SIXTY YEARS ago, a pair of American brothers on a farm near Minnesota needed a high-powered, four-wheel drive tractor for their business.
When they couldn’t find one on the market they built it themselves, and the first Steiger rolled out of the shed and into the paddock.
Douglass and Maurice Steiger built the first Steiger in 1957 for their own use, but the reaction from fellow farmers was immediate, and in 1958 they built another for a neighbour and the Steiger dynasty was established.
The brothers went on to establish a full-scale manufacturing business.
Although starting its life painted in a vibrant shade of lime green, the brand was later purchased by Case IH in 1986.
Yet many older farmers still have fond memories of those first Steiger tractors at work in Australia, setting the benchmark for performance, power and reliability.
The Steiger name lives on at the top end of the Case IH tractor range, with five models from 400 to 600 horsepower, including Quadtrac and Rowtrac four-tracked row crop systems.
Last year the brand became the world’s first articulated tractor to offer Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).
As well as targeting fuel efficiency and operator fatigue, CVT transmission provides faster acceleration to field or road speed, full power availability at low ground speeds for special applications and implements, and full hydraulic flow availability at low ground speeds, for drilling and planting.
“It all adds up to a tractor designed to ensure the most efficient operation at all times, in all conditions, regardless of the task or terrain,” Case IH Australia and New Zealand high horsepower product manager Alyx Selsmeyer said.
“It has the capacity to reduce engine speed to the minimum required for the tractor’s workload, in order to maximise fuel efficiency.
“We’re very proud the Steiger name endures after so many years and that it still stands for innovation, power, efficiency and reliability at the highest of levels.”