15 July 2015, 14:21
A bright future for Quinn Berry began with a passion for Massey Ferguson tractors and an enthusiastic attitude
Young Quinn Berry grew up on a dairy farm but his passion is for tractors, not for cows, and he is already well down the road to living his dream.
Quinn is obsessed with Massey Ferguson tractors and, although he is only 14 years old, he has already worked for a year at Matamata Tractors and Machinery. He has been driving tractors on his family’s dairy farm in Waitoa since he was five.
“I like playing around with tractors and seeing what’s in the engine,” Quinn says. His parents, Cam and Michelle, have two Massey Ferguson tractors but aren’t big on machinery. Cam says, he has a bit of knowledge but Quinn is the one with the real enthusiasm.
“It’s shown up ever since he could walk. Anything with metal and wheels he focused on. He was always wandering around with a socket or a crescent, taking things apart,” Cam says.
Initially Quinn wasn’t so great at putting back together but he’s getting it now. “Now when his older brother says something needs fixing on the farm, Quinn is the one who disappears, and comes back saying he’s fixed it.”
Quinn hasn’t wavered in his desire to work at Matamata Tractors, the Massey Ferguson dealer. Cam has taken him there to visit since he was five, and his plan to join the workforce goes back that far.
“He’s never wavered. It’s quite funny seeing a kid that young with such tunnel vision,” Cam says.
His parents told him he wasn’t allowed was allowed to work there until he was at high school. The first day of Year 9, Quinn walked into the workshop and asked the owner for a job after school.
Quinn works two afternoons a week. He is starting with the basics – water-blasting vehicles and keeping the place tidy. At the same time he’s soaking up information. “I watch them take tractors apart and learn. I've put together new lawnmowers, and a rake and some tedders.”
Matamata Tractors salesman Bruce Lynn says Quinn is pretty capable for such a young fellow. “He can drive anything we’ve got, and moves things around for us.
I've no doubt he’ll end up running the place one day. “He’s got an awesome attitude and that’s why he’s employed. He had a goal to work here. I'm sure he’ll be a diesel mechanic or whatever he wants to do,” Bruce says.
But that’s not all. Bruce told Quinn about a 1953 MF 28 sitting rusting in a shed. Quinn purchased this old girl with his work money and has just finished doing it up.
“I went in on my own time, so I wasn’t interrupting my work. The mechanics helped me when I needed it. I waited until they were finished so I didn't interrupt them,” Quinn says.
The mechanics mostly left him to it. “It was rusty, so I gave it a clean. I changed a solenoid to help it start, and made it into a gear stick start. I put in a new battery and we changed one of the front tyre rims, and put on new mud guards and a new bonnet.”
He also fitted a new carburettor kit and unblocked fuel lines. The MF 28 is now re-painted, ready to work. Quinn is considering putting a mower on it to do the lawn around the house, or maybe use a back blade to grade the driveway.
When Quinn was young, if Cam and Michelle ever lost track of him, they’d eventually find him in the cab with a contractor. Now being a diesel mechanic is Quinn’s ultimate goal. “I like using stuff and fixing it. I want to do a diesel mechanic’s apprenticeship and then maybe have my own business as a contractor.
“I like working with metal, and I'm into practical more than theory. I’d rather be outside than in an office and I like heavy machinery. There's so much you can do with tractors – lift and pull – there’s so much to them.”
Source: AGCO, Massey Ferguson