Le Tourneau-Westinghouse and Caterpillar Tractor Company
development of the Caterpillar D7 tractor
As development in America was marching forward with the 600-900series and the revived 601-901 line, England was moving ahead withrevisions of their own. The Fordson New Major had been very successful,but that tractor was rather large, and the lack of a small tractor forthose with lesser needs was hurting Ford's position in Europe. Toaddress this weakness in the product line, Ford developed the Dextain 1957, which featured a Perkins three cylinder diesel engine.
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In 1938, just two years after the production of the firstFerguson tractors had started, the deal fell through as Brown wentahead with his changes over Ferguson's objection and Ferguson wentto Dearborn to visit with Henry Ford. Armed with one of the machineshe was building with Brown in England, the two came to their handshakeagreement by which Ford would produce a tractor using the FergusonSystem and Ferguson, once again, would market the machines. In 1939,after a hastened piece of development work, the first Ford tractor usingthe new implement system was launched as the Ford 9N.
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The low end of the Massey Harris line was seriously hurt bythe Ferguson System-equipped tractors that Ford, and later Fergusonhimself was producing and marketing. It was clear that the systemwas better than anything the company could offer, and efforts weremade to develop a technology to respond to this threat. The Depth-O-Maticand other attempts to bridge this gap were unsuccessful, however. It isfortunate for Massey-Harris that Ferguson was looking to sell his tractorbusiness, together with his patents and technology, or sales would surelyhave continued to suffer.