From Standard to Major - which is the best tractor?

Smallholder: Ford E27N Major Perkins

5:13pm Wednesday 30th April 2014

If the Standard Fordson is not quite what you are looking for in a tractor, why not try the similar but much more substantial Major. Jonathan Whitlam looks at its pros and cons.

Remembering the Allen scythe

2:45pm Thursday 1st August 2013

The Allen Scythe is one of those odd machines that does not easily fit into a specific category. Although designed for cutting grass, the Allen Scythe was not a lawn mower in the strictest sense because its main use was to cut rough and long grass on verges and in fields, orchards and rough ground.

Solar industry needs to learn from wind, says minister

3:10pm Friday 26th April 2013

The government is totally committed to expansion of the UK solar power industry – but warns that “inappropriate” expansion will lose public support.

Jane Brooks gives her guide to good tractor hunting

Smallholder: Some tractors such as this Ford 5000, it is best just to walk or possibly run away from as fast as possible and leave them to the dealers who will in all probability export them to the Far East

4:00pm Saturday 28th July 2012

Critical to any tractor purchase is the initial assessment. Start with its history, many tractors record the hours worked. Do they tally with its appearance? Is the clutch pedal worn? Does the machine look cared for? Are there signs the tractor is going to need repair or has been repaired – haphazard and sloppy repairs generally mean the previous owner did not look after the machine. Faded paintwork, perished rubber or cracked plastic fittings often indicate that the tractor was kept outside for its working life.

Full steam ahead for vintage celebration at East of England Show

2:50pm Sunday 1st July 2012

From vintage tractors,smallholder tools, farm implements, steam engines, classic cars, lorries and fire engines – the amazing display of exhibits has already earned a reputation as one of the best of its kinds in the country.

Training for farming and landbased engineers launched

11:40am Sunday 1st July 2012

John Deere highlighted its award-winning engineering apprenticeship programme at Cereals 2012 with the publication of a new training prospectus, as part of the event’s aim to promote training and careers in farming.

The start of a dynasty with Ford Series 10 tractors

7:20am Tuesday 26th June 2012

The Series 10 would represent the most complicated upgrade to the Ford tractor seen since the introduction of the 6X range back in 1964 and would eventually encompass tractors from small compacts up to six cylinder machines, writes Jonathan Whitlam.

Mixed response to HMRC review of policy on red diesel - NFU

5:33pm Tuesday 20th December 2011

The NFU is backing a proposed relaxation in the rules on the use of red diesel to allow farmers to grit roads during severe wintry weather.

Newbury & District Agricultural Society’s Annual Ploughing Match

4:10pm Friday 7th October 2011

This year Newbury & District Agricultural Society’s Annual Ploughing Match will take place on Saturday 15th October at Ilsley Barn Farm, Compton starting at 9am and hosted by the Institute of Animal Health.

Caterpillar - King of the crawlers

9:50am Saturday 30th July 2011

If you have no road work for your tractor perhaps a crawler would be a good option. Jonathan Whitlam looks at the original tracklayer – the Caterpillar

The Land Rover Defender

9:50am Friday 29th July 2011

A tough work horse that can go the distance says Liz Wright

Make safety top priority for a safe harvest

8:50am Monday 4th July 2011

Continuing high numbers of death and serious injuries on farms have led leading rural insurer NFU Mutual to call for farmers and smallholders to take extreme care through this year’s harvest.

New tractor club hail launch a great success

4:06pm Tuesday 3rd May 2011

The new tractor group Blue Force – ‘Friends of Fordson – Ford – New Holland & Derivatives’ has been in the planning stage since the end of November 2010. A team of dedicated enthusiasts has worked hard behind the scenes to make the new club a success.

Red and white David Brown

12:30pm Wednesday 23rd March 2011

Jonathan Whitlam discovers what changes were made when this firm changed hands

Eastern European power

4:50pm Tuesday 22nd March 2011

Cheap and cheerful old Zetor tractors have a lot to offer says Jonathan Whitlam.

Getting started in a farm machinery career

10:30pm Monday 21st February 2011

An apprenticeship can be the first step towards a rewarding career in agricultural engineering A landbased engineering apprenticeship is the entry route to a worthwhile career in agricultural engineering, says the Institution of Agricultural Engineers during the UK’s Apprentice Week.

Winter Driving Tips for Smallholders

12:53pm Tuesday 14th December 2010

Not surprisingly, for many motorists in Britain, the generally mild weather means that every seriously cold winter we forget much of the essentials about driving in tougher conditions. For this reason it's all the more important for us to make sure we've remembered all of the useful tips and provisions that ensure safe and hassle-free driving in the coldest weather. This check-list should do as a good start:

Making hay while the sun more or less shines

8:41am Tuesday 9th November 2010

Although it’s happened to me for many years, I still find the shock of the clocks going back quite significant. One moment you are clinging on to autumn and literally the next day you are in winter – or so it seems to me. There are compensations in winter – not having to water the garden and greenhouse, getting indoors before 10 pm at night, log fires and feeling its that its ok to eat filling winter stews, but the downside of the normally wet and cold short days is not appealing. One way to make it a bit better is to plan ahead and make sure that buildings are ready to take livestock, that chickens have dry day time housing of sufficient size and that all the winter feed is sorted. Mine nearly didn’t happen, by end of August our hay field was still merrily upright and the rain was still merrily falling.

Newark Tractor Show gears up for a great day

11:00am Saturday 6th November 2010

2010 – and eighth – Newark Vintage Tractor and Heritage Show is gearing up with a number of new innovations for the event which takes place on Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 November. Centre-piece of the show this year will be David Brown and Case tractors – both marques having a long standing reputation for reliability and durability in the farming sector. Last year’s 180 metre-long marquee of International tractors was a blow-out – and the show’s organisers are planning to top that incredible exhibition.

New colour - New era

3:10pm Saturday 23rd October 2010

In 1965 David Brown tractors lost their familiar ‘hunting pink’ red colour scheme and became chocolate and orchid white, but, as Jonathan Whitlam found out, there was much more to these trusty economic machines than just a simple change in their colour

Farm Safely – farmers and smallholders should avoid leaving mud on the roads

8:10am Thursday 7th October 2010

Accidents caused by mud left on roads by tractors over the last three years have resulted in claims for deaths and serious injuries expected to cost a total of £11.5m, warns NFU Mutual. As field conditions become wetter as winter approaches, the rural insurer is calling on farmers to take extreme care to avoid tractor and trailer wheels depositing mud on roads. "The seven very serious claims we are currently dealing with show just how dangerous mud left on roads can be to other road users,” said John

Along the straight and narrow - National tractor ploughing championships

8:50am Sunday 26th September 2010

Lincoln will be host to the British National Ploughing Championships & Country Festival on October 9th and 10th this year. A record crowd is expected to attend this amazing two-day event, which is taking place at Grange-de-Lings, near Lincoln.

John Deere Jumps in with support for Horse of the Year Show 6-10 October 2010

8:50am Saturday 25th September 2010

Horse of the Year Show (HOYS), the world’s most famous horse show, is delighted to announce that John Deere has been appointed as the official tractor supplier.

Core EU safety rules for tractors and trailers is common sense move says NFU

8:20am Friday 6th August 2010

In a move heralded as ‘common sense’ by the NFU, the EU Commission has put forward a proposal to replace around 50 directives with one core regulation covering the type approval of tractors, trailers and their appliances.

How to have a smallholder safe harvest

8:40am Monday 2nd August 2010

With harvest season here, the NFU is urging farmers and growers to keep safety in mind by ensuring machinery is properly maintained and operations are carried out safely.

The rural crime top ten on farms and smallholdings

8:10am Wednesday 28th July 2010

New research from large rural insurer NFU Mutual indicates that rural crime is rising - led by a sharp increase in the theft of expensive tractors.

Clear message on the use of red diesel at agricultural shows for smallholders

8:20am Tuesday 27th July 2010

The NFU and NFU Scotland have worked with HMRC to clarify the use of red diesel at agricultural shows.

Skill shortages continue in UK say Institution of Agricultural Engineers

3:50pm Tuesday 20th July 2010

The Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE) endorses research carried out by the Confederation of British Industry and the EDI (the vocational qualifications body) that has revealed over 350 organisations are struggling to find staff with skills in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), while even more companies expect to experience staff skill shortages in the next three years.

Down the track

8:00am Sunday 23rd May 2010

This month Peter Love visits Davenham, Cheshire where he met up with a reader of Smallholder magazine, Mike Creed, who has used just one tractor on his smallholding for some 24 years that works just two hours a year.

Vintage tractors on show at RWAS Smallholder and Garden Festival

10:10am Saturday 17th April 2010

Vintage tractors go on show at Royal Welsh Festival Enthusiasts throughout Wales are safeguarding an important part of the rural heritage by restoring and maintaining vintage farm machinery. Modern complex machines have long since superseded old technology and tractors and equipment once familiar in the countryside have disappeared completely from the land.

New tariff makes small wind turbines a no-brainer say RenewableUK

5:40pm Friday 2nd April 2010

Farmers and landowners are being encouraged to harvest the wind after new energy tariffs opened up a green bonanza in the countryside. Following the introduction of a ‘feed-in tariff’ on 1 April, the economics of small wind generation have been transformed and a conference this month will show farmers and landowners how to benefit from a profitable and environmentally sound income stream.

Agricultural Engineers on the move

8:20am Sunday 28th February 2010

The Institution of Agricultural Engineers (AgrE) is relocating from Cranfield University’s Silsoe site to the main campus at Cranfield, Bedfordshire in March. The move is part of a phased relocation of departments from Silsoe to the main campus.

The Series One Land Rover

11:30am Friday 5th February 2010

John Carroll looks at the the first examples of this British icon, made from 1948-58.

Smallholders should be aware of spot checks on loaded vehicles

5:20pm Wednesday 27th January 2010

Spot checks on hundreds of vehicles will take place in the coming weeks in support of a new drive to ensure that loads are being transported securely.

Free machinery exhibition for farmers and smallholders in Lincs

8:10am Friday 15th January 2010

LAMMA Show 2010 continues to set growth records The ever-increasing popularity of the LAMMA Show amongst the farming community nationwide, has in the past few years led to a tremendous increase in both visitor and exhibitor numbers. For LAMMA 2010 over 550 exhibitors have booked stand space for the event which will take place on 20th & 21st January 2010, at the Newark Showground, on the Lincolnshire/Nottinghamshire border.

Down the track

10:20am Thursday 31st December 2009

Peter Love gets his hands on a Retro Boomer 8N for Smallholder magazine

Tractors for smallholders with land to spare

5:26pm Thursday 17th December 2009

Now topping out the Deutz-Fahr X-series tractor range is the new X730 which is powered by a Deutz turbocharged engine rated at 305hp.

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