Marshall tractors info

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A brief history of the Marshall tractor

William Marshall started his engineering business in the town of Gainsborough in Lincolnshire UK in 1848

For many years his company were best known for its boilers and other steam powered machinery, such as threshing machines and the like.

In 1908 Marshall built his first internal combustion engine to power his first tractor,this was their 'Colonial' petrol-paraffin fuelled machine.

It was not until 1930 that the first “Marshall” diesel tractor was introduced ,this was named the 15/30..

It is said that it was based on the German Lanz Bulldog design...

The 15/30 had a single cylinder two-stroke engine with a bore of 8 inches and a 10 inch stroke. Maximum speed was 550 RPM. By 1932/34 an improved version was available this was the 18/30 . Then in 1935 the 12/20 was offered for sale.

Marshall's company then merged with Thomas Ward Ltd. This resulted in an improved version of the 12/20 tractor and the tractor became known as the Model M in 1938.

WW2 stopped most production of tractors within the Marshall company.

Resumption of tractor production started again in late 1945 with the launch of the new Field Marshall Series I.

Then in 1946 John Fowlers company joined the Marshall Thomas Ward companies... This resulted in the Series I tractor being replaced by an improved Series II version.

1949 saw the introduction of the Series III and the last series of single cylinder Field Marshall tractors was the Series IIIA in production from 1952 -57...........

The Field-Marshalls were in production from 1930 to 1957. The first model of Field-Marshall tractor to be introduced was the Marshall 15/30 in 1930 as mentioned above... It had a bore of 8 inches with a 10 inch stroke and the maximum r.p.m. was 550. In 1932 the 15/30 was upgraded to become the Marshall 18/30. This model featured the same bore and stroke dimensions but the maximum r.p.m. was increased and the tractor's transmission was heavily modified ....

The next model Field Marshall to be introduced was the Marshall 12/20 in 1935. This tractor was of a completely new design except for the engine which remained similar but with many smaller modifications such as a redesigned fuel pump and a different cylinder head.....

In 1938 the 12/20 model was upgraded and the series coding was changed so that the new model became the Marshall Model "M" tractor....

In 1945, Marshall made many improvements to the more common Field-Marshall Series 1,2,3& 3A ......

The Field-Marshall and Marshall Engined Fowlers VF and VFA…are started by using a piece of special paper, containing saltpeter, this is inserted into the cylinder head via the special holder , that is screwed into the cylinder head and set alight where it smoulders....

The engine is then turned over by means of a starting handle which is placed in the flywheel dog.

A decompression valve is used, This valve decompresses the engine for 6 or so revolutions in order to allow the flywheel to gain speed, A cartridge starting system is also used on these tractors. This is a shot-gun type cartridge which is loaded into a breech on the engine's intake system....

The smouldering paper is placed in the cylinder head, and the cartridge is detonated by tapping the pin with a hammer. This puts a charge of expanding gases into the bore, thus moving the piston quick enough to fire...

Later versions of the Field Marshall had more sophisticated starting equipment. - electric starters were optional on the Series 111..... .

Field-Marshalls with tracks were produced under the Fowler name, these were assembled in the Fowler factory at Leeds. The first were designated the Fowler VF, later ones referred to as VFA The 1960`s were not a goodtime for British tractors, and by the early 1970`s most had ceased to exist.....

At the end only the Track Marshall crawler was left, Sometime in the early 1970`s as many as 600 "Track Marshall" tractors were imported into Australia and. These machines were powered by the now famous 270D 4 cylinder Perkins diesel engine and were reliable for their time............

Barrios booksales have a parts book for the series one and two ,we also have the service manual for these two tractors.......

For the much later Track Marshall series 737 & 738 we have the instructing/ servicing manual.