Fordson Super Major

The Fordson Super Major, produced from 1961 to 1964 by Fordson in Dagenham, England, is a notable utility tractor recognized for its robust performance and versatility. Marketed as the Ford 5000 in the United States, it features both diesel and gasoline engine options, offering reliable power for various agricultural tasks. With a 4×2 2WD chassis, sliding gear transmission, and an open operator station, the Super Major is designed for efficiency and ease of use. Its durable construction and practical design have made it a favored choice among farmers for fieldwork and general utility.

Fordson Super Major Specifications
ModelFordson Super Major
Production Years1961 – 1964
ManufacturerFordson (a part of Ford)
FactoryDagenham, England
MarketSold as the Ford 5000 in the United States
Engine54 hp (40.3 kW)
PTO (claimed)47 hp (35.0 kW)
Drawbar (tested)40.21 hp (30.0 kW)
PTO (tested)47.53 hp (35.4 kW)
Engines Overview
DieselFord 3.6L 4-cyl
GasolineFord 3.3L 4-cyl
Engine Details (Diesel)
TypeDiesel, 4-cylinder, liquid-cooled
Displacement220 ci (3.6 L)
Bore/Stroke3.937×4.524 inches (100 x 115 mm)
Power54 hp (40.3 kW)
Rated RPM1700
Firing order1-2-4-3
Starter volts12
Oil capacity7.2 qts (6.8 L)
Coolant capacity15.3 qts (14.5 L)
Engine Details (Gasoline)
TypeGasoline, 4-cylinder, liquid-cooled
Displacement199 ci (3.3 L)
Bore/Stroke3.74×4.524 inches (95 x 115 mm)
Firing order1-2-4-3
Oil capacity7.2 qts (6.8 L)
Sparkplug gap0.025 inches (0.635 mm)
Point gap0.014-0.016 inches (0.356 mm)
TypeSliding gear
Gears6 forward and 2 reverse
Chassis4×2 2WD
CabOpen operator station
TypeOpen center
Pump flow6 gpm (22.7 lpm)
Tractor Hitch
Rear TypeI, II
Power Take-off (PTO)
Rear PTOIndependent
Rear RPM540
Super Major Serial Numbers
LocationSerial number stamped onto the engine, right side
196108A 300001
196208B 741001
196308C 945000
196408D 940000
Ag front6.00-16
Ag rear12.4-38
Wheelbase80 inches (203 cm)
Length130.5 inches (331 cm)
Width65 inches (165 cm)
Height64.6 inches (164 cm)
Weight5330 lbs (2417 kg)
Fordson Super Major overview

The Fordson Super Major, produced between 1961 and 1964, is a quintessential example of Fordson’s legacy of durable and reliable agricultural machinery. Manufactured in Dagenham, England, the Super Major was also marketed as the Ford 5000 in the United States, reflecting its international appeal and robust design tailored to meet the rigorous demands of farming communities worldwide. This utility tractor is renowned for its versatility and powerful performance, making it a staple on many farms during its production years and well beyond.

At its core, the Super Major was available with both diesel and gasoline engine options, each offering distinct advantages. The diesel engine, a Ford 3.6L 4-cylinder, was particularly lauded for its torque and fuel efficiency, making it ideal for heavy-duty tasks. Conversely, the Ford 3.3L 4-cylinder gasoline engine provided a reliable alternative for those preferring petrol power. Both engines featured liquid cooling, ensuring consistent performance under various working conditions. The tractor’s power output was a significant leap forward at the time, with a tested PTO power exceeding 47 horsepower, demonstrating its capability in handling a range of implements and attachments.

One of the standout features of the Fordson Super Major is its transmission system. The sliding gear transmission, with six forward and two reverse gears, provided a good range of speeds suitable for different tasks, from plowing fields to transporting goods. The 4×2 2WD chassis was standard, offering simplicity and reliability in design, which contributed to the tractor’s ease of maintenance and long-term durability. The open operator station, typical of tractors of that era, afforded operators a clear view of their surroundings and easy access to controls, although it lacked the comforts of modern enclosed cabs.

The Super Major’s hydraulic system, with an open center design and a pump flow rate of 6 gallons per minute, supported efficient operation of various hydraulic implements. The rear Type I and II hitch options expanded its versatility, allowing it to accommodate a wide array of attachments for different farming activities. The independent rear PTO with a standard 540 RPM further enhanced its functionality, making it a versatile tool for powering equipment like mowers, balers, and other PTO-driven implements.

In terms of dimensions and build, the Fordson Super Major was a well-proportioned machine with a wheelbase of 80 inches and a total length of 130.5 inches. It was compact enough to maneuver in smaller fields yet robust enough to handle substantial workloads. The standard agricultural tires provided ample traction, and its relatively low height made it suitable for tasks requiring clearance, such as orchard work. Weighing in at 5330 pounds, the Super Major struck a balance between being heavy enough for stability and light enough for efficiency.

Fordson Super Major represents a significant period in agricultural mechanization, embodying the qualities of reliability, power, and versatility. Its design and functionality reflected the needs of farmers during the early 1960s, offering a robust solution for a variety of agricultural tasks. Decades after its production ceased, the Super Major remains a respected and cherished model among vintage tractor enthusiasts and collectors, a testament to its enduring legacy and the trust it earned from the farming community.