|The OECD Standard Codes for the Official Testing of Agricultural and Forestry Tractors allow for participating countries to perform tractor tests according to harmonised procedures, and to obtain OECD official approvals which facilitate international trade.
The Codes include the testing of tractor performance, driver safety (protective cabs or frames) and noise levels.
Photo: Tractors on display at OECD headquarters in Paris for the annual meeting of experts, manufacturers and government officials to discuss the OECD Tractor Codes.
The first Standard Code for the Official Testing of Agricultural Tractors was approved on 21st April 1959 by the Council of the OEEC (Organisation for European Economic Co-operation) which became the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development).
Prior to this, research and testing centres in different countries had been using different test methods, which meant that it was not always possible to compare test results. The OECD Standard Test Code aimed to address this problem and provide an internationally-recognised standard method. The first Standard Code in 1959 assessed tractor performance, and the family of OECD Tractor Codes has since been extended to cover forestry tractors and other features of performance, safety and noise. These rules are regularly discussed and updated.
Since the Codes were established in 1959, more than 2 000 tractor models have been tested for their performance characteristics, and 10 000 variants of tractors have been tested for noise measurement at the driving position or for the driver's protection in case of tractor roll-over.
The OECD Tractor Codes are open to countries which are members of the OECD, as well as to other countries. To date, 26 countries adhere to them including 4 non-OECD members: China, India, the Russian Federation and Serbia.
Extending safety and environmental standards to countries throughout Latin America, Africa and Asia is being pursued through OECD partnerships with a number of UN and other international organisations.
In each country, the national stations in charge of tractor testing follow the OECD Codes when performing their tests, and then submit results to OECD for approval. The results of approved tests are published and used by tractor manufacturers, sellers and users. Summaries of test results are available online at the OECD website (see links below).