Cohort Outtake: Steyr Tractor – Leave It To The Austrians To Build A Tractor With Independent Front Suspension

Steyr tractor ff

There’s something about the Austrian (and German) mindset that just never seemed to like solid axles. The German engineer Edmund Rumpler patented swing axles in 1903. Austrian engineer Hans Ledwinka was one of the leading early exponents of them, and his Tatras greatly influenced Porsche’s VW and the subsequent 356. Independent suspension of one kind or another soon swept across the globe. But I’d never even considered that it found its way to a tractor, until I took a closer look at this vintage Steyr posted at the Cohort by T. Minor. Wow! IFS, by twin transverse leaf springs, on a tractor front end. Does it have swing axles in back?

Steyr Tractor ss

Probably not. T.Minor said it’s still used to move boats at a marina, presumably on the Danube. I remember these from when I was a kid in Austria in the 50s, but did not pick up on the IFS.

Steyr tractor eng

What I mostly remember was the clatter from their diesel engines, which came in one, two and three cylinder versions. This one was the top of the range, with the triple. But I can’t stop seeing it now.