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Massey Ferguson

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Massey Ferguson is a large manufacturer in the agricultural equipment and tractor industry. This global AGCO-owned company sells a variety of equipment including various tractors, combines, and implements. In addition, Massey Ferguson offers equipment training and agricultural advice to consumers. The company has manufacturing plants worldwide, each with its own specialization.


[edit] History

Though the Massey Ferguson name was not established until 1958, the company's foundation was laid much earlier.

[edit] Massey Co.

In 1847, Canadian farmer Daniel Massey opened a farm equipment building and repair shop in Newcastle, Ontario. Before long, the farmer's popularity began to spread as his products were hailed for withstanding harsh Canadian terrain.[1] Massey enjoyed his success over the next eight years until his retirement in 1855, followed by his death the following year. His family continued to grow the well-established company [2] and led it to further growth.

[edit] Award-winning Success

Under the family's leadership, the company became an award-winning venture, earning two gold medals at Paris' International Agricultural Exposition in 1867. Two years later, at the Paris Universal Exposition, Massey's Toronto Light Binder won a gold medal and the title of "World's Greatest Harvesting Machine."

[edit] The Massey-Harris Rivalry

While the Massey Manufacturing Co. was enjoying continued growth and prosperity, its rival, Alanson Harris, was producing similar equipment. Harris, a talented designer, builder, and repairman from Brantford, Ontario, ran a foundry to manufacture and repair equipment for farmers.

With such similar products being offered in relatively close proximity, the two manufacturers were in harsh competition; the resulting rivalry lasted for thirty years. In 1891, Massey Manufacturing Co. and Alanson Harris merged to form one company.[3]

[edit] Growth and Expansion

Once the Massey-Harris partnership was established, the new company set out to market new products. In addition to their traditional line of harvesting equipment, the company was now offering wagons, tillage equipment, and manure spreading equipment. Two decades after this expansion, the company took on the agricultural power equipment market. At this time, rather than incurring the costs of developing a new tractor in-house, the partners signed import agreements with companies such as the Bull Tractor Co., which eventually ended in failure.[4] The company's next partnership with the Parrett Tractor Co. suffered a similar fate when the products could not compete in the current market.[5] Finally, Massey-Harris enjoyed a more successful venture in collaboration with Wallis Tractors. The Massey-Harris partnership led to the development of the first commercially successful self-propelled combine.[6]

[edit] The Ferguson System

The 1920s were a significant period for tractor technology advancements, due to the development known as the Ferguson System introduced by Irish engineer Harry Ferguson.[7] The Ferguson System used a complex design transferring the weight of the plowing to the rear wheels, which increased traction. This transfer in weight enabled the lightweight tractor to handle the workload of a heavier model. The three-point hitching system used the weight and pulling force of the attached implement to increase traction, and keep the front end of the tractor down, whether on flat terrain or on a steep hill. Essentially, the attached implement acted as an anchor on the tractor. In addition, the system included draft control to prevent "flipovers".

[edit] The Ferguson-Ford Partnership

In 1938, Ferguson was in a partnership with Henry Ford, to develop the Ford Ferguson Model 9N. Over the course of nine years, the collaboration resulted in 300,000 tractors.[8] When the Ford Motor Co. pulled out of the agreement in 1947, no longer paying Ferguson the royalties he was owed with the development of the Model 8N, a lawsuit ensued. Ford paid Ferguson the largest settlement in Ford's history at the time.[9]

[edit] The Massey-Harris-Ferguson Merger

In 1953, Massey-Harris offered to purchase Ferguson's company; he accepted. Initially, there were problems caused by this collaboration. The partners had originally decided to continue marketing tractors under separate brand names—Massey-Harris, and Ferguson. This resulted in confusion for consumers and dealers, as well as conflict over future equipment designs. The "Two-Line Policy" [10] ended in 1958 with the introduction of a new CEO, Col. W. Eric Phillips. The company began to offer standardized products to all customers worldwide, and its name was shortened to Massey Ferguson.

[edit] The First Massey Ferguson Products

In late 1957, the new company introduced the first tractors to bear the Massey Ferguson brand. These were the MF 25, MF 35, MF 65, and MF 85 - higher model numbers were used to indicate more horsepower.

The standardization of the products led the company into the number-two position in the agricultural machinery manufacturing business; it was second only to Case IH.[11] The company's growth continued as they launched a line of MF 90 models that boasted a larger size and more power. In 1962, the successful merger resulted in the company selling more tractors in the western world than all other companies combined.[12] This achievement would be repeated every following year, securing the company's title as the number one tractor manufacturer in the world.[13]

[edit] The Company Today

Due to an acquisition in 1993, Massey Ferguson is now owned by AGCO, a world leader in the manufacture and distribution of agricultural equipment.[14] Massey Ferguson is one of AGCO's four core brands, and is responsible for over half of AGCO's sales.[15] The company currently has a global dealer network of over 5000.

[edit] Equipment List

[edit] References

  1. Company History. Mabie Brothers. 2008-09-09.
  2. Company History. Mabie Brothers. 2008-09-09.
  3. Company History. Mabie Brothers. 2008-09-09.
  4. Massey Ferguson Tractors. SSB Tractor. 2008-09-09.
  5. Massey Ferguson Tractors. SSB Tractor. 2008-09-09.
  6. History. Massey Ferguson. 2008-09-09.
  7. Company History. Mabie Brothers. 2008-09-09.
  8. Company History. Mabie Brothers. 2008-09-09.
  9. Ferguson History. Old Engine. 2008-09-09.
  10. Machines. Living History Farm. 2008-09-09.
  11. Machines. Living History Farms. 2008-09-09.
  12. Company History. Mabie Brothers. 2008-09-09.
  13. Massey Ferguson Tractors. SSB Tractor. 2008-09-09.
  14. Company. AGCO. 2008-09-09.
  15. About AGCO. Massey Ferguson. 2008-09-09.

[edit] External Links