On 16 August 1968, 16-year-old Dave Oxley joined Massey Ferguson distributor Peacock and Binnington at their busiest time of year right in the middle of harvest.
Now, half a century later, he is about see out his last season and retire from his job as an Agricultural Technician with the Brigg-based company.
“I took a week’s holiday after leaving school and signed up as an apprentice,” explains Dave who hails from Barnetby le Wold in North Lincs. “My dad worked on a farm which dealt with P&B and I was really keen to work with tractors and machinery.”
Throughout his career repairing and servicing machines in the workshop and out in the field, Dave has been heavily involved with MF tractors, combines and balers. There’s not much he doesn’t know about these machines!
“Everything has changed in farming compared to 50 years ago,” he comments. “Technology has really made a difference. Tractors virtually drive themselves now and we use laptops to help diagnose faults.”
“When I first started, tractors such as the MF 100 Series were between 45 and 75hp. Now you are looking at least an average of 200hp, with big models like the MF 8700 S at 400hp.”
“As for combines, they’ve got bigger and faster but the principle is still the same – the crop goes in at the front and comes out at the back!”
During the hectic summer period, it often means early morning starts for Dave and he can be out working until 10pm, ensuring the equipment is in perfect condition to bring home the harvest.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time with P&B but I’m ready for retirement after 50 years on the job,” Dave adds. “I’m going to take a few days off and then hope to do some part-time work – perhaps working on a local farm.”
It’s true what they say, you can’t keep a good man down.