The Turner Ranger Four

The Turner Ranger Four

Age related reg: UOD 845R
Serial No: 57TR8433
Made: 1975
28hp at 3000rpm

Being a collector of all things Ferguson for a number of years, I jumped at the opportunity to purchase recently a fully equipped Turner Ranger Four (Ex navy). (Coldridge Collection No.87)

Having been told recently by Peter Warr that in fact these machines were designed and developed by Tractor Research Ltd, an offshoot of Harry Ferguson Research Ltd in the early 70’s.  It was Calor Gas who commissioned tractor research to design and develop a light multipurpose vehicle that could be made available with a range of specification to suit a range of user requirements. The first 12 vehicles were manufactured by Tower Engineering followed by Turner Engineering of Alcester, Warwickshire.  I can well remember visiting the Design Centre, Haymarket, London in 1975 and seeing this machine on display – so I assumed it had won a Design Centre Award as has the J.C.B Sitemaster and Carver Rack Clamp.  I have since tried to ratify this, with their archive in Brighton but sadly no information has come to the surface:  So to those of you out there; I ask the question, “What do you know about this vehicle?”

For those unfamiliar with this piece of British engineering, let me set down a rough outline.

The concept was to produce an economical, versatile 4-wheel drive vehicle. The concept was realised in the form of using a BL1100cc power unit with integral 4 speed synchromesh gear box, providing drive to BL diff units from a Triumph Herald; to Mini Moulton suspension units giving 4 wheel drive, 4 wheel steering with independent suspension all round.

To complete the versatile specification PTO and Cat.l hydraulic lift was offered as optional equipment front and rear, the same as a BMC Mini tractor.  Further optional equipment was available to widen the diversity of applications.  A cab with roll over protection twin front seat, gas or petrol fuel.  Road lighting and hydraulic PTO.

The machine was aimed at factory and light aircraft users as a tug tractor with basic specification and cab or to municipal users who might take advantage of the front and rear PTO/lift with its ability to drive various type of grass cutters including Turners own frail type. It could be used for grit/salt spreading and weed control spraying etc.

According to Peter Warr about 250 of these machines were made before production ended.

The main point of presenting this short article is to hopefully stir-up interest in this innovative and unusual machine – to find other owners and those who have worked with these vehicles to come forward and contact me.  I felt it would be nice to try and establish a register of owners to pool information and knowledge of the Turner Ranger Four.

I look forward to hearing from anyone with experience in this area either by letter or phone.

© Mike Thorne, 2021 (First published Journal 42, Winter 2002)