Massey Ferguson MF1734E: Big Job, Powerful Tractor

An Idaho farmer finds that his MF1734E is the perfect tractor for every occasion—even making new friends.

By Boyce Upholt | Photos By Jed Conklin

Mel Echelberger’s work was cut out for him: The Idaho property he bought in 2016 was a serious tangle of thorns. To carve out a yard and a hay meadow would require a nimble, yet powerful tractor.

“So, I looked all around the area, at whatever I could find,” Mel says. “And when I went to our Massey Ferguson® dealer in Lewiston, Diesel & Machine Inc., they had exactly what I wanted.” Echelberger purchased a Massey Ferguson 1734E, a small open-cab machine that could get him into just about every nook and cranny of the land.

The tractor comes with a 3-point hitch, which Echelberger says he “couldn’t do without.” He can easily and quickly take off and put on different implements, and use the tractor for many tasks—disking and plowing the meadow, clearing a snowy driveway and hauling dirt to reshape his patch of land, just to name a few. “The icing on the cake is that quick-change bucket,” Echelberger says. “I just pull two levers and it comes off, and I put the forks on.”

Through it all, the tractor has proved itself comfortable, reliable and fuel efficient. On one tank of gas, “it will run
for hours and hours,” Echelberger says.

He’s had no breakdowns, but when he needed to replace an antifreeze line that got torn up by the rosebushes, he called up his salesman, Randy Peters, and the process was a breeze. The two now stay in touch over Facebook. Peters and the rest of the team
at Diesel & Machine “have been just great to work with,” Echelberger says.

For Echelberger, a new arrival in Idaho, the tractor also has served a rather surprising purpose: It’s helped make new friends. Echelberger has used it to plow his neighbors’ driveways and to haul their furniture. Its power proved essential when one neighbor bought a different brand’s tractor. The machine wasn’t powerful enough to lift its own components down off the delivery truck. So, Echelberger showed up with his MF1734E, and the problem was solved.

His reward, besides the friendship? It was perfectly small-town Idaho: a farm-fresh batch of eggs.