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Shift Work: The Massey Ferguson Dyna-6 Transmission on the Farm

On the MacDonald dairy, Massey Ferguson equipment proves itself fuel efficient, durable and easy on the operator.

By Richard Banks | Photos By Jamie Cole

Donnie and Gavin MacDonald

Donnie and Gavin MacDonald

Ask Gavin MacDonald why he and his father, Donnie, purchased their Massey Ferguson® 6490 and he counts the reasons, literally. Specifically, the number of times he would have to shift gears while driving to the field farthest from the barn in a comparably priced “green” tractor.

“Twenty-one shifts there and 21 back,” he says. “We figured that was a lot of shifting to do with a lot of clutch work when you’re spreading manure or something like that.” Because the MacDonalds’ MF6490 has a Dyna-6 transmission, “you set it and it shifts on itself,” Gavin continues.

“You basically drive it like an automatic [transmission] car,” adds Donnie. “It’ll go through its ranges … and gear down when it can. That’s great on fuel economy.”

It’s also much easier to drive and therefore easier on the operator, “especially for jobs … like spreading manure,” says Donnie, who relies on valued employee Bobby Porter to do much of the tractor work along with Gavin. “You’re just doing load after load, and you’re doing the same thing. So, if you can make it easier on yourself, all the better.”

The first Massey Ferguson tractor Donnie bought was almost 27 years ago and from Brock Proudfoot at Proudfoot Motors in nearby New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. “Since then,” says Donnie, who now owns five Massey Ferguson tractors and one combine, “we’ve been pretty well with him for everything that he can supply. We get great service … right through to the parts and service, and all the guys at the shop. We don’t have a lot of breakdowns, but we get good service when we do have them.”

Donnie and Gavin do, however, comparison shop. “You just don’t buy something because the color,” says Donnie. “I mean you got to have a competitive price, and Massey’s always been competitive.

“They’re also very durable,” he continues. “Like I say, some of the tractors have been here for quite a while.”

Yep, adds Gavin, “they do the job for us.”

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