Few applications are as demanding for agricultural tractors as hauling sugarcane. On the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal, Massey Ferguson technology has come up trumps for Darnall sugarcane grower and contractor Raymond Moodley.
Raymond’s GR Cane Haulage is the largest independent cane hauler in KwaZulu-Natal, hauling some 800 000 tons per year, including 100 000 tons produced by his GR Group.
Based on the performance of six 149kW MF 7495 tractors, which had clocked 18 000 hours on average over the past seven years, GR Cane Haulage recently acquired four 136kW MF 7620 models. Part of the award-winning MF 7600 series (the successor to the MF 7400 series), these tractors deliver the same levels of performance, reliability and fuel economy, says Raymond.
Hauling a payload of 26 tons on average in sandy, muddy and hilly terrain, the MF tractors perform equally well in-field and on the road, travelling up to 15 kilometres from the field to the mill, with a road speed of 40km/h. “This takes serious muscle and some smart tractive power,” he says.
Central to this performance are the class-leading AGCO Power engine with electronic engine management and Dyna-VT continuously variable transmission. Enabling the precise matching of engine and ground speed for maximum productivity, fuel consumption and efficiency, the transmission/engine combination has more than proven its mettle.
“Fuel consumption averages about eight litres per hour, which is excellent considering the payload, distances and often difficult in-field terrain during wet seasons. With at least 30% of operational costs fuel related, this is a signifanct advantage.”
Another key consideration in choosing Massey Ferguson has been driver comfort and safety, with the comfort levels of the cab bringing out the best in a driver doing an 11 hour shift.
“We are also impressed by the versatility of these tractors, which perform equally well in agricultural applications.”
The GR Group now owns a Massey Ferguson fleet of some 50 tractors. In addition to GR Cane Haulage, the group also includes GR Transport and Plant Hire, GR Logistics Pty Ltd, GR Sugar Estates and JR Roads & Civils CC.