The Tractor Quiz

By: Ian Fortey

The Tractor Quiz
Image: Katrina Wittkamp / DigitalVision / Getty Images

About This Quiz

Farming has been a part of mankind's history since long before anyone thought of actually writing things down. It's as old as civilization. For as long as we've realized growing our own food was a good idea if we wanted to keep surviving, we've been innovating newer and better ways to get it done. From simple hand tools to more complex devices that were dragged behind oxen, we've come a long way. And it's possible no tool has done more for the world of agriculture than the tractor. It took working fields leaps and bounds into the future, cutting down the time and money needed to plant and harvest by an unbelievable amount. There's no doubt the world could never hope to feed all the people in it if not for tractors. So really, we owe these machines a lot, even if most people don't realize it. 

Tractor technology keeps evolving because you can't stop progress. But there's a lot of history there too! If you feel like you know a good deal about where tractors were, where they were, and where they're going, why not take the tractor quiz and show us what you've got?

Tractor What does ROPS mean in relation to tractors?
Release over pull system
Rollover protection system
Safety is an important factor of any modern tractor, and you probably want some kind of rollover protection system, or ROPS, on any tractor you buy. This ensures that if the tractor does take a spill, you don't get crushed when it does so.
Reverse order plow set
Real optics plowing system

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Farmer and Tractor How do modern tractors ensure straight lines when they're being used?
Locked steering columns
GPS
GPS is arguably one of the greatest innovations in farming ever. With GPS navigation, a tractor can be set on a perfectly straight path, allowing the farmer to concentrate less on where they're going and more on what they're doing.
External sensors
A compass

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Tractor Loader Do you know what a FEL is?
Front end loader
The front end loader is a kind of tractor attachment that puts a scoop on the front of a tractor so it can push or shovel or lift a load of something. They were actually first designed in Sweden but are pretty common all over the world now.
Full emergency lever
Farm environment lead
First-ever lean

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Row Crop Tractor What is one of the categories of tractors that John Deere makes?
Row crop
Utility
Speciality
All of the above
John Deere produces tractors in four main categories. Those include utility tractors, row crop tractors, specialty tractors, and the fourth category is four-wheel-drive tractors. Of course, in those four categories, there are numerous variations as well.

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performance tires Even though rubber is the standard for tires these days, it wasn't always. What were the wheels on the first tractors made from?
Wood
Steel
Back in the day, most tractors had steel wheels. Often, to improve traction, they'd have bumps and even spikes added to them to help dig into the soil. This also meant they could not be used on roads without destroying them.
They've always been rubber.
Tin

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Baler How many tractors are there in the world right now, give or take?
12 million
15 milion
19 million
26 million
It's a rough number but it's believed that there are in the neighborhood of 26 million tractors currently in operation around the globe at the moment. Over 2 million were sold globally in 2017 alone.

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Farmer on Tractor What did tractor drivers use to ensure straight lines back in the day?
Field guides
Farmhands
Rope
The hood ornament
Most people don't consider how hard driving in a straight line is because roads have guide markings. Tractor drivers in fields used to have to line the hood ornament up with a landmark in the distance to ensure that they were staying on a relatively straight track as they plowed.

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Farmer What was the name of the tractor company that John Deere bought in 1918?
John Froelich Engineering
Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company
In 1918, John Deere bought the Waterloo Gasoline Engine Company which had been producing tractors that went by the name Waterloo Boy tractor since 1911. Word is they didn't sell any for a few years but eventually they became popular. Deere bought them out for over $2 million.
Parr and Hart Farm Supply
The Dyson Motor Company

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Iowa Farm The word tractor didn't just come out of nowhere. What does the Latin word "trahere" mean?
To grow crops
To plant
To pull
Just like a ton of words in the Engish language, tractor traces its roots to the Latin language. The word "trahere" or "traho" means to pull, drag, or draw. That's why protracted, for instance, means "drawn out." They all come from the same place.
To farm

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Farm Robot Which one of these companies is working on driverless tractor projects?
Fendt
Autonomous Tractor Corporation
Case IH
All of the above
A number of manufacturers are looking at the evolution of tractors, including making them entirely autonomous and driverless. Case IH, the Autonomous Tractor Corporation, Fendt and John Deere are all working on models.

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Tractor Technology What innovation to protect farmers appeared for the first time in 1966?
Seat belts
Safety roll bar
The roll bar was first used in tractors back in 1966. This meant that in the event a tractor tipped over, which actually happens pretty frequently, the driver would still be protected from being crushed under the weight of the tractor.
Emergency engine shut off
Speed limiter

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The Great Depression Do you know what the John Deere company did for farmers during the Depression?
Nothing
They refused to repossess tractors.
There's no doubt the Depression was a hard time for everyone and farmers were hit harder than many. While many went bankrupt, John Deere refused to repossess the tractors of farmers who couldn't pay them off and instead let them keep doing whatever work they could with the machines.
They gave away free tractors,
They offered interest-free loans.

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Tractor Which of these is the most powerful tractor in the world?
Fendt Vario 1000
John Deere 4090
Case IH Steiger/Quadtrac 620
While all tractors are pretty powerful machines the Case IH Steiger/Quadrac 620 actually outperforms most high-powered sports cars under the hood and features a 692hp engine and a 500-gallon fuel tank.
Ford Farmall

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LeTourneau L-2350 Do you know what's special about a LeTourneau L-2350?
It's an electric tractor.
It's the world's largest tractor.
The LeTourneau L-2350 is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the absolute biggest tractor in the world. It's used in construction and mining operations to carry massive loads that can reach weights of over 80 tons.
It's a DIY tractor kit.
It's the world's most advanced tractor.

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1948 John Deere R Most tractors run on diesel these days. Which model was the first diesel model?
Case IH Farmall
John Deere Super Tracker
Cub Cadet Farm Boy
John Deere Model R
The John Deere Model R was the first diesel-powered tractor that hit the market, and it dates all the way back to 1949. It could haul nearly 7,000 pounds and reach a somewhat unimpressive 11.5 miles per hour in fifth gear.

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plow A tractor pulling a 25-foot disc harrow can plow 40 acres of land in about an hour. About how long would it take four horses to do the same?
5 hours
20 hours
35 hours
55 hours
There's a reason tractors replaced oxen and horses on farms. The job a tractor can do in one hour could take a team of four horses over 55 hours to do. In fairness, the horses would be doing a harder job with the plow than a tractor would with a disc harrow, but still. The difference is dramatic.

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Can You Guess the Country of Origin of These Cars 2 Which world-famous sports car manufacturer also makes tractors?
Porsche
Koenigsegg
Lamborghini
Lamborghini designs tractors under the name Lamborghini Trattori. As you might expect, they're still some high-performance vehicles, and they can cost upwards of $146,000 making them at least more affordable than Lamborghini cars.
Ferrari

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planter What connects a tractor to whatever equipment it's hauling?
The pulley
The hitch
The drawbar
A drawbar is what attaches a tractor to something like a harrow plow or a seed sprayer or whatever it's hauling behind it. For the most part, it's just a long piece of metal that connects to the tractor and the attachment like a tow line but made of solid material.
The rack

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GridCON tractor What is a GridCON tractor?
An electric tractor
GridCON is John Deere's electric tractor model which is still being ironed out in the development phase though it has been shown off a few times. It's said to have an impressive 400 horsepower engine.
A hybrid tractor
An ultra-compact tractor
A DIY tractor kit

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Farm 1951 was a big year for tractor production. How many were manufactured in the US that year?
285,000
564,000
Tractor production hit a historical peak in 1951 and 564,000 of them were manufactured that year. It's gone down slowly since then, but that was the year that they were clearly the most important thing any farmer could own.
603,000
876,000

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1934 John Deere A When did tractor companies start selling tractors with rubber tires?
1925
1933
Around about 1932 and 1933 most tractor companies began offering rubber tires as a standard feature on tractors. During the same time period, a number of businesses, like blacksmiths, would offer their services to retrofit steel-wheeled tractors with new rubber ones.
1939
1941

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How Much Do You Know About Gasoline John Froelich is credited with creating the first gasoline-powered tractor. Where did he do it?
England
Iowa
John Froelich is credited with creating the first fully-functional gasoline-powered tractor that could drive both forwards and backward back in 1892 in Iowa. The word tractor was not in use at that time but it's still clear that's what it was.
Kansas
Australia

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Internal combustion engine How old is the oldest surviving internal combustion engine tractor anyway?
It was built in 1911.
It was built in 1895.
It was built in 1900.
It was built in 1903.
The oldest one anyone has in the world right now dates back to 1903. It was built by Charles Hart and Charles Parr, and if you want to see it you actually still can! Currently, it belongs to the Smithsonian Museum.

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The Farm Equipment Quiz 1 Tractor production really started amping up between 1916 and 1922. In that time, how many companies were making them?
5
26
83
Over 100
Because farmers were just catching on to how useful tractors could be, everyone wanted a piece of the pie. Over 100 companies began producing tractors between 1916 and 1922 though very few of them are still at it today.

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truck speed limit Do you know the land speed record for a tractor?
87 miles per hour
95 miles per hour
103 miles per hour
In 2019 a JCB 4000-series Fastrac tractor set a new speed record for tractors by hitting a staggering 103 miles per hour. The record was set in England, beating the previous 87 mph record set just the year before on the show "Top Gear."
131 miles per hour

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Old-Coins How expensive could tractors get back in 1920?
$785
A high-end tractor back in 1920 might set you back $785, which was a steep investment at the time. Adjusted for inflation that's only about $10,000. By 1922 they would cost less than $400 apiece. High-end tractors today can cost upwards of $150,000.
$925
$1000
$3500

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1 tractor GettyImages-661782715 What company is the largest producer of tractors in the world by volume?
Massey Ferguson
John Deere
Mahindra
Indian tractor manufacturer Mahindra is actually the largest tractor manufacturer in the world, although John Deere has been doing it much longer. The company dominates the Indian market which is the largest in the world and also has facilities in places like Australia and the US.
McCormick

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John Deere Auger Platform John Deere is one of the largest manufacturers of tractors in the world. How many different models have they produced?
Over 700
Over 900
There are actually several hundred companies that have designed and sold tractors over the years, and though companies like Kubota and Massey Ferguson have designed over 600 kinds of tractors, John Deere leads the pack with over 900 models.
Over 1,000
Over 2,000

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The Ultimate Farm Equipment Identification Quiz 1 When you need a tractor that's more maneuverable and less bulky, what should you get?
CUT
A "normal" tractor can be referred to as a utility tractor and a smaller, more maneuverable version — like a lot of what John Deere sells — are called compact utility tractors or CUTs. These will generally have a smaller frame and perhaps less engine output overall than a full-sized utility tractor.
SUV
MRE
ST

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Driverless tractor John Deere bought Blue River Technology in 2017. What did that company make?
Robots
AI
Blue River Technologies was acquired back in 2017 by John Deere because of the work the startup had been doing in AI or artificial intelligence. This is part of John Deere's initiative to produce self-driving tractors.
Self-driving cars
Tractors

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Sprayers Do you know where about half of all the tractors on Earth are sold?
India and China
Millions of tractors are sold every year and about half of them can be found entirely in India and China, the two largest and growing markets for agricultural machinery in the entire world.
The US and China
China and Russia
Russia and India

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Ford NAA tractor Which car manufacturer also produced tractors?
Ford
Jeep
Fiat
All of the above
Numerous auto manufacturers have also designed tractors over the years. Jeep only made a few models from the '40s through to the '60s while Ford has designed nearly 200 and Fiat over 100.

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Indiana One of the earliest tractors was called "the barn engine." When was it made?
1812
Richard Trevithick came up with the idea for the barn engine back in 1812. It was a bit of a ways off from what you'd consider a modern tractor. It was essentially a threshing machine outfitted with a steam-powered engine.
1867
1890
1903

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Tiller What milestone did the John Deere company hit in 1966?
100,000 tractors sold
1 million tractors sold
They'd made $1 billion.
By 1966 the John Deere Company had cracked its first $1 billion dollars which is a heck of a lot of money no matter what year it is. To give that some perspective, adjusted for inflation that's about $7.9 billion today.
They had facilities in 10 countries.

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1918 John Deere Dain AWD What was the name of the first tractor produced by the John Deere company?
Crop King
Waterloo Boy
Dain All-Wheel Drive
The Dain All-Wheel-Drive tractor was Deere's first foray into the tractor market after they'd acquired the Dain Manufacturing Company back in 1911. The founder of Dain, now working for Deere, created 100 units of that early design.
Model R

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