The Friends of Ferguson Heritage Ltd. - A Fergie Will!
The needs of the one outweigh the needs of the many?
When we came to live by the sea, we imagined that part of our food supply would come from the sea.
It wasn't long before we realised that launching our little boat off the beach with our car was going to result in disaster.
We had to have a tractor to launch and recover.
Anyway, It would be useful on our allotment. Maybe it would cut out some of the digging.
Well, you've got to justify the expense somehow!
What kind of tractor to buy?
Oh, the cheapest of course! As long as it works.
£145.00 got us a TEA20 Ferguson in a collection of plastic washing up bowls.
Yep! We'd decided to buy VERY cheap and do-it-ourselves.
And yes, there were loads of bits missing.
Don't you hate it when that happens?
No problem. Only 40 or so miles away, there's a place that breaks Fergies.
Off we set.
On arrival, it was like an experience I once had at a graveyard for old canal boats.
Everywhere I looked there was another Little Grey Tractor which would never work again. And yet, every one of them had their own personal potential for restoration.
It was a devastating sight. I wanted to scoop them all up in my arms and take them home.
I realised I was developing a real fondness for these little tractors.
Ours looked far worse than many of these sad little things.
Anyway, almost everything we bought needed mending.
We eventually got enough bits together to get our Fergie going but by that time, I'd had a fall in the boat and realised I really wasn't fit enough to be at sea in a dinghy; and anyway, the sea way devoid of fish. Pollution? Overfishing? Dredging? who knows?
We decided to put our efforts into our 30yard x 30 yard allotment.
That would re-build the muscles atrophied by 2 years of sitting by a computer 18hrs a day in an effort to earn an honest penny.
We had to experiment with the plough.
At first the Fergie wouldnt pull it.
It was inclined to buck like a horse, rearing up at the front and twisting to left and right.
Then a friend we met through a Fergie club told us we had to look at the geometry.
The plough, which we bought from the breakers yard, was the wrong size and shape
We replaced it with the correct type.
We learned to importance of good tyres which grip the soil.
Finally we were making straight furrows and actually driving along.
Thank goodness for the friends we had made along the way and the tips they had given us.
The only problem was that each time we needed a new parts, we had to go to the graveyard to plunder the body parts of another poor discarded Fergie.
It felt so wrong!
If we, and others, weren't doing this, then more Little grey Fergies would be sent to tractor hospital instead of the morgue.
We set about finding a source of new parts.
Months of surfing the Internet and a huge phone bill later, we succeeded.
A wholesaler in The West Country had almost all the bits we could possibly want.
What's more, they were cheaper than the worn out parts we had been buying second hand.
This company would only sell to The Trade. Our business was as an Internet Service Provider, so we decided to open up a shop on the Internet selling Fergie parts.
That was a strange time. The ISP business had got very difficult and we earned just enough to keep body and soul together doing little jobs with the Fergie.
She saved our bacon that 1st spring. We are both very grateful to this little grey workhorse.
It's a strange thing.
I've always been into boats and engineering.
Now boats can find their own way.
The steam engines I used to build and repair will have to find someone new to bother and burn.
The Little Grey Fergie has stolen my heart.
I think it's the delightfully correct engineering in this little tractor which fires me off.
Everything is thought through so carefully.
Every single part just FITS, MATCHES, kind of FLOWS.
The thing does exactly what it's supposed to do and it does it year in and year out without major troubles.
And the Geometry.
It's a mathematician's dream.
Or could it be that cute grey bonnet, and the attention she draws in the High Street?
Whenever we pop down the shops or take a drive out to the pub, well-wishers flock round and passers-by smile and wave.
I'm beginning to know how a pop or film star feels when they take a drive out in their Rolls.
I'm almost ready to make myself a mechanical waving-arm so I can keep my hands on the wheel whilst acknowledging Fergie's Public.
This little tractor has completely changed us.
We get phone calls and E-mails from all over the world, every day.
Our www.fergieparts.co.uk customers actually want to talk with us and exchange ideas and experiences. Unlike our old ISP customers who only ever phoned to complain they couldn't get through or it isn't quick enough.
Ferguson owners generally are a finer class of customer.
What started as a simple means to launch our boat, never did drag the boat into the water. Now we live, breathe and talk Fergies. It's a takeover I tell you.
We really don't have time to run an ISP, so we closed that.
We have built a database full with nearly a thousand spare parts and accessories for Fergies.
Every day we add more and more.
Our suppliers provided parts for so many other makes and types of tractor, but the Fergie has taken precedence.
We get a lot of enquiries about, and supply parts for, many other makes, but how can we even begin to build the databases for Ford, John Deere, Massey and the rest when we are so keen to complete the Ferguson list.
I wonder if we ever will?
Fergusons have become an obsession for us, and that's a story I have heard so often.
Once bitten by The Bug, women, men and children alike, all seem to fall.
Some folk want to restore their Fergie to pristine condition for The Show, others want it to work well to do a job for them.
Whichever is your purpose for your Fergie, it is a challenging and yet eminently achievable hobby.
Hey! with a Road duty set at Zero, and Insurance usually under £40.00 Fully Comp, your Fergie is hardly expensive to run.
A Fergie will:-
Take you shopping or out for a drive
Drive a pto compressor for your spray gun or air tools
Drive a pto pressure washer to clean up your home or yard
Drive a pto generator as an emergency or portable electricity supply (Our Fergie powers our UPS for our Server when the electric power supply is down)
Make you hay for your horse, chickens, ducks or goat etc.
Plough and cultivate your field or allotment
Turn and spread manure to increase yield on your land or garden with a loader and spreader
Tow or pull whatever needs moving on it's own or in a 3 ton trailer
Shovel and lift with a loader (makes an engine change for your car easy)
Level and scrape a path or road
Clear snow (if you get any these days)
Prepare your firewood with a logsplitter or pto sawbench
Exercise your back muscles a bit like horse riding
Provide the kind of on-going project which will be a fascinating hobby at any time of the year
Make a wonderful teaching and training tool
attract onlookers (many of whom have a fascinating story ) to talk, drink and chat with
Make new friends
Make faces light up with delight
And, above all, look a treat.
In short, A Fergie WILL!