When J A Low required a more powerful tractor, Massey Ferguson was the tractor of choice.
When a more powerful tractor was needed to improve work rates when drilling, an Essex family farm bought its first Massey Ferguson. Over a year on – the tractor and the service from Crawfords continue to impress.
Trading as J A Low and Son, and based near Clacton, the Low family grows a wide variety of traditional crops as well as potatoes and onions. Approximately 520ha is farmed of which just over half is owned. The rest is on FBTs and single season rental agreements to accommodate the large acreage of root crops. Soils range from sandy clay loams to heavy Essex clay, and irrigation is needed as the farm is in one of the driest locations in the UK despite being only a few miles from the sea.
Eight tractors are owned of four different brands. There is no formal replacement policy and tractors are updated when needed. Most tractors have one main operator, and the drivers’ opinions are the main consideration when new tractors are being chosen, along with a suitable specification and competitive price. The smallest tractor on the current fleet is a 145hp model, and the biggest is a Challenger twin-track crawler with 365hp.
First Massey Ferguson
“Although we operate several makes of tractor, we hadn’t owned a Massey Ferguson previously,” explained farmer Matthew Low who runs the farm in partnership with his parents Ian and Angela, and his wife Kate. “However, the Crawfords Territory Sales Manager Tim Osborne asked us to try the new 8S model which had recently arrived on the dealer’s demonstration fleet. We had a demonstration of a Massey Ferguson several years ago, and although we were impressed by its performance and pulling power, we preferred the cab of a competitor machine and bought that instead. But as soon as I climbed into the cab of the new 8S I immediately liked it, and so did the rest of our team.”
Matthew consulted a neighbour who uses Massey Ferguson, and he recommended the tractors and the dealer back-up. The Low family already had experience of Crawfords as the dealer supplied and looks after the Challenger crawler and a range of Amazone equipment including the farm’s sprayer, so they were happy to trust the dealer with a new wheeled tractor too. The Lows placed their order for a Massey Ferguson MF8S.265 Dyna-7 which arrived in late 2021 – replacing a 210hp tractor of a competitor brand.
“Its main roles include pulling a 6f plough, a set of 4m HeVa discs, and it’s also light and manoeuvrable enough for trailer work if a smaller tractor isn’t available,” continued Matthew. “However, the main reason we wanted the extra power was for drilling. Our previous tractor struggled to pull the Great Plains Centurion 6m drill when conditions were difficult on our heavy land, and we couldn’t achieve the work rates we needed. The 8S.265 has up to 285hp available and we have seen a big increase in our productivity. Most of our land is flat, but where we do have slopes the Massey Ferguson maintains a constant speed and working with the 6m drill, the difference in daily output has been quite dramatic.”
The 8S.265 was specified with four rear spools. “The previous tractor had three and having one extra means we can remotely control the drill’s levelling boards which improves the operation.
“It has worked 665 hours in its first year on the farm. It pulls well, the reliability has been very good, and it seems economical.”
Matthew said that the operator environment is excellent. “It’s a real step up in terms of quality of finish and driver comfort, and it’s as good as or better than the cabs on any of our other tractors. There is lots of space, the view from the seat is superb and it’s very quiet.
“The controls are well laid out and easy to use, and I like the information display on the cab pillar which is clear and logical.
“I would buy the same tractor again. We considered several other brands before buying it and the price was competitive but, even so, we wouldn’t have been any happier with the more expensive tractors we considered. I like it – the cab is a good place to be, and we will consider Massey Ferguson again when our other tractors are due for changing.”
The service from the Crawfords Writtle depot team has also been excellent. “We’ve done a lot more business with Crawfords in recent years, and we recently had a demonstration of a new Amazone cultivator. The back-up is better than ever. We have several other good dealers in our area, but where we used to only make two phone calls when buying new machinery – now we make three.”
“It’s a real step up in terms of quality of finish and driver comfort, and it’s as good as or better than the cabs on any of our other tractors.” – Matthew Low.
In conclusion, when J A Low, a family farm in Essex, needed a more powerful tractor to enhance their work rates, they turned to Massey Ferguson and Crawfords for a solution. After a year of using the Massey Ferguson MF8S.265, they continue to be impressed by its performance and the exceptional service provided by Crawfords. The farm, which grows a variety of crops, found that the MF8S.265 greatly improved their productivity, particularly during drilling operations on heavy land. With its reliable operation, economical performance, and excellent operator environment, the MF8S.265 proved to be a step above other tractors in terms of quality and comfort. The Low family appreciates the support they receive from Crawfords, whose service has exceeded their expectations. If you’re in search of a powerful and reliable tractor, consider the Massey Ferguson MF8S.265 from Crawfords for outstanding performance and exceptional service.