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Oily Hands and the Smell of Diesel Tales of a Ford Dealer Engineer in the 1960s by David Harris

cover photo

First employed as an apprentice, then moving his way up to an engineer, David Harris gives an entertaining, informative and personal account of his time spent at a Ford main tractor dealership, working on Ford, Fordson, County, Roadless and Muirhill tractors, Chaseside loaders, Claas combines and New Holland and Jones balers amongst others.

1960 saw the dawn of an era of unprecedented innovation and development in farm machinery. It was a period of rapid technical advancement, that produced machines which are the mainstay of the current very buoyant vintage tractor restoration movement.

At the start of the decade, spark-ignition Standard Fordson tractors still occasionally required repair; by the end of the decade, the Fordson Diesel Major had been replaced by the Ford 1000 series. The history of these iconic brands is well-known; Oily Hands and the Smell of Diesel gives an alternative view the inside story of the agricultural machinery repair trade.

First employed as an apprentice, then moving his way up to an engineer, David Harris gives an entertaining, informative and personal account of his time spent at a Ford main tractor dealership, working on Ford, Fordson, County, Roadless and Muirhill tractors, Chaseside loaders, Claas combines and New Holland and Jones balers amongst others. Including many historical photographs, David describes the technical challenges in detail, and tells of the ups and downs of life in the workshop and out in the field. This book will be a must-read for anyone who is or was involved in the machinery industry; anyone looking to restore or repair vintage agricultural machinery and anyone with a general interest in farming and machinery history.

David Harris has spent 50 years working in agricultural machinery repair in Sussex. After qualifying as an agricultural engineer in 1965, he worked for two different Ford Tractor dealers, until he was promoted to Depot Service Manager in 1974. In 1985 he changed direction and spent the next 25 years teaching agricultural engineering and construction plant repair at two Sussex agricultural colleges. He is a frequent contributor to Tractor & Machinery and other magazines and is now retired.

Code No. 017427, 208 pages, ISBN 9781910456989, $42.00

This item is listed under the following subjects:

Fordson  
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