In an urban lifestyle, there may be slim reasons to ride a tractor. Tractors are slower than cars, function best in rural areas, and can only fit one to two passengers. They are designed specifically to haul such things as machinery, construction equipment, or maybe even a family who just wants a hayride around the apple orchard. Truth of it all is, in a world of bikes, trains and automobiles, there is just not much tractor traffic going on.
However, if the question, “What’s the best way to plow snow in Siberia?” has come to mind, we have an answer: think massive tires, locked axles, and low gears, which just happens to be the Overland Vehicle of the Month: the Kirovec K-701.
The “Kirovec” tractor is “perhaps the most common and powerful Russian wheeled tractor.” Made in the former Soviet Union, it has three models: the 700, 701, and 701M. For those of us who are easily lost in machinery jargon, the 700 model is the adolescent of the Kirovec tractor family; he weighs
a mere 26,000 pounds with 16 forward and 8 reverse gears, moving forward at 2.6-30.2 km/hour. Like all adolescents, 700 grows to 701, with a different engine, but he still is unsure of himself. After a life of gears and cylinders, our Kirovec is forced to grow up to become part of the adult world. The adult version of the Kirovec model is a 701M man. The 701M weighs about 30,000 pounds (all that weight from college) and has forward speeds of 3.6-30 km/h.
Not too shabby for a massive machine.
With 30,000 pounds and 16 cylinder diesels, the Kirovec is used for standard tractor (or “traktor”) duties of hauling heavy machinery, and because it is Russia, executes as a serious Siberian snow plow. Not to mention, the machine (with a talented driver) can escape from death. Russia itself is at the forefront of modernization by machinery. US companies, such as John Deere, transport disassembled tractor parts from Waterloo, Iowa, to their Russian plant in Domodedovo, about 30 minutes south of Moscow. The plant, upon receiving the parts, reassembles the tractors for sale.
Although John Deere is a recognizable tractor name, don’t discount the Kirovec. Russia is at the forefront of tractor traffic with its 300+ million acres of farmland and is also home to a quarter of the trees on earth. There is an opportunity for the Kirovec to boom, and more importantly, that Siberian snow ain’t going to plow itself.
So the next time you come across a rural road and think tractors are slow, loud machines, remember the death defying, snow plowing Kirovec and say, “Heck ya they are.”