Massey Ferguson legacy passes to next generation

Graeme and Mary Taylor have passed on their love of Massey Ferguson tractors to their young business partner Adam Doughty

When one generation takes the time and energy to teach another the ways of farming, tractor preference is likely to be part of the mix.

Graeme Taylor was a dairy farmer in Horowhenua until 1986 and now contracts in Upper Hutt. Since driving his first Massey Ferguson, a TEA 28, in 1963 in Otaki, he has gone on to have a lot of red tractors. In 1973, Graeme was the poster boy for the brand, when he was pictured driving an MF 165 on the back cover of The Massey Ferguson Review.

Graeme and Mary Taylor with their young business partner Adam Doughty

Now he and wife Mary live on five hectares in Mangaroa, near Upper Hutt, and he is easing out of contracting. Adam Doughty was eight when he first came into Mary and Graeme’s lives. Mary was tutoring Adam after school and he helped Graeme out with the hay.

By the time he was a teenager, Adam had formed a hay carting gang and was making good money picking up conventional hay bales. At 15 and still at school, Adam bought his first tractor with his hay money.

And as you would expect from a protégé of Graeme’s, it was a Massey Ferguson – an MF35. Adam has restored this machine to its former glory. In 2017, Adam bought an MF 275 with an open cab when he started his fencing business, Straight Line Fencing.

After getting a bigger post rammer, he found the MF 275 did not have enough hydraulic flow. Cyril Butler from Tulloch Farm Machines (Masterton) came to the rescue. Cyril found an ex-demo, cab-less MF 5710 which Adam purchased.

Adam says it’s important to be cab-less as he is on and off the tractor all day fencing and lining up the post rammer. He also didn’t want windows that could smash on trees.

The 5710 is his perfect tractor – it’s small, powerful enough to go anywhere he needs as a fencer, and, of course, it’s a Massey Ferguson. Cyril also organised the changes Adam needed, such as lowering the flashing light from the roof on the roll-over bar so it wouldn’t be ripped off by trees.

Although still in his teens, Adam is taking over Graeme’s hay and haylage work while running Straight Line Fencing. Graeme says his and Adams devotion to Massey Ferguson has always been about service.

"The best tractor is the one with a dealer who is responsive and not too far away. For us that has been Tulloch Farm Machines in Masterton." Graeme also has a Massey Ferguson RK 662 rotary rake from Tullochs.

It has a variable working width of 5.6 to 6.7 metres, which suits the smaller paddocks he works. This works well with the Krone KW 5.52 tedder and Krone EC280Q mower conditioner they use.

And he still has his old favourite tractor, a 1997 MF 390 that he bought in excellent used condition a few years back. "I was looking for a tractor without electronics, and I was told this was the best one to get. It has been a good reliable tractor."

By avoiding electronics, he can fix almost anything that goes wrong himself rather than wait for a technician to arrive with a laptop.

The MF 390 is two-wheel drive and it’s still used to ted, rake, wrap, and cart haylage and hay. The 4WD MF4255 does the heavier work now.

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