Reviews

Test: Massey Ferguson 2615

The Farm Trader team stack up tractors and machinery of the past with the same manufacturers machines from today

Feeding into this discussion, AGCO has gone back to the archives for one of its latest ranges: the Massey Ferguson 2600 series, based on the earlier Massey Ferguson 240, 135, and TE20 models.

Although production of these ceased some time ago, plenty are still in daily operation on farms throughout the country, a testament to their longevity.

I think this and their simplicity are key strengths, which have led to the release of the new 2600 series.

The Massey Ferguson tractor brand has been around since 1952, formed from the merger of the Massey-Harris and Ferguson companies.

Rebranded as Massey Ferguson in 1958, it was sold to AGCO in 1994 and continues to trade under the Massey Ferguson banner.

For testing this month, I had the use of George Duncan’s Massey Ferguson 2615, which has replaced his old TEA Fergy on his small cattle and horse block on the edge of Matamata.

Main duties include topping pastures, grooming the horse arena, and loader work tidying up trees damaged in the wind.

With the small levelling bar on, I gave the arena a quick level, finding manoeuvrability of the two-wheel-drive machine to be excellent – a feature George has also found – along with the power steering making topping easier in small paddocks, a feature his old Fergy was lacking.

The 49hp MF2615 would also be handy as a second tractor on a larger farm. With the front-end loader, it is suitable for loading PKE trailers, cleaning effluent sumps, although the four-wheel-drive version may be more suitable for this job given the size of the bucket.

The 2600 range doesn’t come standard with any rear remote valves, which would be of benefit for running a wood splitter or other equipment requiring hydraulic oil flow for operation.

Engine

Perkins-made and designed engines have long been the engine of choice in Massey Ferguson tractors. This has pretty much been the case with the 2600 range, using a Simpson engine (derived from Perkins design).

Engine variants are three- or four-cylinder depending on the model. The 2615 has the three-cylinder 2.5-litre unit producing 49hp. With a Tier II rating for emissions, the simplicity of the engine should give many years of trouble-free service.

The one-piece bonnet lifts on gas struts to allow easy servicing when required.

The oil dipstick is conveniently located on the left-hand side. Battery, radiator, and air filter are mounted at the front of the bonnet for easy checks and cleaning. 

Transmission

A simple dual-range (high and low) range gearbox with four forward and one reverse gear is what the Massey 2615 is fitted with, which is about as simple as it gets. I may be a little old school, favouring a manual gearbox option in a tractor this size.

Most tractors of this size are coming out with hydrostatic drive, which does make them easy to operate. The gear and range lever are both mounted through the centre, which gives a split-operator platform and still provides plenty of foot room when getting on or off
and operating.

The one negative I found with the transmission was the stiff clutch pedal, possibly because it was still relatively new, or a heavy spring, which could be changed for something a bit lighter but would still last.

Hydraulics

FEL-removal -is -easy -with -the -four -hydraulic -couplings

The open centre hydraulic system on the 2600 series provides plenty of hydraulic flow to operate the front-end loader and rear linkage.

The benefit I liked most here was not having to switch over valves between the front and rear function like you would have to with similar-sized models in the past.

The power steering also runs off the hydraulic system, a feature you would expect to be standard on all new tractors.

Optional rear service valves can be added (up to two). Adding one is probably worthwhile in my opinion to provide options for future uses of the tractor.

Loader

 Large -volume -bucket -with -good -reach -height -making -it -suitable -for -loading -trailers

George opted to fit a Massey Ferguson-branded 5200 Titan loader to his 2615, making the tractor more useful for jobs around the property.

Rated to 800kg, this tractor–loader combo is going to be absolute last resort to handle silage bales.

A conveniently located single joystick provides function control for the loader. Coupled with the self-levelling feature, the loader is easy to operate.

With the size of the bucket and the manoeuvrability of the tractor, I think it could be handy for cleaning out calf sheds or scraping off raceways perhaps.

Hydraulic couplings connect the loader to the tractor hydraulics, which works fine, as opposed to a quick coupler.  

Operation

Simple -updated -dash -with -digital -hour -metre

Because the 2600 series only comes with a horn and not too many other bells and whistles to speak of, you are getting a simple machine pretty much anyone could operate. The other benefit of simplicity is that there are fewer components to break.

This being said, it is still a Massey Ferguson-branded tractor, so you know you are buying quality, which can be seen with the heavy steel casings of the transmission and back end for this size tractor.

I also like the steel mudguards at the rear, which I think gives a sturdy feel to the tractor.

I found the seat and driving position comfortable, with the sloping bonnet allowing good forward vision for operating with the loader.

The updated dash is functional without being too flashy, which is all you need.

The one-piece bonnet makes servicing easier while giving an up-to-date look to fit with the rest of the larger tractors of the Massey Ferguson family.

Although I didn’t have a tape measure when I tested the steering lock while in the horse arena, I will just say it is very good. Check out the photographic record.

With the wheels set right in, I made a rough measurement of the 2615 at around five foot (1.5 metres). For stability, I would estimate you could set wheels out to approximately six foot (1.8 metres).

Options

Although we tested the MF2615 49hp tractor, the 2600 range is available in 39–37hp in either two-wheel-drive, as tested, four-wheel-drive, or orchard models, offering a basic tractor at a competitive price to suit a wide range of end users.

Verdict

I found the MF2615 to be a well-built tractor. In the two-wheel-drive variant, I think you would struggle to find a similar-sized tractor with better manoeuvrability. When coupled with a loader, it’s a great option for a variety of different end users.

As for its distant relatives – the TE and 135 Fergy –  I’m sure they would be pleased to see the latest generation out in the paddocks helping farmers get the jobs done.

Massey Ferguson 2615 specifications

Engine: Simpson, 3-cylinder diesel, Liquid cooled

Emission rating: Tier II

Engine rating: 49hp (36.5kw)

Fuel tank: 42L

Transmission: Centre shift

Gears: 4 forward, 2 reverse

Ranges: High/low

Linkage: Cat 1

Lift capacity: 1450kg

Hydraulics: Open centre

Rear service valves:  0 – 2

Massey Ferguson 2615 Pluses:

  • Modern Massey Ferguson family styling
  • Accessibility of service points
  • Variety of models to suit different applications 2wd/4wd/orchard
  • Compact with great manoeuvrability

 

Massey Ferguson 2615 Minuses:

  • Very heavy dutch pedal action

 

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