Teagle’s “Golden Bullet” fires again By John Lindley, member of The Ferguson Club I

’d never heard of Teagle and a Golden Bullet, seemed more James Bond than hedge cutting, so on searching eBay for a “Tractor Mounted Hedge Trimmer” I was somewhat intrigued by this advert...

“Vintage Golden Bullet, Ideal for Collector”

Now I don’t consider myself a “collector”, I just wanted a hedge trimmer, so what the devil was this “Golden Bullet”? The photo, attached to the ad., of a nettle patch with some bits of iron and a cranking handle sticking out of it gave little away. So I Googled “Golden Bullet” and came up with Messrs Teagle of Truro, who not only built the thing but are still trading and were even able to furnish me with an instruction book and a spare parts list (unsurprisingly, no parts though!) for the...


That question answered then, it was a hedge-cutter. Next question; will it fit my Ferguson TEF 20? Teagle’s instruction book shows one mounted on a Fordson Dexta which, although some years younger than my 20, is of a similar size so I surmised that it would, leaving the only other slight problem; it was in Cardigan, a round trip of some 627miles! A departure from Needham Market at 0140, negotiation of multiple diversions for road works on the A14, toll closed on M6 (some you win!) sun-rise towards the middle of Wales and a left at Aberystwyth found me eating breakfast overlooking Cardigan Bay at 0810. The machine was loaded by 0900 and assurance given that “if you turn left by yer boy, take you straight to the M4; bit twisty though!” Understatement of the year!

It did however lead to the M4 and as there’s no toll queue to get out of Wales and the M25 wasn’t the car-park that it usually is, I was brewing-up back home at 1620. Now that phrase “Ideal for Collector” usually meaning “it’s pretty well had its day” was in this case not so; the machine was relatively intact (the only bit obviously missing was the push-rod for the blade). With the exception of the two gearboxes most everything was rusty and seized-up requiring some time and effort with the “blue spanner”* and lump hammer in freeing up various parts not least of all the extending arm. The blade, though separate, was complete (even sporting half a dozen new teeth) and held the remains of the push-rod bearing. The cutter head itself was totally seized requiring some not inconsiderable persuasion to get it to

found that a stabilizer,

meant to keep the non-lifting LH arm steady, was also missing but easily

made up from a length of ½” barrel with a spade lug welded either end (in use I had to

Stabilizer and extra chain

supplement this with a chain fixed between the tow-bar and the lift pin to stop the machine rubbing on the back wheel of the tractor). The whole idea is that this link point stays constant to the tractor. The movement of the RH lift arm setting the cutting height as the whole rotates about the LH fixed point; simples!

Here I should mention the “Spring

Main drive housing pre-bonfire with gearbox, prop-shaft & mounting arm still attached

turn. Both lift pin brackets were solid as was the main drive mounting bracket; this was the most stubborn part to free off but freedom was eventually achieved by building a bonfire round it using my garden leaf-blower to get the fire really hot. The fire was also extremely effective in removing the rust from the main frame which had suffered greatly from its time in the hedge bottom. Because of its build quality there was plenty of metal left on all the parts which were eventually separated, cleaned and painted with red hammerite (the extending arm once free was found to be red hence...) ready for re- assembly.

The machine as collected (nettles removed)


Having disconnected the Fergie’s LH drop link from the hydraulic lift arm (as per the manual), I hung the main frame on the tractor and sorted out the top hitch and mounting arm which now made some sense, they having been detached previously. At this point I

Loaded Top Hitch” on the 20 which has to be “negatived” (probably a Cornish expression; they never use twenty words when one will do even if they have to make one up!) otherwise the machine oscillates violently. At the moment I use two bits of 2” x 1” (50 x 25mm for you youngsters) jammed in but one day I’ll do it properly! Teagle goes on to recommend a “Ferguson Earth Mover Position Control Assembly” priced at 40/- but even more difficult to get hold of than a National Health Dentist. However, there are various devices out there, largely influenced by Heath Robinson, which purport to do the job (and probably do). The one I acquired through “Stephen’s Ferguson Tractor Web Site” is neat, unobtrusive, well made and works really well (I can even regulate the height of my mower to facilitate topping long grass now without having to leave the seat). It cost £70 sterling (probably about the same as 40/- back then) including the flight from Oz.

Stephen’s position controller call 01295 404077 to advertise or email

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