Chapter: Innovation

Big Roy Versatile Model 1080 Tractor

"Back up cameras aren't new"
1977 Big Roy Versatile Tractor- with closed circuit view of drawbar Big Roy 1977 Versatile tractor


Big Roy is the single Versatile 1080 tractor produced in 1977 and was ahead of its time with closed circuit TV/camera view of the drawbar. It’s also very, very large.

Why did they build Big Roy to be so big? There’s the suggestion that tractor manufacturers were engaged in a battle for bragging rights for the largest and most powerful tractor and Big Roy sure fit the bill. But whatever the reason behind the Model 1080, the tractor is truly unique.

Vision to the rear of the tractor from the cab is very limited as the engine compartment is quite tall. To allow vision to the rear, a closed circuit TV system was installed with a dustproof 120 degree camera pointing down at the drawbar and a 9-inch TV monitor installed in the dash where the operator could easily view the TV. In 1977 this was definitely cutting edge technology!

For information regarding Big Roy’s specifications and history visit the Manitoba Agricultural Museum’s website