Massey Ferguson Tractors: Father-In-Law Knows Best

This couple got some wise direction on what tractor brand would offer the best value and dependability for their farm.


Art McMahon’s father-in-law, Anthony Cerbo, was also his farming mentor. And when Art, a full-time carpenter, bought a plot of hilly farmland in rural New Jersey, his mentor knew he needed a machine with a low center of gravity, a wide wheelbase and real dependability.

Nothing, Art was told, would serve better than a Massey Ferguson.® He took that advice and has been buying red ever since.

In late 2017, Art completed his fleet—which already included an MF583 and MF2135—with an MF1742. His wife, Judy, is an essential part of the operation, and he wanted a machine she would feel comfortable driving. As it turns out, she loves the easy-to-use hydrostatic transmission. Given the diversity of the farm operation—and his second career as a carpenter—Art also needed a tractor that could easily swap implements, even accommodating his older, non-Massey Ferguson gear.

It was lucky timing: Within months after the purchase of the MF1742, Art’s farm was beset by two big snowstorms.

“It doesn’t matter what the weather is or what the ground is like—that tractor goes through everything,” he says. His daughter, Heather, jokes it turned him into the FEMA manager for the county.

“We had one snowfall, and it was zero out and blowing—and I was able to sit out there and do four or five hours of work,” Art says of the tractor. Thanks to the responsiveness of the automatic throttle control, the smooth transmission and a comfortable cab, he can drive for hours with little to no fatigue.

Art’s loyalty to Massey Ferguson is helped by the great service from Sosler’s Garden & Farm Equipment in New Hampton, New York. The “Ray Team,” as father and son Ray Sosler II and III are known, once drove 45 minutes after business hours to make a last-minute part replacement—just so Art’s tractor would not have to sit out overnight.

“I’ve never experienced anything like that before, as far as a service-based company,” Art says.

He is preparing to retire from his work as a carpenter soon and will focus full time on farming. “We’re ready to move forward,” Art says. “We’ve got the equipment in place; we’ve got the dealer support that we need from the guys at Sosler’s; and now we’ve got the Massey Ferguson brand behind it.”