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Old Massey Stands The Test Of Time

When former grain grower Norm Biggar of Oakville, Ont., bought his 1135 Massey-Ferguson tractor new in 1975 he had other tractors on the farm, but most of them have been replaced several times over the years. The 1135, however, is still there, even though he is no longer actively farming.

“When we first got it, it was a back-up tractor in case we had a breakdown,” says Biggar. The farm has used articulated four-wheel drive or high-horsepower front-wheel assist models as the main workhorses over the years. “We used it on a six-row corn planter and fertilizer spreader. It did a good job — there was lots of power and it was quite maneuverable.” That earned it a permanent spot in the farm’s fleet, and careful maintenance kept it going.

“All my equipment got cleaned every year,” he says. “Every winter we would put them all into the workshop and do the maintenance. We would also touch up anything that needed it and wax it.” That kind of attention to detail kept the 1135 in top condition, but eventually the paint on the tractor started to fade. So he and an employee repainted it in the farm workshop.

Biggar’s advice to anyone who wants to keep equipment working for a long time is pay attention to detail. “The key for any equipment is routine maintenance,” he says. “If anything, I would change oil more often, rather than try and stretch it out. Then when you’re doing it, if you find something that isn’t right, you look at it yourself or get a professional to do it. You don’t just drive it until it quits.”

Storing machinery inside has also been a routine practice for Biggar. “It’s a huge factor,” he says. Keeping equipment out of the elements slows down deterioration.

One important update made to the tractor was replacing the original bias tires with radials, something Biggar highly recommends. “It made quite a difference.” The tractor pulls and even rides better with them.

Even though he held an equipment auction three years ago and sold nearly all his machinery, the 1135 is still in the farmyard. “I didn’t want to let it go at a bargain price,” he says.

Doyouhaveanoldmachinethat’sstill workinghardonthefarm?LetScottGarvey knowat [email protected] or 306-435-2667

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Scott Garvey

Scott Garvey is a freelance writer and video producer. He is also the former machinery editor at Grainews.

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