Managing a 30,000-acre ranch and caring for as many as 11,000 head of cattle demands that everyone and everything work on schedule. Fortunately for the Sloan family, owners of Sloan Cattle Company, they love the work, have terrific help and run a 10-machine fleet of dependable, comfortable and fuel-efficient Massey Ferguson® equipment.
“The fuel consumption is just unbelievable,” says Chris Sloan, who runs the ranch with his father, Frank, and brother Frankie. About their 7600 and 8600 Series tractors, Chris says, “They burn 33% less than their competitors. And our two [windrowers], they burn 50% less fuel to cut the same amount of acres.”
The cabs on the WR9700 Series windrowers are, says Frankie, “the most roomy as compared to other brands. Visibility is better too. John Deere is pretty enclosed, and in that Massey you can definitely see twice as good. Those Massey [windrowers] are definitely the best made on the market.”
“The Masseys seem way smoother too,” says Chris about the benefits of the CVT transmission. “You don’t feel any jerks or any shifts. They’ve got plenty of power too. They’re just amazing.” And, he continues, “I’ve never sat in a more comfortable tractor than the 7600 Series tractor … and they’re tough. We had one start the other day at –30 degrees [Celsius].”
The Sloans also recently switched to two Hesston by Massey Ferguson® 2270 large square balers, which Chris says are dependable and easy to use. Even in their first year owning the large square, says Chris, “we could make 1,000 bales in a day. That [square baler] is a very impressive piece of equipment.”
For more on this story, see the full article at http://www.myfarmlife.com/features/cool-running-ranching-in-albertas-cow-country/.
Among a host of tasks, the new Massey Ferguson® 4700 Series is designed for heavier and larger implements, draft work and demanding applications. Yet, even with all that beef, these tractors are still amazingly fuel-efficient. That’s in large part due to electronic engine management coupled with a high-pressure common-rail (HPCR) fuel injection system.
A high-pressure fuel pump and single-pressure vessel deliver fuel to each cylinder at more than 23,000 psi. Individual overhead injectors use the high pressure to atomize fuel for optimized combustion. Meanwhile, the engine management system monitors every aspect of the engine’s operation and adjusts fuel flow, injection timing and other functions to deliver outstanding performance with very low fuel consumption.
The 4700 Series is hitting the North American market, and producers, landscapers and those who simply need a tractor on their farmsteads are offering rave reviews of the series. See the whole story at http://www.myfarmlife.com/advantage/field-test-heavy-duty-utility-tractors/.
The last two winters on Prince Edward Island have been epic. Just ask Jamie Fox, who not only lives on PEI, but owns a truck stop that—no matter the depth of the snow—he keeps open 24/7.
How does he do it? He gives a chunk of the credit to his Massey Ferguson tractor.
Last winter, Fox could often be seen clearing drifts that were 4 to 5 feet above the tractor, an MF1635. “It’s so user-friendly,” he says. “It’s a pleasure to drive. The cab has plenty of visibility, and it has a much shorter turning radius than most tractors, which makes it easy to maneuver around the fuel pumps and service islands.
“I bought the tractor in 2011 and it already has close to 1,100 hours on it. Yet it’s never once failed me,” he adds.
Although the MF1635 that Fox uses is no longer part of the Massey Ferguson lineup, Brandon Montgomery, AGCO product manager for <160 HP tractors, says the MF1700 Series that replaced it is equally adept at snow removal.
“We’ve had customers buy a whole fleet of them just for that purpose,” he relates. “The MF1736 through MF1759 models are all available with a very large cab that provides excellent visibility, while blowing and pushing snow. Plus, they have a good transport speed for moving from one job to the next,” he adds, noting that the excellent power-to-weight ratio has also been beneficial in snow removal applications.
“The ground was so steep you couldn’t stand up on it,” says Thornton Tweedy about some of the railroad and power line right-of-ways he formerly cut and helped maintain. “You had to be careful, or you could roll a tractor, or worse. You had to know what you were doing and you had to have the right tractor.”
For Tweedy, there was no better machine for such work than Massey Ferguson, when properly configured and equipped. “Massey [tractors] are the best thing built for right-of-ways,” he says. “They hug the ground good, got stability and are compact. They got a lot of power in a little tractor. They’re ahead of all the rest.”
That experience was one of the reasons Tweedy, who now runs a cattle operation in Arkansas, was asked to demo a new Massey Ferguson® 4708. The tractor is one of the models from the new 4700 Series, which is quite possibly the most rigorously tested machine in AGCO history. Engineers and farmers put the series through its paces in some 36,000 hours of testing in oftentimes brutal conditions, in locales as far-flung as southern Zambia, Brazil, Turkey, China and the desert heat of Arizona.
So, as the new series was about to be rolled out in North America, we asked a few North American farmers for their thoughts on the tractors. Here’s some of what Tweedy had to say:
“I spent one afternoon putting up hay, and that tractor goes just as fast backward as it will forward. That’s nice if you’re loading hay or something. You’re not crawling when you’re backing up. It got the job done.”
“It’s got a comfortable ride too,” says Tweedy, “and it’s got power. I pulled a 10-foot rotary conditioner, no problem.”
Tweedy also used the MF4708 to finish a low-water bridge on some of his new land. He’d hired a bulldozer to do the work, but it and its operator had to leave before the job was finished. “So, I just used that Massey and it worked great. We were dumping riprap in the creek and gravel along the bank, using a loader.
“I tell you, that tractor had plenty of hydraulic power. There ain’t nothing slow about it. It also had plenty of power to the ground and traction on the bank and in the creek.” And like the tractors Tweedy once used maintaining right-of-ways, the MF4708, he says, “was stable. Whether it was carrying bales or that riprap, I had no problem steering or feeling unsteady.
“It’s operator-friendly,” continues Tweedy, “and easy to use. It’s a fine tractor.”
On the southwest shore of Florida’s giant Lake Okeechobee, U.S. Sugar grows cane on as much as 200,000 acres in a given year. Based in Clewiston, the company processes every bit of its harvest into granulated sugar, molasses and liquid sweetener, all at one plant.
That harvest is meticulously planned, because it has to be. Unlike corn, soybeans or wheat, which can be safely stored for months, sugar cane needs to be processed within 7.5 hours from the time it is cut.
As a result, U.S. Sugar’s cane harvest is timed to cut just enough cane to supply a steady stream of product to be processed without delay. Harvest, which generally begins in October, will continue well into April and runs 24 hours per day, weather permitting.
With such logistical demands, the company, like any agricultural operation, picks its partners carefully. This past year, U.S. Sugar, along with one of its contractors, Glades Planting LLC, used no fewer than 52 tractors from AGCO to help put sweetener on tables worldwide. Between last October into this coming April, U.S. Sugar leased 20 MF7622s that will haul heavy wagons loaded with sugar cane from the fields to rail car elevator collections points.
“When you look at our operation, we put 3,500 hours on a tractor in a season,” says Heather Banky, managing director of grower relations, fleet & special projects. “You don’t see that happen in three or four years in other businesses.
U.S. Sugar is on its second year using the MF7622. The reviews are glowing. “They pull really well,” says Juan Cervera, U.S. Sugar’s harvest operations manager. “They pull better than the John Deeres of the same size. The operators like them. They are comfortable.”
Glades Planting contracts with U.S. Sugar to plant cane, spray crop-protection chemicals and apply fertilizer. In 2015 they leased eight MF5612s, eight MF5613s, and 16 Challenger® MT465B tractors. Like U.S. Sugar, they leased the machinery from Kelly Tractor in Clewiston.
“The biggest thing is to be able to support the tractor,” says Trey Dyess, co-owner of Glade Planting. “And we have to say Kelly Tractor does a really good job.” Dyess and partners also own two of AGCO’s RoGator® sprayers, an RG1100 and an RG900.
U.S. Sugar depends on Kelly as well and, as with Glades, the commitment from Kelly Tractor is solid. “They have to be running all the time,” says Clayton Jones of Kelly Tractor. “Any downtime is expensive. They depend on our parts department, and we stay pretty stocked up. We are on call 24 hours per day.”