Saturday, May 31, 2008

Won Over By A Ransomes Crawler

Three years ago I took over a rather overgrown allotment. It had not been cultivated for years and the ground was hard and full of weeds. The big question was how to bring it under control. Should I attempt too dig it by hand? No, that could take forever. There was only one decision to make - I needed to acquire a rotavator.

But, which one? Well, given my interest in vintage machines, it was easy. I wanted a 2-stroke Shay rotavator from the 1950's. So, using the Look What I Have Found website I found just what I was looking for. I was now in business.

After a little checking over, setting points and cleaning the carburettor, the Shay fired up on a second pull of the starter - brilliant! The sound and smell of the 2-stroke took me back years to when I used to help my father. Without delay, I went straight to the allotment to try it out.

Unfortunately, my enthusiasm was short-lived. Although the rotavator performed very well, the job was going to take weeks. I needed a bigger machine.

Back to Look What I Have Found to search for another purchase. This time, I found a Howard Gem rotavator. Originally, this machine was used in market gardens to prepare large areas of ground. With its 5 horse power, 4-stroke engine, it pulled like a tank. This I was convinced would plough through the soil like water.

But, although the Howard worked well, it spread the weeds rather than removing them. It was obvious; I needed a plough and drag harrow mechanism not a rotavator!

Back to Look What I Have Found to search yet again for another purchase. This time, I found a Mayfield garden tractor with all its attachments - plough, cultivator and disc harrows. This must be the answer, I thought.

After a careful run with the cultivator toolbar, the results looked very promising. The ground was well tilled and the weeds had been gathered together for scooping up. I was happy ... or was I?

With my success in tracking down garden machinery, I continued to search Look What I Have Found for books and information about these machines. This was disastrous. Each search revealed something better. Finally, I stumbled upon an old Ransomes MG2 crawler with tools.

That was it. I was hooked. This machine epitomised everything I needed to bring my allotment back to life. From that point onwards, my addiction began. I now have 21 of them blocking my drive, my garage, my garden; from MG2s to MG40s. I love them all!


My army of ransomes crawlers


As most of the machines were not working when I first got them, I have spent many hours bringing them back to life. So, I thought it would be helpful to pass on my experience to other owners and future owners of Ransomes Crawlers.

Therefore, over the next few weeks, I will present a series of articles showing different aspects of the machines. Each article will highlight a specific problem, show how the problem was analysed and then show how it was resolved.

If there is any specific aspect of a Ransomes Crawler that you would like to discuss, please leave a comment and I will get back to you immediately.

5 comments:

kezer24 said...

hi I have just recently bought an mg2 with TB engine, I have it running and it is a delightful device, could you send some pictures of the tool box as mine didn't come with one, also could you please send some pictures of the different attachments you have,
kerry,
kezer2424@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

Hi, I am in New Zealand and have an MG5, Do you know what the correct colour scheme is for one of these. Mine has a dozer blade on the front.
petermcguire@mail.com

Steve Chicken said...

I am a collector (posh term for horder !)of Ransomes stuff and am looking for a restored MG2 or 5 plus implements to use on my small holding near Ipswich, UK. Any advice on where to purchase and what to look out for?

ingmar said...

very goood soldiers jaa jaaa

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