With more than 80km on vines, Sherwood Estate Winery looked to a MF3640s
Recently Sherwood Estate Winery in Waipara bought a new vineyard on 2.0m row spacings. With more than 80km of vines on the property alone and five other vineyards to look after, they needed a new tractor.
Vineyard manager Richard Morrison chose an MF3640S from Massey Ferguson’s horticulture tractor range. The MF3600 Series features a larger cab for improved operator comfort.
“We didn't have anything that would fit down that 2.0m spacing so we needed the tractor, and I selected Massey Ferguson because I have used them and know I can trust the brand. It has good support for parts, and good service comes with it,” Richard says.
The six vineyards add up to 60ha, spread out over 10km that keeps the MF3640S busy on all the properties. Richard ordered it with a mount on the front for the vineyard equipment, which includes a trimmer and a leaf plucker.
The MF3640S does the mulching between rows, winds the netting on and off, and deals with the side netting. It also sprays the canopy, and applies herbicides to weeds.
“It has a well-sealed cab with carbon filters. The exhaust outlet is under the cab where it can’t get caught up in implements,” Richard says.
Richard keeps the soil bare between rows to help raise the soil temperature and lessen the risk of frost damage in the spring. At other times he grows green crops to be mulched in to feed the vines. He uses the MF3640S for all the cultivation work as well.
“We’ve had it for a month and a half and it hasn’t stopped working. It has got a really good engine, and the cab is good to work in. "The cab is bigger than in other brands, so it’s more comfortable. When the cabs are
cramped, you're always hitting your shoulders on the side but you don't in this. It’s a good sized cab. It is also quiet and it is set up with Bluetooth so it’s easy to have a phone conversation in it. Everything is simple and very accessible", Richard says.
“There isn't an overwhelming amount of electronics. It is just a straightforward, reliable tractor so there is not a lot that can go wrong.” The simplicity
makes it easy for new drivers. They’re not overwhelmed with too many extra bits;
but it has everything you need. It’s got way better visibility and that’s one of
the reasons we picked it.
It has a power
shuttle transmission, with a total of 24 gears. It has a high, medium and low
gearbox with another four gears on the gear stick."
“It makes it really easy to get the right gear for the
job. It is also manoeuvrable and has a
very tight turning circle. We’ve got very small headlands so that was a plus as
well,” says Richard.
The new vineyard
is on a hill, and Richard appreciates the tractor’s low centre of gravity, as
well as the power from the 3.3 litre, three-cylinder engine which gives him
“We need the
horsepower and the four-wheel drive to get up the hills, and we need good
pumping capacity to run the pluckers and the trimmers. This tractor has
Series has six hydraulic ports at the back, and Richard fitted lines
through to the front to run these implements.
All this and
Richard says the MF3640S was very reasonably priced.
“It’s economical to run,
with good service hours. There’s more distance between servicing than other
brands; so I can run it longer.”
the MF3640S from Craig Hovenden at Tractor Repairs and Spares in
“Craig was very
good. He brought it down on a truck from Blenheim personally. He went over
everything and answered every question we had. We
took it for a drive and went over it thoroughly. The service continues to be
very good. If we had a problem, they would be down here smartly," Richard