Massey Ferguson TD 1636 6 beater test

By: Jaiden Drought

Massey Ferguson TD 1636 6 beater test Massey Ferguson TD 1636 6 beater test
Massey Ferguson TD 1636 6 beater test Massey Ferguson TD 1636 6 beater test
Massey Ferguson TD 1636 6 beater test Massey Ferguson TD 1636 6 beater test
Massey Ferguson TD 1636 6 beater test Massey Ferguson TD 1636 6 beater test
Massey Ferguson TD 1636 6 beater test Massey Ferguson TD 1636 6 beater test

Drought checks out the Massey Ferguson TD1636 6 beater, which is not just turning grass but heads and opinions instead.

The weather is a significant factor when it comes to teddering as it will significantly increase the dry matter (DM) percentage of silage, particularly when the often-unpredictable weather clouds are rolling in. The counter-side of the argument is that, while it does increase the DM percentage, for every mechanical pass there will be some degree of leaf loss, particularly in dry forage so, like most things, there is a fine balance between the increase in DM percentage verses the potential reduction in quality through leaf loss.

Sounds complex, but it’s not really – I’m just very passionate when it comes to silage quality and the belief that ‘it’s just silage’ does not sit well with me as it costs the same to make rubbish as it does to produce high quality supplement. So if you are going to do it, why not make the best of any situation?

Most would tedder hay or silage as a habitual routine but I am convinced that early silage teddered to achieve dry, but still green, forage is the desired result and teddering hay twice will be the ideal compromise between quality and potential leaf loss. Gone are the days of bashing around the paddock with a haybob, teddering and beating the hay until it is mainly stalk and with very little feed value left. Luckily this month, I check out a machine where the only thing it will beat is the weather.

Frame and headstock

Thick walled box section makes up the majority of the frame work while individual rotor frames are connected via sturdy frame joints with special flange sleeves and hardened pins. All joints are over engineered for the size of the machine to ensure years of service plus all pivots are greasable which although a good thing does soon add up the amount of grease nipples on the machine.

All the three-point tedders in the range are equipped with an adjustable swing brake on the headstock. The main purpose of the brake is to prevent the tedder from generating a rocking motion (or fish tailing), which is more common on some wider machines at higher forward speeds, although this is not an issue on the 1636.

A single spool is the only hydraulic requirement on both the four- and six-rotor model with a centralised system to synchronise lifting of exterior rotors to both a headland setting and fully into the transport position. Both sides will lift evenly all the time, no matter the contour.

Power train and rotor

The rotor heads are fully enclosed which eliminates contamination, and the use of grease rather than oil means they run very smoothly and quietly while also extending service intervals. A 1:2 transmission ratio gives you maximum performance at minimum PTO speeds, so the test machine is always run in ECO PTO where the low 40-odd horsepower minimum power requirements mean most farmers’ tractors will handle the 1636’s 6.6-metre working width of the machine with ease.

The individual rotor’s drive comes from hexagonal shaft and universal joints, which has positives and negatives. Some would argue finger gears are better, but a standard driveline clutch protects against accidental PTO engagement while the machine is folded and also if an obstacle is hit.


Tine and tine arms

The tines used on the TD range of tedders have been extensively tested to survive 200,000 impacts without damage – turns out there is more technology in tines than meets the eye. The tines are dubbed the Super C tines and have a tine diameter of 9.5mm, a winding diameter of 70mm and six windings.

The tine arms are made of cranked galvanised flat-steel bars with the main benefit being a wide contact surface between tine and rotor disc. Better still, the equal-length tines are held by a bolted clip underneath the tine arm, which not only reduces the amount of forage that can get caught, but if the tine is broken, the broken half can’t escape.

Spread pattern

Like the Super C tines, additional spreading technology is used in the spread pattern itself which is called the comb effect. Equal-sided tines offer a couple of key advantages, the first being spares. Because they will fit anywhere on the machine, you don’t need to carry left- and right-hand tines with you. Secondly, with the tines combined with the comb effect, they also allow optimum mixing of the different layers of forage being both mixed together and turned – a dream result.

There are three adjustable rotor spreading angles of 15, 18, 20.5 degrees. Although this does require tools as opposed to some others on the market that are more easily adjusted, this is something that in many cases may never be touched.

Edge spread

There is nothing worse than teddering a paddock and having the choice of either missing part of the outside row or picking it all up and some being chucked into the fence. On the TD series, they come standard with the central edge spreading device which is a fancy way of saying a spreading angle adjustment system.

From the cab, you can pull the black rope to adjust the spread pattern from either centre, left or right. This allows you to go around the outside of the paddock or obstacles (in either direction) and adapt the machine to suit – and all mechanically from the seat which is both simple and clever.

The verdict

This machine is very robust and basic, yet clever. I can really tell that a lot of research and development has been put into tine and spread pattern technology. I am convinced (and have seen evidence that supports the argument) that teddering can both increase the quality of the forage and drying time, which will keep the sugar levels in the grass as high as possible.

This machine will travel nicely along the road and in the paddock and it creates smooth and lump-free scattering. There is no need to settle for mediocre results.


  • Edge spreading comes as standard
  • Equal length tines reduce the amount of spares needed
  • Very even, lump-free scattering
  • Solid robust design with plenty of rotor guarding
  • Simple yet effective
  • Rotor gearbox’s use grease rather than oil which gives smooth and quiet operation


  • Hazard panels are standard but road lighting would be a worthwhile consideration as the panels block the rear lights of the tractor on the road

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