According to “Ferguson Implements and Accessories” by John Farnworth:Epicyclic Reduction Gearbox and Live PTO UnitA-TE-118
This unit doubles the number of forward and reverse gears and maintains the PTO live when the drive to the tractor wheels is disengaged. The gearing reduction is 3:1, but the PTO speed for a given engine RPM is unaffected.
The unit is installed as an ‘extra’ gearbox between the normal gearbox and transmission housing and increases the tractor length by 4.75 inches.
It is valuable for low speed work and is particularly valuable for TVO engines which do not run well at low engine speeds. Particular applications were transplanting, potato planting, rotovating and manure loading – for the later the live drive is advantageous.
The unit is simple to fit and controlled by two interlocking levers on the left side of the tractor. Most implements can be used with the epicyclic box fitted but the high lift loader, manure loader, disc terracer and earth mover could not be used without modification.
It is noted that the Howard Rotovator Company offered a reduction gearbox that fits neatly within the existing transmission housing and did not alter the length of the tractor, but does not incorporate a live drive facility; these are more commonly found than the epicyclic unit.
I have not seen one for some years and not seen one for sale for many years.
There was a rather sad looking TEA20 sold in Victoria on EBay a few years ago by an owner that obviously didn't realise the value of the reduction box. The way it was snapped up the buyer obviously recognised the unit and got it at a very good price.
Ferguson epicyclic gear boxes and Howard reduction boxes are more likely to be found in Victoria and Tasmania where they were often used with rotary hoes in market gardens and small holdings, than in western NSW and inland Queensland where plows were more common.
There is a very interesting, very recent advert on a Canadian (?) web site HERE which states:
"Orleans - Looking for a Ferguson Epicyclic Reduction Gearbox which is also known as a "creeper gear" that will fit a MF 35X tractor. This unit was used in a Series 100 sugar beet harvester."
I'm wondering whether the same unit was more common on an MF 35X and intrigued that it was "used in a Series 100 sugar beet harvester."
John (UK) - care to clarify??? :D
Bob in Oz