Implements for the Ferguson Type ‘A’

Implements for Ferguson Type’ A’  by Andrew Boorman

Ferguson type ‘A’ No. 104 owned by A. T. Oliver & Sons of Bedford, ploughing at the Ouse Valley Vintage Rally, October 1988. The driver – David Markham, Ferguson Club area representative for Bedfordshire . Photo – A. Boorman (photograph A4 insert in V.4. N.1)

At its launch in the spring of 1936 the Ferguson-Brown (also known as the Ferguson Model ‘A) was available with four mounted implements produced by the manufacturer. These were as follows:

Type ‘B’ two furrow 10″ plough with general purpose bodies.
Type ‘C’ General cultivator with seven spring release tines.
Type ‘D’ Three row potato ridger with steerage fin and markers.
Type ‘E’ Row Crop cultivator with nine rigid tines and steerage fin.

Later a single furrow 16″ digger plough and a two furrow 12″ plough with semi-digger bodies were offered.

1937 Ferguson Type ‘B’ 10 inch 2 furrow plough (# missing). Note the distinctive curved plate top of headstock, also found on early David Brown (1939 on) implements which used many parts identical to Ferguson. Ferguson mouldboards are identical to Olver GP, Part No P1. Photo A Boorman

Pre-war Ferguson Type ‘D’ ridger # 36 (a little like a US Lister), originally used with ‘A’ # 104 (see Vol 4/1) as was the plough. Both were very rusty having stood outside many years. All wearing parts were both worn out and rusted away. Replacement parts came from a David Brown type RLD 2 ridger. Photo A BoormanAndrew’s ridger refurbished with D-B parts. Original Ferguson parts at front. D-B discs, mould­boards and shares were used on the plough apart from modified Ransomes parts used for land­slides. New parts no longer available from manufacturer. Note the marker’s pull chain anchored over the peg. Photo A BoormanThe maker’s plate on the ridger showing type, ‘D’ and # No 36. Pre-war implement plates did not list patent numbers but referred you to the tractor where they were displayed on the dash. Under-beam clearance on pre-war Ferguson ploughs is 2 inches less than later types and a sim­ilar amount on other implements. Photo A Boorman

The above photographs of the Type ‘B’ plough and Type ‘D’ ridger were featured in Vol. 7, No. 2 of the Ferguson Club magazine


All implements can be identified by the single bolt fixing of the curved plate at the top of the headstock. David Brown later used a similar plate but with two fixing bolts.

Ferguson Curved Plate (Part No. C8) seen on all pre-war Ferguson implements

Like the post war implements, all field adjustments used the famous Ferguson 10″ open ended spanner differing from later ones in it’s use of BSF as opposed to Across Flat sizes. Ridger and cultivator frames, rolled from ‘Consett’ steel were drilled at 1 ” intervals to achieve row spacing.

By comparison with contemporary makes including Ransomes, Nicholson and Martin to name a few, Ferguson implements looked very light and flimsy but their high tensile steel and high quality hardware ensured that they outlasted their more rugged looking competitors who were using lower grade steel.

Acknowledgment George Field

Type C General Cultivator #C186

The Type ‘C’ General Cultivator is 62″ wide and is fitted with three front and four rear spring release tines designed, with their pivot points vertically above the tine tip, so that when an obstruction is met they deflect in an upwards arc. They were patented by Ferguson on December 12th. 1930 (Patent No. 320084). Except for using BSF threads the tine assemblies are exactly the same as those used on the post war Type 9BE tiller which has nine tines and is 86″ Wide.

General Cultivator # C186. Detail of spring release tines.

<id=”E121″>The Type ‘E’ Row Crop cultivator is 78″ wide with three front and six rear tines and could be fitted with a variety of points depending on width of ground to be cultivated between plant rows. The steerage fin, Ferguson Patent no. 471801, accepted Sept. 6th. 1937, was designed to ensure that the implement followed truly behind the tractor. The post war development of this machine, Type 9NKE, differs in being 84″ wide, has greater tine clearance front-to rear and has points adjustable for pitch by way of a slotted frog.  Refer also to Fixed Tine Cultivator

Type E Row Crop Cultivator #E121

Andrew Boorman: Published in Journal issue 23 Winter 1995/96


A similar article by David Markham from Volume 1 No.2
FERGUSON-BROWN HYDRAULICALLY OPERATED & CONTROLLED IMPLEMENTS
By David Markham

The “Ferguson-Brown” (also known as the Ferguson Model ‘A’ ) was, of course, the first tractor in the world to be marketed with its own set of specially designed mounted implements.

Implements in general used up until then had been based on horse-drawn equipment and were merely towed behind the tractor. With it’s hydraulic lift and three-point linkage, the revolutionary “Ferguson-Brown” brought an entirely new concept to implement design. Equipment could now be mounted on the tractor and lifted in and out of work.

When the tractor was first launched in May, 1936, four implements were available – a two furrow plough, a spring-tine, cultivator; a three row ridger and a rowcrop cultivator. Each of the implements weighed approximately 2½ cwts., being made of high quality heat-treated alloy steel. All four sold for £26 each, the tractor itself costing £224 on steel wheels, including the hydraulic unit.

Ferguson Brown1936, ploughing at Weste Strath charity match 2014. Journal No.78, Winter 2014/15

It was claimed that the implements could be changed by one man in two minutes with­out the use of any tools.

  1. THE 10 inch 2 FURROW PLOUGH

This was known as the Type B (the tractor itself being the Type A) and was sold with general purpose bodies; disc coulters and skimmers were standard equipment. Some ploughs had long name plates including all the patent numbers, but those with lower serial numbers (up to circa no. 7/800) have shorter name plates with the description:

Patent Nos. – See Tractor.

  1. THE 7 SPRING-TINE GENERAL PURPOSE CULTIVATOR (THE TYPE C)

This embodied an exclusive and patented design of spring-tine which extended rearwards when over-riding obstructions and came back into work instantaneously. Standard equip­ment included 7 spring-tine units which were adjustable for spacing at different intervals. Alternative cultivator shovels were available at extra cost.

  1. THE 3 ROW RIDGER (THE TYPE D)

This had 3 adjustable ridging bottoms with spacing from 18″ to 30″ (at one inch intervals) It incorporated a patented steerage fin or rudder which maintained the implement centrally behind the front of the tractor when working on hill sides and when splitting ridges.

  1. THE 9 TINE ROWCROP CULTIVATOR (THE TYPE E)

This was a 3 row implement with 9 rigidtines again adjustable from 18″ to 3D” and with a steerage fin like the ridger.

Later on in production two further implements were added to the range: a 12″ two­ furrow semi-digger plough was introduced, as was a 16″ single-furrow digger plough, the latter being shown at the Smithfield Show in December 1938. These again sold for £26 each.

In conjunction with the tractor the spring-tine cultivator won silver medals at the 1938 Peterborough Show and the 1938 Highland Show, ahd a gold medal at the Isle of Man Shew in September, 1938 for being the most serviceable all-round implement or machine in the entire implement or motor section.

Despite such acclaim, however, the tractor did not sell well, partly because these special implements had to be purchased at extra cost, whereas a Fordson or International could use the existing equipment on the farm.

Perhaps because of this and because only cultivation implements were marketed by Ferguson-Brown Ltd., other manufacturers did· step in and produce equ ipment for the tractor. Bamfords in particular marketed two mowers, the 7RTB, and the 7RTw and these, together with a grass harrow, were exhibited behind Ferguson-Browns with extension drawbars at various agricultural shows such as the 1937 Royal Show. Other firms such as Browns of Leighton Buzzard with their self lift spring tooth harrow and Aitkenheads from near Oldham with their harrows also produced suitable implements.

Although the “Ferguson-Brown” was not designed for trailed implements, it could manage ‘co pull light implements such as a hay rake or harrow, and in contemporary pictures, the tractor can be seen pulling a variety of other manufacturer’s equipment. Nevertheless breakages did occur due to the alloy casings, and these cannot have done the tractor’s reputation any good at all.

Compared to the later TE20 implements the “Ferguson-Brown” implements were generally much more lightly built and can be identified by the distinctive curved bit of metal where the top link is attached (the top link itself being shorter at 23 inches).

Published in Journal Volume 1 No. 2 Winter 1986/7