The Massey Ferguson brand is anywhere in South Africa where farming takes place. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Naude’s Neck Pass region in the Eastern Cape. Connecting Maclear to Rhodes, and at 2587m above sea level, the pass is the second-highest dirt road in South Africa, based on the route taken by the intrepid Naude family in the 1890s. It is here, between Maclear and Rhodes, that the Naude Broers farm with sheep and cattle, and maize on the side for their own use.
“The Naude Broers farm is probably the furthest point and in one of the most inaccessible areas in the region that we service at this point,” says Michael Howell from local MF dealer Tractor World, based in East London, who has a close working relationship with brothers Donie and Stephanus Naude. Donie’s son shares a name with the brothers’ father. Peet represents the next generation that will take over the farm and continue the MF tradition that started in 1976.
With over 70 years’ agricultural experience, Tractor World covers crop, stock, game, and dairy farming in the Eastern Cape, including Alexandria, Grahamstown, Aliwal North and Mthatha, as well as Maclear, Ugie, Dordrecht, and Elliot.
Donie highlights that Michael has significant expertise. “You can count on him to share his knowledge, which makes him one of the best dealership managers I know.” In turn, working with Naude Broers is a testament to the level of customer service that Tractor World prides itself on.
In terms of delivering machines to such remote locations, Michael says Tractor World has its own lowbed and 10t rollback. Not only can it conduct its own transportation and delivery, in the event of any issues, but a tractor can also be collected, and a replacement machine provided when available.
“Problems do not tend to arise when the tractor is parked in the shed, but usually when it is working. In this area, there is a specific window period, during which you need to get your maize or other green feed in. This means no farmer can afford to have any machine stand idle during this critical period, so we go above and beyond to ensure all of our customers’ needs are met,” says Michael.
The Naude Broers farm has a 16-strong MF tractor fleet now. Their favourite purchase to date has been the MF 7618 (180hp) back in 2016. Six years down the line they are still happy with the tractor, which is on the higher horsepower side of their fleet. The MF 7618 forms part of the MF 7600 Series of responsive, powerful machines designed and engineered for maximum versatility, built around the trademark MF standards of award-winning, innovative, and advanced engineering.
Due to the diversity of the work undertaken – from livestock and dairy to arable farming – the MF 7618 ensures that any job at hand is successful. Favourite features for the Naude Broers include superb visibility, high ground clearance, and extra power when needed, in addition to the excellent stability that has proven a major advantage in the mountainous area the farm is located in.
The four-valve, common rail AGCO POWER Stage 2 (Tier II) compliant engine provides the ultimate in optimum power delivery, with the benefit of turbocharging and intercooling for highly efficient power and fuel economy in various applications. These Stage 2 engines have a low engine speed rating of 2100rpm. Under full throttle, the engine will rev to 2100rpm, with maximum power occurring at 1950rpm. High power and torque at low rpm ensure high performance, excellent fuel economy, and low engine noise, which has resulted in major cost-savings over the past six years for the Naude Broers.
What stands out for the Naude Broers is that their MF 7618 tractor has a Dyna-6 transmission. This ultra-dependable, semi-powershift gearbox is now even more refined than what has been previously available on the market. The Dyna-6 continues to offer all essential features such as left-hand power control, auto-drive, right-hand control, speed matching, and variable shuttle take-up. Since this model, the transmission now features Power Management for even greater fuel efficiency. The transmission has maximum productivity of 24 forward and 24 reverse gears. An additional feature that is especially useful for Naude Broers is the brake pedal pressure that puts the transmission into neutral for intensive tasks like round baling.
The Naude Broers note that MF has always been an industry leader when it comes to hydraulics and rear linkage control. Massey Ferguson’s digital ELC (Electronic Lift Control) system gives the highest standards of draft control, with highly accurate depth settings and improved ground-contour following. “This has resulted in more weight transfer, better traction, less wheel slip, reduced tyre wear, and reduced fuel consumption, while still maintaining great output, which adds to the bottom line at the end of the day,” notes Michael.
The cab shape provides the operator with good all-round visibility. The combination of exhaust positioning, slanted bonnet design and large glass areas allow an outstanding 360° field of vision. A clear view from the rear window ensures a clear view of attached operational implements for a safe working environment.
The comfortable and fully adjustable seat gives plenty room to work all day and not be fatigued, improving the productivity of the operator when working long hours in the tractor. For additional comfort, air-conditioning is available as an optional extra on the MF 7600 series, which the Naude Broers opted for. “The A/C has been a blessing for us in these hot Eastern Cape summer days,” they comment.
Finally, the efficient cab package that came standard with the Naude Broers’ MF 7618 consists of the dash control centre with Command Control Armrest and ‘T’ lever, offering a choice of either using the fingertip control spool valves or the multifunction joystick controls. “The most frequently used controls are in one place, making operation straightforward thanks to clever ergonomics,” says Michael.
AGCO now has the ASK (AGCO Sales Configurator) system to allow dealers to fully customise a tractor’s configuration. This allows the customer to sit with an AGCO dealer and specify their next high horsepower tractor to the finest detail, including oil flows, colour, and even cab configurations. “When Naude Broers order their next high horsepower tractor, we’ll be excited to show them how versatile the system is in giving them exactly what they want,” says Michael.
Naude Broers has been dealing with Tractor World since 2003 for all its tractor and implement requirements. “Our relationship has extended over 18 years to date, which is indicative of its ongoing success and how pleased we have been with the service and support provided,” says Donie. “I grew up with MF, as my father bought his first tractor in 1983, which we still have on the farm. From that point on we have standardised on the brand, as we know it has been working for us.”
Michael says the relationship between AGCO Africa and Tractor World is a natural partnership. “The brand is in my blood, as my father sold MF for 36 years, and I grew up with it as a child. Therefore, it has always been part of our family. Quality-wise, these are exceptional machines that perform extremely well and have a good resale value. As passionate as we are about our brand, we are equally passionate about our customers. Naude Broers represents the kind of brand loyalty that MF tends to instill in the farming community, and we are privileged to continue to work with them.”
This year Massey Ferguson, a worldwide brand of AGCO (NYSE:AGCO), is excited to announce a fresh look for its iconic Triple Triangle logo and its new ‘Born to Farm’ brand identity in celebration of its 175th anniversary. MF has offered farmers around the world straightforward and dependable machines since its inception. Few global brands can claim such a lasting impact in the agricultural industry.
In support of the farming community, Massey Ferguson has an extensive network of over 35 dealers covering the whole of South Africa, catering for parts, service, aftersales and new sales. Potential customers interested in the MF range can obtain all information from www.masseyferguson.co.za. Upon completing the contact form, potential customers will have the video, brochure and dealer contact details sent to their WhatsApp and email within 30 seconds.