Benbros TV Series & Mighty Midgets
No.11 Tractor & Hay Rake
No.11 Tractor & Hay Rake saw the second appearance of the crawler tractor in the Benbros TV Series, the first being No.10 Bulldozer. This time it was without the dozer blade but otherwise it was the same casting. The tractor was used twice more, next for No.17 Tractor & Disc Harrow, and finally for No.19 Tractor & Trailer.
As with all these, the first issue tractor was a bright and glossy orange colour with silver trim on the engine and grille, and with green rubber tracks. The metal rollers were painted orange with the tractor and had round-head & crimped axles. There was no identification on the model.
One interesting feature of the tractor was that on early models the driver appears to have no seat, perhaps because the real vehicle only had a small metal seat on a central support without a back. Later Benbros corrected this by re-casting the model with a wide seat.
The Hay Rake was a single casting with unpainted metal wheels on a central nail-head & crimped axle. The rake seemed a bit small when hooked onto the tractor but the design allowed the tines to lightly brush the ground when moved forward. It was painted yellow and had 'Made in England' cast along the top bar.
The main change to the Tractor & Hay Rake was the re-colouring of the tractor to a rich yellow, a bit darker than the Hay Rake, with silver trim and green tracks, and on this version the driver always had a seat. The yellow rollers now had nail-head & crimped axles which Benbros began using on many models from this time but there was still no identification added.
Next, the Hay Rake was changed to red with unpainted metal wheels and like the yellow version had id. on the top.
Finally, two changes took place. The first was a new casting of the tractor with 'Benbros Made in England' cast on the left side beneath the rear mudguard but it was not easy to see behind the green track. The other change was a casting run of the Hay Rake without identification. This initially kept metal wheels but shortly afterwards was fitted with black plastic wheels.
The Tractor & Hay Rake is not uncommon although the red rake with black plastic wheels is hard to find. The early TV Series box is also, for some reason, a scarce item.
Variation 1 : Orange Tractor without seat, yellow rake with id., TV3 box
Benbros No.11 Tractor & Hay Rake
(1) ORANGE tractor without seat YELLOW rake with id. & umw TV3 box
(2) ORANGE tractor with seat YELLOW rake with id.& umw TV3 box
(3) YELLOW tractor without id. YELLOW rake with id. & umw MM box
(4) YELLOW tractor without id. RED rake with id. & umw MM box
(5) YELLOW tractor with id. RED rake without id. & umw MM box
(6) YELLOW tractor with id. RED rake without id. & bpw MM box
Estimated Price Guide
(MINT models in MINT boxes)
(1) (2) £50-70
(3) to (5) £20-40
Orange tractor without seat, yellow tractor with seat
Yellow tractor: no identification (left), with identification (right)
Rakes with id. (left & centre) and without id. (right)