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Today we were dirilling fodder beet using our own 1962 Massey Ferguson 35. The tractor was bought brand new from ‘Claytons of Gilberdyke’ for £620 and was one of the first machines to have the differential lock fitted. Back in the 1960’s and 70’s it was the main tractor on the farm and undertook most of the field operations over the 200 acres. Even today, when there are 5 4WD tractors on the farm, the MF 35 still sees regular use.
See the headland manoeuvrability in this short video clip.
What tractor could possibly be better suited to a task such as drilling fodder beet. At the end of each row the tractor turns sharply round to face back down the field without any need to reverse up and compact the headland. Not only is it lightweight, suited to row-crop work and economical on fuel, but it’s also a pleasure to drive. Modern 4WD, high horse power, air conditioned and computerised tractors still cannot match the MF 35 in terms of driver satisfaction (in my opinion).
The 35 will have the crop sprayer on in a few weeks time for herbicide application on the fodder beet. It will then spend the summer shunting trailers around the farmyard and in winter the flat belt pulley is fitted to power the circular saw.
Given our enthusiasm for restoring tractors, it may seem strange that we have not done anything with this one. This tractor has a special place in our hearts and we like it just as it is – it’s still a working tractor and will be for many years to come!