2012 Massey Ferguson 1529 4WD Review

Another solid offering from the Massey Ferguson 1500 Series

By Geof Fowler, Photography by Massey Ferguson, Jan 16, 2012
Founded 165 years ago this year, Massey Ferguson lays claim to having more tractors on the jobsite worldwide than any other manufacturer. While the numbers and longevity are impressive in their own right, it is the sheer volume of innovations from Massey Ferguson drawing boards that continue to define tractor technology today. Counting firsts such as the three-point hitch (3PH), the compact tractor, the adoption and integration of ISOBUS plug & play technology into today’s tractors, Massey Ferguson’s influence can be seen in every major brand today.

After a long and undeserved hiatus, we became reacquainted with the Massey 1500 Series last year with a review of the 1526 (a class I tractor) and were so impressed that when we were offered an opportunity to give the 1529 a workout, we jumped at it. The 1500 Series compact utility tractors (CUT) range from 23 to 59 gross horsepower in four chassis sizes (I, II, III & IV). Massey calls the 1529 a class II+ tractor and we came away from the test thinking the + could easily be replaced with an !.

Massey Ferguson 1529 Compact Utility Tractor

The 1529 is powered by a liquid cooled 91.4 C.I. three-cylinder Iseki diesel that is rated at 28.4 gross and 21.7 PTO horsepower, with the latter rating making the possibility of running larger implements such as a 5’ rotary cutter well within its capabilities. The transmission, as are all the hydrostatic transmissions found in the 1500 Series, is a three-range unit. We’re big fans of three-range hydros as they offer the right combination of speed and power to the task at hand.

We found the cockpit roomy with the controls intuitive and ergonomically placed. We especially like the joystick control integrated into the fenderwell and not on a stanchion post like some of the competition. Massey’s two-pedal controls are among the best in the business and worked as well with our shortest tester (5’7”) as they did with our tallest (6’2”) and the amount of cockpit roominess is an area some of the competition should be paying closer attention to. The automotive style gauges were easily readable but we weren’t crazy about the size or styling of the headlamps. You’ll want to add additional lighting to the ROPS, which is foldable.

Massey Ferguson 1529 Front View

The hydraulic system sends 8.1 gpm to the remotes and 3.4 to the power steering (11.5 gpm total) which is plenty of oomph for a tractor of this size. Our test tractor was equipped with the L100 loader and 60” bucket. Lift height was 98.6” which gets the bucket over just about any pickup or wagon we could imagine and the loader is rated to pick up 1,282 lbs. The L100 is skid-steer compatible, which opens up a world of rental possibilities or better yet, the ability to borrow implements from neighbors and friends. One- and two-spool auxiliary rear remotes are an option.

A Massey “big” tractor feature we’re quite fond of is the ability to set the throttle at a point just off idle, and then as hydraulic demand increases as the foot hydrostat pedal is increased, the engine speed is automatically matched to the demand. Nice.

A mid PTO for running implements such as a mid mount mower (MMM) or a snowblower (model 1410 63” two-stage) is optional, and is fully independent meaning the implement works independent of the drivetrain. Available mower widths are 60” and 72” but there is no Massey Ferguson rear-discharge option. For purchasers requiring rear-discharge, 3PH mowers are offered in 60”, 72” and 84” widths.

The backhoe matched to the 1529 is the model 1570 which can dig to a depth of 78” and can be attached/removed in minutes without tools. Our test tractor came equipped with R4 (industrial tires), but R1 (Ag), R3 (turf) as well as a golf course treads are available.

We got a chuckle out of the Massey 1500 Series brochure where it states Massey Fergusson tractors are “Available in every shade of Massey Ferguson farmer”: Weekend Warrior Red, Real McCoy Red, Rose Bed Red, Rough and Ready Red, Farmette Red, and Freedom Rider Red and that brings us to the exclamation mark mentioned above. Massey rates the 1529 3PH capacity at a class-eclipsing 2,425 lbs. Factor in the ease of maintenance Massey builds in with niceties such as the ability to check fluid levels without opening hood or side panels, a three-year powertrain (two-year tractor) warranty, competitive pricing and equally as competitive financing, and the 1529 just might be that mid-size tractor you’ve been waiting for. The only real “would-like-to-have” feature that we found missing? Telescoping links on the 3PH (Massey begins to offer this on the 1533 platform and up where a factory cab is also available).

The Massey Ferguson 1529. We give it an !

Related Reading
2011 Massey Ferguson 1526 4WD Review
2011 Massey Ferguson Overview

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