When, nearly three years ago, Wales rugby star Dan Lydiate was appointed Massey Ferguson's ambassador to the Principality, one of the job's perks was a company vehicle. In Dan's case, this was a MF 5715 S tractor, finished in black.
Ideally suited to the Lydiate family's farming operation, based around sheep and cattle, near Llandrindod Wells in Welsh hill country, the tractor proved so popular that Dan's parents have since bought the machine from Massey Ferguson. It has now been replaced by a slightly beefier MF 6716 S, which was provided by the R V W Pugh dealership mid-Wales depot, near Montgomery.
“So far, we've used the 6716 S for some topping work, but more recently it's been hauling a dump trailer carrying stone from our quarry to where our new poultry venture is being established,” Dan reports.
“The tractor has a 4.9-litre engine, with a road speed capability of 50 kph, very smooth Dyna-VT transmission and she has bags of power for a 165hp, four-cylinder engine – pulling 20 tonnes of stone at a time, no problem.
“We did have a couple of sensor issues early on, but Pugh's soon came out and sorted them.”
Away from the farm environment, Dan has been working hard to rebuild his fitness after the cruciate ligament injury sustained while playing for his country earlier this year.
“It's been a long haul back,” he reports, 'as ligaments can take a lot more time to repair than, say, a broken bone”. His recovery has been overseen by the sport injury specialists at the Ospreys regional set-up.
“I'm fortunate, really, as my team mate George North suffered a similar injury at around the same time and we've been slowly working harder and harder to get fit again together, which I'm sure has been a major boost for both of us.”
Dan is also looking forward to the time when he can re-commence his Massey Ferguson ambassador duties. “It's been a difficult time for everybody. The past two summers have seen the majority of shows and events cancelled, for obvious reasons, so it'll be good to get back in the groove with the MF hat on again.”
And so say all of us!