This month I thought it would be fun to look at a few farm vehicles I have stumbled across in recent years.
In June 1898 Ernest Doe took out a lease on a blacksmiths shop in Ulting near Maldon in Essex. By 1910 the business of shoeing horses and repairing agricultural equipment had been successful enough for Ernest to by the free hold for the business and a neighbouring farm.
After the Great ’14-’18 war eldest son Ernest Charles persuaded his father to invest in some of the 6000 tractors which had been sent from by the US to help the Allied war effort. By the ’39-’45 war Ernst Doe were distributing Fordson, David Brown, Allis Chalmers and Case tractors with Ransome machinery.
Wanting more power from his tractor Essex farmer George Pryor bought two new Fordsons removed the front wheels of both and linked them with a turntable that allowed the enlarged vehicle to be steered with the aid of a pair of hydraulic rams. In 1958 Ernst Doe built an improved version of Pryor’s tractor linking two Fordson Major tractors. With a combined 100 hp and all wheel drive the vehicle outperformed everything else available in the UK with the bonus that it required special equipment because regular farmyard equipment was too flimsy when operated by the Doe Dual Power.
The name was later changed to Doe Dual Drive often abbreviated to Triple D. By 1963 Doe built an even more powerful tractor using to a pair Ford 5000’s like the Triple D 130 seen here at Goodwood. The final Triple D 150 variant was built with a pair of Ford Force 5000 units. Eventually more conventional tractors with more powerful single engines caught up with the performance of the Triple D and rendered it obsolete because of the increased maintenance necessitated by having a vehicle with two motors and two gearboxes.
It is thought around 300 Triple D’s were built and today they can fetch over £50,000 at auction. Today Ernst Doe, still a family business, operates from 19 outlets in the east of England distributing a variety of plant and machinery including New Holland tractors.
Thanks for joining me on this “Doubling Horse Power” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be looking at the first of this months series of Edwardian vehicles. Don’t forget to come back now !