While working in the prairie provinces, I have had the opportunity to see and use tractors from 40hp to 400hp and bigger. The different sizes all had there place, and required varying degrees of skill to operate. One key fact that dawned on me, was that the 40hp tractor could not do what the 400hp tractor could do and vice versa. Of course the 400hp tractor had the power to accomplish the task of the small tractor, but it’s size was to bulky or unable to go where the smaller tractor needed to go. The small tractor had the ability to go everywhere the larger tractor could go and when working the ground had the ability to do a better job (able to use the field more efficiently, the corners and soft spots). In thinking about this for a while it raised even more questions.
Could ten tractors at 40hp do the same work as one 400hp tractor, given that the ten operators would use the field surface more efficiently than the larger tractor? Theory says yes. Not only the same, but better because the field surface was used more efficiently. So could there also be a synergistic gain apart from the greater crop field yield, such as time? I say yes as well.
So to compete with my neighbor with the 400hp tractor, I should buy one 400hp tractor as well…Or should I buy/hire ten 40 hp tractors and employ nine other people in my community to help me with tilling,seeding and harvest of my fields which will lead to higher yields with the smaller equipment given there ability to use the field more efficiently. Hmmn no one is doing this and it begs the question why not?
Is it at all possible that the 9 extra 40 hp tractors would be harder to maintain and keep track of? Are there enough people in my community to help with the work? Do they have the skill to operate the equipment? Answers are yes, maybe and no.
So what were to happen if the tractors were easier to operate than the conventional diesel 40 hp tractor? Such as maybe an electric tractor…