Ford loader

A Ford A series wheeled loader from the 1970s

The Ford Motor Company was founded in 1903 in Dearborn, Michagin by Henry Ford and sons. The company later merged the tractor division with New Holland in the 1970s to form Ford New Holland and in 1991 agreed to sell out to the Fiat Group. The New Holland Brand then Merged with other companies from within the Fiat group, such as Case IH in 1999, to strengthen the line up.


The beginning Edit

The Division was created as a result of the desire by other manufactures to offer a full line of machines in various markets around the world.

The Early Years Edit

The first Ford based construction machinery was built on the early Fordson tractors by third parties.


Fordson F Trackson crane at Malvern 09 - IMG 5833

A early Trackson Company conversion based on a Ford tractor

The Trackson Company in American began offering crawler conversions of the Fordson Model F

1940s Edit

Chaseside shovel unrestored

A Chaseside rope operated shovel. (it dose still work !!)

In the UK Chaseside built loaders based on the Fordson tractor, that were operated by a wire rope from a winch on the rear PTO.

1950s Edit

1960s Edit

Ford tractor skid units were used in JCB 3C excavators for a time from its launch in 1963. But following a move in production from Dagenham to Basildon which stopped supplies Joseph Cyril Bamford switched to Nuffield units to maintain production. (Nuffield was later dropped after a strike halted supplies), and JCB switched to perkins engines and built their own transmissions in place of using Skid units.[1]

1970s Edit

Ford backhoe Jokioinen

Ford Backhoe - based on a Ford 6X series tractor

Ford excavators were sourced from the French company Richier s.a., in which Ford bought a controlling interest in 1972, in 1974 new redesigned models were introduced. Between 1972 and 1976, the excavators were sold as Richier in France and as Ford outside France until 1976 when the Ford name was applied world wide until Ford sold the excavator manufacturing operations to Sambron in 1979 or 1980, but continued to sell excavators under the Ford name afterwards for a while. Under Ford ownership production was at Charleville, but Sambron moved it to L'Horme near St. Etienne, France.[2]

1980s Edit

Sambron created two companies- "Nouvelle Industrielle Richier S.A." (NIRSA) and "Distribution Internationale Richier S.A" (DIRSA) to manufacture and distribute the products and Sambron is reported to have 'relinquished control' of NIRSA and DIRSA in 1981 with management handled by a manager appointed by 'the courts' (?) until the businesses were sold to a group of 'French Industrialists' in 1983 followed by a sale to Bergerat Monnoyer in 1984 culminating in the plants closure at the end of 1984 (?). Sambron then passed to Groupe Fayet- a French construction, engineering and industrial conglomerate who sold Sambron to Bobcat and have since purchased Bomag.[3]

Other Richier products in the early 80's included rollers and graders.

The Mergers and Acquisitions Edit

Details of mergers and acquisitions by date

Current Day Edit

The Ford Motor company divested the Tractor division and Construction machinery to Fiat under the New Holland Brand in about 1990. Fiat consolidated several of there other brands into New Holland and New Holland has since taken over several other other brands or factories from other companies as the industry restructures. Due to competition concerns some mergers were only approved if firms sold certain factories or product groups. New Holland took over the former O&K excavator factory in Germany when most of O&K was taken over by Terex.

In 2008 New Holland launched a revised product range and unified livery for the construction equipment range.

Main article: New Holland Construction


Main article: Ford Engines

Ford built a wide range of there own Diesel Engines which were fitted to there own built machines and to some of the machines built by other firms for Ford. (Perkins built some engines for Ford using castings produced by Ford in the foundry at Dagenham.


Ford had several factories in the UK and Europe, but Several of the machines were built by external suppliers and just badged as Ford.

Models Edit

(Put detailed info on each Range/model on its own page please)

UK ModelsEdit

Non-UK ModelsEdit

In other markets different models and versions were marketed at different times.

Other UK Competitor BrandsEdit

UK Preservation Edit

Are any Ford excavators in preservation ?

Collections and Owners GroupsEdit

See alsoEdit


Reference Edit

  1. JCB The first Fifty Years, published by JCB in 1995
  2. Classic Machinery Network post by IBH no. 8718
  3. The Amazing Story of Excavators by P.Grimshaw.

Links Edit

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