From farm to table: 100 years of powering the agriculture industry
On the farm and in the field, for over a century Cummins technology has helped farmers around the world.
Cummins has powered world agriculture since our first engine was launched in 1919. As the company gears up for Agritechnica, here’s a look at our history of innovation in agriculture, as well as our latest developments.
The year 1919 marked the start of the Cummins Engine Company. Founded by Clessie Cummins, a 31-year-old farmer’s son from Columbus, Indiana, with support from banker W.G Irwin, Clessie recognized the benefits of using technology originally developed by Rudolph Diesel in the 19th century.
The single cylinder, HVID engine was the company’s first product, manufactured under license and incorporating Clessie’s improved ignition control. Used for farm pump applications, the HVID was available from 1.5-8 hp. Today, one of only a few surviving 3hp versions will be on display at Cummins’ booth during Agritechnica, Hannover.
With a rated speed of 600 rpm, the HVID had a displacement of just over 1 litre and weighed 280 kg. Around 3,000 were manufactured by Cummins in Columbus, which is a far cry from the 1.5 million engines the company produced globally in 2018.
Fast forward to 1929, when Cummins extends its innovative engines into on-road technology by installing the Model U engine into a Packard Limousine. Not only was this the first car in the United States to have a diesel engine, it was one of the earliest diesel powered cars in the world.
The same engine model was later used in the first U.S. diesel agricultural crawler tractor, a six-ton Allis Chalmers Monarch 50 known as “Neverslip.” The 1950s brought the company’s 8.1 and 12.2 litre engines to the world’s first articulated tractor, the Wagner TR, and in 1958 Clessie filed a patent for the famous Pressure Time fuel system - the foundation of today’s common rail fuel systems.
Throughout the decades, Cummins has been involved in a number of agricultural ‘firsts’ – Versatile’s largest prairie tractor Big Roy fitted with a 19 litre, 600 hp Cummins engine; world records featuring Cummins powered machines; and John Deere’s most powerful forage harvester powered by a Cummins QSK19 832 hp engine, to name just a few.
This week we continue our spirit of innovation, launching the new F3.8 and F4.5 structural engines at the Agritechnica, the world’s leading trade fair for agricultural technology.. Signifying an extension to our agriculture lineup, Cummins’ new structural engines provide compact and capable four-cylinder options for tractors in the 67 – 149 kW (90 – 200 hp) power band.
The engines on display at Agritechnica are the company’s latest innovations for tractor applications and, alongside the six-cylinder B6.7 engine, expand Cummins structural product coverage from 67 to 243 kW (90 – 326 hp).
“For Stage V, Cummins technology significantly improved the capabilities of our F3.8 engine, with 33% more power and 31% more torque versus its Stage IV predecessor. Pushing it up to 173 hp has made it a leader in its class,” said Ann Schmelzer, General Manger Global Agriculture at Cummins. “We are now making this product available with a structural block and oil pan for agricultural tractor applications. As part of our Performance Series range, it will deliver more machine capability and substantial productivity benefits for the farmers who operate Cummins powered equipment.”
A global technology leader
While the basic physics of the engines remains the same, the precision engineering and technology has changed significantly since Clessie launched the HVID. Cummins has developed key enablers in-house; combustion, air handling, fuel systems, filtration, electronic control and exhaust aftertreatment to get to where we are today.
The company has made significant strides for Stage V, but the innovation won’t stop there. As a 100-year old company committed to powering a more prosperous world for our customers, end users and the communites we operate in, Cummins will continue to develop clean diesel technology,complimented by our alternative power solutions, that meet the needs of our customers and the environment in the future.
Agritechnica attendees can see first-hand Cummins’ full structural engine line up at Agritechnica, hall 16, stand D19 in Hanover Messe. More information on Cummins F3.8 and F4.5 structural engines can be found in our press release.