Happy birthday to the little grey Fergie

MASSEY Ferguson is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the start of production of its famous TE20 tractor, better known as the little grey Fergie.
Happy birthday to the little grey Fergie Happy birthday to the little grey Fergie Happy birthday to the little grey Fergie Happy birthday to the little grey Fergie Happy birthday to the little grey Fergie

The little grey Fergie turns 70.

Mark Saunders

The first TE (Tractor England) 20 rolled off the assembly line on July 6th, 1946, at the Banner Lane manufacturing plant in Coventry in the United Kingdom. It quickly became a mainstay of farming around the world, thanks to the innovative work of engineer and inventor, Harry Ferguson.

Key to the global success of the tractor was its unique three-point linkage implement attachment system controlled by the tractor’s hydraulics. Designated the ‘Ferguson System,’ this effectively turned the tractor and implement into a single working unit, replacing the previous cumbersome trailed method of implement operation. This pioneering automatic control technology led the way forward for farmers and allowed them to approach their work with a higher level of competency. 

Rated at only 20 horsepower or 15kW, the TE20 was incredibly light and small, yet it easily outperformed much bigger units, and at much lower running costs. It provided the breakthrough on which agricultural mechanisation techniques came to be based throughout the world. More than half a million of these diminutive tractors were built at the Banner Lane plant between 6 July 1946 and 13 July 1956. A large number of them are still working on farms and they are prized collectors’ items.

In Australia, the little grey Fergie was typically used to prepare the land for farming operations and is a significant part of our agricultural history. 

Massey Ferguson is now one of the largest global farm machinery brands producing a wide range of tractors, harvesting equipment and agricultural implements, with factories all around the world. Its famous red-liveried equipment is distributed in 140 countries through an extensive dealership network, backed by the strength and parts support of AGCO.