When you take delivery of a Siromer Tractor, you will find a not-quite-flat pack consisting of 1,200kg of metal, fibreglass, rubber and hundreds of nuts and bolts. In addition to this, you will also find various strange looking black lumps. If you look closely enough, you will also see what looks like an engine plus a steering wheel, lurking in there somewhere.
The question is, how on earth can this seemingly mountainous array of parts ever do the nitty-gritty jobs on the farm. Will it ever spread muck or climb up that steep hill whilst I attend to my sheep?
When my old John Deere was failing, I just didn’t have the money to buy a new one. I’d looked at a couple of clanky old Masseys and spoke to a few people at the Great Yorkshire show and this is when I was first told about the Siromer Tractor.
At first I scoffed. I mean, a tractor you build yourself?
Well the prices seemed almost too good to be true. In fact I was quoted about a third of the price of a similar tractor from Europe or America. So, my arm twisted by my wife who was somewhat concerned that I was going to succumb to a terrible misfortune on my old Deere, I somewhat skeptically made an order and, before me now, was the Siromer Tractor…or at least the pile of components were!
I looked at the pile and laid them out on the grass. I took out the battery box, roll bars, mudguard, weight bars, wheels, electrics, fuel tank, hosepipes, air filter and what seemed like a whole myriad of other “bits”. Actually, it was easier than I thought to identify the parts and pretty soon I had a fairly organized array on my lawn.
I sat down with a cup of tea next and read the instruction manuals. Now if you thought a flatpack from Ikea was bad-you’ve seen nothing! With this, I got a parts list which was 105 pages long, a 25 page maintenance manual and a 70 page instruction manual-They were obviously taking no chances here!It was very much like having a giant Meccano set.
First of all, I fastened the wheels onto the chassis. Job done!
Over the next 2 and a half days, I worked methodically through the manual and bit by bit, the tractor came together. Apparently, a mechanic can put a Siromer tractor together in around a day. The record is supposedly 2 hours. For others, the process might take longer but Siromer are proud to proclaim that they have not yet had anyone who could not put one together.
My final job was to, rather proudly fasten on the pristine looking seat. I then rather nervously filled it up with diesel and water. I don’t know what I was expecting when I turned it on, but I wasn’t expecting to be chugging round my farm within minutes-amazing!
The Siromer tractors have proved extremely popular and there are thousands in everyday use in the UK. As well as farmers and smallholders, there are some rather unusual uses. A window cleaner in Liverpool does his round on one. Glider clubs have them,as do helicopter companies and schools. There’s even a farm college who has bought them for the sole purpose of giving students practice building them.