Massey Ferguson MF20MD Ride-on ATV

Side by side, ride-on ATVs are becoming increasingly popular with farmers because they can do so much more than a normal ATV. They have large carry trays, are more stable around hills and at least two people can be carried under a waterproof canopy.

  • The Massey Ferguson ride-on is a heavy machine that’s stable and solid
  • Excellent power driving the wheels from the 760cc liquid-cooled three-cylinder engine
  • Flared guards keep the mud out
  • Rated to tow up to 590kg
  • The four disc brakes had plenty of power going down hill

Engineering and appearance

The Massey Ferguson MF20MD is heavy and solid – from the large diameter shock absorbers, the thick plate steel rear tray and the tow bar fitting, to the chassis itself.

Beneath the tilt tray is the Perkins/Caterpillar diesel engine. Although smaller in capacity than its diesel competition, the 760cc liquid-cooled three-cylinder motor pumps out 20hp, with an unspecified amount of torque. In-paddock the MF20MD had probably the best power driving the wheels of any ride-on I’ve driven.

A stepless CVT continuously variable transmission backs up that good engine torque by putting the power to the ground via a cardan driveshaft on this 40kmh Massey Ferguson, to reduce wheelspin. I could flick it into 4WD or 2WD while moving, and the Diff. lock was easy to engage.

The exhaust system is fully stainless steel for longevity, and it also comes with a fan to keep the radiator cool.

The fold-up seats keep the water off, and there’s a good tractor-sized external right-hand rear view mirror, which comes as standard. Options included the glass front screen with wiper, the roof and a transparent plastic back cover.

Other points I liked to see were flared guards to keep the mud out, a heavy roll cage and pretty much heavy-duty everything.

One thing I felt that could be improved on was conduit electrical cable protection going all the way up to the units they worked, such as the indicators.

Having no fuel gauge was also an issue. The only gauge on the dash is an hour meter.

Performance and handling

Tearing around the paddock, the four independent spring adjustable shocks working on “A” arms worked a treat as the very long 200mm travel soaked up more bumps than the average ride-on. They are set on the “heavy” side, so the vehicle is able to carry a load up to 410kg in the electric-tilt rear tray without upsetting the steering geometry too much. Empty, the MF20MD has 265mm of ground clearance.

This model is rated to tow up to 590kg, however, typical of the farm uses it will get, the MF20MD I drove pulled a tandem-axle trailer loaded with a pile of big bales (approx 2500kg without the trailer) without too much skid, or trouble.

The steering got pretty heavy when on full lock, and I’d like to see power steering fitted to these some time.

The only gears you have to decide to use are two forward ranges and one reverse. I thought the gates for each ratio were too close together and, being alongside each other without a gear indicator, I was never really certain what ratio I was in until I took off.

Slowing the MF20MD down are four disc brakes, connected by long-lasting stainless steel braided brake lines. These had plenty of power for going down hills, but they also locked the wheels up on sodden grass a shade easier than they should for a general farm vehicle.

This model’s engine braking stops as soon as the engine revs drop back to idle, which is definitely no good if you’re on a steep hill with sheep ruts and it kicks out on you unexpectedly.

Heading downhill I had to keep the revs above idle, so while left foot braking I used the foot accelerator to keep the revs on. And, when it did drop below idle and kicked out of engine brake mode, I had to do the reverse to what felt right – put the throttle on a little bit! This was made a bit more awkward because both pedals were off-set to the centre more than any other ride-on I’ve tested.

Read in-depth farm vehicle reviews in the latest issue of Farm Trader magazine, on sale now.

See Massey Ferguson utility vehicles for sale here.


Engine Perkins Diesel
Number of cylinders Three cylinder/760cc
Engine power 20hp
Cooling system Liquid
Lubrication Fully pressurised oil pump with spin on filter

Drive Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT)
Front drive/lock Auto-Lok electronic slip sensing, flip switch in dash
Rear differential lock Console mounted hand operated
Transaxle Fully enclosed, oil bath
Gear selections F (Hi/Lo)/N/R
Gear selector Mechanical, HURST shifter
Transaxle gear reduction ratios Low: 29. 8:1, High: 16.7:1, Rev: 39.6:1
Rear axle housing Cast-iron

Suspension Four wheel fully independent coil over shocks
Suspension travel 20cm
Ground clearance 26.5cm at axle

Steering Rack and pinion
Turning radius 6.7m

Brakes 4 Wheel 8″ hydraulic disc
Parking brake Hand-operated mechanical disc

Alternator 20-amp regulated
Battery voltage 12v/500 cold crank amps
Headlights Two 37.5-watt incandescent
Wiring Automotive-style fused

Cargo box volume 0.41m3
Cargo box capacity 410kg
Towing capacity 590kg

Front tyres 25 x 10-12
Rear tyres 25 x 11-12
Forward speeds 0.40kmh
Reverse speeds 0-18kmh
Fuel tank 26.5 litres
Overall length 314cm
Weight (w/fuel & fluids) 726kg

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