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Sinomach Promotes Development of China's Agricultural Machinery - Sinomach

Updated: July 05, 2021

The image printed on the Chinese 1962 one-yuan paper banknote was a woman driving a tractor. It was the country's first domestically-developed tractor manufactured by China National Machinery Industry Corporation Ltd (Sinomach) in 1959.

The story dated back to 1953 when the first tractor plant was to be launched in Luoyang, North China's Henan Province.

With an investment of 150 million yuan ($23.49 million) from the government, the plant was expected to be capable of manufacturing 15,000 tractors annually.

Sketches and drawings of the tractors were provided by the Soviet Union but they were written in Russian. More than 100 people who knew Russian gathered at the plant and translated the materials for more than a month.

As the plant was launched and the translation of the materials was completed, nearly 10,000 workers were recruited. However, fewer than 300 of them were engineers and technicians and most were farmers who had never seen a tractor before. Therefore, technicians offered the other workers special training after daily work.

In 1958, the first diesel engine was produced in the plant and in early 1959 a track link production line was completed in the steel-casting foundry.

There was no technical assembly line in the plant at that time, nor did any worker have experience in assembling a tractor. They disassembled two of the Soviet Union tractors in the plant and made efforts to make the new ones little by little.

With the efforts of thousands of workers, the first China-built tractor finally rolled off the production line.

In November 1959, the first 13 tractors were transported to Northeast China's province of Heilongjiang where local people held a welcoming ceremony for the machines.

At the ceremony, Liang Jun, a female tractor driver, jumped onto the leading tractor with excitement and was photographed by a reporter. That was the scene that appeared on the paper banknote.

Over the years, Sinomach continues to play an irreplaceable role in the upgrading of China's agricultural machinery and the development of mechanical modern agriculture and rural revitalization.


(Executive editor: Wang Ruoting)