The Massey Ferguson 8735S: Efficiency On The Go

Farmer Ben Laun has a challenging setup: fields separated by miles, with varying topography and soil types. Massey Ferguson equipment helps him manage it all efficiently.

By Jamie Cole | Photos By Jamie Cole

“Every penny adds up,” says Ben Laun, as he pulls his Massey Ferguson 8735S into an equipment shed next to an older model MF8650. In the back of the same shed is a Gleaner S97 combine. Ben doesn’t take equipment purchases lightly. His patient approach to managing his operation is centered on conservation and steady improvements to the land (see the full story here), so efficiency is key.

Adding a complicated variable to his efficiency equation is the layout of his farm, with fields spread across some 30 miles. “It’s important to have reliable equipment that can get down the road quickly,” he says.

But it’s more than just moving between fields. “The fields are all different,” says Mitch Merz of Merz Farm Equipment in Falls City, Nebraska. Mitch helped get Ben in the AGCO equipment that works best for his unique operation. “This field has a little different topography than another field,” says Mitch. “He’s got terraces that are closer together, wider, bigger,” he says.

Ben adds that even within a single terrace, the equipment need may change: “You can go a couple hundred feet in the field and get into clay soil, and it requires a lot more horsepower to get the same job done.”

Ben says that makes the Dyna-VT transmission on the 8735S essential to efficiency in his operation. Dynamic Tractor Management (DTM) adjusts engine power according to load, maintaining travel speed and maximizing fuel efficiency. “It just seamlessly controls itself,” says Ben. “It just takes the guesswork out of it.”

And that travel time between fields? “It’s real important to move from field to field quickly,” he says. With the 8735S, “it might mean getting an extra 10 acres planted in a day because you didn’t spend that time on the road.” In an operation of 1600 acres, as Ben says, that does “add up.”

“Ben is very analytical in the way he does things; he’s definitely doing things by the numbers,” says Mitch. “He’s not buying stuff just because of the brand. He’s not buying stuff just because of what his neighbors have. Ben is buying things that make sense for him financially, analytically, throughout the farm.”

That analysis goes beyond finances and extends to stewardship, and Ben’s equipment fits that approach as well. While the Massey Ferguson tractor saves on fuel, the Gleaner combine’s lightweight design makes a conservative harvest possible, even in wetter conditions. “Two years ago, we had a very wet harvest. And we were able to be in the field when some other people were sitting,” he says. The lighter weight of the combine meant less compaction; “We didn’t have to do any tillage afterwards,” Ben says.

The MF8735S pulls the grain cart alongside the combine and Ben calls the tractor “absolutely perfect” for that work. Again, in spite of varied field conditions, DTM helps “match the speed of the combine,” he says, while helping him save fuel.

“From an analytical side, where he’s measuring every single input that he’s putting on that farm, he knows what he’s doing,” says Mitch.