and last year, so our Des Moines Works and Planter Works can do business and something to talk about. Over here, this sign says, “Farming spreads its wings.” Well, it certainly does that. We have six row cultivating equipment today and six row planting equipment. Why is all of that possible? If you’ll look at the shanks on the cultivator other than the main frame, the manner in which the Des Moines Works has done such a good job of beefing up the main frame and making the wings fold. I give them all the credit in the world for that, but functionally aren’t the shanks used on those frames the same as they always were? It’s the matter of hanging another row on each side.
International, they make me mad at times. They tell about our lift system, the advantages of theirs over ours and they say, “You won’t hear our tractor pulling down, slowing down when we get a lift signal, like you will John Deere.” It is their hydraulic system that is causing the rockshaft to lift a little right at the time you need your maximum power that slows the engine down.” That is what they tell about our universal three-point hitch system.
Now, what those birds don’t know is that when we get a lift signal, the plow lifts on our rockshaft momentarily. We’ve done something inside of our system that gave us an ability to pull a heavier load and that is the moment that rockshaft started to change position. It changed the mechanical linking or geometry inside of that lift system so that we have to move that center link against a much stiffer spring now to get any more action. Why shouldn’t the tractor pull down? It is developing 3,000 pounds pull when it was only developing 2,500 when it got the first signal. This is the only outfit on the market that can really do the job of taking advantage of the additional traction you impart to it to do a job of plowing. That I think ought to be talked more about.
Before I close here, I want to show you a little page here right out of the International Harvester Co. book about their lift system. It says this and I certainly am convinced it backs up my theory on getting into hard ground. It says, “In extremely hard ground where all implement weight is needed for penetration, it is recommended that traction control be locked out and wheel weights added.” Isn’t that nice? That’s real value.
Well, gentlemen, I thank you very kindly for your close attention and apparently good reception of what I had to say. I hope to be with you more in the future and it has been nice being here in Omaha. Thank you.