The Ferguson 20

This month we’re looking back at the Ferguson 20 tractor


The tyre girdles on the rear wheels of this diesel- engined Ferguson TEF 20 gave improved wheel grip when working in difficult conditions and could be used on a field or road without any adjustment.

Harry Ferguson made his first tractor in 1933. It was called the Ferguson Black tractor because it was painted in that colour. A deal with David Brown resulted in the Ferguson Brown, with its hydraulic system, being made in Yorkshire between 1936 and 1939. A gentleman’s agreement led to the production of the Ford Ferguson 9N in America from 1939 until 1947, with a number of Ford Ferguson 9N tractors sent to the UK during World War II. The first Ferguson TE (Con) 20 tractors were made at the Standard Motor Co factory at Coventry in 1946. TE (Con) 20, short for Tractor England Continental 20, was the name of the new Ferguson tractor equipped with position and draft control hydraulics and a 24hp Continental petrol engine made at Michigan in America. The specification included a four forward and one reverse gearbox equipped with a safety start mechanism built into the gear lever, hydraulic linkage, power take-off and independent steering brakes.

When the supply of Continental engines ran out in 1947, it was replaced with a 24hp petrol engine based on the Standard Vanguard car engine and the tractor became the Ferguson TEA 20. Many farm tractors ran on TVO in the 1940s and 1950s, and to follow the trend Ferguson added the TED 20 with a vaporising oil engine in 1949. The TEH 20 tractor with a lamp oil engine, mainly for the export market, was added in 1950 and the diesel-engined TEF 20 followed in 1951. Ferguson and Massey Harris joined forces in 1953 and production of the TE 20 series continued until 1956 when more than half a million little grey Fergies had been made at Banner Lane. There were 14 models in the TE 20 tractor range in 1956 with four fuel options and a choice of standard, vineyard and narrow width models as well as with industrial models also with four engine options

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