Deniliquin Pastoral Times
Daryl shares his love of tractors
Daryl Whateley has had a lifelong love for Harry Ferguson tractors.
He first laid eyes on one as a child, and in adulthood he owns several of the tractors and is a member of the Harry Ferguson Tractor Club of Australia.
The associated tractor treks, parts lending network and exchange of information between members matches his own goal to share the passion and knowledge.
‘‘I grew up in Victoria, near Swan Hill, in dairy country there,’’ Mr Whateley said.
‘‘When I was about 10 years-old, my uncle had a Ferguson.
‘‘We’d start it and feed the calves. It was an innovation of that time and it stuck with me.’’
While there is no official local branch of the Harry Ferguson Tractor Club of Australia, Mr Whateley said there are ‘‘a handful’’ of Deniliquin members.
‘‘There are some in Jerilderie and Moulamein too, but the club has 700 to 800 members across the country.
‘‘We do meet up a few times a year, or have phone calls.
‘‘The club is for people who have that common interest in Fergusons; we share what we know, it’s a learning thing.
‘‘We collect and restore them, but even if you don’t have one you can join for just having that interest.
‘‘The basis is a respect and knowledge of the Irish-born mechanic Henry ‘‘Harry’’ Ferguson who built the tractor.
‘‘The idea of the Ferguson is one man and a tractor can do a lot of things. It’s not heavy, it’s lightweight. It revolutionised farming throughout Britain, and essentially the world.’’
Local members do gather when they can, which Mr Whateley said includes tractor trek excursions.
‘‘We also do catch ups here, going to Pretty Pine and driving the tractors out there.
‘‘It takes an hour going 15km (per hour). ‘‘It’s a different experience going that slow. You can see different things and take it in, even watch a goanna go past.’’
And while getting out and about hasn’t been a possibility because of COVID-19, it’s been a good time for some tinkering.
‘‘My current project is restoring a three tonne Ferguson tipping trailer; I’ve only had it 9 years.
‘‘I’ve got about 40 items of Ferguson equipment, like little ploughs, disc arrows, scoops, tillers.
‘‘And I have 5 tractors at the moment.’’ Complementing his collection of Ferguson equipment is a specialty ‘library’. ‘‘People will contact me for Ferguson bits. ‘‘People come knock on my door, ‘You wouldn’t happen to have . . .?’. And I usually do.’’
Anyone interested in joining the Harry Ferguson Club of Australia, can contact Mr Whateley for details on 0415 381 982.