An MF 1547 compact tractor has become the prime mover of materials for the University of Surrey's Estates and Facilities Management department. Based at the university's Stag Hill campus near Guildford, the tractor is in daily action helping move loads to various parts of the 32ha campus and to outlying sites including the world-renowned Surrey Research Park, a thriving sports centre and a green waste recycling facility.
Specified by Horticultural and Landscape Manager, Nigel Hodge, the 46hp tractor replaced an ageing 26hp model which was proving less than adequate for a job involving a growing amount of heavy roadwork.
"Implements and trailers are getting bigger and bigger, putting an increased emphasis on choosing the correct size of tractor to maximise workrates, fuel economy and safety," commented Nigel. "We've used Massey Ferguson tractors at the university for many years and have always received good support from the company and local dealer, Sendmarsh Tractors. Choosing the make was not the most difficult task when the time came to buy a new tractor."
Wanting to upgrade to a tractor of around 40hp, Nigel settled on a 46hp MF 1547 equipped with a cab and DynaQPS transmission which incorporates forward/reverse Power Shuttle and change-on-the-move Power Shift within a 12 forward/12 reverse mechanical gearbox with creep speeds.
Although the new tractor was to be used mainly on hard surfaces, it needed the ability to work effectively off-road , so tyre selection was a key factor, as Nigel explained: "We wanted a hard-wearing tyre that was comfortable on tarmac and yet would not cause marking when driven on grass," he said.
"Sendmarsh Tractors did some research and came up with Malhotra all-traction utility tyres which have extra wide lugs with extensive overlap at the centre. Rated as an industrial tyre, they combine good ground contact and flotation with a low wear rate, ideal for our needs."
Used year-round on- and off-road to tow trailers laden with grounds and building maintenance materials, the MF 1547 is used additionally to haul a bowser with pressure washer and, over winter, a large gritter. Turf tasks are limited primarily to tilth raking and slitting of amenity grass.
"The tractor is proving ideal for the job and is liked by the groundstaff," concluded Nigel. "Its arrival boosted the university's Massey Ferguson tractor fleet to four so I think it's reasonable to say that we are real enthusiasts of the brand."