Many dairy farmers may once have favoured a ROPS tractor for its easy access and dismounting to open gates or take down hot wires.
The business, in Cheviot, North Canterbury, and is run by Murray and Darrelle Stackhouse who do cultivation and baling for local farmers.
Stackhouse Contracting runs three Massey Fergusons -- MF 7726, MF 7620 and MF 7475 -- although the relationship with the brand goes back many years when they first came across a Massey on a farm they leased.
The MF 7726 bought new this year is tasked with ploughing, ripping and baling, and at 260hp is the largest in the fleet.
Bought to improve efficiency, the tractor is very fuel efficient, Stackhouse says. It is shod with large tyres to reduce compaction and has a better steering lock than previous machines, making it ideal for ploughing.
He likes the cab layout, noting “everything is user-friendly with controls falling easily to hand, with all major functions incorporated into the joystick”.
With drivers spending up to 10 hours a day in the tractors during the busy season comfort is important, so cab suspension and front suspension together help reduce driver fatigue and promote greater safety.
A key feature on the MF 7726 is the Datatronic CCD guidance system, with all functions displayed on one larger screen that is well laid out, easy to follow and intuitive.
In operation, the Datatronic can be used for all major functions, for example controlling the rate of hydraulic flow to achieve a smooth safe turnover of the reversible plough. Likewise the system can be used to control the variable transmission over its 0 - 50km/h speed range to achieve high outputs with minimal fuel use.
Stackhouse Contracting is also a fan of grass harvesting and handling gear made by Lely, whose grasslands business was recently bought by Massey Ferguson.
Their equipment includes a 5.5m wide trailing 550P Splendimo mower, an 8.0m Hibiscus 815 CD rake, a 6.0m Lotus Stabilo tedder and a Welger RP545 belt round baler. The Welger RP545 produces bales from 90 - 180cm. It can make 50 bales per hour with independent control of the core density compared to the rest of the bale.