Challenge of classic tractors

PUBLISHED: 08:11 28 March 2014 | UPDATED: 08:44 28 March 2014

Many smallholders own a classic tractor. Here we feature one such smallholder, John Sones, who lives in Suffolk. For more classic tractor stories, see our January issue, on sale on December 21

I previously had 10 acres in Essex and bought my tractor, a 1962 Fordson Dexta, through a friend in 2003 for £1,100 using it for topping and chain harrowing the hay meadow. When we moved recently to a smaller holding, it came home to Suffolk (it has a Suffolk registration) and is now used with the harrow and a finishing mower on the pasture. I have also found a rear transport box extremely useful for moving earth and other items. I have always insured it using a ‘vintage’ policy and recently taxed it (free) so that I can use it on the road.
It will always be a working tractor and I concentrate on keeping the mechanics in good and safe order rather than doing up the bodywork. The technology is quite basic and I have carried out many small repairs such as replacing the wiring loom, renewing external oil seals, re-lining the brakes, changing the oil, etc. Parts and information are easy to get and there are clubs to join if you want to.
I favour the Dexta over the grey Fergie as it is the next generation of technology but still straightforward and ideal for smallholding work.

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