While visiting the Euroforest Show in France a couple of years ago I came across a stall that had quite a few interesting classic tractors on display that had been used previously in the forest. Among the tractors was a blue Agrip Tractor fitted with a powerful winch. Unfortunately the stallholders English was as good as my French so I wasn’t able to find out any information on it at the time. It was when looking through my photo album I saw it again and decided to try and find out a bit more about it.
I remember it looked on a par with the Fordson major County conversions which I had used for many years. The Fransguard five tonne three point linkage winch made it ideally suited for forestry work. In the 1970’s many forests began reaching maturity and the demand for timber increased. Up to this point forestry skidders were mainly converted agricultural tractors which had never been intended for the rough and tumble of extracting timber.
Agrip Tractors were made in Lignieres, a commune in the Centre-Val de Loire region of France, and established in 1950. The company started out converting WWII Army surplus American Jeeps for agricultural use by fitting diesel engines and larger rear wheels. They progressed to building much larger tractors utilizing army surplus lorry axles.
The company diversified and started to manufacture large, stronger articulated tractors with equal wheel sizes and better ground clearance with four wheel drive. These were designed for forestry and industrial use. They continued manufacturing until 1982 when the company was sold to the Cemet Company – a subsidiary of Renault Agriculture – and renamed Cemet-Agrip.
The last tractors with the Agrip name was the frame steered 120hp Agrip JD 5000 Skidder with the Berliot engine. Cemet-Agrip was sold to Rauma-Repola of Finland in 1986 and the name disappeared.
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