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Perkins Engines
Type Subsidiary
Founded 1932
Headquarters Frank Perkins Way, Eastfield, Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
Area served Europe, America, Asia, Africa, Australasia
Industry Manufacturing
Products Diesel engines
Gas engines
Parent Caterpillar Inc.
Website http://www.perkins.com

Perkins Engines Company Limited, now a subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc. is a diesel engine manufacturer for several markets including Agricultural, construction plant, marine and stationary power plant.

Worldwide, one in five tractors is powered by a Perkins engine. The French truck manufacturer ACMAT uses Perkins engines exclusively. They were a key supplier to JCB for the 1980s and early 1990s till Caterpillar took over Perkins. (JCB have now started building their own engines for some models)

HistoryEdit

Perkins Engines was formed as F. Perkins Ltd. on the 7th June 1932 in Peterborough, England by Frank Perkins.

Francis Arthur PerkinsEdit

'Frank' Perkins was born in Peterborough, the son of John Edward Sharman Perkins, an agricultural engineer. He gained a pass degree in mechanical engineering in 1910, having studied at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, (1907-1910). He then volunteered for the Army during the First World war and served in the Royal Engineers, Finishing the war with the rank of a Major. He was a third generation engineer, following both his grandfather and father, who both worked for Barford & Perkins, that family firm that manufactured road construction rollers/compactors, agricultural rollers, and other agricultural machinery. However, before joining the family firm at its Queen Street ironworks in Peterborough, he worked for Lawes Chemicals Ltd.

While later working at Aveling & Porter in Rochester, Kent, Perkins started working on a high-speed, light-weight, diesel engine with Charles Chapman. Before they could complete the project, Aveling & Porter went bankrupt. Convinced that the scheme would be profitable in the agricultural tractor market, the two were forced to form their own company, Perkins Engines Company Limited, on 7 June 1932. Chapman was its Technical director and Perkins its Managing director.

The EnginesEdit

The first engine was the four cylinder "Vixen", this was uprated and called the "Fox", then the "Wolf" series. A Larger engine called the "Leopard" was also made.

By 1937 the development of the 6-cylinder engine designated the P6 was completed. This engine was sold in large numbers during the war, and afterwards was increasingly popular for installation in tractors. It was used in the Massey-Harris 744 in the UK. The P4 4 cylinder followed in the Nuffield DM4. the P3 was introduced in the early 1950s and was a popular option to convert Ferguson TE20 to diesel from petrol.

The industrial L4 was introduced in 1953 and this was fitted to the Massey-Harris 745 tractor. The conversion of International T6 crawler tractors L4 diesels was a popular adaption. The L4 evolved into the Perkins 4.270.[1]

Massey Take overEdit

Perkins would go on building new engines and building the company until 23 January 1959, when at the age of seventy he sold a majority stake to his largest customer, Massey-Ferguson. He retired from day-to-day management and died eight years later, in 1967.

Recent estimates (1997) put the number of Perkins engines sold world wide as over 14 million. Being fitted to products made by over 600 manufactures.

The company later became part of the Varity Corporation with Massey Ferguson, then following a merger a subsidiary of LucasVarity plc. LucasVarity was then broken up as part of corporate restructuring, during the 1980s recession, Massey Ferguson was sold off.

Perkins took over Rolls Royce (Diesels) Ltd, to form Perkins engines (Shrewsbury) Ltd, in the 1980s, then in the 1990 Perkins takes over Dorman Diesels of Stafford to form Perkins Engines (Stafford) Ltd.

Caterpillar purchased the Perkins Engines Company from LucasVarity in 1998 for US $ 1.35 billion.

Joint VenturesEdit

The Company has formed joint ventures in several companies to facilitate local manufacture, often to get round import restrictions and or rules on local content.

Joint venture companies

A JV with Ford of Britain had Perkins building engines for the Fodson Dexta using block castings supplied by Fords Dagenham foundry, based a modified version of the Perkins P3 design.

Licensed copiesEdit

The alternatives to joint ventures are licensing deals to let local companies in some markets build copies of Perkins designs and pay a royalty for each one sold.

Several builders of licensed copies of Massey Ferguson tractors also build the P3 & P4 engines used in them. In the UK replacement short motors are available from 3rd party supplier to fit MF tractors that are imported from foreign suppliers that are cheaper than service exchange units.

Recent DevelopmentsEdit

Perkins has increased production and developed new models to meet the Tier III environmental regulations that came into force for new machinery in January 2008.

The sub 100 hp sector which is an important growth market wiyth the increasing use of compact machinery in both construction and the utility and ground-care markets, has resulted in the new Perkins 400D series. These are sub 70 hp and designed to meet Tier III without using electronic controls and Common rail technology. The development began with a joint venture with ISM of Japan in 1996. ISM manufactures the Shibaura engine range.

The 400D series follows on from the 300 series which were Tier II compliant from 13,7 hp to 61 hp. The New 400D range going up to 66 hp, with 10 models in the new line up.

Model RangeEdit

Main article: List of Perkins engine models

The Historic models that are common in Agricultural and plant;

Perkins P6 in a Fordson E27N

Perkins P6 in a Fordson E27N

Perkins 4.248 engine

Perkins 4.248 fitted in a MF 178 tractor

Perkins powered Fergie

Perkins engine in a grey Fergie

See alsoEdit

ReferenceEdit

External linksEdit



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