Massey Ferguson has had a shake-up of its mid-sized combines on the back of a £21m investment in its factory at Breganze, north-east Italy.

New cabs and reshaped tinwork are the big news in the four-model Activa S range, which sits just above the uncompromisingly simple Activa at the entry-level end of the Laverda-derived line-up.

Both ride on an Italian-built chassis but, while the basic model is still propelled by Iveco power, the S-badged models now have a Sisu six-pot. That provides a boosted 243hp in the five-walker models and 306hp in the six-walker ones – a sector where Massey holds a 17% share of the UK market.

See also: Farmer takes four Massey Ferguson 865 combines for a spin

Most of the Activa S updates are in the cockpit, with levers and stalks dumped in favour of a big armrest and Fendt-style setup. The new Proline cab – only available on the Activa S – should be a home-from-home for Fendt operators as it uses a half-size Vario monitor and a familiar bank of armrest buttons for quick threshing adjustments. There’s also a joystick controller, though it’s different to the one in the Bavarian-built tractors.

Beta models

Mid-spec Beta models – also sitting on Laverda underpinnings – get the same higher spec Skyline cab as the flagship Delta and eight-walker Centora machines.

This time with a full-size Fendt screen, Beta combines can be specced guidance-ready to help keep the header full. A six-cylinder Sisu powerplant provides either 306hp or 320hp to spin a rotary separator (as well as the walkers) and the 88 knives of the straw chopper.

Freeflow headers are standard, but both Activa S and Beta combines can also be ordered with a belt-fed Powerflow header and a Multi Crop Separator. The latter is a Laverda-designed system that uses an extra drum and concave for more threshing capacity.

When travelling through dry crops the extra concave can be swung out of action to save battering the crop into tiny pieces and filling the grain tank with short lengths of straw.

Beta combines can also be ordered with various auto-levelling systems. Most popular is the Paralevel set-up, which uses a parallelogram linkage to square-up the front axle by up to 20%. The Integrale spec takes things a step further by hoisting the tail end into the air by 30% for hill climbs. The most extreme version can cope with 40% slopes for those farming on the side of Everest.

Massey hopes the updates will begin to claw back market share from the likes of Claas and New Holland – it sells around 54 combines in a 750-a-year UK market.

However, those that can’t be convinced that Massey red is the best combine colour might be able to get exactly the same machine with a green skin in the future. Two Fendt-liveried combines are already running in the UK, but it seems only a matter of time before that number starts to grow.

 Massey Ferguson Combines    
Model  Type Max power Headers  Price
Activa 7240   5 straw-walker  176hp 4.2-6.6m   £125,720
Activa 7244  5 straw-walker 226hp 4.2-6.6m £145,220
Activa S 7345 5 straw walker 243hp 4.8-7.6m £167,670
Activa S 7347 6 straw-walker

306hp*

5.4-7.6m £184,590
Beta 7360  5 straw-walker 360hp* 5.4-7.6m £197,740 
Beta 7370 6 straw-walker 360hp* 5.4-7.6m £217,000
Centora 7380 8 straw-walker 379hp* 6.6-7.7m £243,230
Centora 7382 8 straw-walker 404hp* 6.6-7.7m £257,630
Delta 9380 Hybrid rotary 496hp* 9-107m £262,400
*power boost when unloading