From farm to table: 100 years of powering the agriculture industry

Cummins engines for agriculture

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.

Cummins 1919 HVID Engine
The single cylinder HVID engine, pictured here, was the first product produced by the Cummins Engine Co. 

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. 

What’s next?

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. 

Cummins StageV F38 and F4.5 structural engine
Cummins new structural 4-cylinder engine will debut at Agritechnica 2019 in Hanover, Germany.

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.

Learn more

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.

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Harbor Harvest: Sustainability and small business on The Sound

Harbor Harvest

A retail center, a transport company, a boat builder and an engine manufacturer walk into a bar... Oh, wait. That was supposed to say they start shipping locally sourced produce across the Long Island Sound using a one-of-a-kind sustainable hybrid vessel to provide  environmentally friendly access to goods during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Meet Harbor Harvest: Connecticut’s innovative solution bringing the farm to the harbor, and then to your table. 

Bob Kunkel has lived in Norwalk, Connecticut for 27 years. A man with a unique background who loved spending time on the water, but also in the kitchen. This duo of passions led him to marry a food market dedicated to selling quality foods and a Marine Highway program on the northeast coast. 

Harbor Harvest HybridFirst, what is this hybrid vessel? Kunkel is the President of Alternative Marine Technologies, which specializes in projects outside of normal propulsion history or ship design. Upon connecting with BAE Systems (an advanced technology company), the two organizations thought to convert BAE’s electric vehicle bus system into a marine project. After working with an initial engine manufacturer, Kunkel and BAE found Cummins Inc.’s fully integrated marine system to be the final piece of their million-dollar idea. Using two QSB6.7 hybrid-ready engines and a display package to monitor the engines, hybrid components and energy storage system, the diesel-electric catamaran was born. 

The hybrid carries approximately 28 pallets of locally sourced goods, 10 of which are positioned in a fully refrigerated and protected walk-in space. The ship acts as a transport channel for family farms and agriculture systems bringing their sustainable goods to the big city. Kunkel mentioned that a local farm’s market generally only achieves a 10-mile radius. With Harbor Harvest, the marine highway allows them to extend their reach without increasing their costs. 

From a sustainability standpoint, the benefits are clear. A trip that Harbor Harvest can complete from Norwalk, Connecticut to Huntington, New York in about an hour takes their trucking counterparts anywhere from 6-12 hours to accomplish. But emissions on the highway aren’t the only thing Harbor Harvest is saving; they’re also improving efficiency of local farmers. Family farms aren’t having to dump their milk or discard their produce because they can’t make it to market. Harbor Harvest is providing their food a reliable and profitable route to people’s tables. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Norwalk-based organization has thrived. While the boat has only been running one or two days a week due to decreased demand from restaurants and retail, they have certainly not run out of essential items.

Harbor Harvest 1st Location

"Large meat processing plants were having issues with closures," Kunkel said. "We’re direct to the farms and custom slaughterhouse, so we didn’t have any problems supplying meat, fish and other products." He followed that local vendors could respond better to the local emergency, saying this accentuated "what 'buy local' and 'support local' really means.”

Harbor Harvest is a perfect storm of sustainability, small business and innovation. Improving the relationship between the farmer, the harbor and the customer is no small task, yet Kunkel and his corporate partners seem to have concocted a flawless operation. Harbor Harvest looks toward the future, hoping they will continue to expand their business with additional hybrid vessels.

With a casual tone but the most serious of intentions, Kunkel concluded, "I think we’re pretty close to changing the world." 

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Katie Yoder - Cummins Inc.

Katie Yoder

Katie Yoder is a Marketing Communications Specialist. New to Cummins in 2018, Katie joined the marketing operations team where she supports trade show initiatives in North America. As a University of Wisconsin alumna, Katie enjoys watching Badger sports in her free time.

What does the future hold for the construction sites of the world?

Worksite of the Future

Introducing our 'Worksite of the Future' series of articles, where we look at the trends that will shape the future of the construction industry. 

For the construction site of the future, equipment and site managers could be checking on their dozers and excavators before they ever leave home. Using a dashboard on their laptop or phone, they could check to see what maintenance has been performed overnight and what maintenance will be needed to maximize uptime over the next few days. Some predict a time will come when equipment and site managers never have to leave their home, performing their jobs remotely. Their autonomous equipment could be controlled remotely, too.

It may be a while before any of this happens. But as the construction industry evolves, Cummins Inc. will partner with construction customers to develop innovations that work for them. In fact, some of these advancements are around the corner.

We want to share our vision of the future worksite, how we see the evolution affecting our customers and what we are doing to evolve with it. We will bring this information to you through a series of short articles over the next several weeks. 

A natural starting point is understanding the driving force behind a technology shift and how these advancements can address the challenges facing this critical industry. By outlining a few key elements driving change around equipment powertrains, we will explore how we are adapting current technology to meet the need of today’s construction industry.

We believe advanced diesel power has a long future in the construction space, but there are alternative power solutions available that make sense for certain applications. Beyond technology advancements with the equipment powertrain, we can deliver productivity improvements with digital products, through the internet-of-things (IoT) and machine learning.    

As the series progresses we will explore the power solution technologies of the future and even showcase some current test cases. We will look at specific job tasks each application performs on the site, and how that duty cycle aligns with the strengths of some future technologies. With any new advancements, the rate of adoption will depend on many factors, so we will discuss these items and how they might adjust the way construction projects are planned. 

Today, equipment managers are projecting things like fuel consumption, filter replacements and lubrication changes. In the future, those same equipment managers might be considering electricity consumption, charge schedules and how that might impact infrastructural support. For example, will portable charging modules be required, or should the site install charge towers tied directly into the electrical grid or a series of generators?       

As the power solutions used to move construction equipment evolves, so will the support that is required. Our service tools and support models will evolve with emerging technologies. Digital technologies that monitor and automate service actions across multiple worksites and product lifecycles will contribute to keeping construction sites running efficiently. The same prime mover technologies that will be showing up on the site will also be used in service vehicles to deliver energy storage and replacement parts, maybe by leveraging predictive algorithms.

We are excited to share this evolutionary story, we hope you will tag along and enjoy.

Learn More and Join the Conversation

Join the conversation with #Cummins on your social platforms or visit https://www.cummins.com/engines/construction to learn more about our current and future product solutions. We also have Cummins experts around the world happy to answer your questions. Find your nearest Cummins professional by visiting care.cummins.com or calling 1-800-Cummins.  

Cummins Office Building

Cummins Inc.

Cummins is a global power leader that designs, manufactures, sells and services diesel and alternative fuel engines from 2.8 to 95 liters, diesel and alternative-fueled electrical generator sets from 2.5 to 3,500 kW, as well as related components and technology. Cummins serves its customers through its network of 600 company-owned and independent distributor facilities and more than 7,200 dealer locations in over 190 countries and territories.

Five boating safety tips to remember before you hit the water this season

Boating safety tips

From filing a boat plan to scheduling a vessel safety check, here are five tips to help ensure your time on the water is memorable for all of the right reasons. 

Summer is right around the corner. Many of us have been yearning for the long days, warmer weather and time spent on the water. Whether you’re headed out in your pontoon on the lake, fishing boat in the gulf, or sailboat on the ocean, safe boating starts on shore.  

"At Cummins, our daily lives revolve around safety," says Jennifer McQuilken, who works for Cummins marine but is also a U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain. "From wearing proper protection equipment to taking appropriate precautions when installing our product into applications, ensuring the safety of our team members and customers is top priority. That is why all of us at Cummins marine want to remind you of a few easy things to do before you head out onto the water for the first time this season." 

Without further ado, here are five boating safety tips to remember as you prepare for your voyage. 

Wear a life jacket

Boat and water safety tips - life jackets
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, wearing a life jacket is recommended for every boater. 

No matter what activity you have planned on the water, you should always have a life jacket. It is also important to ensure your life jacket is approved by the U.S. Coast Guard or another authorized agency, is appropriate for your water activity and fits properly. There are life jacket styles available for almost any adventure – cruising, hunting, fishing, paddling, watersports, etc.  

Safety first

Make sure you have the proper safety equipment on your boat. There are many items that need to be checked on any boat, some which expire. Valid registration, running lights, flares, and approved fire extinguishers are among some of the things needed for a safe trip on the water. Don’t forget sunscreen, water, and proper clothing for the elements. Not sure if you have what you need? Schedule a free Vessel Safety Check with your local U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary or U.S. Power Squadrons before you hit the water. 

File a float plan

Inform someone you trust of your float plan, which includes details about the trip, boat, persons, towing vehicle, communication equipment and emergency contacts. Should you not return or check-in as intended, a float plan will ensure someone has the information they need to help. Find out more at http://floatplancentral.cgaux.org/

Follow navigation rules

Adhering to these rules is like following the traffic laws. As the operator, you are responsible for the safety of your boat and passengers. Knowing what to do in situations such as meeting head-on, overtaking another vessel and understanding aids to navigation (signs, buoys, etc.) is essential for safe operation of your boat. Be aware of your surroundings and always travel at an appropriate speed for the environment.

Know your local boating laws

Rules and laws can differ by state, region or country. Violations can result in ticketing, fines or jail time. Minimum operator age, towing restrictions and boating licenses and insurance all vary. Ensure to check in with your local guidelines before hitting the water.  

“Being on the water is a fun way to connect with your friends and family,” says Captain McQuilken.

"From active pursuits such as fishing and tubing, to relaxing on a sailboat or cruising around, we want you to have fun, safe day on the ocean or lake." 

Regardless of whether you are an experienced boater, or just getting your feet wet, there are resources available to help you, family or friends learn more about being safe on the water. Consider taking a safe boating course, either in-person or online.  

"See you out there!"

Katie Yoder - Cummins Inc.

Katie Yoder

Katie Yoder is a Marketing Communications Specialist. New to Cummins in 2018, Katie joined the marketing operations team where she supports trade show initiatives in North America. As a University of Wisconsin alumna, Katie enjoys watching Badger sports in her free time.

Competing for the title: biggest and baddest in Bristol Bay

The F/V Emory James is a Cummins-powered twin jet Bristol Bay Gillnetter

Enjoy a side of chaos with your salmon fishing? Welcome to the Bristol Bay Fishery. 

Utter chaos. Hundreds of boats slam into each other. Fishing nets thrown on top of one another. Tides rise and fall by the hour. Patrol boats, planes and helicopters monitor GPS coordinates every minute of every day to ensure nobody crosses the boundary line. And if you do? At best, you’re looking at a $5,000 fine.

Welcome to the Bristol Bay Fishery, home to the world’s largest wild sockeye salmon run.

The four-week season begins in mid-June when upwards of 50 million salmon make their way to the spawning grounds at the headwaters of the four main river districts; the Naknek/Kvichak, Nushagak, Egegik, and Ugashik. During this time, 1,500 boats will voyage to southwestern Alaska to partake in their most thrilling yet exhausting month of the year. Each boat will carry between four and six fisherman who will endure 20-hour days while on the water for an entire month without venturing back to land. Many participants will make their entire year’s living in their brief time at Bristol Bay – which makes building phenomenal new commercial fishing boats well worth their while. 

F/V Not Guilty
A pair of Cummins QSC8.3 engines each generating 600 hp @ 2800 RPM powers F/V Not Guilty (pictured).

The competition at Bristol Bay is at an all-time high with the run exceeding 50 million for five years straight; a historical best in 2018 at 62.4 million. This level of success has brought continued investment by fisherman to ensure their boats are the biggest and most powerful in the water. In order to beat the other guy, you have got to have the best. That is why many boatbuilders are calling upon Cummins B, C, and M series engines. The QSC8.3 being the most popular with its lightweight yet powerful structure. Achieving 600 hp and a light duty commercial rating, this engine’s capability is one step ahead in the market for the Bristol Bay Fishery. 

Jeff Johnson of Peregrine Boats says that, "Cummins is very supportive in helping to match an [engine] with our jet application to get the best performance we can in a bay boat." Jeff has built a handful of Cummins boats for customers, but also owns two larger commercial vessels himself.

“As far as I’m concerned, there is no better [engine]. Cummins match up and service stands out, I won’t...recommend any other...for my application.”

In addition to the qualities already mentioned, Bristol Bay is also unique because of its remote location. There are only two ways to get there: by plane or by boat. That is why two main attributes set Cummins apart from their counterparts during the commercial fishing season.

First is local service. Cummins Marine will fly two technicians to southwestern Alaska during the summer to support our customers fishing the bay. In such a competitive environment and so brief of a season, it is crucial to have service support around the clock. Even just one hour of downtime is a lost opportunity.

Parts availability is the second critical asset. Cummins products are made in the United States and easily accessible in a short time frame. This makes our product much more convenient when solutions are needed quickly. 

In the next year, 10 new 1200hp boats will hit the Bristol Bay commercial fishing fleet, all powered by twin Cummins engines. These boats will join the adrenaline-filled fight for the title of fastest and strongest in Bristol Bay. Soon their shiny complexion and buffed exterior will be battered with bruises resulting from pushing the boat and crew to their ultimate limits. But they will enjoy the absolute and utter chaos that can only be characterized by the four short weeks a year spent at the Bristol Bay Fishery. 

Katie Yoder - Cummins Inc.

Katie Yoder

Katie Yoder is a Marketing Communications Specialist. New to Cummins in 2018, Katie joined the marketing operations team where she supports trade show initiatives in North America. As a University of Wisconsin alumna, Katie enjoys watching Badger sports in her free time.

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