The Tractor. 'Match' in Sussex.
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Comments by Messrs. .. Henry Ford and Son.
CONSIDERABLE publicity has been given to the report of a trial of farm tractors' oh the estate and under the auspices of Mr. S. 'F. Edge, Con-.troller of the Agricultural Machinery Department of
the Ministry of Munitions. • This report as published is misleadieg, and is calculated to cause serious damage to our interests. The trial referred to took place, and our farm tractor was used, without the knowledge or consent of any responsible official of this company, although we understand that responsible representatives of another tractor firm were present. The first information received by us of the so-called trial was through the' medium of the Press. .
' The facts revealed by inquiries made by us reduced thie-alleged comparative test to farcical proportions. Mr_ S. Fl. Edge, the COntroller of the Agricultural Machinery Department of the-Ministry of Munitions, Was therefore asked to supply a personal and official report upon the subject. We append that gentleman's statement, and would specially emphasize the following points :— . (1) That an unskilled farm hand drove the Ford tractor against the expert driver of the other . tractor. . (2) That the Ford tractor drew a horse plough and was conditioned by the walking pace of the man, whereaS the other tractor was specially prepared and equipped with a machine plough. () That the published comparison between the ' results is misleading and unfair. ' (4) That the test was valueleSs and was never in tended for comparative purposes. '
The statement of Mr. S. F, Edge follows :— (1) " There was no arranged comparative test, although it is true that all the tractors started at the same time and ran for an hour. As you are ' aware, no really valuable test, can be made over such. a short period of time where it is impossible to get the ground either for gradient or texture the same . for all machines.
(2) "It would not have been possible to make a true comparative test even if it had been desired, for the simple reason that the Ford tractor had no soli-lifting plough available.
(3) "The conditions were not suitable to make a useful comparative test, the tractor' being handled by an exceedingly expert professional driver, and he, very properly.frotrehis point of view, drove the tractor exceedingly .hard s in my opinion, however,iusing it. very much harder than it would be driven in the ordinary. way. The Ford was driven by one of the ordinary farm hands here, sate, in fact, had only been taught to drive it a day or so before, and no idea of any comparative test for the purpose of publicity was entertained by anybody present at that time.
(4) "It is a perfectly untrue statement that the Ford tractor needs two persons to operate it. Anyone familiar with. the matter knows perfectly well that the question of whether one has an operator on the plough ornot has nothing to do with any tractor, but that it is merely a question of the plough itself: (5) "The comparison of acreage ploughed and fuel consumption is quite misleading and unfair, because it was obvious to anybody looking on that the horsedrawn plough which was coupled up to the .Ford meant losing a' considerable amount of time on every headland turn, and if at any point it allowed the Ford to increase its pace over ploughing walking speed, it would -be held back by the speed at which the man could walk.
. (6) "The attention of the firm whose advertisements on this matter are, in my opinion, most misleading has been called.officiallY to this, and I have been informed that the advertisements are being withdrawn at once."
To this statement, we desire only to add that our tractor has, under the observation of the most re,sporisible and expert official judges, in many parts of England, and under widely-varying conditions, established a reputation for satisfactory and economical service unequalled in the arena of farm tractor haulage. The results of these impartial and fair trials are on record. It is presumably open to the proprietors of any tractor to undergo similar tests, and to compile data of real value to the farmer and others concerned.
We beg that in our interests, and in those of the public concerned, you will give publicity to this correction; of an "unfair and misleading" report.
HENRY FORD AND SON, LTD.