Today, tractor manufacturers are required to have all tractors above 40 hp sold in the state of Nebraska tested to verify advertised power ratings. Due to its reach and Nebraska’s strong agricultural industry, the law effects most if not all 40 hp and above tractors sold in the U.S.
Recently introduced legislation will reduce the models of tractors required to be tested. On Jan. 6, Nebraska State Senator Scott Price introduced LB 91, which would increase the power threshold to 100 hp. The bill is set for a committee hearing on Feb. 15.
Located in Lincoln Neb., the Nebraska Tractor Test Laboratory
is the U.S facility for tractor tests. Twenty-nine countries adhere to the same testing codes of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and any OECD testing results are accepted by fellow testing locations. The Nebraska Tractor Test Lab was founded by a law introduced in 1919 by William Crozier, a Nebraska legislator and farmer who though companies were unfairly inflating power claims of their machines.
“We are a fully self-sufficient facility,” explains Roger Hoy, director of the Nebraska Tractor Test Lab. “No tax payer money goes toward our testing; it’s supported by the manufacturers.”
Hoy says his concern with the proposed bill is that it will eliminate testing of a tractor segment that mainly targets the non-professional farmer, a group that is more likely to be deceived by false advertising. According to Hoy, if the power threshold is raised to 100 hp, that will reduce the number of tests conducted at his laboratory by 25%.
To date, the Nebraska Tractor Test Lab has put nearly 2000 tractor through their paces with power tests as well as tests for sound level, roll over protection and hydraulic lift capacity.