Elroy Panbecker’s “bring it on” attitude toward the newest and best farming technology belies his 69 years. That’s why this veteran farmer has been using AGCO equipment for decades. Today’s horsepower stable includes a Gleaner® R65 combine, a Sunflower® 4412 disc ripper, a well-preserved AGCO-brand RT120-A tractor, a Massey Ferguson® 3645 and the young stud, a Massey Ferguson 8680 tractor.
“I think it is probably the leading technology out here, as far as fuel efficiency is concerned,” says Elroy of the 8680. It, like all 8600 series tractors, is equipped with the 8.4-liter AGCO SISU POWER engine that, when coupled with the tractor’s CVT (continuously variable transmission), provides some of the best—if not the best—fuel efficiency in the market. “The nice part,” adds Elroy’s son Terry, “is that the smooth transmission and fuel efficiency don’t sacrifice overall power or low-end torque to get whatever job is on our plate.”
Terry also appreciates AGCO’s efforts, through Fuse Technologies, at making its equipment compatible with a broad array of technologies and tools from other companies. For instance, the Panbeckers use third-party displays and controllers they are familiar with to run equipment such as their planter. “I think this will be the future with new implements and tractors,” he says.
A Massey Ferguson tractor refurbished by students attending the AGCO agricultural engineering apprenticeship scheme at the UK’s Moreton Morrell College in Warwickshire is set for work in the village of Tunguli, Morogoro in Tanzania.
The tractor gift project is being spearheaded by the Diocese of Worcester which has a friendship link with the Diocese of Morogoro.. Prior to being shipped to Tanzania, the MF 265 tractor was blessed at a special ceremony at Moreton Morrell College performed by The Right Reverend Dr John Inge, Bishop of Worcester. Also in attendance at the ceremony was Steve Wood, Chairman of the College Board of Governors.
“The fully-reconditioned tractor will make an enormous difference to the lives of people in Tunguli,” said Bishop John. “We would like to thank AGCO, its student apprentices and the College for their help with this great project.”
AGCO, Massey Ferguson’s parent company, has been running its Dealer apprenticeship training scheme in partnership with Moreton Morrell College since 1999. Over the last 18 months, AGCO student apprentices have been rebuilding the MF 265 as part of their course work, transforming the 30-year-old model into a good-as-new tractor, ready for use.
“We were delighted to donate the major parts for the refurbishment and for our apprentices to test out their skills and knowledge in overhauling the tractor for this very worthy cause,” comments Tony Linfield, AGCO Training Development Manager.
The AGCO Apprentice Scheme is open to young agricultural engineers aiming to progress into positions within AGCO farm machinery Dealerships across the UK. Course lengths range from 15 months to two years with 12-24 weeks’ block release at Moreton Morrell College. On successfully completing the courses, students receive Work-Based Diplomas in Land Based Service Engineering.
This year the Massey Ferguson® DX100 series turns 50. Yet the real story is not so much the birthday. Instead, the kicker is that so many of these tractors are not just running after a half-century, but remain a critical component of many farm operations.
“We love Massey Fergusons,” says James Cooley, a fruit and vegetable farmer in Chesnee, S.C., “and 135s are our specialty. We’ve got 17 of those.” He and his employees use the easy-to-operate, durable tractor to transport peaches and perform other tasks.
“That 135 is the most balanced tractor,” says Robert Dasher of Glennville, Ga. “I use one in my onion planting beds, where it costs about $6,000 an acre in seed cost, so you have to do precision work. I wouldn’t give mine up for anything. I can’t part with them,” he says.
The DX100 series was the Massey Ferguson company’s first original design. It not only featured the 30 HP MF135, but five other models, including the venerable MF165 and MF175 tractors, which also remain extremely popular today.
Nick Green, Operations Director of HIGHWOOD in Dorchester, England, was very pleased to hand over the keys to five Massey Ferguson 7600 series to prominent Dorset contractor Philip Trim of Philip Trim Contractors, Bere Regis.
These tractors are in addition to his current fleet of MF tractors and have replaced an MF 6490 and an MF 8650 to bring him up to date with the latest Massey Ferguson product. This fleet purchase includes two MF 7626s, two 7620s and an MF 7618. Philip has tried other makes, but has a proven faith in MF benefiting from their class leading fuel economy, output, power management, comfort and reliability.
Mr Trim’s extensive fleet of MF tractors is a common sight throughout Dorset, Somerset and Hampshire. Philip celebrated his 25yr anniversary in 2012 and has grown his business from a David Brown 1212 to the size and range of field and road operations that he has now. With shrewd investment in reliable and up to date equipment together with a close working relationship with a loyal customer base, has ensured he has progressed to the efficient and professional company that he has.
Philip Trim said “I have to be comfortable that the product I am buying and the dealer I buy it from is 100%. I cannot afford downtime within my operations and the reliability I receive from the tractors is crucial. Highwood’s Aftersales team do not let me down and was a main consideration in making my decision.” He continues, “The tractors are extremely reliable despite being worked very hard and the massive saving on fuel is important when running a large fleet.”
Highwood has long supported Philip with his MF fleet to keep each tractor at its maximum potential and has shown his faith in the backup of these machines by ordering such a number.
All his tractors benefit from the protection of Massey Ferguson’s excellent MANAGER Extended Warranty program and although little used, is essential to ensure minimum downtime and to give fixed costs with no unexpected bills.
Nick Green, Highwood Operations Director said “We are delighted to continue to supply Philip Trim with Massey Ferguson tractors; a relationship which started in 2006. The excellent range of MF tractor’s we have available coupled with the Highwood’s team dedication to offering a first class service has made it easy for Philip to pledge his business.”
Whites Farm is at the hub of a sizeable farming operation in and around the village of Helions Bumpstead, near Haverhill, South Cambridgeshire, England.
It is a mainly arable business extending in all to around 1000ha, comprising five main blocks that are 11 miles apart. For this part of the eastern counties, the rotation is a familiar one – winter wheat, winter barley, oilseed rape, spring barley and beans. There are no livestock.
The farm relies on a MF 9407 S telehandler for a range of tasks and is rarely idle. Farm foreman Brian Blackmore explains: “The telehandler’s main duties include loading grain, moving fertiliser and filling grain stores at harvest time. Other odd jobs around the farm include moving dirt and rubble and it has a work platform with cage.
“The machine is just one year old now and the only outgoings during that time have been one service and the diesel,” he adds.
“It’s very straightforward to use, with very good all-round visibility, and has plenty of power for the jobs we use it for. The service back-up is also very good – only on the odd occasion have we had to ask a question.
“The machine is very reliable – as was the one it replaced – also a Massey Ferguson – which we had for 10 years with no problems. In fact, we never had to call the dealer out once during that time, and it was only really the fact that the tyres were worn that the decision was taken to get a new one.
“However, the MF 9407 S is a lot quicker on the road – capable of 40km/h. Loading grain is faster and smoother and the boom extender is also quick and easy to use.”