Unsung Heroes : ERF ‘EC’ Truck range

Carole Nash Classic Insurance Specialists

Mike Humble

For almost a century, Sandbach (pron: sand batch) was home to two truck makers, bitter rivals for many years ERF and Foden were very much the backbone of the UK haulage industry. Rather more so than Leyland until the 1960s. A lesser-known fact is that back in time the two rivals were once a single company simply called ‘Foden’.

In those days, Foden built a reputation manufacturing steam powered lorries but differences of opinion within the ranks caused a huge argument at board level that resulted in Edwin R Foden and his son Dennis being spectacularly fired by the directors, of which most were his direct relatives. Edwin was paid off with a tidy sum of money and subsequently upped sticks and relocated to Lancashire wanting nothing more to do with Foden Ltd.

There was also an agreement whereby Edwin could not partake in the building of commercial vehicles but his son Dennis had somewhat other ideas. In 1933 Dennis Foden started his engineering company literally down the road from the Foden concern on a small scale differing from the family outfit by also manufacturing their own cabs as well as the chassis. The company was named in honour of his father Edwin Richard Foden, shortened to a simple moniker of ERF Ltd concentrating on the production of Gardner diesel powered vehicles which were quickly becoming more fashionable than steam. Considerable success was quickly gained and solid partnerships were forged with Gardner and Perkins for the supply of power units as ERF rapidly expanded.

The future’s bright, the futures plastic

As the decades ticked by, the ERF portfolio even included their own fire engine development company, but by far the biggest and most important milestone in the history of ERF- was the ‘SP’ lorry cab. Using a steel skeletal frame with plastic and glass fibre outer panels, the SP (steel plastic) cab was the answer to a problem that seemed to dog all UK manufacturers – corrosion. It was also lighter too and much easier to repair after accident or impact damage.

As ERF trucked through the 1970s and ’80s their unique approach to cab making won them many loyal customers, and Peter Foden (younger brother of Dennis) was very hands on, thinking nothing of jumping into his Bentley and visiting a customer even just for a chat or a coffee regardless of distance.

The highly successful E series with its SP (steel plastic) cab provided the starting point for the design of the EC

The ERF EC – Driving the future:

The ‘EC’ range introduced in 1993, which also happened to be ERF’s diamond jubilee, was the last all new product to be launched by the firm during independent family ownership. The previous range of ‘E’ series vehicles were struggling to match the continental rivals of DAF Scania & Volvo in terms of driver acceptance and appeal, being seen mainly as a ‘gaffers’ truck. That term refers to a lorry that is cheap to run and reliable but lacking the frills or kudos of more expensive foreign offerings. The EC featured a new and larger cab with a brand new dashboard that wrapped around the driver in a true ergonomic fashion in day and sleeper cab options that were also designed to be 80 per cent recyclable – all achieved on time and with a tight budget.

Most impressive of all was the flagship Olympic model. This featured a super high cab with well over 6 feet of interior headroom, built in lockers, microwave oven, air conditioning, velour seats, carpeting, tinted windows and plush curtains. Power units varied from the Cummins B series for the rigid trucks through to the 14-litre Cummins NT-A for the tractor unit and drawbar models. Other engine options included the 12-litre Perkins Eagle (based on a Rolls-Royce design) and latterly, a CNG powered ultra green model fitted with a Detroit power unit converted to operate on gas. The standard transmission of the Eaton constant mesh ‘twin split’ was carried over in to the EC, but gearboxes from ZF or Fuller could be specified as an option.

As the range developed, an interim model between the standard and Olympic was launched called the LX , featuring the plush carpets, tinted electric windows, velour seats and even burr walnut effect trim of the high cab model in the standard sleeper version. It quickly became a high selling truck and by far the most popular model was the EC10 325 which featured the renowned 24-valve Cummins L10 engine with Eaton ‘twin split’ transmission. This driveline was a true drivers specification that in the right hands, was unbeatable for economy or reliability. It was often said that the driver would be broken before he broke the gearbox as they required a unique method of operation in order to avoid nasty noises and frayed tempers.

A brace of Cummins L-10 powered EC tractors at the launch event in August 1993

Challenging perceptions and efficiency

But a great truck got even better following the deletion of the L10 engine and the introduction of an even more efficient all new Cummins M11 power unit. This new engine featured fly by wire throttle and a full modular engine management software system  known as ‘C Elect’. It even featured a telematic function whereby live engine data could be downloaded in service via a GSM link up. Standard power rating in tractor unit form was 380 bhp but a clever load sensing system on the ECU would boost power to 420bhp in the event of a strenuous climb or extra high load being placed on the engine. Both Cummins and ERF worked closely on installation but their joint marketing campaign was sheer brilliance.

‘Fuel Duel’ was a clever idea thought up by ERF director John Bryant. The prime directive was to get as many potential customers into the cab, and of course, to change peoples perception of ERF in general. A fleet of standard 380bhp tractor units were prepared with no trickery or tweaks to the driveline, only roof fairings and side skirts were added. ERF claimed their EC11 was more economical than any other fleet truck and every dealer had a fuel duel demonstrator at their disposal;  ERF went to war with fuel economy. All the leading motoring press covered these duels with great interest and proved the point that on average, the EC11 was the most economical truck on British roads – the pay off was a huge upturn in sales and brand credibility.

1996 saw the take over of ERF by Western Star Trucks Holdings based in British Columbia in Canada reportedly for £27.4m and many were surprised of this decision. ERF also started to diversify into the municipal market with two new products, the EM central steer cab and the EU.  The year 2000 had seen many new beginnings for ERF, in the March, ERF was bought by MAN and in the summer of 2000 seeing the launch of not one, but two new products, the ECS and ECX. For the first time in years ERF offered a steel cab to its customers. Another highlight was the construction on a new factory in Middlewich, Cheshire, £28m was invested in the new factory and state of the art production and administration facility.

The chosen weapon of the family owned haulier – Jack Richards and Son of Norfolk took the very last ERF EC to be assembled – this EC11 Olympic

Taking stock of the situation

After the move and some teething problems with production, things were looking promising for ERF albeit under foreign ownership, quality was better than ever and dealers now had a huge range of truly competitive and capable vehicles. Sadly, the parent company, MAN while auditing the accounts for ERF, uncovered some less than ideal entries in the copy books. It transpired that ERF and Western Star had seemingly inflated the value of the company by showing stock vehicles as factory orders amongst other misdemeanours. Chief Executive Officer John Bryant along with members of the UK management and accountancy team were suspended pending a full investigation. Losses of over £300m had been hidden behind creative book keeping and from this point onwards MAN adopted a much different and hard nosed attitude towards ERF.

Following difficult trading times and partly spurned on by being duped into buying ERF due to false accountancy, MAN subsequently diluted and wound the company down to the point whereby an ERF was nothing more than an Austrian built unit with a different badge on the grille. Sadly, the brand as a whole was killed off in 2007, but for me, the EC was a fine truck.

Dare I say it.. a man’s truck, a rock solid driveline, plenty of space in the cab and cozy soft trim in LX form which worked best in one driver one truck fleets or as an owner driver vehicle. 2012 marked the passing of the last in a very long line of Foden family members to have been in the truck business, Peter Foden CBE.

My own memories of ERF and Peter are fond ones. As a 16 year old lad, I was dragged along to the ’88 motor show with my father who was doing his stint on the Leyland DAF stand. Being a touch bored somewhat, I wandered off and stepped onto the ERF stand on press day. A rustic portly chap came over to me and introduced himself as Peter Foden and asked who I was here with. He paused for a moment and asked if I would like to see some real trucks. He personally showed me around every product they had on display and spoke with the same level of courtesy and knowledge as if I had been a prospective customer. He offered me a soft drink, gave me a sandwich then sent me packing with posters, stickers and brochures galore.

The guys on the Leyland stand thought it was hilarious when I re-appeared looking like a walking advert for ERF Trucks Ltd, but the one thing he mentioned to me on that day has never been forgotten in over 25 years. I asked him how they competed with huge corporate groups like Leyland DAF or Volvo. He put his hand on my shoulder and said with a broad Cheshire accent: ‘If my customer pays ten bob for my truck but I give him twenty bob’s worth of customer service – I’ll always hold my head high with the big boys.’

Mike Humble

Upon leaving school, Mike was destined to work on the Railway but cars were his first love. An apprenticeship in a large family Ford dealer was his first forray into the dark and seedy world of the motor trade.

Moving on to Rover and then PSV / HGV, he has circumnavigated most departments of dealerships including parts, service and latterly - the showroom. Mike has owned all sorts of rubbish from Lada to Leyland and also holds both Heavy Goods & Public Service Vehicle licences, he buys & sells buses and coaches during the week. Mike runs his own automotive web site and writes for a number of motoring or commercial vehicle themed publications

38 Comments

  1. An excellent writeup and a great anecdote.

    Sad to think that the ERF personal level of customer service within any of the motor industries is now gone, CEOs now being faceless drones in some boardroom, present to satisfy the beancounters.

  2. Well said Will M !

    Love these old stories and wondered why I hadnt seen any new ERFs around… like many other British Beef Companys somehow they have nearly all disappeared or taken over by Foreign Bean Counters.

    You still see quite a few of the old ERFs and Fodens at shows and Steam Fairs, (Showmen appear to have a loyalty to these) Is always nice to see the old Commercials lovingly restored or still earning a living, the noise smoke and smells from these old timers are all part of the attraction for me.

    Keep em coming Mike.

  3. Both ERF and Foden are now memories, which is sad. I still see a fair few about on the showman circuit, but now even these fairly late ERF’s seem to be vanishing, and Volvo FH’s seem to be replacing em.

    It’s always the same story though that spells the end. Books on Gas mark 6, sales figures faked, with stock batches classed as ‘sales’ (Leyland Bus), and duped foreign owners.

    Another interesting article again Mike. Keep ’em coming

  4. My company’s MD is crazy about ERFs (he founded his business in the 1970s with a solitary ERF tractor unit) and bought them exclusively until the 2000s. Indeed, we still have a couple of ECs in our fleet, which is made up of Volvo and MAN units these days.

  5. RE: Comment No:2

    Thank god it’s not just me then!

    My yearly treat is to blow a tenner on the dodgems and then visit all the traction and generator sets at the Horsham show.

    The smell of a Gardner 6LXB powering a waltzer ride with its fuel rack set to burble away at a fixed 1300rpm is a sight and smell that should bottled!

    Drives `er indoors potty!

  6. When I was a care worker I often had nightshifts in Longhope, in the Forest of Dean. Just down the road was Richard Read Commercials, a respected ERF (now MAN) dealer and haulier. All through the night their ERFs with curtainsiders would pass by laden with Ribena and Lucozade from the nearby GlaxoSmithKline factory.

    Also in Longhope was Harold Read Haulage (presumably related to Richard Read) who used ancient ERFs exclusively on tipper and scrap metal haulage- using some very battered tipper trailers. Those older ERFs sounded magnificent as they crested the steep hill in full cry. ERFs seem to go on forever- no wonder they are highly favoured by fairground showmen. Shame that there are fewer ERFs on the road today- even on their speciality petrol tanker duty they are no longer seen.

  7. @ 5, Mike Humble,

    Agree re the Gardner fairground engines- I still get butterflies from walking through a fairground- it is like there is electricity in the air- magic!

  8. Sadly, a lot of showmen are switching to modern gensets, which just drone on 🙁 I do agree with Mike that there is no substitute for the sound & smell of a Gardner genny running on red 🙂

  9. Excellent article Mike.

    I have fond memories of a local hauliers V8 Scania growling it’s way up the hill outside my grans house with custom paint stainless steel exhausts etc. But I must admit an enduring soft spot for the british wagons like ERF especially in a traditional colour like green, and the numerous Tilcon Foden 8 leggers plying their trade in the region.

    An Actros, for example, doesn’t have the same appeal.

  10. @9, Dylan,

    True about the Actros, and similar from Scania and Volvo, et al.

    I really miss the split screen Fodens, and the weird Michelotti Scammells with their finned fibreglass cabs that looked like nothing else on the road. The British independents used to have very well styled cabs- especially before my time in the ’50s and ’60s- although I can well imagine that they would have been complete pigs to drive.

  11. @5 Mr Humble

    Agree, thought was just me who was into Big Dirty Lumps of British Beef powering the good old days, Still cant help investigating whats lurking underneath powering vintage transport. One of the best soundtracks I heard was the Commer TS3 Horizontally opposed 3 cylinder 6 piston (which works backwards) complete with Blower. These strange 2 stroke ingenious engines have a magnificent exhaust note! even better when they clear there throat expelling carbon build up, If you see one at night it looks like fire works coming out the Exhaust, all completely normal and almost indestructible.

    There is a bit here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commer_TS3 on the description and an engine on youtube here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2U475ab3f8 which doesnt quite give it justice.

    It is amazing that the once everyday old Lorry’s/Buses have survived as they all had a hard life, usually hard work to drive and many fell to neglect or the owners were reluctant to spend anything on them… But to keep any old Commercial is pure dedication, not only the costs involved (fuel maintenance etc) but also storage, will always admire them.

  12. Trucks don’t have the aural aura they used to have…
    Is there anyone old enough to remember the two-stroke Fodens of the 1950s/60s? They must have been over 120dB – almost on the threshold of pain, but a really terrific noise. Also the Commer trucks with the bizarre Tilling-Stevens flat three cylinder two stroke that made a similar racket but weren’t as powerful as they sounded. Bedford sixes – especially in Ambulances – always sounded sweet and smooth, My favourites were the Guy Big J trucks with the Cummins V8 – like NASCAR but louder.

  13. when an apprentice I used to do crash repairs on these and Fodens, the only arse of a job was fitting the windscreens due to their size and weight and the sharply rounded ends. The SP cabs were simple to repair and made me loads of cash at the time…

  14. What a grand advert for good customer service Peter Foden must have been. Even now I’d be over the moon if I received such good service from someone. Great article, thanks for posting it.

  15. @11, Dontbuybluemotion,

    Thanks for the entertaining links- that Commer engine is absolutely barking in concept, and appears to be brilliant in execution, apart from the noise level.

    I remember as a very little boy seeing Commer catering lorries deliver to my school- but I can’t really remember the noise, although back in the early ’70s I had a mental data-base of many vehicle’s sonic signiature. Very hard these days to identify vehicles purely by sound alone.

    The Commer Spacevan also had a very distinctive noise- quite different from the Rootes cars that powered it.

  16. @16, Mike Humble,

    Gloucestershire County Council used to run some bonetted Magirus 6wd trucks for snow clearance/grit spreading. Haven’t seen those for a few years but I think they were air cooled.

    I’ve often wondered what the famous Tatra air cooled trucks sound like- never seen one over here, which is a shame, as they have a reputation for being unstoppable off road, and have the Tatra spine frame chassis, as found in their cars and in the Pinzgauer (there’s another vehicle with a fantastic engine noise). Apparently the Tatra trucks are Euro 5, the only air-cooled diesels made to that spec.

  17. @15 Chris Baglin

    Yes the old Commer knocker was quite the contraption, Am starting to get addicted to the sounds from youtube… a splendid one is the Restored Atkinson Boarder with newly re built Rolls Royce Engine http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gcDyxFk8Rc&feature=related Look out for the many gearchanges! watching the footage takes me back to that Yorky advert in the early 80s, I wanted to be a Lorry driver back then.

    Also have a look at the Gaydon Heritage Truck Day, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oEcnuHfF48E&feature=related some splendid old chariots, I must be showing my age but I remember most of these being a common site around rural Co Durham.

    Remember when Buses also had the sound? now just a constant drone and I struggle to tell what any of the makes are now… including lorries!

  18. MAN had their own problems when it was later uncovered that they had been bribing partners and governments in over 20 countries from 2001 to 2007 for business.

  19. A few little extras.

    ERF were based at the Sun Works in Sandbach, but had a slightly different business model to the mob at the other end of town. Whereas, Foden at Edworth produced virtually everything themselves back in the day – even engines and gearboxes, ERF bought pretty much everthing in. Engines from Gardner, Perkins, Rolls Royce, Cummins et al; gearboxes and axles from Eaton, GKN, Rockwell etc. This meant that the average haulier could choose from a large range of parts to suit his needs.

    The fire appliance business started in the mid 60s, allied with a subsidiary company, J H Jennings, who built the bodywork. The 84PF was usually supplied with the Perkins 500 V8 and Allison auto gearbox and rear mounted Godiva (ex Coventry Climax) pump. These were sold all over the UK, mostly as Pump/Water Tenders up until around the late 70s. London had a large fleet delivered between 1973 and 1977, some as pumps and some carrying the wheeled escape ladder.

    A longer heavier variant, the 84PS again powered by the Perkins V8, was ideal for carrying turntable ladders and hydraulic platforms, many of which had very long lives. The crew cabs were unusual in that the front panel was also used at the back of the cab (with a blanking plate where the radiator would be), giving a symmetrical view from the side. Norman Tebbit was rescued from the Grand Hotel in Brighton on an ERF mounted platform incidentally.

    ERF sold the fire business in the late 70s, and it then became “Cheshire Fire Engineering”, still based in the area, acting as an appliance builder on Chassis by the likes of Shelvoke and Drewry, Dodge/Commer and Bedford. This company was renamed Saxon Sanbec (the Saxon name for Sandbach apparently) then later Saxon Specialist Vehicles. The company was in business until the early 2000s when the parent company decided to pull out of vehicle building (they also owned Johnston sweepers) and no buyer could be found.

  20. just required a little nostalga trip, happened this site. I now am in my eighties,a resident of nearby Newcastle and within sight and sound of b.h.p.steel manufacturing giant, n.s.w. australia. The conglomeration of vehicles from horse drawn tipping drays, steam driven solid tyred federal,leyland, e r f, foden, albion,& space not allowing to name all, but most vehicles not plated were confined to b.h.p, sites most never stopped except for fuel oil and drivers, some motors never switch off, doors off, windscreens a luxury, banana box seats, chasers would have to stand in the off side, the regesterables that delivered steel to the cities most of i can remember albion boxers,commerknockers, abd any or all of the above mentioned makes, hauling tremenoudsly over loaded single axled trailer going @ a walking pace up the hills, air over hydraulic brakes?, after invented, and drivers who would end up knowing more about the vehicle they were driving than the manufacturer.The best in the world roadside machanics without a workshop and a tool kit consisting of an adjustible spanner, not chromed, just shiney with wear, a pair of plyers a bit of fencing wire, they were ‘machanics. The ones i knew were super heroes of road driveing pioneers, talking of roads, thin potholed strips of black stuff with aggrate squashed in mainly by truck traffic it was called bituman. About noise. the yankee gemmy in a inter auto loadstar hauling a tri axle trailer, you aint never heard the like of.At midnight on a still night i could hear my brother gemmy eighteen miles from my home. Don’t believe? Idon’t care I’m just telling of. beats all i’ve ever heard muffled, or not.

  21. I bought my first ERF 8 years ago , it’s a 1989 e series with rock wells
    . I was the first guy to bring one into Fiji islands
    Today I’m running a fleet of 2 e series and 7 EC trucks in Fiji
    I just love these trucks and my drivers don’t want any other trucks
    They just seem to go forever with no major driveline problems. I want to import more of these trucks but the new import laws in my country doesn’t allow anything older than 5 years to be imported
    If they ever decide to make them again I would definitely be I trusted to get some more

  22. I’m a new transporter in kenya and I got two ’99 ec ‘s, I need an engine manual but I don’t know where to look! someone please help!

  23. I’m sure MAN were very upset to find the figures diddled prior to their purchase of ERF. However using that as an excuse to close the company down doesn’t wash with me. The contract to renew the British MOD truck fleet with MAN’s was done on the basis that they would be built in Britain by ERF. No sooner has the ink on the contract dried then ERF is closed down and all the work taken back to Germany. ERF trucks , for all their many virtues (and I’ve driven a few)were never going to worry MAN , Volvo, Scania etc in terms of world sales but never let it be said the Germans are not exactly hesitant in taking out companies they manage to acquire (Think BMW with Goggomobil, Glas, Rover )if they think they can gain something or the way that Mercedes Benz were able to pick up Borgwards Bremen facilities for a firesale. It amazes me that our politicians don’t pay attention to this. If we must have windfarms, can they not be built in the UK? Why are the contracts for the cross rail projects being given to German companies when we have a train manufacturer here crying out for the work? Why have the contracts for the Navys new refuelling ships gone to South Korea? You don’t see many other so called leading nations buying anything other than their own. I know there are rules regarding, testing the market, Government subsidies for businesses etc but our so called EU partners don’t seem to have any qualms looking the other way when it suits them.

  24. Kev

    It’s quite right about what you stated about ERF not worrying the big boys like Volvo etc. What MAN did want was what none of the rivals had that ERF did….. A special relationship with customers.

    ERF also owned many of the dealers too so MAN figured they could Hoover up an excellent dealer network and gain the confidence of most of the family hauliers in one fell swoop.

    After the uncovering of financial malpractice with Western Star and a certain Mr Bryant that led to the whole ERF board being thrown out…. MAN lost patience with it all. The customers also saw the Germans as being far from flexible towards their needs, refusing to budge over matters like engine or gearbox options… MAN simply couldn’t tune into family hauliers wavelengths.

    Art van der Padt who was the top man at Leyland DAF knew what made customers work and tick, thus why Leyland DAF worked so well initially. MAN had visions of of a similar idea with them being small in comparison to rivals and were desperate to swell to a bigger company.

    Dreams being much different in reality.

    • Hi Guys, I worked at ERF for quite a number of years. I watched Piggy (Peter Foden) walk this production regularly, and say Good Morning to nearly every member of the production lines. This was a great place work, and had a great camaraderie of its employees and employers. It was Till Western Star took over, and started rapeing it of the way we built our vehicles (upside-down) and we built 120 of there road trains were they happy (they video recorded every work station for them to put it to place at there own site).
      It was then that they sold us for a major profit and gains of our build technology to MAN. MAN came in with all the greatest intention of building our range of trucks. This lasted for a few months. When they started shipping their standard trucks for Germany to, our new Mid point site in Middlewich, Cheshire. We were then told we were going to be doing all the options on there standard vehicles first. It was at this point we (the shop floor) were told about John Bryant and David Smith. We though MAN would pull us through the other side, but they had got what they really came for. And not long after we were told we were in a full closure situation. At that point even Isuzu tried to help out. Yes for those how didn’t know, we were building Isuzu trucks as well.

  25. Fantastic article! Read most of the info before but the nugget of a quote at the end was worth the read! Theres plenty of ERF’s as R Hammond called them on showmans duties which is pukka. As for “zee germans” (my dad married a german daughter of commie in 1952 so I can be non PC by virtue of the n-word rule)… Lets not forget that the royals are germans. The windsor name was invented as a PR excercise before WW2 as saxa-coburg-gotha and battenberg sounded like a family wurst-luvvers… and well if one looks into it thatcher, blair and camerong are all in the same family tree as the “windsors”…. Scammell/Unipower also got shafted remember… I bloomin well hate conspiracy theories but summats aint right. Still at least we can read about what was achieved by british ingenuity thanks to AROnline. Vorsprung durch tea ‘n’ bacon butties.

  26. Seem ERF had the same accounting trouble that closed down Hestair, maker of Dennis, when they were going great guns at home and internationally. I know if I was a truck operator (my dad was), any new MAN would have the name removed and replaced with an ERF sign, same for DAF (choose Leyland or Foden depending on class), and even Iveco, replacing with Seddon or Atkinson as appropriate. It would show these foreigners that we value our industrial heritage and really would like to keep them.

  27. By the late 90s the EC was outclassed by the competition. I drove them regularly back in the day, and whilst the cummins m11 was a great engine, the rest of the truck looked and felt like it had been glued together in someone’s back yard. The steering was atrocious, almost impossible to keep in a straight line and the cable change gear selector only felt vaguely connected. Drivers at my place hated them.

  28. A fair point well made OI

    I did a decent stint on a Sainsbury’s Homebase contract with a well known family operator a long while back. The whole fleet was ERF and we had superb on site maintainance on a fleet that was 98% ERF

    One man one unit doing silly mileages with the vehicles rarely missing a beat, as you said, the M11 Cummins was a great great great engine!

    our EC11’s were in LX trim – carpet and faux burr walnut….. such luxury!

  29. retired 12 yrs ago after trucking for 40 yrs spent 8 yrs delivering truck drove almost every truck around was not a lover of british trucks very basic as for gardner keep them on the fair ground or at sea when started up you got a fog throttle oh so heavy slow revving gormless brown gearbox which the Cummings tore apart

  30. I used to drive the E R F which was a good slogger. I have been trying to get a model of the model with the oval grill, l can’t remember the model, it was the articulated tracter unit but I have so far been unlucky. I drove for
    Weston / Burtons biscuits Cwmbran South Wales. I particularly liked this model, it was not a fast vehicle but it would go uphill / downhill all day, I also liked the dead-man trailer brake which was great on gradients. It is sad that these vehicles seem to just die out, put I have retired long years but I would like my E R F tractor if you can tell me where I could contact. Regards, Terry. Evans

  31. pathetic trouble is not real drivers cant cope with twin splitter, i had erfs nowt wrong with them, just cant be driven by woosies

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