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The catalogue is dated July 1952 and is in very good condition for its age. 100 pages, all complete with no tears. The outside covers have some oil and dirt on them and the spine is very slightly frayed at the bottom (as can be seen from photo). There are a few oil/finger marks throughout the book, but really it is in very clean condition.
This manual has come from T H Hobson, Sutton on Derwent, York and has some hand written information on the inside cover. The written information gives the engine serial number as VAD12, 1211 and the tractor serial number as VAD 12 10110. These are the serial numbers of the tractor that this manual was originally supplied with.
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Massey Ferguson 135 serial numbers.
Year Serial Numbers
The Massey Ferguson 135 was produced from 1964 to 1978 and is one of the best loved Massey Fergusons tractors. The 135 was the smallest in the 100 series range and was launched at the Smithfield Show in 1964, fitted with a Perkins AD3.152 engine which later gave 47hp.
The 100 series tractors replaced the MF35x and MF65 tractors, retaining many of the much loved features of the 35 but with some added equipment. The hydraulic system was slightly redesigned, lifting 3,150lbs at the lower links and incorporating an integral pick-up hitch. The more squared look of the body work gives that classic look, and with self cleaning foot pedals, a larger fuel tank and comfort seat, the tractor was well received by farmers for 14 years.
Want to know MF135 serial number information?
The hydraulics on the 135 provided position and draft control, as previously available on the MF35. The hydraulics system also came with the option of “pressure control”. Pressure control was a function which could be used to transfer the weight of a trailed implement onto the drive wheels to increase traction. A special pressure coupler attached between the lower links and the drawbar of the implement. When traction was good the position control lever could be set on “Low Pressure” (which provides a low pressure of hydraulic fluid into the lift cylinder), but if traction deteriorated then the position control lever could be moved to increase the pressure, increase the weight on the drive wheels and hence increase traction. Pressure control couplers were not well used on farm, which was a shame as the full traction ability of the tractor was often not realised.
Tractors were fitted with similar front axles as the 35 up to 1969, at which point they changed to a straight beam axle.
Many MF135 tractors are still been used on farms today. Vintage Tractor Engineer visits many farms with large modern tractors and materials handlers, then somewhere around a corner, in an old cart shed, maybe powering a mill or a sawbench, lifting bales into cattle yards…. is a 135 – still in daily work after leaving the factory over 40 years ago.
One place to be sure to find one of these manoevrable little machines is on a dairy farm, scraping up slurry – the brakes may not be that effective and the bodywork and wheel rims rotting, but they are still hard at work, starting up every cold winter’s morning without any complaint.
Here at Vintage Tractor Engineer we get a lot of correspondence from the Irish tractor men (and ladies!!). The magnitude of following in Ireland is overwhelming, and it goes without saying that Ferguson is a favourite over there. There are Grey Fergusons in their thousands taken to shows, rallies and road runs. Well why not? Harry Ferguson arguably made the greatest ever contribution to agriculture of any one individual, and that is quite rightly celebrated by all us Ferguson enthusiasts.
Take a look at this competition. Teams of four dismantle a Ferguson TE 20 TVO and then put the whole thing back together again and start up the engine as fast as they can. The fastest team is the winner. The teams are obviously well practiced but each have their own techniques and method of assembly. You can take a look at all the rules at Ferguson20Build.com.
And the winning time? 6 minutes 18 seconds. I think Vintage Tractor Engineer will have to do a bit more practicing! (Ed)
One of the most popular tractors for vintage tractor enthusiasts is the Ferguson 135, and many of these tractors are still used daily on farms. However, as they come onto the market, they are slowly being bought up by enthusiasts who are restoring them back to original condition.
I thought this video typified what many people are doing with these Massey 135 tractors, taking them home to their workshops, dismantling, painting, replacing parts and then taking them to a show. Here the tractor is taken on its first outing with the new paint job to Inniscarra Agricultural Show, where we see the line up of tractors, old machines, seats, a steam engine threshing, then animals and the people enjoying the sunshine.
All these small agricultural shows are a great day out to meet friends from the rural communities and watch the farming traditions. Vintage Tractor Engineer likes to get to 4 or 5 shows each year if time allows, and nowadays there is often a vintage tractor show incorporated as well.
In recent years the classic tractors have begun to get involved, standing in line against the Grey Fergies, Dexta’s, Cropmasters, Allis Chalmers, Field Marshalls and Standard Fordsons. We are getting all sorts of tractors on display, but quite a few Ford 2000,3000,4000,5000 and lots of MF135′s.
For some reason the Ferguson 135 is so popular. But why? It would seem they have more followers than the 165 or 168, so is it the manoevrability and the brilliant 3 cylinder Perkins AD3-152 engine?
Please let us know what it is you like about the Ferguson 135, we are interested to know what it is about these tractors. Leave a comment in the box below.
Well known author John Farnworth has written A Worldwide Guide To Massey Ferguson 100 And 1000 Tractors 1964-1988. At over 300 pages it is an extensive guide to this era at Massey Ferguson and includes chapters written by Massey Ferguson employees, photos and specifications of all the models.