Do you know of a product with a cult following?
A group of dedicated enthusiasts is usually an indicator that there was something special about the product, something that can’t be found today.
Here’s a product that fits that bill.
It’s called the GE Elec-Trak. It’s a home sized electric tractor that was built the 70’s. It has a large following of enthusiasts that restore and use them.
Why the attraction?
First and foremost, it’s an electric tractor. You can recharge it by plugging it into any outlet. That means you can operate it at hundreds of dollars less than a gas powered system every year (assuming regular use).
Second, it was well designed. This little tractor takes a licking and keeps on ticking.
Third, and this is likely the best part about it, it was built to run lots of addons:
- Dozer blades,
- Snowblowers and Snow cabs,
- Welders and Inverters,
- Hedge trimmers and Mower decks,
- Hand cultivators & edgers,
- Leaf sweepers and Lawn vacuums,
- Plow & disk blades,
- Golf bag holders,
- Full canopy and Double seat,
- Heavy duty dump cart and multiple hitches,
- Manual & electric lifts and electric drills,
- Front-end loader and weight boxes,
- The list goes on and on.
Not only were there lots to choose from, the tools and attachments that have electric motors simply plug into the tractor’s PTO or accessory outlets and operate at 36 volts.
As you can see, this is a TON of versatility and power in a very small, efficiently designed package.
It’s easily something that nearly every community could put to use.
It’s exactly the type of machine that would be perfect for an open source hardware effort where the original system is put into a computer aided design system and is then used to modify/create a system that can be easily made.
Hope this happens.
PS: There is a larger open source, modular tractor called the LifeTrac, that my old friends at OSE manage. It’s worth a look.