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Old 03-26-2013, 08:26 PM
Ironpony Ironpony is offline
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You say cost is last on your list. If your intention is to build something competitive with the other Ag. tractors out there then it should be first on your list. And here is why, everybody in the business world has to be able to make a profit to survive. If your tractor costs 2 times what your nearest competition does because of the costs associated with up to 15 drive motors and generators or hydraulics or whatever. Then Your tractor has to make slightly more than 2 times the production in order to entice someone to buy yours over your competition. or it won't sell. Of course this rule doesn't always apply. A good example would be if John Deere was to build this product instead of you they would sell some simply because they would be John Deere green. So You must always keep the costs of a product in mind when trying to bring a product to market. I'm not talking about development costs but production costs and operating costs for the end user. I will take Caterpiller tractor company as a example here. Most folks don't know that Caterpiller started out as a offshoot of the John Deere company. (Do some reading on line about the Holt tractor company and the history of Caterpiller). And what We call a dozer today started out as a Ag. tractor. In a effort to put more horsepower to the ground, But alas it was considered to be too costly to use tracks for Ag. use. Now fast forward to today and you will see Caterpiller Ag. tractors being used on farms around the world. And some of them use rubber tracks (Challenger Tractors come to mind.) John Deere has also joined this game by offering rubber tracked Ag. tractors for sale too in recent years. But neither one sells very good. Because of their complexity for one thing and the cost of building them is higher than a wheeled tractor, And that means they cost more at the dealership. And speaking of Caterpiller tractor co. Cat has been working on electric drive dozers for some time now. And according to them one of the big motivations behind electric drive is emissions. A engine running at a constant speed is much easier to get in to emissions standards. And remember Cat builds locomotive engines for the railroad. And they are having problems with them. But after reading your post I think you have come to the same conclusions about powering this tractor. I have been involved in prototyping some very large and expensive equipment in the past. One of those items was directional drilling machines. A very cheep directional drilling machine would cost 5 to 6 million dollars to build and that is for a finished product. To prototype one could run 2 or 3 times that much. So what do you do. Well to save money We built scale models of the finished product. To test the viability of the product and how to produce them at a low cost. This was with 3 engineering company's on board. And the owner of the company I was working for was a engineer too. So you might give some thought to producing a scale working prototype to test your theory on before you commit to a full size version. A scale prototype is also very handy for presentations to prospective investors. Hope this helps Bill
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