Posts Tagged ‘tractors’
As recently as a decade ago, most farmers didn’t give much thought to the notion that their tractor could have GPS-guided automated steering. Most sure didn’t think they needed it. Now, producers rave that automated steering has taken a lot of stress out of farming’s long hours, while increasing efficiencies.
The experts at AGCO are certain the same kind of appreciation will come as a result of AgCommand™, the company’s new telemetry system. AgCommand can log and transmit numerous bits of information about an operation’s machinery to a web site easily accessible to the farmer or others involved in the operation. AgCommand is only a part of AGCO’s larger Fuse™ initiative that encompasses all aspects of AGCO’s technology offerings. It will enable farmers to optimize their farms through current and future AGCO products and services. To learn more about Fuse, click here.
The data becomes a big tool for the farmer and can translate into improved equipment and overall operational efficiencies. Here are just a few examples:
A farm manager in the office (or the machine operator) might receive a message via the AgCommand web site that one of their tractors is experiencing wheel slippage. If there is slippage, maybe conditions in the field aren’t right yet for cultivation. The producer may have to check for compaction in areas where slippage occurs.
Monitors on the combine might tell the operator or manager—in real time—that they are experiencing grain loss. The combine setup can be adjusted before any more grain is lost.
A farm’s machinery dealer can be tied into the AgCommand monitoring system. They can see when service intervals are going to hit—when more filters and fluids are going to be needed and have them on hand. If the farmer does his own servicing, the dealer can automatically ship supplies directly to the farmer.
The newest assisted-steering technology from AGCO, Auto-Guide 3000, offers integration across a range of agricultural equipment brands. Auto-Guide 3000 is part of AGCO’s larger Fuse™ initiative that encompasses all aspects of AGCO’s technology offerings. It will enable farmers to optimize their farms through current and future AGCO products and services. To learn more about Fuse, click here.
The new system is also compatible with all GLONASS satellites, in addition to WAAS, OmniSTAR XP, G2 and HP subscription, and RTK GNSS signals. In fact, its high quality and reliability were driven by extensive testing at nine different AGCO manufacturing sites around the globe.
“Auto-Guide 3000 has been the most extensively tested guidance product that has come from AGCO to date,” says Matt Rushing, vice president, product management, AGCO Advanced Technology Solutions (ATS) and Electronics Functional Group (EFG). “It’s a solution that both customers and dealers can place a high level of confidence in.”
Ease of use is key, notes Rushing. “AGCO has taken steps to design its next generation of guidance solutions to be simple to operate.” With Auto-Guide 3000, he adds, “it’s also fully scalable from sub-meter to centimeter accuracy.”
It’s getting to the point that assisted steering is a standard requirement for most large farmers in North America. Steering and guidance are the most basic precision-ag functions and are the foundation for almost every operation in the growing cycle.
One of the greatest benefits of the Auto-Guide 3000 is that it can be integrated right into the same C1000 tractor monitor that the operator uses to control his tractor, White planter or Hesston® by Massey Ferguson baler. The system also features straight-line, pivot and contour modes, and works with the C2100 monitor in Massey Ferguson combines.
This eliminates the need for an extra monitor in the cab and helps the operator focus on the field, since all the information he or she needs is in one location. However, notes Rushing, for more advanced characteristics and functionality, an optional monitor is available that offers a larger screen and more dedicated functions.
Auto-Guide 3000 is currently available as a factory-installed option on select Massey Ferguson and other AGCO-made tractors and combines, and on Hesston by Massey Ferguson self-propelled windrowers. It’s also offered as an aftermarket add-on.
The Saunders family is on their eighth generation raising crops close to Shelbina near the Salt River and Black Creek in northeast Missouri. Ancestor Henry Saunders traveled here from Kentucky in 1833, and by 1837 was hand-making the bricks and cutting down the walnut trees used in the construction of the two-story home in which Phillip Saunders lives today.
Phillip, 55, laughs that he’s been using Massey Ferguson® and AGCO equipment for nearly as long. “I have seven generations in the shed,” says Saunders, whose sons, Chris and now Luke, are part of the operation.
“When I was a kid, our neighbor had a Massey-Harris tractor,” Phillip says. “That was my first acquaintance and I liked those tractors.” The first tractor he owned was a 1976 MF1105. “That tractor was excellent for us, and that’s where my strong feelings for the brand began,” he says.
His devotion over the years also included numerous AGCO models, such as the 9695 and the 9655. “Those were very strong, heavy-built tractors—very good tractors.”
The new flagship of the family operation—purchased from The Farm Shop, in Edina, Mo.—is the 225-hp Massey Ferguson 8660 tractor with a Dyna VT™ continuously variable transmission. Saunders raves about the power and the fuel consumption.
“This tractor is bigger and more powerful than our previous main one, but it uses 20% less fuel,” Phillip says. “It really adds up to a lot of savings.” The MF8660 also has the additional hydraulic power needed to run the air pumps on their new planters.
As for cab comfort, Phillip didn’t give it much thought at the time of purchase. Now, after logging scores of hours in the machine the past year, he’s a believer in the hydraulic suspension in the cab. “I don’t know what else you could do in terms of comfort. I’d like to have another one just like it,” he says.
What you don’t know could help you. Case in point: the option to lease farm equipment.
Not that there’s anything wrong with making a purchase, but a relatively small number of producers and custom operators are familiar with the benefits of a lease.
According to Clancey McCray, AGCO senior marketing specialist for high-horsepower tractors, programs and promotions, only about 10% of Massey Ferguson customers utilize the lease option. However, a lease may be a better fit for producers who want to preserve their capital resources, including credit, for other investments or prefer to trade in their equipment frequently.
“People who lease are generally those who want to have more capital available,” McCray says. “A lease allows you to use a piece of equipment without owning it. In essence, you’re only paying for the cost of use,” she adds, noting that leases are especially appealing to custom operators. “Of course, you don’t have any equity at the end of the lease period.”
That’s not to say a producer can’t have the best of both worlds—leasing a machine to try it out or acquire it when times are a little tight and then purchasing it later. “Most leases we offer are for a term of three years, but the customer always has the first option to buy,” McCray explains.
Leasing versus buying isn’t a decision you need to make by yourself, though. Consider the list of benefits below, then consult your tax adviser, talk to your Massey Ferguson dealer, and compare the offers from AGCO Finance. A little knowledge could go a long way to making you even more successful.
Consider a purchase if:
- You want the security of owning a physical asset like a combine or tractor, knowing that your payments result in direct ownership of collateral.
- You plan on keeping the machine for a few years (usually at least five).
- You keep your equipment well maintained, which helps retain its value and helps with resale or trade-in.
- The hours of use typically exceed the restrictions on a lease.
- You can benefit from tax credits that help offset the additional expenses of purchasing the tractor.
Consider a lease if:
- You want to preserve capital for other expenses or investments in your business.
- You have limited funds for a down payment or the higher payments a purchase would require.
- You like to trade often to benefit from the technology and efficiency available in new equipment.
- You plan to expand or reduce the size of your operation and need the flexibility to match equipment needs to farm size.
- You’re nearing retirement and don’t want to be locked into a large capital investment.
- You prefer to keep newer equipment in the fleet to reduce downtime.
Whether you purchase or lease, learn more about innovative Massey Ferguson equipment at myFarmLife.com.
Using 125 Massey Ferguson tractors to create the brand’s iconic triple triangle logo, this amazing display of MF machines was the brainchild of Ireland’s John Cusack.
John is a member of the Greybridge Classic Club in Meanus, Killmallock, Limerick and the stunt was organised as part of the Club’s Charity Day 2012. Formed by a group of vintage machinery enthusiasts in 2011, the Club runs events solely for charitable purposes.
Having driven tractors all his life, John’s idea was to mount a tribute to Massey Ferguson and at the same time raise money for local charities. “The project was 12 months in the making,” he explains. “We were keen to have every possible model of MF tractor represented which made it more complicated. We put out the word emphasising that we were particularly looking for rare or unusual models and were thrilled by the response. If we had simply focussed on gathering together a large number of MF tractors, we could have easily filled a 40-acre field! In the end, we chose 125 machines from those offered by farmers and contractors who wanted to take part. There was a full range of models from the MF 100 Series to the MF 8600 Series.”
John worked out the display plan to scale on paper and, using this as the map, the grass at the site was cut with a ride-on mower in order that each tractor could take up an exact position.
“We called it the Massey Ferguson Line-Out and so far have raised over EUR:16,000 for charity,” he adds. “We would love to raise more and so are making the photograph available for sale with all proceeds to charity.”
To order a copy of the picture, go to www.press22.ie