More than half a century after the first Massey Ferguson machine arrived at Dolphingstone Farm, between Tranent and Musselburgh, East Lothian, the business can now boast a full line-up of MF machinery.
In the spring of 2019, farmer Iain Hastie, together with sons Steven and Alexander – and daughter Nicole – came to the conclusion that they needed to replace their 13-year-old JCB 536-60 telehandler. Steven suggested they look at other brands, so Merlo, Kramer, JCB, Bobcat and MF machines were all tried and considered.
“We decided we liked the Massey best,” Iain recalls, “based on price, quality, ease of use, fitness for purpose and simplicity. We ended up going for the TH 7038 and, as it was such a good deal, we went up a model over the one we had originally considered.
The telehandler plays a leading role within the Hasties' operation, being used for grain movement, loading grain lorries, loading bales, pushing up dung and loading spreaders, spreading tar planings, loading up and emptying pallets of wood pellets, together with trailer work.
“We liked the fact that the cab was simple,” Iain says, “with some of the other brands seeming to have more buttons than NASA! The all-round vision is fantastic and we all enjoy using it. The only thing we've changed is the radio – and that's because we already had a Parrot radio in stock.”
The Hasties' business is run as a family partnership comprising Iain, his wife Mandy and his parents Norman and Anne. The land farmed extends to 233ha – all arable – in two blocks just over two miles apart, on sandy/medium loam soils. Crops grown, in order of acreage, are spring barley, winter wheat and spring wheat, together with 8ha of potatoes.
“We also sell wood pellets for biomass boilers and briquettes for stoves, open fires, etc,” Iain adds. “We have over 350 customers, which keeps us busy over the winter months.”
For the mainstream farming operation, power is provided by a brace of Massey Ferguson 7618 tractors and a 7718, with loader and RTK Auto Guide. Ian is full of praise for his local MF dealership, Ancroft Tractors, at Macmerry.
“We have a great relationship with them and very good support from technicians Alan, David and Graham and from Iain Murray in sales, who unfortunately has recently left. We've been dealing with them for the past 10 years now.”
As stated earlier, the Hasties are no strangers to Massey Ferguson machines.
“We started out in 1964 with two MF 35's, moving on to a 65, and in 1968 we paid just over £1000 for a 165. My father was not very happy about paying that much for a tractor, but when we came to sell it, we got £1200 for it – the only time we've ever made a profit on a tractor!
“Since then, we've had 2 x 185's, a 575, a 595, a 590 4wd, a 698, a 699, 2 x 2685's, a 3075 – my first new tractor – a 6475, 2 x 6480's, 2 x 6718's, a 7718 and now the new TH 7038.
“One of the main reasons we went with Massey in the first place was because the salesman at the time was happy to leave the 35 with us to try on our steep hill, while the Ford salesman wasn't prepared to do likewise!”