The Terra-Trac was one of the first machines HORSCH produced after its foundation in 1984. It contributed significantly to the quick success of the still young company. After some time HORSCH focused on other product segments and stopped the production of the Terra-Trac in 2002. At the moment, the HORSCH apprentices are restoring one of these Terra-Tracs.
A three-wheel tractor is quite rare. Especially if it was built by HORSCH, a company that is not a typical tractor manufacturer. In the 1980s the Terra-Trac was the complement of the Seed-Exactor which made HORSCH known.
One of the first Terra-Tracs was still owned by a customer and some time ago, HORSCH bought it back. This was the perfect opportunity to entrust the HORSCH apprentices with a very special project: They were to revive the tractor.
Normally, such projects are not part of the traditional vocational training. But it was a perfect chance for the apprentices to acquire additional competences: An important point was to find their own solutions. In their everyday working life there always are documentations or drawings for maintenance, service and repairs. For the Terra-Trac this was not the case. Quick thinking and improvisation were required. They needed creativity and ideas for example to provide the required parts. Last but not least the co-operation and the exchange with colleagues from different departments was an experience that is not part of the standard training curriculum.
The first task of the apprentices was to disassemble the Terra-Trac. They assessed which components they could restore and which not. For some components, after more than 30 years there were no longer any spare parts available. This is why the apprentices had to find another creative solution.
For all parties that were involved in the project especially the dismantling, the overhauling and the re-assembly of the diesel engine and the hydraulic system was very exciting. The condition of the electric system was extremely bad, and the apprentices tried hard to repair the defects. When the engine started running for the first time, they were really thrilled. The Terra-Trac was not only restored, but also updated and equipped with an ISOBUS-connection and a HORSCH terminal.
At the moment there still are a lot of employees working at HORSCH who built the Terra-Trac in the 1980s. These experienced colleagues helped the apprentices with words and support and passed on their knowledge to the next generation. The sectors electrics and electronics were particularly challenging as the respective documents are no longer available.
The apprentices restored the Terra-Trac to the best of their knowledge, but despite their efforts it no longer has its full power. To completely restore the original power of the Terra-Trac, a new engine generation would have to be built in and this would require constructional modifications. However, it would no longer be the Terra-Trac. It, thus, cannot be used in the field with a machine linked to it. In the future, it is to be exhibited at recruiting trade fairs and used for marketing purposes.
The Terra-Trac was HORSCH’s solution to meet the requirements of the soil and of the plant. The large contact area guaranteed an ideal weight distribution and the soil structure mostly remained intact. It was mainly used for minimum tillage and it could not only be combined with the Seed-Exactor but also with a liquid manure tank or a fertiliser distributor. The large steering angle of 170° allowed for turning on the spot. With 250 hp the power of the Terra-Trac was rather high for that time. Moreover, it was equipped with a powerful and durable pto-shaft drive.
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