Last fall I had a chance to sit down with British ag equipment journalist and author Justin Roberts. We had chance to discuss his new book The Nordic Tractor. If you’re like me, you’ve read any number of detailed histories of North American-based ag equipment brands, which chronicle the evolution of their tractor designs over the years. But not only did I not know much about the evolution of tractors in Europe’s Nordic countries, I’ve never even seen a book that discussed it — until now. This may well be the first English-language book to delve into the topic.
The Nordic Tractor goes as far back as the Industrial Revolution to map out how the tractor manufacturing industry in Finland was born and reinvented itself through the years. One of the challenges Roberts said he faced was getting many documents and accounts of events translated from Finnish to English.
But he persisted, and the result of that effort is a book that offers a detailed history of the Volvo, Valmet and Valtra brands. Many Prairie farmers will remember Volvo tractors, which were sold here under the CCIL (Canadian Cooperative Implements Ltd.) banner. The Valtra tractor brand, now part of the AGCO family, was sold in Canada for a while before AGCO discontinued distribution here. Valtra hasn’t gone away, however. It remains a major player in many countries around the world. Its tractors are still manufactured in Finland.
There are also more than a few images of unfamiliar machines scattered through the pages of this book that farm equipment enthusiasts will enjoy looking at.
The book is published by Old Pond Books in the U.K., and it can be ordered online through their website.