Formed as Metalksi Zavodi in 1949, the Yugoslavia tractor maker, became Industria Masina i Traktora in 1954 and built the first IMT 539 tractors at Belgrade in 1956. Manufactured under licence from Massey Ferguson, the IMT 539, specification, apart from the use of metric threads, was very similar to the MF 35 with power steering and a six forward and two reverse gearbox. Optional equipment included a cab, front and rear wheel weights, belt pulley and hydrostatic steering but Multi-Power transmission was not available. The IMT 539 was introduced to UK farmers by Vowcrest at Stone in Staffordshire in 1975. An advertisement in the late 1970s
Farmers Guide 25 Years Ago suggested that “although a dog was a livestock farmer’s best friend, the IMT 539 would put the dog’s position in danger”. It added that having been developed over 30 years the 539 was just as reliable as a dog and cost less to keep. When Vowcrest became IMT Southern in 1982 it was importing a full range of IMT tractors from 42–207hp. They were available with standard or deluxe cabs and the option of 2and 4wd. The top of the range 4wd, articulated 207hp IMT 5200 cost £38,500. ■
The deluxe version of the IMT 539 cost £5,599 at the 1991 Royal Smithfield Show.
Farmers Guide celebrated its 150th issue in February 1992. John Hodge took a brief look through the past 150 issues: The very first magazine, in September 1979, included a report on the Long Sutton (Lincolnshire) Tractors at Work field trials. The organisation which ploughed its plot in the shortest time was declared the winner. Then, at Suffolk Farm Machinery Club’s Power in Action event, the Trantor highspeed tractor had one of its first outings. Issue No. 50 of Farmers Guide noted the growing public outcry against straw burning and No. 100 reported that, after nearly 200 years, Ransomes Sims & Jefferies was bowing out of the farm machinery business. Back to February 1992, Grain & Fertiliser columnist Graham Henderson expressed concern about the number of loads of sugar beet that had been rejected by the factories because of frost damage and fusarium, and that many acres of beet were unlikely to be lifted. He also noted that the Cambridgeshire CLA Chairman expressed concern that more acres of set-aside were likely and that there was great pressure on farmers to devote more time and money to conservation. Ten years or so after the all terrain vehicle appeared on UK farms, the six major manufacturers promoted basic training designed for all users of ATVs. Under the umbrella of BAGMA, the ATB and HSE, course members, who received instruction and achieved satisfactory assesment of safe and efficient operation, would be awarded a certificate. Crop sprayers were a major topic in Farmers Guide in February 1992. A Landquip special feature reported that the company had renovated a number of its customers’ existing
sprayers and were also building a range of trailed and mounted sprayers and de-mount models for Fastracs and MBtracs with tubular aluminium spray bars. A 14-page supplement for sprayer specialist HL Hutchinson, with depots throughout East Anglia, announced the opening of its new headquarters in Wisbech. As well as having a team of agronomists, Hutchinsons held franchises for Allman, Berthoud, Hardi, Horstine and Knight sprayers, and a vast range of chemical suppliers. On the machinery pages it was announced that McConnel had been bought by the Alamo Group in Texas. Tim, Armer Moreau and Vervaet introduced new self-propelled tanker sugar beet harvesters and Zetor launched a totally new 9540 model designed for ease of maintenance and low running costs. Developments from Dowdeswell included lighter versions of two models of its power harrows, an auto-steering kit for the DP 2 reversible plough and high capacity models of the Multispread manure spreaders.
Henry Brown’s Vintage Diary February 12
Warwickshire – The Model Tractor Show at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre near Leamington Spa, CV31 1XN. www.modeltractorshow.co.uk. Worcestershire – Tractor World at The Three Counties Showground, Malvern, WR13 6NW. , Including 100 years of Ford & Fordson, classic trucks ay stationary engines etc. Vintage auction on Saturd y. and a vintage sort out and Agrijumble on Sunda . .co.uk shows rworld www.tracto
120 www.farmersguide.co.uk February 2017
96-180 ROP feb.indd 120
Farmers Guide Magazine February 2017 Issue