Australian contractor Wayne Marshall loves his Massey Ferguson tractors for their engines, their economy and the uniformity of their cabs.
Wayne has a fleet of nine Massey Fergusons, including three 15-year-old tractors that he just can’t bear to part with.
Wayne and his wife Judy operate Bundy Ag from their home in Maffra, Victoria, Australia. They offer a range of services including bulk silage, hay cutting and baling, full cultivation and transport.
Silage is the primary focus of the business, which was formed 15 years ago when Wayne left the family business to start out on his own.
His most recent Massey Ferguson purchases include an MF 6614, an MF 7622 and an MF 8680.
“We’ve had Masseys for 15 years and what I like about them is their accessibility of service, their economy, and I’m happy with the AGCOPower engine,” says Wayne.
The Marshalls bought their MF 6614 last September for hay and silage production and for operating their round baler.
“It pulls the baler beautifully and it also does drilling. It’s fitted with a loader and does a variety of loader work and earthworks,” Wayne says.
“It’s the first time I’ve gone back to a four-cylinder engine for a long time. The economy was a big part of that decision and it’s very cheap to run. It’s also very manoeuvrable and has a good turning circle. It’s just a good basic tractor that’s cheap to run.”
Wayne bought the 215hp MF 7622 about 18 months ago and uses it to pull his loader wagon during the silage season. He particularly likes it for the Dyna-VT variable transmission.
“It’s very good and it’s also economical. We use it for a lot of cultivation work, mainly discing and ripping. With both those tractors we are using AdBlue because it’s going to be law soon with our diesel rebates. That was a big consideration,” he says.
“The other thing is the whole range of Massey Ferguson tractors have the same cabin layouts. It’s very easy with staff as they’re familiar with the controls and can go from one tractor to another.”
The third new tractor in the Marshalls’ fleet is the six-cylinder 320hp MF 8680, which was purchased six months ago. It is mainly used for loader wagon silage and earthmoving.
“It also runs on a laser bucket for irrigation layouts and it is very good. I am very happy with it. It has high horsepower and very quick road speed. We are running it with a Topcon GPS guidance system.”
Their full fleet of tractors includes two MF 7495s, which are also used on the loader wagons, an MF 6475, which is used on a round baler and for loader work, two old MF 4270s, which are Wayne’s original tractors and have 12,000 hours on the clock each, and an MF 6255, which is also 15 years old and is used for ripping and discing.
“I can’t get rid of them,” Wayne says about the older machines. “They have sentimental value. I’ve also got a Valtra 202 with a butterfly mower conditioner, which is four years old. It’s running the AGCOPower engine as well and is from the same stable as Massey Ferguson, but I chose that tractor for its long wheel base.”
Wayne is impressed with the advances in technology Massey Ferguson has made in recent years.
“The tractors have come a long way. I’ve seen big changes in the last six or seven years with what we can do with them and the time and fuel savings,” he says.
“They’re a pleasure to drive and the operators can hop out of them at the end of the day and still feel ok.
Wayne and Judy buy their Massey Fergusons through Donalda Motor Service in Maffra. He says a big consideration for sticking with Massey Ferguson is the fantastic support they get from them and from AGCO.
“They’re very good with their backup. They go beyond the call of duty. They’ve been very good to me since I started off in business.
“AGCO is based in Melbourne and we’re very happy with their technical support. If we have any problems they never put a foot wrong. That’s the reason I’ve stuck with them.”
Southland, NZ farmer Mark Dillon’s new Massey Ferguson 9560 combine harvester has sped up his harvesting operation considerably and cut down on the amount of labour he needs.
Mark and his wife Sonia took possession of the MF 9560 in February to use on their Riversdale cropping farm and their contracting business, MJ and SE Dillon.
The Dillons looked at several other brands of harvester before settling on the Massey Ferguson and they have not looked back since.
“We started harvesting on 10th of February and have done close to 600 hectares of barley, wheat and oats with it,” Mark says.
“It’s been really good. We had extra grain this year and we needed extra capacity. We wouldn’t have got the harvest finished without it.”
Mark had previously been harvesting with his MF 865, which was used together with his brother James’ MF 750.
The MF 9560 features a 12,333 litre (9.75 tonne) grain tank, which Mark says can be fully unloaded in less than one-and-a-half minutes. His old MF 865 could only unload 4.5 tonnes in three to four minutes.
“The new 9560 has really sped up the harvesting. One day we did 30 hectares, which was 350 tonnes in an afternoon. We could’ve done that before but we would’ve used both headers and had more staff and tractors and trailers and it would’ve been a big day.”
Mark says the 9560 has done a great job on his wheat, barley and oat crops.
“They have been big wheat crops that we are putting through that have gone flat but it’s handling the straw well,” he says.
“Some of the wheat was 23 percent moisture plus, and it went through the harvester alright. Some people were sceptical about how a rotary would go down in Southland because of the wet but it is handling the conditions no problems. We’ve headed in the rain for 10-15 minutes and it still handled it.”
The MF 9560 is also doing a good job on flat barley crops. Mark says autumn barley crops have been 9-10 tonnes per hectare, which is no trouble for the harvester.
“We’re down to 480 revs with the barley and it’s still threshing the grain out and leaving the crop in reasonable condition for baling,” he says.
“For oats I went through the factory settings and modified it to suit and the sample is good.”
Mark is a particular fan of the MF 9560’s Flex front, which follows the contours of the ground well.
“Some of our country is quite undulating. The harvester follows the ground contours pretty well. That was my concern going from a 16-foot front to 30-foot, but it’s following the rolling ground pretty well,” he says.
“The front lifts up four foot high for moving paddocks so you don’t have to take it off, which also saves time.”
The MF 9560 is built strong. It has minimal moving parts so it is simple to operate, and it is easily adaptable to multiple crops. It features auto lube and V-Cool, which keeps the engine and radiator clean, making it easy to service.
Mark says his new combine is reliable, has plenty of power for big jobs and has good fuel efficiency, with a simple efficient rotor drive.
“It does everything you need from a modern combine but it’s not too complicated. It only has nine belts and three chains on the whole machine and it’s built with plenty of steel,” he says.
The MF 9560 has also been designed with comfort in mind. The quiet, airconditioned cab is well laid out and easy to navigate, with operator foot rests for long days in the cab.
Access to all functions are carried out through a touch screen, with frequent adjustments having an additional dedicated out-of-screen adjustment source. Guidance runs on the same screen.
MF7615 Series surpasses New Zealand Dairy farmer and contractor’s expectations for hedge mulching business.
Contractor and dairy farmer Robert Klaus has great partnerships.
The first is with his wife Sharon who loves her cows and runs the dairy farm. The second is with Massey Ferguson, and their MF7615 tractor, the backbone of Robert’s hedge-cutting business.
Robert and Sharon bought their first dairy farm near Matamata. They’d been share milking for seven years, working up to managing a 500-cow herd. Now they have their own property where they milk 150 cows on 52 effective hectares.
It’s a small farm and dairy payouts are looking questionable for this coming season, so it is good Robert has his contracting sideline. Besides he loves machinery.
“I’d been working for a mate who owns a contracting business for the last eight years and I wanted to do something myself. Sharon enjoys milking, and I could see a gap in the market mulching barberry hedges.”
Robert looked at second-hand cutters but couldn’t find anything good enough so he had the local engineers design and build one for him. It’s like a giant mower tilted on its side with two big blades, and a shroud around it. It mulches the hedges and leaves everything tidy.
Robert got the Massey Ferguson 7615 in December from Matamata tractors.
“I needed a six-cylinder machine with a long wheel base because the hedge-cutter is mid-mounted. I got the Dyna-VT variable transmission as it goes down to 0.3 kph. I use it in foot mode. I just take my foot off and it stops. I hardly ever use the brake or clutch. It’s like driving a big forklift.”
The hedge cutter runs off the tractor’s hydraulics and all the operations for the rams on the cutter are controlled from the factory joystick in the cab.
“I saved a lot of money, as I didn’t have to fit an after-market joystick,” Robert says.
The joystick also has a forward/reverse button so he doesn’t have to move his hand during operations. He can constantly look at where he’s going and what the mulcher is doing.
The cutter is mounted on the left side of the tractor, and Robert says it is “a piece of cake getting in and out the right door. In some other brands it was just about impossible to get out.”
There are dual wheels on the cutter side to help balance the weight of the machine.
“I’ve got a bigger footprint on the left side, which makes it more stable. Otherwise, if I hit a hole the cutter would drop when I’m trying to keep the hedge straight.”
He doesn’t fit duals on the right side, as it would make the tractor too wide to get through gateways.
The MF 7615 produces 150hp from a Tier 4a AGCO Power SCR engine, which uses AdBlue to minimise toxic emissions.
“It’s no problem. I fill AdBlue every third tank of diesel. It’s got a gauge telling me when its low, and I always keep a bit on hand.”
He says anyone can jump in and drive the tractor. “It’s what I like about them. “They’ve got all the technology but it’s user-friendly. Everything is simply laid out.”
The cab also meets with his approval.
“It’s awesome – comfortable and really quiet. That stood out when I first drove it. People ring me and ask what I’m doing because they can’t even hear the hedge-cutter working.”
Robert says the serviceability is also good. “You don’t have to pop the bonnet to check the oil. And if you need to blow out the radiator, it’s right there and easy to get at.”
The MF 7615 is available in three different specifications: Essential, Efficient and Exclusive. Robert got the Efficient.
He’s had great service from Matamata Tractors.
“When we were building the hedge-cutter they helped the engineer to shift the diesel, hydraulic and AdBlue tanks, and nothing was ever a problem.”
This isn’t Robert and Sharon’s first dealing with Massey Ferguson tractors. They also run a MF5460.
They’ve had the MF 5460 for four years. It’s 120hp with a Dyna-4 transmission.
“I always liked Fergies and Matamata Tractors did a good deal I couldn’t pass up. I just like the tractor. It’s got everything we need but is still basic to operate,” Robert says.
“It’s really reliable and nothing has gone wrong with it. On the big farm it pulled the silage wagon. Now it has an auger bucket for feeding out on a pad. It also does the mowing and all the farm work.
He says both the Fergies are very quiet tractors, with everything well laid out, at your fingertips.
As innovation in precision farming becomes increasingly important to Australian and New Zealand farming practices, the latest innovations in guidance technology are vital in any young graduate’s university curriculum.
With Fuse Technologies at the forefront of this innovation, AGCO Australia recently played host to a group of Bachelor of Business (Agribusiness) students from Geelong’s Marcus Oldham College.
Students were taken through a detailed information session by Advanced Technologies Product Manager Jeremy Duniam, followed by a question and answer session and a chance to take a closer look at some of the other exciting AGCO products.
Accompanying the students, Senior Lecturer Des Umbers said that it was vital graduates are exposed to advancements in on and off farm technologies to prepare them for best practice farming methods.
“Agribusiness courses can’t afford to have students graduate without an understanding of the latest technologies and innovations. It will help them in the future if they intend to work at large corporate farms or their own operations as well as help the older generation of farmers adapt,” says Des Umbers
Attending the visit was Marcus Oldham student Alex Baum already has a strong interest in precision farming. His family operates an 18,000 acre property in Western Australia and applies no-till “tram lining” to help reduce input costs and make fertiliser application more efficient.
“I am passionate about precision farming, it is really important on the farm as we try to save on inputs where we can. We need to add significant amounts of fertilizer – reducing those costs with efficient application is really important,” says Alex Baum.
AGCO Broad Acre manager Fergal Meehan was impressed by the quality of the student group and their positive attitude, seeing a bright future for the next generation of farm managers, contractors and consultants.
“It is great to see such an enthusiastic group embarking on a career in agriculture keen to learn about exciting advancements in precision farming. It was also a great opportunity for AGCO to showcase our industry leading technology to the next generation of agriculture leaders,” says Fergal Meehan.
How do you get a tractor into the middle of Australia’s third largest city? Drive it down a river of course!
The long awaited Challenger E series made a dramatic entrance to the Australian and New Zealand region, surprising a gathering of Challenger Dealers on the banks of the Brisbane River.
Built upon three decades of Challenger’s tracked tractor leadership, the industry leading E Series demanded an unveiling that would leave a lasting impression with the dealership team and kick off the launch of this exciting new range with a bang.
Local challenger dealers were invited to a social evening at a restaurant overlooking the Brisbane River in Brisbane’s business district. As guest presenters introduced the new ground breaking E Series with informative presentations and videos, Challenger dealers would have been excused for assuming the evening was following a familiar schedule.
Drifting down the river under the cover of darkness, on a barge set up as a stage, the Challenger E series was poised to disrupt that familiarity.
Arriving at its destination with precision timing, the floating E series nudged closer towards the dealer group now congregating on the restaurant’s balcony and was revealed in a coordinated show of lights, smoke and the beat of ACDC’s thunderstruck.
And thunderstruck the crowd was. The unique unveiling was captured by a contingent of photographers as well as the dealership group and onlookers, with hands quickly diving into pockets in search of iphones to capture the sight.
Speaking after the event, key organiser of the E series launch and Challenger Product Manager Jeremy Duniam said that the evening went as planned.
“There were a couple of dealers that had a suspicion of what was going to happen, but most were stunned when the tractor was lit up and floating only metres from the river bank.”
“It was an exciting way to introduce the exciting new Challenger E Series,” Jeremy said.
A behind the scenes video of the spectacular unveiling will be available soon on AGCO Blog and www.facebook.com/ChallengerAg