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Old 01 September 2011, 16:18   #1
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tractors for launching

Does anyone have experience of launching with tractors. Thinking of getting one to launch at low tide and was wondering if a Grey Massey Ferguson was big enough....
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Old 01 September 2011, 16:37   #2
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Originally Posted by brinky View Post
Does anyone have experience of launching with tractors. Thinking of getting one to launch at low tide and was wondering if a Grey Massey Ferguson was big enough....
Should be .. has it got a diff lock ? .. soft sand at the upper reach of the tide is your enemy ... I use vintage fordsons for a lot of mine but they do need a lot of maintenance to keep the salt at bay from the brakes and the tin work .. should handle up to 9M no problem unless you got some loose shingle or something really steep ?
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Old 01 September 2011, 16:49   #3
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you should be ok with a grey fergi, though a lot depends on the individual beach eg type of sand /shingle and how steep it is .

As bigmuzz says top of the beach is sometimes the problem bit .we had a spate where the council would tip back the dry fine sand that had blown/washed off the beach onto the road at the top of the ramp leading to the beach that caused a few problems, at the moment we use the club slip thats concreate right down to the water ,even that has its problems with weed.
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Old 01 September 2011, 16:51   #4
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we had a small David Brown 2 wheel drive it was spoton never got stuck even with warrior 175 and merry fishers on
only down side was stopping going down the slips way just could not stop the larger boats
we have Massey fergusions at present
hope this helps
Geoff
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Old 01 September 2011, 17:00   #5
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Thats cool, they seem to be the most available tractor and not too big. Would petrol or diesel make much difference?
The beach is very flat and quite chalky.
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Old 01 September 2011, 17:26   #6
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Diesel every time. Much more resistant to a soaking.
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Old 01 September 2011, 17:29   #7
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I agree and easy to maintain as well cheap to run
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Old 01 September 2011, 17:44   #8
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Grey diesels will be harder to find but much preferred due to lack of electrics
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Old 01 September 2011, 18:57   #9
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Dumper truck?

Have you looked into dumper trucks, often alot cheaper but without the height adjustment on the hitch, also plenty of room to put stuff on the way to launc
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Old 01 September 2011, 20:13   #10
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A word of caution with 2WD tractors. A bloke here who had a Rigid Raider tried recovering it with a 2WD Ford tractor (a lot bigger than a Fergie) and totally wrecked the launching beach with it, digging big holes everywhere.

Main problem in that case being the RR is a heavy old barge and a 2WD tractor (regardless of make) is largely designed to gain traction on its rear wheels via weight transfer from the trailer/implement - hence the fact most tractor-trailers have the wheels at the back of the trailer and a very heavy noseweight, to load up the driven rear wheels.

A boat trailer of course usually has a light noseweight to allow on-road towing by a vehicle with suspension, so you don't get either the weight transfer, or the grip, that a tractor needs to perform properly.

I guess it wouldn't really be a problem on a proper surfaced slip but without the weight over the rear wheels (and assuming you haven't compensated by filling the rear tyres with water or fitting wheel/3 point linkage weights) you don't have as much traction as you might expect. However the gearing is excellent compared to anything else, and a 4WD tractor is a completely different story.

Brakes on older tractors are also almost universally crap... we've got 3 old Fordsons on the farm (by old I mean 1950s/1960s) and none of the brakes work on any of them.
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