50 years of Steiger tractors: a golden anniversary

The Steiger brothers, Doug and Maurice, built the first Steiger tractor during the winter of 1957/8 on their Minnesota farm, from truck components and a 180kW Detroit Diesel engine
Issue date 5 October 2007

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The magnificent “Gold Signature Edition” Case IH Steiger STX 535 will commemorate 50 years of Steiger tractor production.

The Steiger brothers, Doug and Maurice, built the first Steiger tractor during the winter of 1957/8 on their Minnesota farm, from truck components and a 180kW Detroit Diesel engine. Farmers were impressed by the simple but powerful design and by 1963 the Steiger articulated four-wheel-drive tractor range had models from 90kW to 225kW, each with the Steiger name badge cut from a 10mm steel plate. Using standard components from brand name suppliers such as Caterpillar, Cummins, Allison, Clark and Spicer meant replacement components were available nationwide. B y the 1970s Steiger tractors were rolling out of a large factory in Fargo, North Dakota, with feline names such as Wildcat, Bearcat, Cougar, Panther and Tiger. With new styling and more power, Steiger became market leaders with a 36% share of their market sector. The Series III models, introduced in 1976, had an all-new modern cab, the first PTO on an articulated tractor, and a power range extending to 350kW. By the end of the 1970s Steiger had produced its 10 000th tractor and the tractors’ size and popularity had transcended anything the Steiger brothers imagined in 1958. In 1983 the ultra-modern Panther 1 000 series presented an all-new tractor, with engine power up to 395kW. By 1985 the company was manufacturing 26 models, from a 142kW rowcrop model up to the 525, the ultimate ploughing machine with 395kW powering eight massive wheels. After a little over 20 years Steiger was a legend, introducing the concept of big-power, articulated four-wheel drive tractors across the US, Europe, Africa and Australia. Unfortunately, in the 1980s, the farming economy faltered and sales slowed until the factory was producing only a quarter of its capacity. In 1986 Tenneco, the parent company of Case IH, purchased the Steiger Tractor Company. Case IH continued production and the tractors were sold in both red and green livery until 1989. The Case STX Steiger is now a market leader in four-wheel-drive tractors. Limited edition tractors To celebrate 50 years of Steiger tractors, Case is introducing the limited “Gold Signature Edition”, sporting distinctive red and gold livery and carrying commemorative decals personally signed by Randy Baker, president of Case IH. Production will be limited to 50 units. Five new Steiger models, including four-wheel drive and Quadtrac configurations will be introduced in 2008. The largest model will have 442kW peak power available. The new models will offer the complete AFS AccuGuide autoguidance system as a factory installation. The AccuSteer ll four-wheel drive articulated tractor system is available on the Steiger 335 model for row-crop applications, where precise steering is critical. This system allows the front frame to pivot independently of the rear, eliminating “tail wag”. – Joe Spencer For more information contact Ebbie Hattingh on (011) 922 2364 or 083 762 7411, or e-mail [email protected] |fw