Office Girl to Tractor Builder
Updated: Sep 11, 2019
One Monday morning the Managing Director of Siromer tractors walks into the office with a smile and hands me a pair of red overalls. Louise Howard declares that it is time that I built my first tractor. I am more practised in handling the busy stream of phone calls than building a compact tractor, but I accepted the challenge. The tractor in question is a 254, 25hp 3 cylinder tractor.
I was encouraged by the fact that no one has ever not been able to build a Siromer flatpack tractor. I have been on the receiving end of many victorious phone calls from Siromer customers who have completed the task and are keen to let us know about their experience and their completion time. Farmer Fred Sharman of Repps in Norfolk currently holds the record at an impressive 4 and a half hours.
Knowing the team of mechanics that would be helping me also made the whole process feel more manageable, but I was amazed at how easy the build was. I have heard many times the sale line of ‘You can see it, build it, repair it and service it’ and it was great to see how accurate this is.
The estimated build time for a Siromer compact tractor is 10 hours and 10 steps, but with the practised hands and knowledge of the mechanics we knew it would be much quicker. A comprehensive manual is supplied to all Siromer customers along with a basic tool box. The chaps in the workshop work fast as you’d imagine but slowed to explain to me the parts and the process they fly through ordinarily. They regularly build the crated tractors for the customers that would rather the tractor be built in our workshops and delivered ready to use.
The first step was to unpack the crate and lay out the 30 different components including the main skid, exhaust, wheels, battery, roll bar. With it all laid out It was hard to imagine that in a few hours this would be a shiny new tractor that I could drive out of the workshop. The main skid was lifted out of the crate using a forklift but trolley jacks and axle stands can handle this task. It is worth remembering that the tractors have already been assembled once in the factory north of Shanghai, run, tested and then disassembled and crated for shipment to Siromer HQ. Once the wheels have been bolted on the rolling chassis is lowered down to the floor, it is already starting to look like the tractors I know.
We then got to work with the body work, the rear mud guards, the roll bar, the bonnet and engine cowling are all then fitted. I can see how logical the assembly is, each part fitted seems to lead to the next and although the guys on the team have had lots of practise I can see how, with the help of the construction manual and an extra pair of hands a novice like myself can put this together. With the tractor really taking shape now it was time for a break where I saw that Siromer tractors are built on fuel made from bacon sandwiches and cups of tea!
The electrics are tackled after a short break, attaching the rear lights and then the 8 electrical cables, the mechanics showed me the diagrams of these and again a logical visual is given to help with the process. The three-point linkage is the last of the main construction elements. This is the point when I will get an occasional call in the office from a customer mid build. They are always able to speak with a mechanic and talk through any queries. The tractor is now ready to be greased. Lubricants and coolants are added, and the diesel tank is filled up. The mechanics then tighten every nut and bolt, especially the ones I had fitted!
Once the battery is connected and the injection pump primed the mechanics graciously gave me the keys for the first start up. Such a sense of achievement hearing the tractor that began life in a crate roar into action! After all the pre-delivery inspection checks were carried out and the paperwork filled for me to take back to the office I was able to drive the tractor out of the workshop.
I can see why so many people choose to build their own tractor, it gives you such a great working knowledge of the machine and this is surely why Siromer have made it company policy for all staff members to get the chance to complete a build. But also, the task of construction and the achievement of putting a tractor to work that you built yourself is incredibly enjoyable. The challenge to construct this durable and versatile tractor is there for you if you wish, but our competent mechanics are on hand if you would rather receive the tractor fully built, offering the best of both worlds.
For more information on the complete range of tractors and equipment visit www.siromer.co.uk or call 01253 790454.