Zetor history

The factory of Zbrojovka Company, in the Moravian town Brno Czech Republic has a long history as a metal foundry since 1864. In the Second World War this factory was a forced dependant of the German Company "Flugzeugwerke Ostmark", or "Airplane works Ostmark", what used the Zbrojovka plant in the Brno district Vankova for the production of airplane engines and components. Most of the factory's facilities were damaged by Allied bombs during the war. Directly after WW II, the development of a prototype of the Zetor 25 started. The engineers were from the former Zbrojovka car plant.

The predecessors of the Zetor tractors were produced in the one of the biggest and the most respected engineering companies in Czechoslovakia - in Zbrojovka Brno in 1945.

Zetor tractors were designed by a group of designers from former Zbrojovka lead by Mr. František Musil. The other name connected with the establishment of zetor is Jaroslav Miksch, who together with Mr. Musil worked on the design of tractors engines at the end of Second World War.

Three tractors Zetor 25 were delivered to customers at the little plant celebration The first prototype of tractor was completed on 14 November 1945.

The "baptismal" certificate of Zetor tractors was issued on 15 March 1946 when three Zetor 25 were delivered to customers at a little plant celebration. The Chamber of Commerce and Craft of the Czechoslovak republic registered the name Zetor into register of trademarks as of 17 August 1946. The name Zetor was coined by joining the name of letter "Zet" which is the first letter in Zbrojovka and two last letters of the word tractor - "or". By it's development of these first tractors, Zetor laid foundations not only for brand formation, but also for the company's long-term existence. During production Zetor 25 tractors were develop two basic modification of these model.

Zetor 25

The 25 was a modern Diesel tractor, developed in the years 1945 - 1948. The engine was a two cylinder four stroke engine with 105 mm bore and 120 mm stroke. It had indirect fuel injection, with mechanical dispensers instead of commonly used compressed air dispension or hotbulbs. This Diesel was a good engine, that was most competitors ahead in technique and lifespan. The design style was classic, but modern technology and constructions were used. The transmission was equipped with 6 forward and 2 reverse speeds, divided into two groups.The PTO shaft made 540 rpm conform the European standard. The belt pulley, used to drive things like a threshing machine or a sawmill, was mounted on the same shaft as the PTO, using a bevel gear. These tractors had also independent steering brakes to decrease turning radius. Other standard equipment was a differential lock, a mechanism that is very useful, but was not seen on most tractors of that time. Most of these tractors had a mechanical hitch.

25 A (for aggregation) began after 1948.

The tractor was updated in many details, for example: the metal pan seat was replaced by a leather seat, the front of the bonnet was redesigned, the brake pedals and gas throttle were placed more ergonomic, and the side exhaust was now mounted upright, to prevent setting your hay on fire. Also the durability, mostly of the transmission, was improved by adding 76 kg of material to crucial parts of the construction. The front axle was a new gate formed one, what increased the ground clearance with about 10 centimeters. Anyway, The A-model (All-round) was still not very suitable for row crops, its ground clearance was too small. The A model had a low center of gravity, so that the tractor would be more stabile on hill slopes. This made it suitable for the cattle farmers, that used it just for towing and mowing in the Czech mountains. The model A had a hydraulic hitch as option.

Zetor 25 K (for cultivation) suitable for row crop work began after 1948.

Compared to Zetor 25 it had much bigger rear wheels, and a higher front axle. Longer turning columns of the front axle gave it about 19 centimeters (7.5") more ground clearance. A hydraulic hitch was standard. The transmission of the K had a closer gear ratio spacing, for better performance in the field. It had 4 gears in the important field speed range of 4 to 12 km/h. The closer gear ratio spacing also resulted in a lower top speed of 20.3 km/h. The model K was targeted to the crop farmers on flat land, what would use the tractor for tillage, and row crop care. For row crop use, tires of size 9x36 were used (blue tractor). When it was used for tillage, the K came with 13x28 tires. (brown tractor). The differential lock was an advantage for tillage, the independent brakes were advantageous in row crop.

After tractors production in Zbrojovka Brno began, production gradually rose to 3,500 units in 1947. zetor tractors started to serve not only for domestic market, but also for foreign customers in Poland, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden.

As of 1st January 1950 the independent company named "Závody presného strojírenství Brno - Líšen" (the Plant of Precise Engineering Brno - Líšen) was established out of Zbrojovka plant. Production of Zetor 25 tractors was transferred to this plant in 1952. These tractors were updated to models Zetor 25 A and Zetor 25 K by 1961. Zetor tractors production remains in this location to date. the company went through a number of reorganizations and name changes and as of 1st November 1976 the company changed it's name to Zetor. Tractors Zetor 25 were produced in Zbrojovka Brno to the year 1952. Production of tractors Zetor 25A and Zetor 25K continue in Zetor Brno to the year 1961 (whole 16 years when productions was started ). During this years were produced 158 570 pcs of these models and 97 000 pcs were exported.