Farm Ireland

Friday 23 March 2018

harry's system requires help from an MF expert

One of the many areas of the 35 that was completely worn out was the three-point linkage and its controls. The lift cover contains a complicated arrangement of springs, linkages and levers, all controlling the function of the lift arms.

This clever design is the 'Ferguson System', as invented by Harry Ferguson from Northern Ireland.

Harry understood that if you could transfer some of the forces pulling the plough into the ground on to the back axle of the tractor, it would improve grip without adding weight to the machine. In practice, it reduced the size of a tractor required to pull a plough while increasing the tractor's power-to-weight ratio.

With some clever engineering, it allowed the driver to maintain depth while ploughing.

It is for that reason that I brought the 35's lift top to an expert. In this case, Tom Murphy, of Tom Murphy Equipment, Kildavin, Bunclody, Co Wexford (above left).

A keen ploughman, Tom worked as a mechanic in a Massey Ferguson dealer, Flynn's, of Tullow, from 1979 until 1994. He continues to repair and sell examples of the bright red brand.

In the next instalment, I will outline the work involved to fit a straight-front axle and do away with the radius rods, linkages and steering box components.

I have sourced a hydraulic steering kit from Matt Buckley Tractor Spares, and I am going to convert it to full hydrostatic. But I'm having issues with linkage clearances, possibly because of differences between the 35 and the straight-axle 135 the kit was designed for.

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Hopefully, we are now not far from the finish line.

Indo Farming