Tractor birthday

OECD Observer

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The OECD claims many achievements, but among its worthier successes is that it holds one of the world’s oldest international standards for that most basic of economic workhorses: the trusty old tractor.

Moreover, the so-called OECD Standard Codes for the Official Testing of Agricultural and Forestry Tractors celebrated their 2,000th test on 26 February 2003. The honour fell to a fourwheel-drive Agco RT115, which was examined for such safety and environmental features as roll-over protection, driver-friendly noise and power output.

“Tractors are working machines designed to do a job and do it efficiently,” says Douglas Durant, engineer for John Deere and US representative to the OECD committee overseeing the testing. “Buyers need to know what they are getting in terms of quality and safety, and manufacturers use the standards to help them win access to markets abroad.” Many countries, including the US, have their own national standards, but for global companies, international stamps of approval are a major asset.

The OECD tractor standards were originally established on 21 April 1959, and first applied to a McCormick International Farmall tractor in the UK. Today over 2,000 models and 10,000 different variants have undergone OECD scrutiny, from heavy tractors built for industrial farming to lighter vehicles used for hauling and even transport – handholds also pass inspection. The tests are carried out locally, and the results approved by the OECD.

©OECD Observer No 236, March 2003

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