To Torque or not to Torque


Country MoonPeople are usually split on both sides of the fence when it comes to the right brain, left brain theory. It’s true that each side of a person’s brain controls different functions. The right side is associated with cognitive skills like creativity, emotion and intuitiveness. Right-brained people are characterized as being artistic and innovative but have a less organized way of thinking. On the other hand, left-brained folks are more analytical and methodical. They are more systematic, are more organized in their thinking, and deal more in mathematics and facts.

Although there are left-brained and right-brained thinkers in both sexes, I think more women are classified as right-brained while more men tend to be left-brained. I tend to refer to this distinction as “women like chocolate and men like beer.”

As for me, there is not a shred of doubt into what category I fall into; no question, I am definitely right-brained. I do consider myself to be creative and intuitive, but I also thought that I had a pretty good handle on being organized and practical. Helping Ron with harvest these last two years has definitely caused me to rethink this.

What brought this whole issue front and center is one little word called "torque." It’s this lever on the left side of his International tractors that is giving me fits. Actually, the proper term for this lever is "torque amplifier." The way he explained it to me is that the torque is like an extra gear for the tractor. I get that. What I don’t get is what exactly I do with it.

In my defense and before all you farmers start laughing, I do as I always do in situations where I don’t understand; I do a little research. What I found was that it is an additional gear box with two speeds and its own clutch. It can be shifted without the use of the foot clutch. If you are pulling a load such as a wagon of grain and you start to bog down, you can shift the torque to low (toward you) without pushing the main clutch and coming to a halt and having to restart again. After you are going, you can push it forward to speed up without clutching or slowing down.

What I also found out, while checking out the comments forum in Red Power magazine, is that a lot of guys were writing in and asking what the lever to the left of the tractor was and what was it used for. Aha, it is not just me and my right brain that is confused about torque!

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