Ferguson tractors still king for farmers

FERGIE FAN: Harry Ferguson Tractor Club member Ken Bibby, of Warracknabeal, with one of the Fergies on display at the Sungold Field Days. Picture: MORGAN HANCOCK
FERGIE FAN: Harry Ferguson Tractor Club member Ken Bibby, of Warracknabeal, with one of the Fergies on display at the Sungold Field Days. Picture: MORGAN HANCOCK

WHEN Ken “Floss” Bibby began farming, the Ferguson tractor was king.

Almost 70 years on, times have changed, but for Mr Bibby the Fergie is still number one.

Mr Bibby, from Warracknabeal, was among the Harry Ferguson Tractor Club members putting their pride and joy on show at the Sungold Field Days last week.

“I currently own 10 Fergie tractors, no two the same,” he said.

“They replaced the horse on small farms where someone had one, two or three horses, the Fergie replaced them. 

“One year they built 70,000 and all told they built 517,651 worldwide, only 50,000 of them came to Australia.

“The main thing about them was the three-point linkage, it was Harry Ferguson’s invention and it’s still used today.

“Every new tractor that is being manufactured is still using that three-point linkage.”

From Mr Bibby’s own experience, creature comforts in the earlier models were certainly lacking.

“When I first started farming in 1949 I used to sit out on the open tractor under an umbrella,” he said.

“I used to work the comb of the header with chaff and dust swirling around.

“We were buying army disposal plastic goggles to keep it out.”

Mr Bibby said the tractors later came into favour as collectors items as they were easy to restore and light to cart.

The Harry Ferguson Tractor Club is one of the biggest tractor clubs in Australia with about 800 members and tractors dating back 60 years.

The Sungold Field Days ran from Wednesday to Friday last week.