Max power and performance for Norfolk farmer


Maximising power to the ground for heavy draft work whilst simplifying tractor operation is why a Norfolk farm has chosen a Dyna E-Power gearbox in its latest Massey Ferguson 8S.265.

A heavy workload of ploughing, cultivations and baling meant Will Basey-Fisher wanted to ensure he was getting the right mix of power transfer and operational ease when deciding on the next gearbox for his new Massey Ferguson 8S.

At 1,000 hours a year, he didn’t want to spend every day hopping up and down gears with a powershift transmission or finding his desired speed for ploughing was in the middle of two ranges. However, as almost all his workload consists of field operations, a Dyna-VT transmission, although easier to drive, wasn’t the most efficient choice for the work.

“The 8S is the largest tractor on the farm and does a lot of ploughing and draft work. We needed a tractor and gearbox that would be suited to our specific operations, and the Dyna E-Power was the obvious choice as it offered us the combination of powershift power transfer, but with operation closer to a CVT with the dual-clutch technology.”

The farm is based at Carleton St Peter, near Norwich, and has 485ha of owned and rented arable land alongside a 420 head beef herd. With land running onto the marshes on the Norfolk Broads, there is 120ha of grass for the cows, and the business aims to grow as much cattle feed as possible. Maize, sugar beet and grass are key ingredients, with arable cropping extending to wheat, barley, oilseed rape and vining peas.

Will, who farms alongside his dad, George, took delivery of the tractor in late 2023 following detailed discussions about the gearbox with TNS’ Massey Ferguson sales manager, Ben Hockley.

E-Power advantages

In an ideal world, Will would’ve like the stepless operation offered by a Dyna-VT transmission, the reality was that the workload in front of the MF 8S.265 didn’t allow it. The tractor’s main job is pulling a KV LO six furrow plough and running a MF 4160V baler. Running a CVT meant the tractor would need to be a larger horsepower model, as Will explains.

“There is no doubt that a powershift transmission can put the power to the ground in a more efficient way than a CVT. If we went with the latter, it would’ve been the biggest MF 8S.305 model to achieve the same pulling power when ploughing as the E-Power offers. We demoed the Dyna-VT and it is a lovely gearbox, but we needed a transmission that suited our needs, and the E-Power offered us exactly that in a 265hp package.”

The dual clutch technology means that the gearbox offers operators automatic gear changes throughout the full speed range, with minimal power loss. It manages this by always having the gear either side of the one in use ready, via another clutch. This means that when it is required, the gear change is imperceptible to the operator, and power loss compared with a standard powershift is reduced.

In the field, the power is transferred to the ground via a gear, and not a CVT system. This also helps to lower fuel use as the tractor can select the correct gear for a certain task and manage engine rpm accordingly. Will says operating the E-Power is like driving a CVT with no manual gear changes required, and ideal for the 7,000 bales he produces each year with an MF 4160V round baler.

“I run the transmission in fully automatic and you can barely notice the gear changes across a day in the field. The most efficient part is there is no power drop when shifting up or down the gears, which you do get with a powershift, especially if changing ranges. The dual clutch system makes changing gear whilst under load so smooth and power transfer is continuous.”

Settings in the Datatronic 5 screen allow Will to adjust acceleration sensitivity between three positions depending on the task. In low, the transmission will slow acceleration, which can be good for field work or working in tight spaces. Medium or high are suited to road work where quicker acceleration is required for pulling out at junctions. Will says it does make a difference and he usually switches between low and medium.

Dyna-7 backup

The farm’s previous MF 8S had a Dyna-7 transmission and suffered some early issues. However, the support from Massey Ferguson, and dealer TNS, were second to none, and a major factor in Will’s decision to stay with the brand and model.

“We couldn’t fault how the issues were handled,” says Will. “You always expect some teething problems with early units and, when we were down, the backup from TNS was excellent. Massey Ferguson and TNS also supported us when we came to change the tractor.”

Will still had demos from some competitor brands to make sure he was still getting the best tractor for the job.

One area that convinced Will to switch to a Dyna E-Power was how the previous Dyna-7 operated when ploughing. He says it was a nice gearbox to operate and it put the power down well, although it sometimes couldn’t find the right gear at certain speeds.

“Sometimes I would be running in the last gear of a range, which meant the tractor tended to want to change up if the work became easier. When this happened, there was a significant power gap under heavy load and forward speed would drop considerably before the next range and gear engaged. Its speed matched well when the change happened but the gap in traction was an issue.”

Operator comfort

Running the earlier MF 8S highlighted how much of an improvement the new range was over the outgoing MF 7720S model. The new cab, innovative Protect-U design and visibility were all significant factors that bought the range on par with many of its competitors. Will has been very impressed.

“The cab is huge, with great views all round and there is plenty of storage space for a long day. The Datatronic 5 screen is easy to use, and I have the separate Fieldstar 5 for the GPS settings.”

Although Will doesn’t tend to work too late, when he does, the optional LED light package offers superb visibility all round. One extra Will has added is some retrofit LED beacons to replace the standard units, which he says were prone to being knocked by low hanging branches around the lanes. Other options include a reversing camera that is positioned above the rear number plate, a hydraulic top link, front linkage, and electric mirrors.

Will is confident the new tractor and gearbox is the right fit for the farm and will offer them maximum efficiency across the tasks. “I don’t think there is a gearbox better suited to what we do. When I’m baling, the CVT -style operation is perfect as the tractor doesn’t require lots of power but ease of use for speed alterations is much more important, and a big advantage over a powershift. When I’m ploughing, the power is where we require it,” concludes Will.


Will Basey-Fisher’s fleet

  • 2024 New Holland T5.110
  • 2023 Massey Ferguson 8S.265
  • 2018 Massey Ferguson 7718
  • 2017 Massey Ferguson 5713 with Quickie loader
  • 2017 John Deere 6150 R
  • 2010 John Deere 6830
  • 2013 Case Farmall 85 A
  • 1989 Massey Ferguson 3060 
  • 2021 Massey Ferguson7370 Beta combine
  • 2021 JCB Loadall



Massey Ferguson 8S.265


Dyna E-Power


AGCO Power 7.4-litre, 6-cylinder

Rated power


Max power with EPM



1,200Nm (1,260Nm with EPM)

Rear lift capacity


Front lift capacity


Hydraulic capacity

Closed centre 205l/min

No of rear spool valves


Max gross weight



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