Versatile History Timeline
Peter Pakosh, A 20th Century Farm Equipment Legend
Versatile was founded in 1966 by
Peter Pakosh (1911-1999) and Roy Robinson.
Versatile is best known for its high horsepower 4WD tractors.
Born to a modest immigrant family living on a prairie homestead in Saskatchewan, Peter grew up working on his family’s
farm and had a dream to make farming easier and more affordable. From an early age, he would take apart and reassemble his father’s
farm equipment so he could understand how machinery worked.
Peter’s life story can be best characterized as a brilliant Canadian farm boy who became a successful entrepreneur
through hard work, ingenuity and drive. When Peter left his family farm to attend engineering school, he told his father
that he would bring him back a tractor one day.
After school, Peter worked at Massey-Harris (now Massey Ferguson).
Peter learned hands-on farm equipment manufacturing during his time at Massey-Harris. Peter had a dream to
make his own farm equipment, so he left Massey-Harris to start Versatile.
Peter was passionate about design and engineering. He kept a drafting table in his bedroom because many nights
he could not sleep due to the many ideas running through his mind. The nearby drafting table was a portal to transform his ideas
into reality. Peter had a reputation for walking the Versatile factory in a three-piece suit, then stopping to
draw on the factory floor a new piece of equipment he envisioned in his mind. Peter was always thinking about new and innovative farm equipment.
Jarrod Pakosh, Peter’s grandson, published a popular book
on Versatile titled
Versatile Tractors: A Farm Boy’s Dream
in 2003. We recommend it if you want to learn more. Jarrod noted that although Peter is best known for Versatile tractors,
he put his family and faith first. He was a very religious man who loved his family.
When Peter designed the early Versatile tractors, he focused on making the tractors easy to fix.
Peter always kept rural farmers’ interests in mind – he wanted to make it easy for them to keep their tractors running.
Peter is credited with many inventions including the modern grain auger used by most combine harvesters today.
Many industry historians state that he is a 20th century John Deere
and Cyrus McCormick (of International Harvester, now Case IH).
In 1993, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM),
a trade association for manufacturers of agricultural and construction equipment, selected Peter as one of “100 Significant Contributors
and Contributions to the Mechanization of Agriculture and Construction”.
In 2009, the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME)
announced that Pakosh was added to the Manitoba Manufacturers’ Hall of Fame.
4WD High Horsepower Tractor Success
When Peter started Versatile, he had one goal in mind – to make high-quality farm equipment more affordable for the average
farmer so they could benefit from increased productivity. At the time Peter released his first
Versatile tractor in 1966 for $9,000, a 4WD tractor sold by John Deere was $28,000. His tractor made high-quality farm
equipment much more affordable for the average farmer.
Versatile was among the first companies to manufacture and distribute articulated 4WD tractors. Versatile’s first 4WD tractor
model was the D100 / G100, which was an innovative tractor series for the time.
The D100 / G100 tractor featured a Ford 5.9L / Chrysler 5.2L engine and 100 horsepower, and it weighed 14,500 pounds.
At one point Versatile had about 70% of the 4WD tractor market share.
Today, Versatile is part of Buhler Industries,
a publicly-traded company on the Toronto Stock Exchange. In 2007 Rostselmash,
a Russian agricultural equipment company, acquired a controlling stake in Buhler Industries. Farm King is another brand
under Buhler Industries agricultural equipment portfolio.
Today, the Pakosh family does not have a controlling interest in Versatile.
Over the years Versatile was bought and sold by various companies:
Versatile was started
Ford-New Holland bought Versatile
Versatile was sold to Buhler Industries when CNH Global was formed (merger of New Holland and Case, read about New Holland history here)
Rostselmash acquired 80% of Buhler Industries, which gave it a controlling interest in the company. The remaining 20%
of Buhler Industries continues to trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
In addition to 4WD high-horsepower tractors, Versatile also has produced augers,
swathers, and combine harvesters.
Versatile changed its logo and branding over time as the company evolved. Throughout the entire time,
it has featured the word Versatile. In 2016 the Company updated its machinery colors from predominantly red and black
to red, black and gold. Gold is now used on the tractor grill and various decals, which makes it much more attractive.
Note: All logos are trademarks of Versatile and its respective parent companies. The logo collage is for informational purposes only.
Versatile Tractor 620 DeltaTrack at Farm Progress Show 2021 in Decatur, IL
Source: Equipment Radar
Versatile produces all of its tractors and farm equipment at its single factory in Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada).
The 700,000 square foot factory located on Clarence Avenue has built over 100,000 tractors since it began production.
Currently, the plant builds fixed-frame front-wheel assist tractors from 175-365 horsepower and articulated 4WD and DeltaTrack
models from 405 to 620.
Versatile Factory in Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada)
The Versatile tractors produced today all use Cummins engines.
The power rating ranges from 170 horsepower for the Versatile Nemesis, and it goes up to 620 horsepower for the
Versatile DeltaTrack and 4WD.
Models 530DT, 580DT, 620DT
Cummins X15 engine
Models 405, 430, 460, 530, 580, 620
Cummins X12/X15 engine
Models 275, 295, 315, 335, 365
Cummins QSL9 engine
Models 175, 195, 210
Cummins B6.7 Stage V engine
The Versatile DeltaTrack tractor used the word “Delta”, which is a letter in the Greek alphabet that looks like a triangle, because the
tracks form the shape of a triangle.