2013-11-22   facebook twitter rss

McCormick Tractor Trio Praised for Performance, Comfort and Economy

Sometimes, one thing just leads to another – and for a Derbyshire dairy farming family, that ‘something’ was buying a new compact tractor for yard and cubicle house cleaning.

The purchase led to a wholesale switch of tractor make, with two more red and silver McCormick tractors arriving on the farm in quick succession.

McCormick enthusiasts (from right) Barry Smith, Richard Wood, Ben Sidwell and trainee Bradley Allsop. Mr Smith’s son Martin was not present for the photograph.

McCormick enthusiasts (from right) Barry Smith, Richard Wood, Ben Sidwell and trainee Bradley Allsop. Mr Smith’s son Martin was not present for the photograph.

For the Smith family, who run a 180-head dairy herd plus followers at Foxfields Farm near Radbourne, the trio of tractors has all the performance and versatility they need while helping keep costs down through better fuel consumption.

First, local McCormick dealer John Ayre at Alkmonton Tractors supplied a hydrostatic drive X10.50H for scraping duties; a McCormick MC130 with LiftMaster loader followed as the farm’s busy handling tractor; and the fleet was completed with a six-cylinder MTX150 for more demanding yard and field work.

“We’re very pleased with the tractors,” says Barry Smith. “There’s not too much in the way of electronics, which helps to keep servicing costs down, and because we aim to keep tractors for a long time, that’s an important issue over the life of the tractor.”

Barry Smith, his son Martin and grandson Ben Sidwell farm 160ha, of which 60ha is arable, and the remainder grass for their closed herd of pedigree Friesians.

The 49hp scraper tractor is used for clearing out the pens all year round, so reliability is vital, Mr Smith emphasises.

“Many farmers buy a second-hand tractor for scraping, but we prefer new because I know our McCormick compact will start every morning, whatever the weather,” he says. “The three-speed hydro transmission means that it’s so easy to drive – it’s like an automatic car – and the tractor has proved to be very economical.”

Encouraged by two years of totally reliable service from the little McCormick, the next purchase was the 126hp McCormick MC130, one of the most popular models in the range. It is fitted with a McCormick LiftMaster loader.

“This tractor is also used every day, and nearly all day, to load the feeder wagon and for mucking out,” says Barry Smith. “The loader is very good, with more reach and quicker cycles than on the one we used previously; and the tipping angle is better, too.”

The powershift transmission with reverse shuttle and creeper makes light work of loading, he adds, and fuel economy is very impressive.

“This tractor does a lot of work and can be in use 12 hours day so the fuel economy is important,” says Mr Smith’s grandson, Ben Sidwell. “I also find the visibility from the cab very good for loader work.”

Latest addition to the fleet is a 141hp McCormick MTX150, which is used mainly to power the farm’s Siloking feeder wagon and, during the silage harvest, a Pottinger Torro forage wagon.

“We’ve also used it for reseeding 60ha of grass with a combi drill when it proved surprisingly economical,” reports Barry Smith. “It’s comfortable to drive and very powerful – I rated our previous tractors very highly, so I’m delighted at what a fantastic machine this is.”

Operator Richard Wood agrees: “In two weeks of fieldwork I was very impressed with the low fuel consumption,” he says. “It’s also the first tractor we’ve had with auto pto, which switches off the power to the combi drill when the linkage is lifted, making headland turns much easier.

“The MTX150 is very simple to use and the cab and front axle suspension make for a smooth ride on the road and in the field,” adds Mr Wood.

The crew at Foxfields Farm has joined the ranks of McCormick enthusiasts in a short period, investing in three new tractors since 2011.

Barry Smith says: “It’s been a very positive move and we get excellent service from Alkmonton Tractors; they are there for us 24/7, which is essential when you run a busy dairy farm.”


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