Design your own Massey Ferguson tractor at the push of a button!

The AGCO ASK feature allows farmers to “design” their tractors to suit their own needs and requirements.

The MF 7700 S is equipped with a 6.6-litre six-cylinder engine.
Photo: Supplied

Dieter Schroder, owner of DT Farming Trust in Winterton, KwaZulu-Natal, and his son-in-law Ross Braithwaite were looking for a new tractor for their recently acquired 3t fertilizer spreader.

So they turned to Drakensberg Agricultural Services (DAS), the Massey Ferguson (MF) dealer for the Bergville and Winterton areas, explained their specific farming needs and asked for expert advice and guidance.

What followed was a classic example of MF’s highly customized AGCO ASK system in action. Schroder established Noodhulp Farm in 1989 as a mixed farming operation.

“At the time, I rented the land mainly for grazing for cattle breeding and a little cultivation.
“Over time, our needs have grown, our mechanization needs too. “A few years ago, persistent drought forced me to switch to irrigated farming and our equipment needs changed. We currently have about 1,100 ha under irrigation,” explains Schroder.

Braithwaite explains that DT Farming Trust, which has always had a variety of machines
of its fleet, recently had an urgent need for a new tractor. Unable to find one that could meet their unique requirements and fit their pocket, they turned to DAS.

DAS used the AGCO ASK system to customize a tractor to meet the exact needs of Schroder and Braithwaite.

The system is a dealer tool that incorporates an easy-to-use “configurator” that selects key tractor components to suit specific customer requirements, right down to tractor color.

After consultation between the dealer and the customer to define the specifications for their new high horsepower tractor, DAS placed the order with the Beauvais factory in France. Both customer and dealer received weekly updates on the build process, and just 12 weeks later, a striking, custom-built black MF 7720 S arrived at the Port of Durban!

Specific requirements
Sven Rohrs, Co-Director of DAS, attributes DAS’ flexibility in its ability to meet specific agricultural requirements to specialist tools such as the AGCO ASK system, which puts the needs of the farmer first. It also demonstrates AGCO Africa’s ability to better serve dealers and customers, he said.

AGCO moved from a three-tier distribution model to a direct-to-dealer distribution model for South Africa at the end of 2020.

“There are fewer intermediaries and a direct interface with AGCO Africa and our own customers. When a customer is ready to invest a good amount of money in a new
piece of equipment, it is essential to specify, from the outset, the terms of the application and the preferences of the customer,” explains Rohrs.

Tire size
Rohrs adds that the AGCO ASK system used to specify the high horsepower MF 7700 S Series allows a dealer like DAS to be fully responsive to specific customer requirements, from tire size to hydraulic oil flow and different guidance for precision farming.

The specific model acquired by DT Farming Trust features the trusty AGCO Power 6.6-litre six-cylinder engine, which has come a long way since the MF 6400 series with a Sisu engine, and, in particular, from standstill to a row used on corn and soybean planters.

“More and more farmers are turning to precision agriculture,” notes Rohrs. For example, Noodhulp has a one-row stop on its soybean crop.

DT Farming Trust’s main requirement as it approached DAS was a six-cylinder tractor powerful enough to pull its 3t spreader.

Another differentiator of the MF is its high hydraulic flow and bagging ability on the rear hitch, which provides smooth handling around all contours.

MF has made major changes to the S-Series precision farming and guidance systems, one of the most technologically advanced lines of tractors on the market today. It includes a Fieldstar 5 handheld with a Trimble 382 receiver and full RTK unlock for accuracy between 3.2cm and 3.8cm. Full ISOBUS guidance provides intuitive section and rate control.

“The spreader was plug-and-play, installed in minutes and works like a dream,” says Rohrs.

Inside the cabin
The cab layout features a terminal for precision control functions on one side and tractor controls on the other to help the operator distinguish between the two operational aspects. Another novelty is the multi-functional multi-pad joystick.

The multi-pad lever controls the rear hitch, PTO, headland management, spool valves and cruise control, as well as transmission operation. All operations are at your fingertips for more comfort.

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