Little Grey Fergy takes centre stage at Henty field days

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Rob Jones, Table Top, astride his original TEA20 Ferguson tractor. He is flanked by AGCO staff Paul Morris, Alex Milsom, Blake Crawford, Tim Oldaker and Mark Harrison.

A little grey Fergy bought to rip out rabbit warrens starred at the Henty Machinery Field Days in a celebration of the popular tractor’s 70th anniversary.

Rob Jones, of Table Top, lined up his British built TEA 20, originally bought from Dick Brothers in Corowa in November 1950, against its modern Massey Ferguson counterpart at the field days on Wednesday.

The tractor had been used by Mr Jones to plough firebreaks, dig post holes, scarify paddocks, lift drums, pump water, build farm roads, pull a Furphy water cart and muster stock.

He said the mighty little machine had also pulled cars, mailmen, trucks, tractors, and even a powered grader out of bogs.

“It has participated in two world record tractor events, the Wentworth flood celebrations,’’ Mr Jones said.

“Over 66 years, this tractor has done roughly 6274 hours and needed 13 new six-volt batteries, but one front wheel tube lasted 41 years.’’

Mr Jones said the rabbit warrens ripped with the tractor totalled 17ha.

AGCO area sales manager Mark Harrison, Moama, said the TEA 20 first rolled off the production line in July 1946.

There were more than 500,000 units produced over the following decade making the TEA 20 the most produced and popular machines in history.

“Most people have a story of a grey Fergy, whether their father or grandfather had one,’’ Mr Harrison said.

“This usually coincides with a lot of farmers learning to drive at a young age on these popular machines.’’

Manufacturer Harry Ferguson was a pioneer of the machinery industry. He developed the following systems on the Grey Fergy:

  • The three point linkage controlled by the tractor hydraulics.
  • A draft control system on the linkage allowed for depth control while ploughing. This innovation was a major step forward in the mechanisation of farming on which most of today’s tractors are still based.

Mr Jones said three units were supplied to Sir Edmund Hillary and were the first mechanised vehicles to reach the south pole.

He said more than 200,000 Massey Ferguson tractors were produced every year from a 22hp GC Series to the 8737 400hp FWA tractor.

“AGCO is proud of its Massey Ferguson heritage with a handful of today’s models still based on original designs,’’ he said.

“Machines that are strong, robust and honest designs used in a huge range of agricultural businesses.’’

AGCO has invested $500 million in a new facility near Shanghai, China, to produce tractors from 70 to 130hp in ROPs and CAB formats.

“These continue on from the original TEA 20 and early Massey Ferguson designs, and will be strong, quality machines capable of lasting over 50-60 years of use.’’

Massey Ferguson was purchased by AGCO in 1993 and is the company’s core brand.

Mr Harrison said the future was bright for Massey Ferguson products and dealer network.