“Our topography is pretty steep,” says Garry Esser about the less-than-level land he farms. “It’s a challenge, but,” he says with a grin, “you’re never bored.”
Raising a variety of crops, including wheat, barley and canola, as well as peas and pulse crops, Esser and his son John farm land in the ever-undulating Palouse region of western Idaho. It’s a tough assignment for most tractors, according to Esser, who farms on some steep slopes.
That’s one of the reasons he runs Challenger® track tractors, including an MT855. “They just stick there like glue … and they’re light and nimble,” he says.
Esser notes that with the rubber-track Challengers, “You’ve got the speed of a wheel tractor for moving up and down the road, and yet still have the benefits of the tractor sticking to the hills. And, they get power to the ground per weight like nothing I’ve ever driven.”
Due to a need to reduce compaction, weight is a particular concern for Esser. “In the spring, when we’re fighting compaction, we can lighten this tractor up … and still pull our equipment because the Challenger line has done a real good job of getting [power] to the ground.” He adds that “a lot of the competitors’ tractors weigh 60,000 pounds when they’re delivered, and you really can’t do a lot with that. That’s just heavy.”
Running just two tractors, uptime is critical for the Essers. They rely on Agri-Service in Pasco, Wash., for parts and service. “We’ve known them a long time,” Esser says. “Their guys are sharp. They’re real responsive. We’ve been very pleased with their service.”
167 farm workers are injured on a farm and a worker dies in a farm accident EVERY DAY.
38 children are injured on a farm EVERY DAY and a child dies in a farm accident EVERY THREE DAYS.
Farm safety is important to every farmer and operator. AGCO® works hard to deliver safe equipment and operating instructions on how to use our equipment most effectively. In recognition of National Farm Safety and Health week AGCO offers the following guidelines to help make sure EVERYONE stays safe during harvest:
- Manual and Safety Signs. Read your operator’s manual and safety sign information. They are packed with information to help you be more productive, increase the life of your equipment and keep you, your family, and workers safe.
- Maintenance. Keep all machinery serviced and maintained properly.
- Guards. Make sure all guards and shields are in place and secure.
- Turn the machine off when not operating. Put equipment in neutral or park, engage parking brake and turn off engine before dismounting. Wait until all mechanisms have stopped moving before attempting to service or unclog a machine.
- Working under the machine. Lock hydraulic cylinders or support the head prior to working.
- Crop Debris. Make sure all crop debris is removed at frequent intervals to reduce potential fire hazards and possible equipment damage.
- Fire Extinguishers. Keep and maintain suitable fire extinguishers on your combine. Make sure they are accessible from the ground.
- Children. Create a Safe Play Area for children on the farm that has effective adult supervision and safe play activities for children. Equipment cabs are not safe play areas.
- Bystanders. Keep bystanders and others away from the equipment operation area.
- Blind spots. Make sure the area behind the combine is clear before backing.
- Riders? Limit riders on equipment! Instructional seats are designed for training or diagnosing machine problems.
- Seat belts. Wear seat belts. ANYONE in the cab should have his or her seatbelt fastened. Do not lean against the windshield or rely on it to keep you in the cab.
- ROPS. Have rollover protective structures fitted on tractors.
- Towing. Always use safety chains for towed equipment.
- SMV. Always use a slow moving vehicle sign and flashing amber warning lights on public roads.
- Road Safety. Never travel left of the center of the road after dark, during poor visibility or when approaching the top of a hill or a curve.
- Stay alert. Be physically and mentally fit when operating machinery. Fatigue, stress, medication, alcohol and drugs can detract from safe equipment operation. Take breaks.
- Training. Train all operators to safely operate the equipment.
1 2012 Data from CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/aginjury/
2 2014 Fact Sheet, National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety
For more information see the following websites:
Dan Baum was one of the first farmers in the U.S. to own and operate a Massey Ferguson® 9545 combine. The machine is outfitted with an AGCO 9250 DynaFlex® draper header, which helps him maintain the high level of efficiency he needs during the busy harvest season, an important part of his operational equation.
“We’ve had Massey Ferguson equipment on our farm for at least four generations,” says Baum, whose farm base is 24 miles from Moline, Ill. “When I was a kid, we traveled 15 miles, not 120 miles,” like he does today. “Back then, that was a big distance.”
“We’ve got one fleet, and it does it all. We typically start planting down south and work our way north,” he says. “We couldn’t do all of this without our machinery technology. We’re not always on the leading edge of technology unless it helps us gain efficiency.”
This approach puts a premium on performance, and that’s a big reason Baum chose a Massey Ferguson combine: “We’re looking at fuel efficiency, ease of maintenance and simplicity of design.
“We’re pretty handy, and our team does a lot of our own repairs if we have time. These machines are designed to be user-friendly, and easy to repair and maintain. It was obvious that the folks at Massey Ferguson had repair and maintenance in mind when they designed them.”
Operation is also straightforward. “It’s easy for me to train an employee in that machine. That’s of value to me,” he adds. “When we’re running multiple machines and operators, I don’t have to train them to be rocket scientists. It’s not overwhelming for my operators.”
Baum purchases his Massey Ferguson and other AGCO equipment from A.C. McCartney, operator of four dealerships in west-central Illinois. He has a strong relationship with the dealership, and the trust underpinning that relationship is something he calls a huge value to a young farmer in his position.
“We work hard on building relationships and trust in the industry. Young farmers like us need to be willing to work hard and work differently,” Baum says. A solid, trustworthy dealership, he says, helps him stand out.
Ron Thompson treats his Massey Ferguson® 1528 tractor like a farmhand, using it for farm chores such as cultivating the fields, hauling bushels of produce and spreading chicken manure. His tractorless neighbors also count on the tractor (and Thompson) to help spread topsoil in the spring.
The compact model, he says, is perfect for his 9-acre farm in Rockwood, Ontario. “I put it through a lot and it keeps going,” Thompson says.
In Marshall, N.C., Stephen Robertson appreciates the 4-wheel drive and wide stance of his Massey Ferguson 243 to move manure and drill seed on the hilly terrain of his 40-acre farm. The stability the tractor provides is one of his favorite features, and other farmers have taken note. “I have a lot of friends who would love to have this tractor,” he says.
Thompson and Robertson appreciate the ease of purchasing new parts for their tractors, though both note their models almost never need repairs. When Robertson needs parts, he calls Wells Repair in Greenville, Tenn.; Thompson relies on Connect Equipment, the largest AGCO dealership in Southern Ontario, to service his tractor.
“They can always tell me exactly what’s wrong and get it fixed, so I can get it back on the farm,” Thompson says. “I depend on that tractor.”
Massey Ferguson, a worldwide brand of AGCO (NYSE: AGCO), is pleased to announce it is setting a new standard with the introduction of the MF 6700 S Series, which includes the world’s first 200 hp, four-cylinder agricultural tractor.
Its unrivalled four-cylinder power, manoeuvrability and agility puts the MF 6700 S in a class of its own. Massey Ferguson’s new ‘S Effect’ takes maximum four-cylinder engine output to 200hp (with Engine Power Management) for the first time in the MF 6718 S, which along with five other new models, will be introduced at Innov-Agri, Outerville, France on 6th to 8th September.
The compact, powerful engine, a 2.67m wheelbase and a turning radius of just 4.75m also makes the MF 6718 S the most manoeuvrable 200hp agricultural tractor. With an exceptional power to weight ratio, the tractor combines the highest performance with optimum economy.
Light and nimble for loader operations, the MF 6700 S Series also provides the strength, hydraulic power and lift capacity for heavy duty fieldwork.
The six new models in the MF 6700 S Series are powered by the very latest AGCO Power 4.9 litre, four-cylinder engine. This generates maximum powers from 120hp to 175hp, with Engine Power Management (EPM), boosting output on all models – up to 200hp on the largest, MF 6718 S.
“Massey Ferguson invented the concept of the high power, four-cylinder tractor, with the original MF 6600 breaking new ground and creating a completely new class of 150hp+ tractors. Now, with the ‘S effect’ we are further advancing performance this sector up to 200hp on the MF 6718 S,” says Campbell Scott, Massey Ferguson Director Marketing Services.
“The advanced engine develops its maximum power at just 2,000rpm and generates maximum torque at 1,500rpm, which means it delivers exceptional fuel economy combined with superb pulling power – and with plenty in reserve. This provides users with the operating benefits associated with larger, longer and heavier six cylinder tractors, but in a compact and extremely light machine,” he adds.
“The only comparison with the MF 6600 Series is its looks. The MF 6700 S Series contains considerable changes and new developments in engine design, transmission choice, hydraulic output, four-speed PTO and superb cab comfort,” he adds.