Knowing that the abandoned pear orchard he was mowing contained numerous soft patches and overgrown areas, Anthony Ellis was particularly cautious not to get stuck.

Sunk MF 1

“Whenever I met a soft patch I would reverse out and try the next row instead of battling on through,” says Anthony.

All but two of the rows contained wet patches and ruts filled with water.

“After spending hours reversing out of rows and avoiding the inevitable, I sunk out of sight.”

“I was at the ‘dry’ end of the orchard – the place where I least expected to get stuck but somehow I managed it.”

Sunk MF 3

Nearing the end of the row and preparing to turn, suddenly the Massey Ferguson 3425F’s back-end dropped into in the mud.

“A couple of minutes of shunting didn’t get me anywhere so it was time to call in the cavalry.”

And it came in the form of a Massey Fergusson 3340F and a Renault with linkage-mounted fork-lift.

Sunk MF 2

After trying to pull the tractor out backwards and getting nowhere, the unlucky team proceeded to unhitch the mower. Because the tractor had sunk it was planted firmly on the deck, even with the lift arms at their highest. So in came the forklift.

But being an orchard tractor, the MF’s exhaust was by then buried deep in the mire, splattering mud in the faces of the rescue gang.

“An hour’s hard graft later (having removed 6 trees in the process to get the Renault in position) we were left with the tractor on its own.”

Sunk MF 4

Once free of the mower, the tractor was pulled to safety with no trouble.

“When I got back to the yard I found out that I wasn’t the first to have got stuck there. In fact I was the sixth!”

“No real damage……just one hell of a dirty tractor!”