The Most Common Massey Ferguson Tractor Problems

Massey Ferguson is a popular tractor brand worldwide. It’s one of the more well-known brands both here in the states as well as abroad. However, no tractor model is perfect. These are the most common Massey Ferguson tractor problems

A red Massey Ferguson tractor in a grassy field.
A Massey Ferguson 135 tractor and topper | Getty Images

Massey offers a range of different models. In fact, it’s not easy pinpointing which problems are the most common among owners and operators of Massey Ferguson. We’ve done a deep dive into various forums and websites like It Still Runs and tracked down some common issues with Massey Ferguson tractor models. 

Massey Ferguson tractors get stuck in gear

Although this is largely a tractor brand with an admirable reputation, Massey Ferguson tractors do come up lame from time to time. It Still Runs reports that one of the most common Massey Ferguson tractor problems is a stuck gear. 

This is a particularly troublesome equipment issue. If a tractor is stuck in gear, then it can’t do anything. A tractor out of commission could mean pushing hours or days of work behind schedule. Farming is typically a time-sensitive business, the daily workload ebbing and flowing with the constantly changing seasons. 

It’s pretty important to get your tractor back in working condition as soon as possible. The Massey Ferguson transmission operates with two shift rails with a lock on the back of the shift fork. The lock prevents the two gears from simultaneous selection. 

What to do if you have gear shifting problems with your Massey Ferguson tractor

A vintage red Massey Ferguson tractor still going strong after a long life at work on the farm.
A vintage Massey Ferguson tractor | Farm Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Over the duration of its life, the spring that keeps the shift lever down wears out due to the constant motion of shifting gears. If the spring wears down to the point of losing tension, the shift lever is liable to slip into an incorrect shift rail. Then, the lock keeps the shifter from going back to the right position and the gear gets stuck.

Owners and operators of a Massey Ferguson tractor with this issue will need to get the shift lever back to the neutral position. It’s important to work on your tractor on level ground to avoid any unnecessary stress on the transmission. With both shifters in neutral, take out the filler plug and take a peek inside for a view of the stuck gear and the shift fork. 

This issue is potentially a relatively easy fix

Push in the clutch then use a long screwdriver to free the locked up gear. According to It Still Runs, if it’s stuck in reverse apply forward pressure. If it’s jammed in first or third gear, push the gear backward; push it forward if it’s stuck in second gear push forward. 

“Commonly, when shifting gears a user slightly raises the lever in the process. This may be avoided by using the open palm of your hand to select “neutral” between shifts before grasping the lever to put it into gear.”

It Still Runs

If you push too hard, then it will get stuck in the opposite gear, so use caution during this step. After the shifter is back in the center, then it’s been freed into the neutral position and should move up and down through the gear easily once more. To avoid this common Massey tractor problem, both mindful shifting and replacing the spring as needed are helpful. 

Other common problems

Farmers Weekly shared information it received from a Massey Ferguson tractor specialist with years of experience working as a mechanic on both new and used Massey tractors. Some Massey tractor models (he often sees 6480 models with this issue) end up seeing fuel pump failure, ultimately leading to costly major repairs. 

Flywheel dampers, brakes, and hand brakes wear down over time and typically require regular maintenance. In addition, the Massey mechanic also told Farmers Weekly that he regularly sees tractors for solenoid work to repair the Dyna-6 transmission range changes. Other components like the rear differential or spool valve detents on the 6400-series. 

In addition, most Massey tractor models usually see linkage top arm splines will wear down and need preventative maintenance to ensure they don’t accumulate enough wear that they slip and break the castings. Plus, the mechanic also says that the clutch switch on 6200-series tractors and on will act up or throw a code. Usually replacing the switch solves the problem.

Is Massey Ferguson an American tractor brand? 

Logo and lettering of the company Massey Ferguson | Horst Galuschka/dpa via Getty Images

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According to It Still Runs, Massey Ferguson began producing tractors in 1958. Overall, this is a North American tractor brand that’s known to produce long-lasting quality tractors. It’s one in a portfolio of several tractor brands under the AGCO corporate umbrella. 

The Massey Ferguson tractor brand started out as a merger between a Canadian company and another one in the UK. The headquarters moved from Brantford, Ontario to Buffalo New York. Then, the Massey Ferguson headquarters landed in Duluth, Georgia following its AGCO ownership.

Massey Ferguson tractors are sold worldwide. In general, it’s a brand that makes a good solid tractor. However, like any other machine, they need regular maintenance. According to owners, mechanics, and critics alike, these are some of the most common Massey Ferguson tractor problems.