Green Tractor to Red Tractor
The new generation at this family farm makes a change, increasing efficiency, comfort and the bottom line.
By Tharran E. Gaines | Photos By Christy Couch Lee
Kirk Venvertloh and his father certainly have a lot in common and share a bond when it comes to the family farm. However, when it involves tractors, you might say Kirk is going in a different direction than his dad.
While his father Willie Venvertloh has been a lifelong John Deere customer, Kirk recently purchased a new Massey Ferguson® Model 7615, equipped with the optional Dyna-VT™ CVT transmission and a Massey Ferguson Model 961 loader. In effect, it replaced two older tractors, while improving both efficiency and versatility.
“I mainly use it for feeding cattle and haying,” relates Kirk, who says he purchased the MF7615 in large part due to the efficiency and ease of operation provided by the CVT. Yet, as much as he appreciates that continuously variable transmission for both fieldwork and loader chores, Kirk says he has since learned that the tractor does so much more than he even imagined.
“I love the Dynamic Tractor Management (DTM) system and the foot pedal mode, and the way they work together when I’m using the loader,” he says. “I just move the shuttle lever to change direction, and use the pedal to start and stop, and to control the speed.”
Kirk says it is equally valuable on PTO-powered equipment, like their Hesston® by Massey Ferguson Model 2745 round baler. Again, he prefers to use the foot pedal for speed control, taking his foot off the pedal to stop and wrap the bale, then pushing down to start baling again.
“It’s great for going down the road too,” he continues. “We’re spread out quite a bit. We have one farm that’s 10 miles north of our main farmstead, and my house is actually 15 miles east; so the ability to travel between fields at around 32 mph is very helpful.
“At the same time, it’s been amazing on fuel economy,” he adds, pointing out how the engine automatically throttles down when power isn’t needed. “During one of the first hay cuttings this spring, I drove 17 miles to the field, cut about 13 acres of hay with the mower conditioner at about 6 mph and used a total of seven gallons of fuel. With any of the other tractors, we would have used at least 25 to 30% more fuel.”