By the late 1950s diesel engines had established themselves as mainstay purchases of farmers seeking a high horsepower tractors. These high-compression, low distillate power plants not only turned out impressive horsepower which exceeded the capacity of larger gasoline engines, but they also had far higher torque capacity. This later attribute proved its worth during tilling in tough soil conditions when a diesel tractor’s ability to “lug” its way through clay made it the envy of any farming community.
Allis-Chalmers was by not means the first company to offer a diesel tractor, as that honor goes to Caterpillar (for crawlers) and Oliver (for wheeled tractors). But AC diesel-powered tractors set themselves apart of the competition in the 1960s by offering machines that delivered hard working horsepower over a wider torque range. To boost performance even further, Allis engineers equipped their Model D-19 (introduced in 1916) with a turbocharger, marking it as the first such tractor to feature charged air compression on the market.