Posts Tagged ‘TE20’
Sunday, 2 June 2013
A convoy of vintage red and grey Massey Ferguson tractors is to cross the hazardous sands of the UK’s Morecambe Bay in a charity run to raise money for Diabetes UK.
Led by retired Massey Ferguson employee Bob Dickman, up to 20 tractors will make the 17 mile (27 km) fully-guided return trip on 2 June.
81-year-old Bob, who retired in 1995, spent 40 years working for Massey Ferguson culminating in his role as Export Service Manager. He will be driving a fully reconditioned 1954 Ferguson TEF 20 tractor across the sands.
“A similar crossing was undertaken by Land Rovers some years ago but this is the first time for tractors,” he says. “I am raising money for a Diabetes UK Type 1 research project after seeing the impact the disease has had on the lives of family and friends.”
Massey Ferguson is supporting the event with the supply of raffle prizes including an all-expenses-paid trip to its tractor factory in Beauvais, France.
Bob’s mission has also attracted the support of some of his former Massey Ferguson colleagues now retired including Glynn Patrick who was Managing Director of European Distribution and Gordon Graham, previously General Sales Manager Eastern Europe. Glynn will be behind the wheel of his family farm’s refurbished 1968 MF 135 and Gordon will be assisting with the logistics of the event. Other ex-Massey Ferguson employees will be among the spectators.
At low tide which occurs at 1.45pm on 2 June, the notorious Morecambe Bay in northwest England exposes 120 square miles (310 sq km) of sand and flats. To ensure the safest route across the bay, Steve Morris, another key organiser of the tractor convoy, worked closely with a father and son team of experienced guides who use their own tractors to fish Morecambe Bay sands.
The guided crossing, which starts and finishes at Cark Airfield near Flookburgh is expected to take three to four hours. Four- year-old Neev Renton from Cumbria who suffers from Type 1 diabetes will set the tractors off at 12 noon.
Anyone interested in sponsoring or watching the event can visit: www.justgiving.com/bobdickmanMF-fergusontractorroadrun
Reliability is always high on the priority list when shopping around for new farm machinery. Here is a story based on some extreme conditions that you probably won’t face in your everyday life, but truly demonstrates the necessity to purchase a reliable machine . . .
On January 4 1958, driving trusty Ferguson TE20 ‘Fergie’ tractors, Sir Edmund Hillary and his team became the first overland explorers to reach the South Pole since Captain Scott’s expedition in 1912, and the first EVER to do so using mechanised vehicles.
In his now famous telegram he told the ‘Massey-Harris- Ferguson Farming Company’:
“Despite quite unsuitable conditions of soft snow and high altitudes our Fergusons performed magnificently and it was their extreme reliability that made our trip to the Pole possible. Stop. Thank you for your good wishes = Hillary”
At the time the press described this as the ‘The Last Great Journey in the World’, although the expedition’s official title was The Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition 1955-58. Led by Englishman Sir Vivian Fuchs its aim was to be the first to cross the continent overland while gathering scientific data.
Fuchs’ plan was to make the journey from each side of the continent with teams including men from Britain, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa.
Hillary led the New Zealand team and their primary role was to set up depots and stash supplies of fuel, food and equipment in a line towards the Pole.
It was this supply work, which first brought Hillary into contact with the Ferguson TE20s. The tractor had already established itself a good Antarctic reputation in 1954 when one tractor worked for 565 hours without the need for a single repair after arriving on the continent on February 13 in temperatures of -10° C.
So when faced with unloading and transporting 500 tonnes of stores across 16 km from the ship to his base camp it is not surprising Hillary turned again to the Fergie: “For unloading the ship it was necessary, of course, to have vehicles. Our problem was overcome by the generosity of Massey-Harris- Ferguson in the UK and their agents in C.B. Norwood in New Zealand. These firms lent us five Ferguson tractors modified to operate in snow conditions,” he wrote.
Hillary’s journey across Antarctica traversed deep crevasses in the snow and ice. Eventually the team reached Depot 700 on 15 December 1957 – despite nearly losing a tractor down a crevasse. It (and its driver) was only saved by the roll-bar jamming against the wall of the ice and holding the vehicle up.
On reaching this destination Hillary commented: “Our Ferguson’s had brought us over 1250 miles (2000 km) of snow and ice, crevasses, soft snow and blizzard to be the first vehicles to drive to the South Pole.”
One of the actual Ferguson TE20s (named ‘Sue’ by the team) that was used on this remarkable expedition is now in the Massey Ferguson Technology Centre in Beauvais, France.
What extreme conditions do you put your tractor through?