Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki
Saunderson Tractor and Implement Company
Former type Private
Fate Taken over
Successor Bedford Plough and Engineering Co.
Founder(s) H.P. Saunderson
Defunct 1890
Headquarters Elstow, England
Area served UK
Industry Automotive
Products Agricultural implements, Tractors, and Engines

A restored Saunderson Model G at the National Tractor Show at Peterborough in 2008

H P Saunderson founded his Saunderson Tractor and Implement Company in Elstow, Bedford, England in 1890 after visiting Canada and seeing the Massey and Harris companies. The Company was taken over by Crossley Brothers from Manchester. The remains of the business after tractor manufacturing ceased later became Bedford Plough and Engineering Co.


In 1898 Saunderson demonstrated a "Self Moving Vehicle" at a trial organised at the Royal Show which it unfortunately failed to complete because of engine failure. It was priced at £250 but it is not known if any were sold. However, by the early 1900's production of 3 wheeled multi purpose tractors was proceeding and by 1910 4-wheeled models joined the range. Some of these were powered by Crossley engines. By the start of the Great War, conventional tractors were being produced just in time for the sales boom caused by the wartime labour shortage. For a short time, Saunderson was Britain's biggest tractor makers. This success was not to last as the 1920's agricultural slump hit sales of all tractor manufacturers, and so in 1924 Saunderson was looking for a buyer.

In 1922 they introduced a new light Tractor. This had a two-cylinder 'V'-formation petrol-paraffin engine. This was a 20 hp (15 kW) unit, giving 12 hp (8.9 kW) on the draw bar. The tractor had a 3-year warranty.

Crossley Brothers took over the business in 1924 putting them into competition in the vehicle business with Crossley Motors. The tractors were rebranded as Crossley. As a result of the takeover, Crossley also entered railway locomotive making for one year, as work in hand included three petrol powered locomotives for Beswicks Limeworks of Hindlow, Derbyshire. The factory at Bedford continued in operation for many years making small stationary engines as well as agricultural machinery. It was sold in the mid 1930's and became known as the Bedford Plough and Engineering, the factory continuing to operate until the 1970's.

Model Range

Saundersons built a whole range of different tractors & other machinery, few of which survive other than as Black & White photos in an old directory. As part of the Saunderson display at Woolpit Steam rally 2009, a series of these illustrations were reproduced and put on display. (This list has been expanded based on the info. displayed at the event.)

  • Saunderson Oil Motors - 1901- 1915
  • Saunderson Model A
  • Saunderson Model B
  • Saunderson Model C
  • Saunderson Model D
  • Saunderson Model E
  • Saunderson Model F
  • Saunderson Model G
  • Saunderson Model J
  • Saunderson Model K
  • Saunderson Model L
  • Saunderson Model R
  • Saunderson Model S
  • Saunderson Model V
  • Saunderson Light tractor
  • Saunderson Super Light weight Tractor - 1923 - 1 survivor, featured a combined engine and gear box. 20 hp 2-cylinder, Cost £ 195 (1923) The last new Saunderson design.

Other products

  • Fuel & water cart - 1918-? cost £ 45 (1920) only 5 known survivors (see photo)
  • Gruber
  • Mowers
  • Ploughs 2 types built with several model of each. only 2 known survivors
  • Wagons - 1908-22 2 ton to 10 ton capacity - 6 known examples survive today
  • Weed cutters
  • Wind motors - 1894-1914 patented design with various options of tower & sail size. The windmill / turbine business was sold in 1914 to F.B. Kingdon.


  • A fully restored, operational Saunderson Model A three-wheeled tractor from 1906 is displayed and run at the Pioneer Settlement, Swan Hill, Victoria, Australia
  • A Saunderson Model G tractor from 1914 is preserved in the Grampian Transport Museum which is situated in Alford near Aberdeen.
  • A 1916 model is on display at Rutland County Museum in Oakham, Rutland.
  • A Private collector displayed a restored example complete with Service trailer at the National Tractor Show at Peterborough in 2008. (photo above)

See also


External links

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