Field Test: Heavy-Duty Utility Tractors
-- Customer Story
The new Massey Ferguson® 4700 Series of tractors is quite possibly the most rigorously tested tractor 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.
Now, with the tractor hitting the North American market, producers, landscapers and those who simply need a tractor on their farmsteads are offering rave reviews of the series. FarmLife caught up with two longtime tractor owners—Thornton Tweedy from Arkansas and Robert Cunningham of Quebec—to share their thoughts after each took an MF4708 tractor for a spin. (The 80-HP MF4708 is just one of four models in the series to be sold in North America. Other models include the 4709 (90 HP) and the 4710 (100 HP). A fourth tractor, the 70-HP 4707, will be available later in 2016.)
Thornton Tweedy, Arkansas
"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."
While Tweedy has since gotten out of the right-of-way maintenance business, his working in such extreme conditions has given him firsthand knowledge of what constitutes a dependable, powerful and stable tractor. These days, Tweedy is building a herd of F1 Tigerstripe cattle, as well as roads on some new land. That experience is one of the reasons Tweedy was asked to demo the MF4708. "I spent one afternoon putting up hay, and that tractor goes just as fast backward as it will forward. It got the job done. It's got a comfortable ride too.
"I tell you, that tractor had plenty of hydraulic power." 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."
Robert Cunningham, Quebec
A fifth-generation farmer and former dairyman, Robert Cunningham has been a Massey Ferguson customer almost his entire life. He has, however, tried another brand.
"I've driven a 4-wheel drive Kubota that's the same size" as the MF4708, says Cunningham. "It had a loader on it … and when you got a load of gravel in the bucket, the back end [was light]. So it was not exactly a [stable] thing to work with."
So, when Guy Lemarche, a salesman with his AGCO dealer, Les Équipements Colpron, offered Cunningham the chance to demo an MF4708, he went straight for the gravel pile on his farm. "I went and got a full bucket. It was just like a little tank going over there."
One of the more surprising aspects of the tractor, according to Cunningham, is "it's very compact, but it weighs a lot. It rides like a bigger tractor, which is quite nice."
Concludes Cunningham: "I think it'll be a very handy tractor on any farm. It'll certainly be good for chores on big farms, and for a small farmer, it might be all the tractor he needs."
To read more about the field test from these two farmers, check out the full story at http://www.myfarmlife.com/advantage/field-test-heavy-duty-utility-tractors/.