The Allman Speedometer Attachment for TE 20

The Allman Speedometer Attachment for TE 20 Ferguson

Your Editor Tim Hanson asked me recently if I would produce an article that might be of interest to members.  Well, after a bit of head scratching I thought why not reproduce a sales brochure relating to this unusual accessory together with some written information.

I first came to learn of the existence of these speedometers from Ian Halstead whilst visiting him and his collection over the last Christmas period.

Ian just said “ Ever seen one of these Mike?” producing this brand new instrument in its bright yellow livery and the odometer still reading 0000.0.   I had not but was keen to examine this quality instrument.  Then Ian suggested that I might like to take it away so that I could photograph it at my leisure.  What a nice gesture, which needless to say, I took up.

Back in Devon I showed it to my friend and neighbour Harold Beer, his immediate comment was “Us has got one of these, but I never knew what it was for.  I bought it in with a box of junk finding it is an accessory designed to fit a TE 20 has made my day.”

This speedometer attachment has a lovely feeling of quality about it: not a bit of plastic in sight.  The body is made of cast aluminium and is bolted to the steering arm on the near side of the tractor using a longer than normal bolt, which is also used to retain a metal scraper that clears away any mud on the inside wall of the tyre.  (No use using this attachment with a buckled front wheel!)The drive is picked up by a 2½ diameter jockey wheel which, by the way, has its own small serrated tyre afixed; to ensure a good and positive drive.  The arm that carries this jockey wheel and bearing pivots on the main housing and is spring loaded to maintain positive contact with the inner wall of the front tyre in a rather similar idiom to the principle used on a bicycle dynamo.  There is a facility to swing this drive assembly out of contact with the front tyre and the over centre mounting and spring ensures that it stays in whichever position is selected.  Drive is taken from the 2¼ diameter tyred jockey wheel through a nice substantial flexible shaft with an outer casing of helically formed brass – good old fashioned stuff.  The actual speedometer head was made by Smiths Motor Accessories of London and measures 4” in diameter with a black face and black bezel.  The speedometer is calibrated up to 16 mph so there is no chance of it being damaged when fitted to a TE20!  The odometer is calibrated in furlongs which, to remind younger members, is one ⅛ of a mile or 220 yards or 171.87 metres.   As can be seen from the illustration the head is set at an angle  with a limited range of adjustment to enable the tractor driver to view the head and its readings clearly.  When these units were produced in the 1950’s they were priced at 12-0-0 or about the same price as the Ferguson Earth Scoop, so it is natural to assume that not too many of these speedometers were sold as most farmers prefer to save cost and make do with guess work. The early model read up to 15mph while the later one read up to 20mph (as per Mike’s photo)

© Michael Thorne – Published, Journal No. 49, Spring 2005