Posts Tagged ‘UK’
Staff at Massey Ferguson in the UK gave a warm welcome to Manon Ossevoort who drove an MF 5610 tractor on the adventurous Antarctica2 mission to the South Pole.
The 38-year-old Dutch-born Expedition Ambassador and Lead Driver, better known as ‘Tractor Girl’, visited Massey Ferguson’s offices at Abbey Park Stoneleigh in Warwickshire on 23 January. Manon captured the imagination of millions worldwide as she and her team battled across the vast icescape with the MF tractor on a gruelling 28-day, 5000 km round-trip from the Antarctic coast to the South Pole. On reaching its destination, the MF 5610 made history to become the first standard farm tractor equipped with tyres to reach the Geographic South Pole overland.
Throughout the expedition, a Massey Ferguson team at Abbey Park was responsible for coordinating the expedition communications and relaying news and pictures of the epic journey to a global audience.
“It was a great pleasure to welcome Manon to the UK and hear yet more details of this extraordinary story,” said Declan Hayden, Vice President, Global Sales & Operations Planning. “It is truly an awe-inspiring feat, highlighting the strength and endurance of the MF tractor, as well demonstrating the fortitude and resilience of the crew.”
Manon commented: “By supplying the MF 5610 to Antarctica2, Massey Ferguson showed its belief in this incredibly ambitious mission and took up my challenge to take a tractor to the South Pole. I am thrilled to be here and back with the MF team who worked with me on planning the expedition over a period of three years. They never stopped believing that we could achieve our goal. I know the team at Abbey Park was eager to hear more of my story but I was equally fascinated to find out how they supported the expedition communications day-to-day.”
Manon was joined at Abbey Park by fellow team member, Antarctica2 cameraman Simon Foster. “This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” he said. “Taking pictures and video in the extreme cold was exceptionally challenging. We were able to take some great shots of the tractor on its voyage which were used widely by the world’s press and across social media.”
Paul Lay, Massey Ferguson Manager, Public Relations and Communications who led the Abbey Park-based communications team adds: “Antarctica2 was an amazing project for the team to manage. The technical challenges of conveying communications and developing news from Antarctica quickly to a global audience were immense. There are no geosynchronous communications satellites at the Earth’s Poles so digital communications are very slow and unreliable. We overcame those and were delighted when, together with other world media, the BBC ran a four minute live news broadcast with Manon when her MF 5610 tractor reached the South Pole – a first.”
The Antarctica2 MF 5610 expedition tractor will be a highlight of Massey Ferguson’s stand at the upcoming SIMA Show in Paris 22-26 February 2015.
Massey Ferguson is delighted to have been awarded a Silver award for its MF 6600 range of tractors at the inaugural IMMA awards at this year’s Cereals event in Cambridgeshire, England.
The IMMAs are a totally new machinery awards scheme that recognises the best new farm equipment on the market today.
This new initiative organised by the Cereals Event and supported by the AEA, The Institution of Agricultural Engineers, The Royal Agricultural University and Farmers Weekly, recognises the very best in agricultural engineering.
The independent panel of judges awarded the honours based on the following criteria – Innovation, cost-effectiveness and value.
The judging panel consisted of a number of high profile names from the world of agriculture: Professor Dick Godwin, Harper Adams University (soils and cultivation); Professor Toby Mottram, Royal Agricultural University (robotics); Peter Redman (IAgrE); Prof Paul Miller, NIAB (sprayer expert); Phillip Clappison, Farmers Weekly Contractor of the Year; Roger Lane-Nott (AEA) and David Cousins, Farmers Weekly.
Massey Ferguson submitted their entry back in April, in a comprehensive application that was co-ordinated by Lindsay Haddon, Advertising and Sales Promotion Manager for Massey Ferguson in the UK and Ireland. The package included not only technical information, but supporting collateral such as video, images and customer testimonial.
The MF 6600 award was highlighted by the following closing statement “Ruggedly powerful engines and intelligent design ensure all models in the MF 6600 range have a high power-to-weight ratio for extraordinary all-round machine ability and agility in all applications. The Massey Ferguson DNA clearly runs through the MF 6600 range, with the same familiar, contemporary styling and a presence that makes every Massey Ferguson tractor stand out from the crowd.”
The judging panel clearly agreed!
Herefordshire (UK), turkey farmer, Clive Thomas, is aiming to make his farm totally energy-independent over the next five years . . . and he is using Massey Ferguson tractors to help him achieve his goal.
Growing around 80ha of wheat and grass with son, Kelvyn, within the E and GM Thomas & Son family partnership, Clive’s principal enterprise for the past 25 years has been turkey-rearing, an operation that sees 90,000 birds reared each year under contract to Cranberry Foods. All of the wheat harvested on the farm is fed to the turkeys with the straw being used as bedding litter for birds that grow from 2kg to 19kg over 12 weeks.
Fan ventilation of the seven turkey-rearing sheds is an essential part of the operation and had been costing the business around £5,000 a month in electricity bills. This figure has been steadily reducing since the installation of an 800-panel solar photovoltaic array in fields close to the farm buildings.
Capable of producing up to 200kW/hr in full midday summer sunlight, the investment is expected to pay for itself within seven years. “Any surplus electricity produced is being fed back into the grid,” explained Clive. “Although the money we receive per unit is falling, the cost savings being made plus the income we are generating should see our investment repaid before the end of the decade.”
An important requirement of solar panels is the control of surrounding vegetation to prevent shading of the photovoltaic cells while permitting easy inspection and cleaning of the installation, when necessary. Mowing of the solar avenues and of paddocks around the farmstead, as well as the movement of smaller loads and materials around the farm, has been entrusted to a 46hp MF 1547 compact tractor supplied, in common with Clive Thomas’s other Massey Ferguson equipment, by MF dealer, JJ Farm Services Ltd, based near Winchcombe, Gloucestershire.
“I asked dealer sales representative, Ben Johnson, if MF offered a small, manoeuvrable tractor capable of powering a flail mower and a rotary cultivator,” said Clive. “He proposed the MF 1547 with a 12 x 12 synchro-shuttle manual transmission. The tractor has proved a revelation, having ample power for cutting back quite lengthy grass between the solar panels and for cultivating areas of uneven or rutted ground prior to levelling and restoration.”
To complement the generation of solar power, Clive is now planning the installation of a twin bio-digester unit fuelled by a combination of turkey manure, grass silage and green-cut wheat. The methane gas produced by the bio-digester will power engine-driven generators capable of supplying the farm’s entire electricity demand, including the farmhouse, enabling all of the electricity produced by the solar panels to be fed back into the grid.
Clive plans also to utilise all of the waste material from the bio-digester, either spreading it onto land as fertiliser or compressing it into briquettes for sale as fuel. Coolant water heated by the engines will not be wasted either, being used to provide hot water for the workshop and other farm buildings.
“Both my grandfather and father used Ferguson and Massey Ferguson tractors successfully, starting way back in the early 1950s,” explained Clive. “I have maintained this long association, currently employing two MF 6480s and an MF 6290 for all primary and secondary field operations ranging from cultivations to fertiliser spreading and spraying to haulage. We also run an MF 7256 Cerea combine.”
The farm’s latest number one tractor is a 255hp MF 7626 with Dyna-6 transmission delivered by JJ Farm Services in February this year to replace a 215hp MF 6499. Bought primarily to operate a 3m combination drill and, eventually, the forage harvester supplying green matter to feed the bio-digester, the tractor was selected foremost with power in mind.
“When fully operational, our energy generation systems will demand a consistent and reliable supply of material to maintain maximum output,” explained Clive. “Having used Massey Ferguson tractors on the farm for almost 60 years, we have every confidence in their ability to deliver the necessary performance, backed by first-class and dependable dealer support.”
More than 7,250 farmers, contractors and guests from as far afield as Cornwall and Scotland travelled to the Discover AGCO show at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) Birmingham, on 26th and 27th February to view the extensive range of equipment from Massey Ferguson.
The largest individual manufacturer event ever held in the UK, Discover AGCO showcased $18 million worth of equipment, bringing together a complete line-up of machinery from AGCO’s leading brands including the world famous Massey Ferguson brand, along with support services provided by AGCO Parts and AGCO Finance.
Held in 15,000m² space in two halls at the NEC, Discover AGCO treated guests to a machinery show experience more akin to that found at large European exhibitions. Indeed, the event provided the opportunity for customers to see the entire Massey Ferguson lineup, from Power Generators and lawn equipment, right up to our 400 horsepower MF 8700 series and our top of the range harvesting collection. Visitors were welcomed onto the stand to talk to senior staff, Area Sales Managers and Sales Support staff. Colleagues from the Beauvais factory in France also joined us to promote the forthcoming Vision of the Future event and give support to our UK team.
The event employed more than $1 million worth of audiovisual equipment to put on a wide range of presentations, including a video tracing the company’s development and achievements from its foundation to the present day. There were also presentations by Campbell Scott, Director of Brand Development for Massey Ferguson, as well as a commentary in the centrally-positioned ‘Ultimate Dealership’. A full seminar programme, addressing farm management, agronomy and livestock issues, was fully booked by visitors before the event.
David Sleath, Director Sales UK and Ireland told us, “The indoor facilities at the NEC provided the opportunity to show our massive range of equipment to our customers in a professional space, in a business-like manner and without any distractions. As well as being able to look closely at specific machines, customers could also talk to senior executives, staff and specialists in comfort, in great detail about their specific needs and, in many cases, with their dealers at the same event,” adds Mr Sleath.
One customer, Chris Gardner, from Mill Farm Ashorne, in Warwickshire, who runs a specialist grassland and agricultural contracting business, praised the show for the choice of venue and its professional approach. “The NEC is an excellent venue – warm and dry! We found the show was well laid out and I really appreciated the way we were able to take a long, detailed look, at the equipment, without feeling we were being hassled by salesmen, there was no ‘hard sell’. But as soon as we did want extra information somebody was always available to provide what we wanted.”
Sam Mercer, Sales Director of the Reekie Group, travelled to Birmingham with two coach loads of customers from its depots at Perth, Stirling and Cupar. “It was a long way to come from Central Scotland, more than six hours travelling, but it was well worth it. It was good for our customers to see not only what Massey Ferguson has to offer but the other services and products available.”
“Our customers said the show put over a very professional image. The feedback on the way home was all positive – they found it interesting and informative and, despite the long journey, well worth the visit,” Sam told us.
Big congratulations to Dave Turner, Service Technician at Massey Ferguson dealership Highwood’s, Somerset, UK. Dave has just celebrated an incredible fifty years as a Technician at the Yeovil Depot. In 1966 Dave graduated from college with a 1st Class certificate in Agricultural machinery, maintenance and repair and had the original certificates to show us. Dave had some fascinating stories to tell us, “Over fifty years you get to meet all kinds of people and machinery” Dave told us, “I actually retired two years ago but I like to keep my hand in and my mind active. I remember how I used to race around the countryside with my colleague, Salesman Jim Tooze, he’d sell them and I’d support them. We were a proper double act.”
We asked Dave how life in the workshop differs now from fifty years ago, he explains, “The biggest difference over the years has been speed. Machinery has advanced so much and the pace of life has quickened. Customers need their equipment as soon as possible so we have to fix things quickly, there’s little downtime. It’s so important to retain driver and customer relations, it may put pressure on us but it’s all part of the service.
We asked Dave what he most enjoyed about the job, he tells us “It’s all about the people. I’ve been lucky, I’ve worked closely with dealers, customers and colleagues and all have supported me over the years. It really is an extended family working for Massey Ferguson, it’s all about family.”
Ben Manning, Group Aftersales Manager at Highwood’s comments “The modern professionalism of the manufacturer, dealership staff, customers and drivers have all impressed on Dave the move forward in agricultural engineering, it’s imperative that we have people like Dave working to meet our consistently high standards of support.”