The family farm is run by Jonathan Strout and his parents John and Diana, and Jonathan’s wife Tracy.

Jonathan is the third generation of his family to farm there since his granfather took on the land in 1945. The 60ha farm was purchased by the family during the 1980s, and the grassland-based enterprise includes a flock of 240 ewes which are a mix of Dorset, and Suffolk cross Mules, and a 120-head herd of Continental cattle which are bought in as calves and sold as stores. Additional calves are bought in each spring to sell in the autumn as stirks at Exeter market.


Excellent local dealer

Local Massey Ferguson main dealer, Alan Snow Agricultural Engineers (Launceston) Ltd supplied the tractor. The 5711 M replaced a 5711 Global-series tractor which was supplied by the same dealer two years before. “We liked the previous tractor,” explained Jonathan. “Although there were a few technical issues, these were quickly rectified under warranty and there was never any quibbling regarding what was or wasn’t covered. When we were due to update it last year, we checked what else was available and tried a few competitor brands. However, we preferred the Massey Ferguson 5711 M. The competitive price quoted included an extended warranty, and we were confident that the sales and service teams at Alan Snow would look after us well. The Massey Ferguson warranty was a factor too. It’s one of the best available with very few exclusions, and that’s important to us.”


A Massey Ferguson 5711 M tractor with Dyna-4 transmission and a factory-fitted front loader has proved ideal for handling, transport and field tasks on a Cornish livestock farm.


More pulling power

The 5711 M was supplied with optional Dyna-4 semi-powershift transmission and a factory-fitted FL3717X front loader. “I’m really pleased with it,” continued Jonathan. “There is plenty of power, and the flexible Dyna-4 transmission is easy to operate which helps me make the most of the tractor’s capabilities.”

Most of the tractor’s work is in the yard where front loader tasks include mucking out, moving straw, and carrying feed. For its power it is very compact and manoeuvrable. The farm has some traditional livestock buildings with limited headroom, but the 5711 M is low enough to operate inside. Other regular tasks include transporting bedding and feed to livestock in the fields. During the grass harvesting season the tractor powers the rake and the tedder, and it loads, transports and then stacks the bales in the yard.

“It has a lot more pulling power than its predecessor, and handles our 10 cubic metre side-discharge manure spreader with ease. Using the same tractor for loading and then applying the manure works well, and means only one person is needed for the operation.”


Excellent ride

Jonathan said the cab suspension makes a big difference. “On uneven ground it takes out the shocks and it’s much better for the operator,” he explained. “We also have wider tyres than the standard fitment. These are better for field work as they protect the grass and provide plenty of grip, and they contribute to the excellent ride quality too.”

The cab is comfortable and there is plenty of space. Jonathan says the controls are all arranged just as he would want them. The heater and air conditioning are effective. The optional Visio Roof ensures a clear view of loader attachments when working at maximum height, and Jonathan says it makes bale stacking more comfortable as he doesn’t have to lean forward all the time to obtain a better view.


Powerful hydraulics

A twin-pump hydraulic system provides up to 100 litres of oil flow per minute. “This tractor uses noticeably less fuel than its predecessor,” stressed Jonathan. “With both hydraulic pumps operating, we achieve the loader and attachment speeds needed at much lower engine revs which reduces operating noise too. My father is less familiar with the controls than me, so he usually selects single pump mode. The slower loader movements make it easier to operate.”


Engine speed memory

The 5711 M is the farm’s first tractor with an engine speed memory. “When working with PTO-driven implements, I find it a real help,” Jonathan continued. “When manure spreading I just set the engine revs to provide the correct PTO speed, then after each headland turn the memory button is pressed and the pre-set engine speed resumes.”

For manure spreading, Jonathan uses the 540 Eco PTO mode. “Even with the spreader fully loaded on soft ground there is plenty of power and it isn’t necessary to run the engine at high revs. Selecting the 540 Eco mode saves fuel and means the cab is quieter. Until I found out how easily the tractor handles the spreader, I wouldn’t have expected operation in Eco mode to be possible.”


Practical design

Access for routine maintenance and daily checks is good, and Jonathan said there is plenty of room at the rear to get at the hydraulic connections, PTO, and the rear linkage when trailers and implements are attached. A push-out hitch provides a clear view when connecting trailers and trailed implements without having to open and lean out of the rear window.  


Efficient and easy to use

“The Massey Ferguson 5711 M is ideal for our farm,” concluded Jonathan. “It’s got all the features we consider essential, but it’s also got lots of additional features which improve efficiency and make it easier to use. Reliability has been excellent since it arrived on the farm. It’s comfortable and economical, and it copes well with more demanding tasks such as pulling our heavy manure spreader.

“Our previous Massey Ferguson tractor was updated after two years, but we will probably keep the 5711 M for at least four years with the reassurance of the extended warranty. The sales and service teams at Alan Snow are excellent, and it’s unlikely that we would move away from the dealer or the brand.”

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