28 March 1997

End of the road for 4WD tractor? Not if sale is a success

By Peter Hill

AGROSAVE, the tractor parts supply business that specialises in spares for Roadless tractors, has been sold.

The business was set up near Evesham, Worcs, by long-time Roadless enthusiast Roger Haynes when the previous owner of the tractor concern, Somerset-based L F Jewell, was closed in liquidation.

"We bought just about everything to do with Roadless apart from the name," says Mr Haynes. "Castings, moulds, brochures, components and assemblies of all sorts – even the drawing office records and many original draughtsmans drawings."

Since then, Mr Haynes and his wife, Marie, have run a growing business supplying parts to the many Roadless tractor users around the world, and produced newly cast or machined components as original stocks ran out.

The association with Roadless started when Mr Haynes bought a four-wheel-drive Fordson Super Major to begin contracting. During the 1970s, he often tested prototypes and other development machines for the company. Mr Haynes still owns his first Roadless, as well as a prototype of the 125hp Roadless 118.

Both are being packed for shipment to Canada, where Mr Haynes is to farm, along with a Roadless Super Dexta, a Ploughmaster 64 and two Roadless 115s.

"Well need something to work the farm and I couldnt part with the tractors anyway," says Roger Haynes.

Meantime, the current parts stock – as well all the Roadless archive material – is being transferred to David Pantry, a Marshall and Doe tractor enthusiast who runs a combine breaking business from his farm at Haxey, North Lincs.

"I dont want to see the Roadless name die away," he says. "It was a hell of a good machine and was produced by one of the pioneers of four-wheel drive."

&#8226 A video charting the history and technical achievements of Roadless Traction has been produced by Farming Press Books as a follow-up to Stuart Gibbards book Roadless.

It includes film of prototype military tanks and tracked steam wagons, as well as footage of the four-wheel drive tractors.

Its a deal – Roger Haynes (right) entrusts the Roadless parts business and archive material to North Lincs farmer David Pantry.

A battery pick-me-up…

TIRED and lifeless – the obvious way to add some zest to a farm pick-ups flat battery is to clip on a pair of jump leads. But what if you cant get another vehicle within reach?

Sealey Power Products claims its RS1 power pack/jump lead outfit is designed for just such a scenario, and is capable of starting any car or light commercial vehicle with a flat battery.

In simple terms, the RS1 is a portable, rechargeable 12V power source. Its outer shell is made from a high impact composite material and incorporates three LED battery indicator lights and a charger LED.

Price of the RS1 pack is £170.

Flat batteries rejuvenated with the Sealey RSI pack.