FARM CLASSICS: Massey Ferguson 65 met need for larger farmers

October 27th, 2022 10:05 PM

By Southern Star Team

The MF’s dry brakes had their work cut out, thanks to the increase in speed.

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With Peter O'Brien

THE Massey Ferguson 35 enjoyed great success from its launch right up to the mid 60s. 

Taking over the reins from the ‘Little grey Fergie’ Ferguson 20, for many it was the foray into the world of farm mechanisation using a tractor. The MF35 enjoyed phenomenal sales which somewhat overshadowed its larger and more capable sibling – the MF 65.

After recognising the market need for a tractor to cater for the larger farmer, Massey Ferguson 65 was introduced by MF in 1958 along with two other larger models, the 85 and 88. 

First impressions reveal that this is a more powerful tractor than the 35, thanks to its long bonnet and as well as its higher and domineering stance. The 65 is available in two models – the Mk1 from 1957-1960 and the Mk2 from 1960, until production ceased in 1965.

The 65 is powered by a Perkins engine, although different model engines were using in the Mk1 and Mk2. Both four cylinder A4 engines, they produced 48hp and 58hp respectively, from 3.1l and 3.3l engines. 

The Mk2 also featured some driver comforts for the operator such as power steering and set cushion as standard.

The tractor is fitted with a 6F/2R gearbox, split over high and low ratios. 

The larger left hand lever selects gear 1-3 as well as reverse, while the shorter right hand lever selects high, low as well as a neutral ‘start’ safety gear.  

The gear pattern is cast into the gearbox housing which is a useful touch and was used on many MF models up to the millennium.

In 1962, MF released the ‘multi-power’ on-the-move splitter transmission option which effectively doubled the gears, providing 12F/4R engaged by a hi-Lo lever below the hand throttle and quite convenient to the operator’s right knee. 

The MF’s dry brakes had their work cut out, thanks to the increase in speed.

The MF65 uses a dual stage clutch which governs both the transmission and PTO.  

The clutch disengages the transmission drive when it is pressed ‘most’ of the way to the floor, while still maintaining drive to the PTO or hydraulics. 

When fully pressed, drive to both the gearbox and PTO was terminated. 

A twin lever draft control quadrant controls both working depth and height of an implement, while the PTO features both 540 and ground drive speeds.

 One defining characteristic of the MF65 is the rear wheel rims which could be heavily weighted and also featured extensive track with adjustment. 

Furthermore, the addition of a differential lock provided the tractor with increased traction when the going got tough.

• Contact Peter at or see Instagram @flashphotoscork



Massey Ferguson 65




Perkins A4.192/A4.203

Years of manufacture


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