Farm tractors of the future
A fuel shortage, combined with a rubber shortage, may change the way we design farm equipment.
Fossil fuels are becoming more scarce, and so in the future we'll be forced to abandon farm equipment that depends on gasoline, diesel fuel, propane or other forms of fossil fuel, and we'll have to design farm equipment that used alternative energy sources. Another concern is the possibility of rubber shortages. Most farm tractors today have rubber tires, but we do not produce rubber here in the U.S.A., most of our rubber comes from Indonesia. Indonesia is a Moslem country, the majority of people there are Moslems, and there is a strong possibility that Indonesia and other Moslem countries will create governments based on Islamic law, (called Sharia law) in the future. If a radical Moslem regime takes over Indonesia in the future, they may decide to stop exporting rubber to the U.S.A., and so we may be faced with a shortage of rubber tires here in the U.S.A. Therefore we would have to design farm tractors that can be built without rubber tires.
The illustration above shows a treaded farm tractor. This tractor is equipped with treads instead of rubber tires. The treads would be made of metal links running on metal wheels and sprockets, so the whole tractor could be built without rubber.
Since we may also face a shortage of fossil fuels, the tractor would be designed to run on electricity. It would not be equipped with a gasoline-powered engine. Instead, it would be equipped with an electric motor, and it would be powered by batteries. The tractor would be equipped with a windmill so it could produce it's own electricity. The windmill would be stored inside the tractor, under a lid. The illustration above shows the lid of the tractor partially opened.
The illustration above shows the tractor with it's windmill fully extended. Whenever the tractor was parked, the windmill would be extended. The tractor would remain parked, like this with it's windmill extended for several hours, while it charges it's batteries with wind power. Electricity produced by the tractor's windmill would be stored in the tractor's batteries for later use. The windmill would never be extended when the tractor was moving. Tractors of this type could operate without the need for any fuel, so farmers would save money on fuel costs. Another advantage of this type of tractor is that it operates without polluting the air and without contributing to global warming.
Anthony Ratkov, December 2,2011 Computer graphic illustrations by Anthony Ratkov.