Info Wanted

There are people out there that worked or know of people that worked in  The Chamberlain Tractor Factory in Welshpool W.A.  We would like to hear from you or them  about what you did in the making of the Chamberlains, especially the 9G’S. Have found out they where taken to Eastern States by train, to Sydney or Melbourne?  Any info at all would be gratefully received. Photo’s also.

Please can you help

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One thought on “Info Wanted

  1. Hi
    I did my apprenticeship in Fitting and Machining at Chamberlain’s starting back in 1972. The C670 C6100 etc where in full production then, and unfortunately the jolly green giant (John Deere) takeover was in full swing.
    I worked in most sections including Tractor assembly, Fabrication, Production engineering, Main workshop (how i wish i could get my hands on some of those parts now) (and you would cry if you saw what went back into the furnaces), but the best section by far was Research and Development. I spent 18 months in there and we virtually hand built 5 protortype tractors for the new sedan class, 3090, 4290 etc.
    Once initial testing was complete these tractors where sent out to selected farms in the outer wheat belt IE: Wubin, Kallani, and we would regularly travel up there to service and to check on their performance.
    The tractors had no identification on them, but i clearly remember one day we had to prepare a 4090 for a photo shoot for the sales parafanalia. I resprayed the tractor and applied custom made Chamberlain stickers as per the later production models. Then it was decided to take the photos at another farm a few kilometers away because it had lots of cape weed in flower. I was driving the 4090 along this back road and an approaching cocky in his HR ute slowed down and then wide eyed and hardly believing what he was looking at dropped his smoke almost ran off the road as i drove past in this totally unseen and futuristic looking Chamberlain !

    The Chamberlain facilities where spread out over a big area and there where old building and sections that had not been used since it was a munitions factory during WW2. Scattered around the place up around the R&D workshops there where the old protortype tractors buried in weeds going right back to the K40.
    During the last year of my apprenticeship a lot of these older tractors where reconditioned by the 1st year apprentices.

    Just about everything was made at the Welshpool facility. All the chassie, wheels, sheetmetalwork, gearbox castings, all internal gears, except for the crown wheel and pinion, this came from BW in Victoria. and of course the Perkins engines came from England. At the time it was the second biggest machine shop in Australia, (holdens was bigger). and it had the biggest production foundary in WA which from memory was fired by old sump oil.

    There was a big concrete test track out the back and every tractor that came off the production line (about 25 per day) would be belted around to check for faults and to adjust brakes etc. At one point all 3 testers had bad backs from shifting the the rear gearbox leaver. They where very stiff when new. So some apprentices, including me, where drafted in to do the testing. we didnt learn much, but boy did we have some fun setting new lap record times. The C670 was my weapon of choice. i have a Champion 306 on my farm now just for sentimental value.

    They employed around 1,200 people and took on 20 to 25 apprentices every year.

    Most tractors went over east by truck, and a fair few went out by train as well. Some where even exported through Fremantle. The wharfies even managed to drop one, it landed upside down and was a complete write off.
    I remember a special order of around 105 C6100’s and 30 odd C670’s went to Saudi Arabia for some big agricultural project. They even had arabic writing on the controls. Chamberlians was looking for volunteers to go over with them for 3 months to do any warranty work. i was busting to go, but they said apprentices wherent allowed 😦

    I can go on for ages. but if there is anything specific you want to know just ask me. I dont have any photos, i wish i did.

    I left in 1976. At the completion of my apprenticeship i had the offer as a full time machine tool setter, or 3 months in maintenance. I took the 3 months in maintenance and then went on to work as a Fitter at Alcoa Pinjarra, then up in the Pilbara. I now work offshore in the oil and gas industry. as well as farm up north of Geraldton.

    hope its of interest ??

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