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Reviving a Classic: Can Old Tractors Plough?

By Tom Seest

Can Old Tractors Still Plough?

At ClassicTractorNews, we help classic tractor lovers keep up with the latest news for classic and vintage tractors.

Plows churn up the soil to disperse vital nutrients and oxygenate it, making the ground suitable for planting crops.
Tractor ownership has enabled small and mid-scale farmers to hire plowing services directly, thus undermining control by lineage elders or local chiefs of labor.

Can Old Tractors Still Plough?

Can Old Tractors Still Plough?

Can the Fordson Super Dexta Revive Old Tractors and Ploughing?

Fordson was the name given to a series of mass-produced general-purpose tractors produced by Ford Motor Company and designed with versatility in mind, unlike earlier tractors, which could often only fulfill specific roles. Many aftermarket conversions and accessories existed for it; for instance, it became the foundation for self-propelled combine design.
Fordson production took place between 1917 and 1928 in three separate countries: the U.S. (from 1917 to 1928); Cork, Ireland (1919 to 1923 and 1928 to 1933) and Dagenham in Essex in England (1933 to 1964). From 1919-1927 alone, hundreds of thousands of Fordsons (as well as Soviet Union clones) were exported overseas, with aftermarket parts being manufactured both within Europe and North America for these vehicles.
Design-wise, the Fordson was nothing remarkable or special; however, it was one of the first small, lightweight tractors to be mass-produced for widespread sale at an affordable price point and wide distribution network – making ownership available to countless farmers around the world.
Wil’s father purchased his Fordson Super Dexta at Llangefni’s Mona Motors dealership for PS605, roughly equivalent to approximately $19,500 today. To offset its costs, he traded in his old Ferguson TEA tractor as part payment, and this enabled him to afford the Fordson more easily.
The Dexta was initially powered by a Perkins A3 three-cylinder diesel engine before later transitioning to the New Major’s more powerful Power Major engine. Both were initially developed at Dagenham before moving production elsewhere nearby in Basildon.
An important feature of the Fordson was its rear-mounted gearbox, enabling its driver to remain seated while operating towed implements – an improvement over standard arrangements at that time that required standing on a step ladder to operate said implements.
Wil’s Fordson Super Dexta tractor remained an integral part of his life in Anglesey for 60 years after it first arrived there. It introduced him to competitive plowing, an activity that has kept him engaged–or, as his wife would say–out of trouble–for half a century now.

Can the Fordson Super Dexta Revive Old Tractors and Ploughing?

Can the Fordson Super Dexta Revive Old Tractors and Ploughing?

How is the Anglesey Vintage Ploughing Society Reviving Old Tractors?

Flintshire folklore tells of an unfortunate plowman who, after finishing his competition run, spent too long in the beer tent afterward. As he returned to his tractor after indulging too long in drinks at the beer tent, furrows spread across the surrounding farmland as he headed homeward.
Competitive plowing became popular following such incidents, becoming an integral component of agricultural shows during spring and autumn. Plowing matches can be divided into different classes depending on the type of tractor and plow used; horse teams may also compete along with tractors.
Organizers hold various events across the country and often host regional championships to bring people who share an interest in plowing together from different areas and keep its history alive for future generations. These matches aim to unite these interests under one roof.
Anglesey Vintage Ploughing Society not only seeks to promote the use of old machinery, but it also strives to raise money for local charities and community groups. Their projects include developing a new clubhouse.
The society boasts an extensive collection of historic machinery, which it hosts an annual rally to preserve. Tractors and artifacts, including a 1953 Leyland Tiger bus, can all be found among them, which the society works towards maintaining for future generations.
Recent concerns over the hobby of restoring and operating old tractors have raised eyebrows; buyers appear more interested in them for their aesthetic value rather than as functional machines. Yet many enthusiasts continue to enjoy this activity, spending both their time and money to preserve engines for future generations.
If you’re curious to join in this hobby, visit the Anglesey Vintage Ploughing Societies for more information. Their site features plenty of pictures to whet your appetite as well as information about upcoming rallies and meetings – and is also an invaluable source of the history of their society and its members.

How is the Anglesey Vintage Ploughing Society Reviving Old Tractors?

How is the Anglesey Vintage Ploughing Society Reviving Old Tractors?

Radnor Valley Ploughing: How Does it Keep Old Tractors Alive?

The All Wales Ploughing Match is one of the premier events on the agricultural calendar, held annually near Pontcysyllte Aqueduct – and only held there for the 10th time! Attracting some of the greatest names in plowing.
The roots of this event can be traced back to 1717 when a group of Welsh Quakers established a meeting house at what is now Gwern-y-go Farm, Sarn, Montgomeryshire. At that time, it was part of an original 5,000-acre land purchase from Pennsylvania colonist William Penn by Welsh families; his township lay out parallel with Schuylkill River with parcels sold at one British pound per 50 acres parcels sold separately.
At this point, the first plowing matches began to be organized locally. Ploughing was an ancient art form noted in many biblical books as one of the primary rural crafts. Steel plows became available around mid-nineteenth century and enabled greater progress – casting steel shares and mouldboards allowed deeper furrows to be turned, leading to significant advancement in agricultural production.
Today, the All Wales Ploughing Society is a vibrant organization with numerous activities. It also hosts its plowing championships, sheepdog trials, displays of vintage agricultural machinery, and craft stalls. Additionally, members are passionate about passing down traditional plowing skills to future generations.
This year’s All Wales Ploughing Championship was hosted at Pen y Parc Farm, Llangattock, by Mr. and Mrs. Turner with their kind permission, drawing record participation among plowmen ranging from vintage models through to cutting-edge reversible plows on display. It was an extremely successful event.

Radnor Valley Ploughing: How Does it Keep Old Tractors Alive?

Radnor Valley Ploughing: How Does it Keep Old Tractors Alive?

How Wil’s Ploughing Changed the Landscape?

Wil was an incredible individual with a zest for life and an affinity for family. He loved his family dearly and was an advocate for the community. After a courageous battle against cancer, Wil has now found peace. His story has inspired countless others – it even appeared on NPR’s Story Corps shortly after being diagnosed – when both he and Olivia shared it on this platform in 2012.
Early tractors used steam engines to operate implements such as plows and harrows, making their use rather challenging as teams had to constantly manage fire, water supply, steam pressure management, heavy soil or pavement damage, expensive operation costs, and expensive rubber tire traction technology advancement. But, over time, technology advanced further, and these heavy steam tractors were replaced by smaller, cheaper models that were more efficient while rubber tires made without damaging soil or pavement were invented that allowed more effective operations, as were three-point hitch systems for attaching equipment such as sickle bar mowers or plows.
The three-point hitch system was an innovative step toward improving tractor agriculture, creating more efficiency, and creating a safer work environment. Unfortunately, however, tractors remained dangerous due to being susceptible to overturning when driven over steep slopes or uneven ground – with earlier models not featuring rollover protection structures to prevent rollover accidents from occurring as often. Accidents and injuries became all too common due to the lack of safeguards in place.
One of the greatest advances in tractor safety was the creation of the rear power take-off (PTO). A PTO is an attachment on the back of a tractor that powers implements that are attached via three-point hitches; this feature makes farming tasks like plowing and harvesting much simpler while simultaneously improving driving stability and decreasing engine wear.
Farmers who use their PTO for plowing must ensure its speed is set correctly; usually, this involves using the throttle setting to reach approximately 540 RPM for their PTO motor, although other settings may need to be altered depending on the type of tractor being used.

How Wil's Ploughing Changed the Landscape?

How Wil’s Ploughing Changed the Landscape?

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