The early Australian Pioneers brought with them their knowledge and experience from centuries of agricultural experience in England and Europe. Many of the practices that worked in the rich and fertile lands of the old country were not suitable to the harsh and baron Australian landscape.
This was the case with the task of clearing land in preparation for cultivation. The English manner was to deep plough with complete turned furrows. This was required to kill the weeds that grew furiously in the rich and damp European climate. This practice was not at all appropriate to the poorer and dry and Australia land.
To compound the problem the Australian land had to be cleared first. Widespread land clearing in the 1860s and 1870s meant a vast number of mallee stumps and rocks were left in the ground posing an expensive problem to farmers wishing to plough their land. Conventional ploughing techniques and equipment resulted in the plough frequently getting stuck in or behind the obstruction causing damage and making the process very time consuming.
The stump jump plough was designed to allow the plough to jump over the stumps and rocks in their way thereby protecting their machinery and avoiding the cost of having to remove each stump.