Through the Wringer
Farmers field-test the new Massey Ferguson® 9500 combines and declare them ahead of the pack in grain quality, fuel efficiency and ease of operation.
Nearly 1,300 miles separate the Illinois farm Dean Sleezer calls home and the 10,000 acres Calvin Bush farms near Humboldt, Saskatchewan. And location is only part of the contrast. While Sleezer and his son, Mark, rotate corn and soybeans on their 4,000-acre farm based near Yorkville, the Bush family, which includes Calvin’s wife, Joanne, and four children (Devin, the oldest, now farms full-time with his dad), divides the crop base between canola, barley, wheat and oats. It goes without saying that there’s also a dramatic difference in year-round temperature, snowfall and farming practices.
When it comes to combines, though, Sleezer and Bush have a lot in common. Both have a long history with Massey Ferguson and both are now sold on the new Massey Ferguson 9500 Series combines after being selected to operate one of the machines during a pilot-model test program.
Changes from Feeder to Spreader
“I always liked the looks of the 9005 Series,” says Sleezer. “So, I was glad to see the design of the 9500 hadn’t changed much, and that the cab and controls were nearly identical,” he adds, praising the combine’s ease of operation. “But that’s about where the similarities end.”
According to Kevin Cobb, manager of marketing for Massey Ferguson combines, the Massey Ferguson 9500 Series features myriad changes. From the feeder to spreader, innovations like a new engine, cooling package, Trident™ processor and stratified cleaning system, are all designed with increased capacity and efficiency in mind, while improving serviceability and maintaining user-friendly operation.
There were, however, a couple of features that Sleezer and Bush were both apprehensive about in the beginning . . . and totally sold on afterward. Those are the V-Cool system and the new 9.8-liter AGCO Power™ engine used in the MF9540 and MF9560.
More Capacity, Less Fuel
“You realize that’s a 7-cylinder engine?” Sleezer asks with a tone of skepticism. “But I’ve never run anything with so much torque and power. But even more amazing was the fuel economy.
“We were burning 17 gallons of fuel per hour with the 9560, compared to 23 gallons per hour with our old 9895,” he says, crediting the newer combine’s e3 SCR system for some of the difference. “It was over the top, and the 9560 was usually running ahead of the 9895.”
Bush says he, too, was skeptical of the new engine, especially since nearly everything on his farm is currently powered by Cummins and Caterpillar engines. “However, from what I saw, the 9560 had as much power, if not more, than the Cat® C13 engines in our 9895s and burned a lot less fuel in the process,” he says. “I’ll tell you, I was shocked.”
Cobb relates that in other field trials, he has seen as much as 20 to 40% improvement in fuel economy from the 9540 and 9560 compared to the Massey Ferguson 9005 Series. “In fact, we saw several cases of what we called the ‘20/20’—20% more capacity using 20% less fuel,” he says. And while the AGCO Power engine gets most of the credit for the fuel savings, continues Cobb, “the Trident processor, the efficient inline rotor drive and the variable-speed cooling fan all contribute to the economy and power gains.”