Fuel-Efficient Tractors

Birchen has seen the fuel savings firsthand.

Rod Birchen

Rod Birchen

Rod Birchen doesn’t need to see the results of the Nebraska Tractor Test Lab tests to know that his Massey Ferguson 8600 Series tractors are fuel efficient. He’s seen the results firsthand.

“Last year alone, the fuel savings on those three Masseys nearly made the payments on one tractor,” he says. “That may seem like a bold statement, but they’re extremely fuel efficient. Depending on what kind of job you’re doing with it, you can be running 6 or 7 mph and the engine is practically idling. Between the high road speed, the CVT transmission, the electronic controls and the economy pto, there are plenty ways to save fuel on the job.”

And Birchen and his crew literally use them for everything … from mowing alfalfa with a triple mower, to planting, tilling, spraying crops, hauling silage and spreading manure. It’s little wonder the tractors average over 1,200 hours annually.

Ironically, Birchen says, it was his experience with his European-designed forage harvester that led him to Massey Ferguson.

“The Europeans seem to have a little different approach to technology,” he says, noting they were the first to adopt CVT transmissions and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems for emissions control in agricultural equipment. “So when I saw that AGCO and Massey shared a lot of their new technology with Fendt, it got my attention.”

In fact, Birchen actually started the association with A.C. McCartney, the AGCO and Massey Ferguson dealer in Durand, Ill., when he bought an AGCO RT155, an MF8660 and two MF8650 tractors in 2010. While he still owns the AGCO RT model, he is on his fourth and fifth 8600 Series tractors, having traded as soon as the original warranty expired.

“I really like the Dyna-VT transmissions,” he says. “And I like the fact that the 8600 Series was one of the first with a front 3-point hitch and pto on a high-horsepower tractor. As a result, they’re not only efficient, but extremely versatile.”

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