What's the story?
When you're a farmer, time is money. If the weather's fine, make the best use of it you can. That's particularly true of spraying, which often needs to be done when there isn't going to be rain. And when the ground isn't soft, or you'll leave tyre tracks. And when the plants you're spraying are at a particular stage of growth. In fact, if the conditions are right for spraying, get the job done as fast as possible.
That's why Stuart Hibberd chose a 1951 Land Rover Series I 80-inch when he needed a vehicle to use with his farm's crop spraying equipment – in the 1950s.
Our favourite bit?
Each tankful only does about 10 minutes' spraying time, so it requires regular trips to fill up at a nearby pond. The strainer end of a hose attached to the spraying tank is lowered into a clean section of the pond, and by pulling a lever, water can be circulated in the opposite direction to fill up the tank. It takes a while to fill the tank, and it's now we begin to appreciate Stuart's concern for speed – a lot of time is spent not spraying. And all the while, the weather might change…
And the verdict from LRO writer Peter Galilee?
Even if the water was just two fields away, for each tank emptied, a tractor could easily take 10 minutes longer than the Land Rover. Add up those extra 10-minute journeys throughout a day's work – remembering that a tankful will only last 10 minutes – and it's clear a tractor would be spraying for much less than half the day. The little Land Rover, on the other hand, would be getting the job done. Smart thinking…
• Model: Series I 80-inch pickup
• Year: 1951
• Engine: 1595cc 4cyl petrol (earlier than the vehicle)
• Transmission: four-speed manual main gearbox, two-speed transfer box, lockable to 4WD in high ratio
• Axles: beam axles, leaf springs
• Power take-off: driven through transfer box via propshaft to auxiliary PTO gearbox mounted on rear cross-member