Wakefield Grammar School Foundation has selected a 68hp Massey Ferguson 3625 tractor to help look after more than 20 ha of playing fields and grounds used by one of the country's leading families of single-sex independent day schools - the senior and junior schools of Queen Elizabeth Grammar School and Wakefield Girls' High School.
Located close to the centre of the ancient West Yorkshire city, the four schools are all within walking distance of each other and have a combined total of 2,200 pupils, 180 teaching staff and 270 non-teaching support staff. The latter include grounds manager, Martin Jordan, his deputy, Martin Holroyd, plus two skilled groundsmen and a gardener.
One of four MF 3600 Series tractors launched at BTME 2007, the MF 3625 first caught the eye of the schools' ground staff at the Harrogate event, as Martin explained: "My team visited the exhibition with the specific aim of finalising a short list of tractors in the 60hp-70hp class that could replace our aging main power unit," he said. "Next day, all they could talk about was the new MF tractor and insisted that I add it to the list. Features that particularly impressed were its high quality cab, compact dimensions and the simple push button engagement of the power take-off and four-wheel drive."
Within three weeks, a demonstration had been carried out by Massey Ferguson's local specialist grounds care dealer, Bolton Abbey Mowers, Wharfe View Road, Ilkley, and by the end of February, a quotation was in Martin's hand. "To be frank, the tractor ticked every box," he said. "First and foremost, it is able to operate successfully all of our principal grounds maintenance equipment. It also has an excellent power to weight ratio, great all-round visibility and a comfortable and spacious cab. The quoted price was within budget so the tractor was ordered for late summer delivery."
Operating from the machinery compound at Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, the tractor was specified with a 24F/24R mechanical shuttle gearbox, MF 920 front-end loader and Trelleborg low ground pressure tyres to minimise compaction and the risk of marking high quality sport surfaces.
The principal job for the tractor throughout the year is gang mowing of 16 sports pitches used by the four schools for rugby, soccer, hockey and cricket. It will also be operating a turf aerator and towing a roller and various trailers. "When it's not maintaining turf surfaces, the tractor and front-end loader will be helping lift and shift materials around the four sites," pointed out Martin. "To my mind, the arrival of the MF3625 is going to raise our operations to a new, higher level. Not only is it in a different class to anything that we've had before, but it's a tractor which all of the staff look forward to driving which is essential for good morale and optimum workrates."
Full information on Massey Ferguson's Grounds Care product range and dealer locations throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland can be found on the company's website: http://www.masseyferguson.com/agco/mf/uk/home.htm
Wakefield 1: Grounds manager, Martin Jordan (far right), and his grounds maintenance team with their new MF 3625 tractor.
Wakefield 2: Twice-weekly gang mowing of 16 sports pitches will be the principal job for the MF 3625 tractor when the grass is growing actively.
Wakefield 3: The MF 3625 tractor and matching MF 920 loader will be in regular use lifting and shifting a variety of materials on the four school sites.