Farm Classics with Peter O'Brien
THE 10 series of Ford tractors were hugely popular with farmers and contractors in the 80s and early 90s.
However, a late entrant to the line-up, that almost never made it to production, surpassed all performance and sales expectations – the Ford 7810.
Developed by South Sussex motors, the Ford 7810 is a little bit of a ‘hybrid’ tractor (in the old sense of the word!) with the six-cylinder engine of a 7910 modified to suit the chassis of the four cylinder 7610.
Ford’s marketing department was sceptical, but the result was a lightweight, nimble and capable tractor backed up with a gutsy six-cylinder engine.
Weighing in at 3.5tons with a lift capacity of 4.3 tons and 2.5m wheelbase, this winning combination ticked the box for many buyers looking for a powerful, manoeuvrable and simple tractor.
The 7810 was produced in both the Basildon plant in England and Antwerp plant in Holland, with Ford’s 6.6l engine at the heart of the tractor.
Using the same bore and stroke of 4.4inches, the naturally aspirated engine produces 98hp on Force II models, and was slightly uprated to 103hp for Generation III tractors.
It is common to find many 7810s with aftermarket turbo chargers fitted to further boost power.
Interestingly, the same engine block powers the TW series, albeit with significantly heavier internals, fuelling and air intake.
Ford’s famed Super Q cab delivers great levels of operator comfort, but can succumb to rust around window seals.
Inheriting the digital dash from other Ford models, the black cladding adds to the sleekness of the cab. The driver sits high in the cab with great rear visibility, with chunky spool valve and lift controls falling easily to hand.
The 16-speed Syncroshift gear sticks are tucked in nicely to the right of the driver’s leg, providing 1-4 on the main gear lever, with H-L-R on the shorter stick.
Ford’s dual power splitter kick-switch is located in its usual place on the floor. However, on most tractors it may be relocated as a more reliable rocker switch on the main gear lever.
The toolbox doubles as a passenger seat complete with wraparound front and flip-down leg rest.
The Force II 7810 was updated to the Generation III model in 1989 with some minor tweaks. The 7810 was so successful, that by the time the update Gen III arrived on the scene.
Ford 401 6.6l
Years of manufacture