Massey Ferguson Tractors: Crowd Share

The Wilson clan relies on their Massey Ferguson tractor for its versatility and power.


Herman Wilson of Free Soil, Michigan, has been, at various times in his life, a work-camp supervisor, a custom sawyer and a log-home builder. Now he’s retired and lives on 100 acres of pasture and forestland right next door to his son Pete’s 20-acre Kid Ranch CSA Farm. In 2010, after years of driving old, used tractors, Herman decided to treat himself to a new one. He bought a Massey Ferguson® tractor because, well, he always wanted one.

“I’d seen Massey Ferguson’s tractors at the Western Michigan Fair and for years stood there drooling over them,” Herman says. “So, I decided to go down to [Gillison’s in Hart, Michigan] to check one out.”

Gillison’s Variety Fabrication, which also has a location in Benzonia, Michigan, sells a large array of forestry and farm equipment, including Massey Ferguson. Herman recounts how a Gillison’s employee suggested he take a Massey Ferguson tractor out back. “‘There’s a pile of gravel back there,’ he said. ‘Play with it a bit.’”

That was that. Herman was won over by, he says, “how well everything just worked so well together.” He decided soon thereafter to make the purchase of a new Massey Ferguson 1533SL.

It’s a decision he hasn’t regretted. Aside from a little warranty work, Herman has had only one issue in eight years of owning the tractor. In that instance, one of Gillison’s helpful technicians actually came out to the Wilson farm and got Herman running right away.

His MF1533SL compact tractor has a bucket on the front end, so he can move any number of materials on his farm, including the plentiful snow each Midwestern winter brings. He also uses it to skid trees from his woodlot to one of his favorite tools—a Wood-Mizer LT40 portable sawmill. Commenting on the tractor’s power, Herman notes, “The other day, I used it to skid out a 28-foot red pine log with a 16-inch butt on it.”

Wilson likes the tractor’s shuttle clutch, the eight-speed transmission—as well as the PTO and hydraulics—and both father and son really appreciate the tractor’s turning radius. The elder Wilson shares his tractor with Pete, who uses it to prep and maintain his organic gardens and pastures. Pete also uses it to haul feed across his acreage. The tractor even allows father and son to work together on projects, such as Pete’s barn and equipment sheds.