The Definitive County Register Online

History

Back in the early days of the company, they specialised in building crawlers before developing their tractors. The most famous for combining crawler technology and the tractor concept was that of the FourDrive skidsteer in 1954. County went on to develop the Hi-Drive rowcrop tractor which offered 30" of ground clearance, ideal for spraying or intensive operations.

In the early 1960's they began to develop their tractors further and launched the original Super 4 and Super 6 models based on the Fordson Major. In 1964 County used the 6X range skid unit from Ford and launched the next generation of Super 4, based on Ford 5000 and was sometimes known as the Super 4 5000, it was followed by the six-cylinder version, the Super 6 1124.

The turbocharged Ford 7000 was used to produce the now uncommon 944 in 1971, which was also joined by the 1164 which replaced the 1124. More powerful tractors arrived in the form of the 1454 which used Ford's American built 8000 series. In between all this development, a number of equal-wheel kits were fitted to skids supplied by International Harvester and Leyland to produce four-wheel drive models of their tractors. The most popular are the IH 634 All-Wheel Drive and Leyland 4100 which are now very desirable

Unequal wheels came in 1975 with the launch of the 7A Ford tractors, so models were based on the 6600 and 7600. They were dubbed the 6600-Four and 7600-Four and used a single drive shaft oppose to twin shafts. The aging 1164 was superseded by the 1174, which again was replaced by the 1184TW, both of which are popular all-rounders on the classic scene.

 

The ultimate tractors that County produced must have been the 1474 and 1884 which were based on TW skid units. The 1474 was at first based on the 8000 series in 1978 before being swapped for the TW20. Later this 153hp tractor was fitted with a longer bonnet and the flagship 188hp 1884 was also launched in 1980. With around 40-50 models built, these have become extremely reliable on the second hand market and command large premiums.  

 

Sadly all good must come to an end and the company went into receivership in 1983 before being bought by David Gittins of Shropshire who was a County dealer. Later it was sold again to the Bensons group who built 774, 974 and 1184 models, in addition to the 4x4 Transit. But production stopped in late 1990 and again it was sold to Essex based SEM Engineering who went on to build the high-speed, two-wheel drive HSH 140 and 1184-40 based on Ford's 8240.

 

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