STELLAR support and back-up offered by Farm Maintenance Services (FMS), one of the KwaZulu-Natal dealers for Massey Ferguson tractors, based in Pietermaritzburg, prompted client Heinrich Harris to switch from a competitor brand for all his new equipment needs.
“When we were at the point to start replacing our machinery, FMS was the dealer able to meet our needs and provide us with the technical back-up we needed,” said Harris, who is Mechanisation and Maintenance Director at Vriendschap Boerdery in Melmoth. “All our maintenance is carried out under warranty. Whatever new equipment we may require, we simply approach FMS, which has been really helpful in that regard.”
FMS Sales Manager Cornie Tosen said value-for-money was a major consideration in Harris switching from a competitor brand that he has been supporting for a long time, in addition to the high standard specification level of the MF machines. “Now it is a combination of aftersales service and support that continues to make this important client feel highly valued and well looked after.”
To date, Vriendschap Boerdery’s fleet consists of two smaller-sized MF 5710 and MF 4708 tractors, both with four-wheel drive. “We currently own ten MF 5710s and five MF 4708s, which have sufficient horsepower for common sugarcane operations. We recently bought two of the slightly bigger MF 6713s, also four-wheel drive, which are mainly used for land preparation,” said Harris.
Tosen described the MF 5700 Series as a workhorse range that has re-engineered the concept of the sub 130 hp tractor from the ground up to meet the needs of present and future farming. “No other range on the market today offers such an array of build specifications, options and accessories, all designed to help tailor the machine exactly for the farming operation on hand,” he said.
“The MF 4700 Global Series is a highly modern, high-performance, heavy-duty, straightforward range of tractors that provides exceptional efficiency for every type of farmer. With its entirely new yet simple design, featuring efficient drivelines and a high level of comfort, the series also provides exceptional value for money.”
Vriendschap Boerdery’s most recent purchase was a MF 7726. “The client needed a tractor that was both versatile and efficient for planting and large-scale mowing work,” said Tosen, adding that the MF 7726 was ideal in this regard, with features such as front linkage, front and cab suspension and full guidance.
“Paired with a front-end butterfly mower combination, the client can now cut 8 m at a time. The tractor is also powerful enough for ground preparation and sufficiently fuel-efficient to carry out spreading work. In addition, the MF 7726 offers a low total cost of ownership that makes it a very attractive option for KZN sugarcane farmers.”
Harris said that the MF 7726 will be deployed at another Vriendschap Boerdery farm. “The tractor is well-adapted for our operation there, especially as the front-lift system means we can deploy three separate mowers for maximum efficiency, two at the back on either side of the tractor and one in the centre that cuts in front. This is the perfect machine, and I believe in future we will definitely purchase more MF machines from FMS.”
The MF 7700 S Series provides a choice of power output, transmission, cab specification, hydraulics and PTO variants. It is guidance ready and available in four models, with power ranging from 200 hp to 255 hp, and Dyna-6 and Dyna-VT transmission.
Commenting on the decision to switch to both a new dealer and brand, Harris said the competitor did not have a mechanical, lower-spec machine in its range adequate for rugged sugarcane farming applications. “Newer technology is obviously more expensive and just adds to your cost base at the end of the day.” What tipped the scales in favour of MF was the 25% price difference in its typical basket of spares. “From a maintenance point of view, this alone is a massive saving,” said Harris.