13 november 2019
6 min
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Industrial giants: Pavlodar Tractor Plant

Industrial giants: Pavlodar Tractor Plant

Tselina needs a "Kazakh national tractor".

The development of virgin lands has not only solved the food problem. Because of it, new industrial productions have appeared in Kazakhstan, namely mechanical engineering. In many ways, it gave impetus to the comprehensive development of agriculture in our country. In the first years of virgin lands campaign machinery produced in Belarus, Russia and Ukraine operated in the fields. Everyone understood that for more efficient work it was necessary to establish production of agricultural machinery here, in Kazakhstan. And by the mid-sixties, the country began producing its own tractors. The people nicknamed it "Kazakh national tractor".


Photo by avtomash.ru

Launch of Pavlodar Tractor Plant

At the beginning of March 1966, one of the largest tractor plants in the Union, the Pavlodar Tractor Plant (PTP), was founded. The decision to build the plant was made at the highest level - at the XXIII Congress of the Soviet Communist Party. Later it was named in the spirit of that time - the leader of the world revolution Vladimir Lenin. It happened only in 1975, when the hundredth tractor DT-75 came off the assembly line. PTP became one of the most high-tech tractor plants in the USSR. The stakes were made exactly on full mechanization and automation of production processes, automatic and flow-mechanized lines, automatic and semi-automatic machines were installed in the shops. In short, all the most modern specialized equipment of that time. It was planned that the level of mechanization in production should exceed 80%. Nothing like that had ever happened at any tractor plant of the Soviet Union.

Tractor "Kazakhstan"

However, in the first years of PTP operations it was too early  to talk about full production of tractors. In 1967 the plant of special tools and technological equipment at PTP was established. The next year, transmission parts for Volgograd DT-75 tractors began to be produced here. However, several more years passed before the first DT-75M tracked tractor left its workshops. And this agricultural machine was named "Kazakhstan". Later, this model of tracked tractor was fully assembled by PTP. However, as before, transmissions to DT-75M were supplied by Omsk plant "Siberian plant of agricultural engineering". In the beginning, this model of agricultural machinery of Kazakhstan assembly was even called the "younger brother" of the tractor of Volgograd Tractor Plant. Of course, the differences were insignificant. But very soon the younger brother, "outgrew" the older brother. To this end, the design engineers of the Volgograd Tractor Plant had to try their best. What had been improved? They started with the cabin. The conditions for the tractor driver had to be the best. Nowadays these know-hows may seem insignificant, but for their era these innovations were essential. What did the Kazakh Kulibins do, then? There was a spring-loaded seat in the tractor cabin, which allowed to adjust it to the height and weight of the driver. And this was followed by other changes. They changed the size of the roof, which increased the tractor driver's visibility. And in plowing works it is of great importance. They planned to install new, more advanced engines so that the mechanic could start the machine directly from the cab. They installed a lock to prevent the engine from starting when the gearbox is on, as well as the alternator. The designers solved the question of how to increase the engine power to 110-120 horsepower, which, in turn, increased the speed of the tractor to 13-14 kilometers per hour.


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PTP: from dawn till dusk.

Technological capacities of the plant allowed producing over fifty thousand tractors annually. These indices were already achieved by 1984. All in all, by that time about half a million machines were produced. Moreover, the Kazakh agricultural machinery worked in the fields not only in the Republic. Agrarians worked on this machine in the Urals, Far East, Siberia and Central Asian republics. They were recognizable - bright blue color, white roof and the inscription "Kazakhstan". PTP could produce up to 9 modifications of agricultural tractors and bulldozers. Thus, already in the mid-eighties, the plant began to produce tractors of a new model with the so-called "square" cabin. As a result, the view of the driver became greater - glass increased in size, and since the 90's two modifications were produced: DT-90, designed for industrial needs, and DT-75T for agriculture. However, with the collapse of the Soviet Union PTP followed the fate of many industrial giants of the country. If in the best years, more than 50 thousand tractors were leaving the assembly line of the enterprise, then in 1997 about 2 thousand agricultural machinery were produced here. A year later, when the world was gripped by the financial crisis, the Pavlodar Tractor Plant was declared bankrupt. It is true that later attempts were made to reanimate the plant, but they had no significant outcomes. Today, there are several workshops that produce various parts here. PTP has become a history.