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Rostselmash (Russian: Ростсельмаш) is a Russian agricultural equipment company, based in Rostov-on-Don. It was founded in 1929. It primarily produces combine harvesters. The company income in 2005 was 400 million dollars. It used to sponsor a football club that used to be called FC Rostselmash and is, as of 2008, called FC Rostov.
Rostselmash was founded in 1929 as a government contractor, producing a variety of products for state farms. In 1931, the first Stalinets combines harvesters were produced. The Stalinets-1 was awarded with the highest award (Grand Prix diploma) during the World Industrial Exhibition in Paris in 1937 and by 1940 fifty thousand units were assembled.
During Operation Barbarosa, Rostselmash dismantled its plant in Rostov, and relocated in Tashkent. Production shifted from agricultural goods to military equipment until the end of the war. In 1943, production was returned to Rostov.
After the war, the Stalinets-6 combines harvesters were assembled and in 1955 Rostselmash began to specialize in grain harvester production. In 1958, the SK-3 self-propelled combines were introduced followed by the SK-4 in 1962. By 1969, Rostselmash produced 1,000,000 combine harvesters. The SK Niva combines, introduced in 1973, remain in production for the Eastern European market.
By 1984 Rostselmash produced 2 000 000 combines. The Don Series combines were introduced in 1986; those along with tractors were sold in North America by Belarus Tractor of Canada. Both had a reputation for poor quality, lack of operator comfort, poor reliability, and lack of part availability.
After the fall of the Soviet Union, Roselmash was incorporated into a joint-stock company in 1992, and fully privatized in 2000.
Versatile is a Canadian brand of agricultural equipment that has produced augers, swathers and combine harvester.
In 1947 Peter Pakosh, while working for Massey Harris, built the first grain auger in the basement of his Toronto home. When the idea was presented to his superiors, it was rejected out of fears that metal to metal contacts would pose a fire hazard. Undeterred, Pakosh founded Hydraulic Engineering Co. Later observing the growing role of chemical sprays in agriculture, he designed a spray so simple it could be repaired with "haywire and spit". The Versatile sprayer was enough of a success that Pakosh renamed his company. In 1962 the first Versatile swather was introduced, and within one year controlled 60% of the market
Versatile was the first company to mass-produce articulated four-wheel drive tractors, starting in 1966 with the D100 and G100 four-wheel drives. Those ground-breaking tractors were primitive by modern standards, with a 6-cylinder diesel or 8-cylinder gas engine producing 100 horsepower. 1966 models sold for less than CA$10,000.
Daniel Pakosh also developed the first bi-directional tractor in the world. The Versatile 150 launched in 1977. Four-wheel drive demand increased significantly, with Versatile becoming one of the leaders in four-wheel drive development and production. By the late 1970s the Versatile lineup included tractors ranging from 220 to 330 horsepower. With the 1980s came an expanded line of four-wheel drive tractors that stretched to 470 horsepower in the Versatile 1150.
In the 1970s, it was an independent operation, founded by Peter Pakosh and Roy Robinson, that had 70% of the 4WD tractor market and then was later owned by Ford and Fiat's New Holland, spun off when Case International merged with New Holland to form CNH Global.
On November 1, 2007, Rostselmash Inc. acquired 80% of the common shares of Versatile and it was announced that the Versatile brand name will again be the sole name associated with the tractor division.
Dmitry Lyubimov, President of Buhler Industries Inc, said the decision to rebrand the tractor division was not taken lightly. “We recognize the history that is tied to the Versatile name. There are still many older Versatile tractors at work on farms around the world. The name stands for well-built tractors that are powerful, simple and easy to maintain. It is the same philosophy we use today and we are proud of that heritage. It is with great pride that we announce that the Versatile name is back.” In 2012 Versatile combines were reintroduced with the RT 490 (sold in Europe as the Torum 740) which is the first mass-produced rotating concave rotary combine. The smaller conventional combines are distributed by Python Manufacturing under the Rostelmash name.
Rostselmash produces four combine variants. A 400 hp rotary is in under the Rostselmash name in Eastern Europe and the Versatile name in North America. The RT 490 uses a unique Rotating Concave Rotary design where the concave rotates counter to the rotor, reducing dead spots and increasing usable area.
The Vector and Acros combines are sold in North America through Python Manufacturing Inc.
The Niva is a 155 hp combine developed in the Soviet era, and is available only in Eastern Europe and Africa.
Versatile tractors are available from 190 to 575 hp.
Media related to Rostselmash at Wikimedia Commons