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Subject: Mototug in Australia

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Geoff Whitfield    Posted 09-02-2010 at 02:36:09 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Mototug in Australia
  • I have a Ford Ferguson Mototug 2N Serial No BNO1146. I don't know how it came to Australia. I obtained if from a wreckers yard in Koondrook (northern Victoria Australia). I have had it since 2001 and brought it back to life and in the process of restoration. I have taken it to a number of rallies and it creates a great deal of interest as no one else has seen one in Australia.

    I would like to know a little more on the mnaufacturing date, and how it could have made it to Australia, and if there are any more in Australia. Email me if you would like a photo.

    Paladin (Bob In PA)    Posted 09-14-2010 at 23:11:52 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Mototug in Australia
  • Geoff:

    If you scroll down a bit here on the History forum you will find quite a bit on Moto Tugs. You can also do an archive search under "Moto Tug". There was a complete article on the Moto Tugs that ran recently in the Ford/Fordson collector's magazine. We have the Moto Tug parts manual posted here under "manuals".

    I own four of them (actually three plus one body), but none restored.

    I believe that in your post the serial number must be misquoted a bit - The serial should be BNO 40 XXXX or BNO 25 XXXX The 40 series was the heavier weighted version with a more geared down transmission and dual rear wheels.

    Long story short, Ford supplied them beginning in 1943 to satisfy a Navy requirement. Ultimately about 2300 of them were produced, with many being supplied to the Army Air Force and some to civilian airfields. They were shipped overseas as the Navy and Army Air Forces went overseas to fight the war. We have a member of this website that knows of one in Scotland.

    They were supplied in three colors - Army flat Olive Drab, Navy flat Gray, and Ford glossy Gray. After the war most of them were sold for salvage and many were broken up for parts or converted into fork lifts, trenchers and loaders. The survivors stayed with the Navy until about 1955, when the last of them were surplused. Note that many Navy tugs were painted high visibility yellow once WW2 was over.

    There were also industrial versions of the Ford tractor that were supplied for military airfield use. If you visit the Antique Tractors website, you can read the story of a 2N industrial in New Zealand that has been restored to original US Army configuration.

    The picture of your tug seems to have been taken down - i can't access it.


    Geoff Whitfield.    Posted 09-27-2010 at 04:45:33 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Mototug in Australia
  • re serial number, My tug has BNO-1406 stamped no the engine block near the oil filter.The front axle has BNO-1409 cast onto left hand side. the radius rods are I shaped. I can not find any other numbers even on the rear trumpet housings like tractors have. They are a different shape to tractor housings because of brake rods and frame mountings. The color when I purchased it was worn yellow with engine/gearbox dull red and underneath no paint, rusted.I do have spare Ford engine which has 9NAN 296547 stamped on engine block the same place as the tug.
    There is a alloy plate under steering wheel[like tractors] but nothing stamped on it. Since the photo on web was taken the headlights have been changed to Ford Lights.

    Paladin (Bob In PA)    Posted 09-27-2010 at 08:55:58 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Mototug in Australia
  • Geoff:

    Are you sure that the serial number isn't BNO 40 1406 or BNO 25 1406? The 40's were shipped with dual rear truck wheels and the 25's had single wheels. The alloy plate that you mention had various Ford patent numbers on it in very fine print. Most likely someone tried to polish it and rubbed the numbers off. You can obtain an exact replica of this plate from restoration suppliers such as just8ns. The front axle was the BNO 7409 subassembly according to the parts manual - rust has most likely made the "7" look like a "1".

    Keep in mind that the Tug had a standard, off the production line, Ford 2N gasoline burning tractor motor - right down to the little aluminum patent plate. Your 9NAN motor is a kerosene burner. The NAN motors are scarcer here in the US than are Tugs. Most all NAN kerosene burners were produced for export.

    The Moto Tug parts manual is posted on this website for download or you can use it online. The same serial number that you observed on the engine should be repeated on an aluminum data plate that was riveted to the sheet metal down by your left foot as you sit on the tug. Many of these data plates are missing on Tugs - perhaps they were in an inconvient location and vibrated loose. If your tug ever had a data plate, you should see four small (1/8 inch) rivet holes. I will try to post a close up picture of a Tug that still has its data plate. To the best of my knowledge, the serial number of the tug did not appear anywhere else on the tug.

    Please post some pictures of your Tug for us to see!


    Tony VA    Posted 09-12-2010 at 11:34:22 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Mototug in Australia
  • That is a very nice job on the tug! I have a close friend that was in the U.S.A.F. and he confirms that they where yellow for use on the flight lines back when they where in service.

    I will ask him if he knows of them being stationed over there.


    Bruce Dorsi    Posted 09-02-2010 at 07:44:40 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Mototug in Australia
  • Wow! ...That is nicely done!

    During your restoration, did you find any indication of the original paint color? ....I am under the impression (perhaps wrongfully)that most were painted gray.

    Geoff Whitfield    Posted 09-02-2010 at 02:49:40 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Mototug in Australia
  • Adding Photograph

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