Earlier in the year we ran a competition for one NFU Countryside reader to win six months use of a Case IH, Farmall A tractor. Having now had the tractor on his farm for over half a year, Devon based livestock farmer and competition winner, Andrew Tall, has been impressed with the tractor’s performance and versatility. In fact, it isn’t just Andrew who has been impressed, with two of his farming friends now having gone on to buy themselves Farmalls following visits to South Devon…
“I had a birthday celebration a few months back and as part of that, had some farming friends come to visit,” explains Andrew. “They are both smallholders and were each looking for a compact, manoeuvrable and reliable tractor. Following some initial discussions, I showed them around the features of the Farmall A and they both took the tractor for a bit of a drive. After the positive feedback they gave me, I wasn’t surprised to hear a few months down the line that one had gone and got themselves a Farmall and the other was planning on getting one too!”
Andrew runs a livestock enterprise in Modbury, South Devon, where he manages a flock of 150 early breeding Polled Dorset ewes and also rears Hereford and Aberdeen Angus heifers. When it comes to the day-to-day management of his livestock, the Farmall A has proven to be a useful asset for Andrew to have on farm.
“We have around 30 beef cattle ready to leave the farm at the moment and lambing started the first week of December, so it is a busy time of year,” says Andrew. “I have been using the Farmall A to help make life a little easier and carry out a variety of jobs, from shifting bales of hay in and around sheds at feeding time, to mucking out stalls and bedding down sheds with fresh straw.
“Overall, I have been really impressed with the Farmall A’s performance. For a smaller scale livestock farmer, it has everything that you need without a lot of fuss! The tractor isn’t very wide and is very manoeuvrable, so it is ideal for working in smaller sheds and nipping around farm buildings. For the type of work I do on a daily basis, it is a great ‘go-to’ tractor.”
As well as helping ease the burden of day-to-day livestock tasks, the Farmall A also has the power needed to manage more demanding jobs.
“Although it is only a 75hp tractor, you get a lot out of the engine,” says Andrew. “As well as tedding and mowing grass at silaging time this year, with the addition of a pick-up hitch on the back of the Farmall, I was also able to use the tractor to haul large trailer loads of hay and silage bales from silaging ground, back to the farm. The gear box is set just right for the size of the tractor, with a ratio that isn’t too high, and the engine work efficiently and effectively to get the job at hand done.
“Another thing that is nice about the tractor - especially on a hot day when out silaging – is that for a more basic tractor, it still has a spacious and comfortable cab. This, coupled with air conditioning, does make a big difference when spending a lot of time behind the wheel.”
The front loader on the Farmall A has proven invaluable for the farm work that Andrew has been doing, but he does advise the use of rear counterweights on the tractor, given how far forward the loader hangs.
“The tractor is quite small and isn’t very wide, so I would recommend either filling the rear wheels with some water or adding rear wheel weights,” explains Andrew. “With the long reach and overhang of the front loader, I feel that this counterweight helps to give a bit more stability and security when doing any heavier work with the front loader.”
Six months of using the Farmall A has proven a good experience for Andrew and whilst he thinks he is likely to need a slightly larger horsepower vehicle when it comes to updating his main farm tractor in the future, he would certainly recommend the Farmall to others.
“The Farmall A has been really easy to maintain and the fuel efficiency has been impressive too – I have been doing a full day, or day and a half’s worth of work on one tank of fuel, which is good going considering the small fuel tank size,” concludes Andrew. “When I update my tractor in the future, I would probably have to go for a slightly higher horsepower Case IH machine – between 90-95hp – just because of the power I need for some contracting work I do. But, for smaller scale livestock farmers looking for a tractor that can do a bit of everything, I think the Farmall A is a great machine and I would like to thank Case IH for giving me the chance to use it on my farm.”