There's been a raft of new tractor launches over the last few months in the 90-150hp power segment.
That's good news for dairy, livestock and mixed enterprise farmers, who tend to be the biggest customers for models in this power bracket.
For the most part buyers simply want a plucky reliable tractor capable of doing the basics well - good hydraulic output for loader work, gutsy power output at the PTO end for slurry spreading/feeding/mowing, and a smooth transmission for road transport.
If you're on the market for a new tractor in 2017 there's plenty of options depending on how much you're willing to spend.
Prices are quoted where available, and they range from €55,000 for no frills offerings, right up to €150,000 for those marques renowned for having the latest bells and whistles.
Remember, there's always room to negotiate and a lot depends on whether you are trading in or buying straight up. Some of the contenders in the upper ends of this popular 100-150hp power bracket will now appeal to contractors.
That's because power boosts are continuously being pushed, and the four cylinder engine today is capable of delivering much more grunt than it was even five years ago.
With that in mind, below I take a look through some of the new tractor options that could fit the bill if you're thinking of upgrading in 2017.
If you'd like to see these tractors in the flesh many of them are being shown at the Lamma Show in the UK this week.
For those who can't make it across the water, there's a great chance see the latest new tractors making their Irish debut at the 2017 FTMTA Farm Machinery Show on February 9th, 10th & 11th in Punchestown.
Zetor Forterra HD - €74,000 including VAT
Zetor’s Forterra HD hit the market for the first time last year, but it is only now that its reputation is properly gaining traction.
The Forterra HD range covers power outputs of 130-150hp, which brings the Czech tractor maker right into the mainstream market. There are three Forterra HD models – 130hp, 140hp and 150hp.
Axle suspension is available but not standard, but cab suspension does come as standard. The 30 x 30 transmission on the Forterra is the same as on the HSX, with five gears, three ranges and a high-low option. Hydraulic output is 85 litres/minute while rear lift capacity is an impressive 8,500kg.
The front hitch can carry 3,500kg. Zetor has noticeably moved on in terms of design with the Forterra, and improvements include auto cut-out of the pto at a predetermined height, external spool valves that can be set for different time delays and electronic toggle switches.
At the back of the tractor, two spool valves that can be operated by a standard joystick should speed up jobs for anyone using as loader.
The Forterra HD is the first Zetor to offer a programmable headland management system. Priced from €74,000 including VAT.
McCormick X6 - €66,000 including VAT
In terms of 4 cylinder models suitable for livestock farmers and contractors, the new McCormick X6 series is a worthy successor of two popular McCormick ranges – the MC and the X60.
The three models in the McCormick line-up come in “Standard” and higher-spec “LS” versions, the main differences being in the hydraulics, tyre sizes, transmission speeds and availability of suspension for the front axle and cab. All three McCormick X6 Series tractors are powered by four-cylinder FPT engines with an SCR emissions management system.
For the X6.420, this 4.5-litre engine delivers 111hp for draft work, but 121hp when the Power Plus electronic engine management system automatically engages for PTO-driven implements and road travel.
The X6 “standard” spec appeal to farmers wanting a relatively simple tractor with a smart, well equipped cab and good manoeuvrability. Prices start from €66,000 including VAT.
Massey Ferguson Global Series - €60,000 plus VAT
Massey Ferguson recently unveiled a new series of tractors in the smaller to medium horsepower range. Two mid-range models kick off the MF 5700 “Global Series” – the 100hp MF 5710 and the 110hp MF 5711.
These tractors are firmly targeted at livestock and dairy farmers and are expected to sell well in Ireland in 2017.
MF says it has included a range of features normally only found on larger tractors with the MF 5700, while providing users with the largest cab in this sector. So what’s new? For starters there’s a turbo charger with electronic waste gate, AdBlue injection, a creeper gearbox option, power shuttle and 58 litres/minute of hydraulic flow for loader work.
These new models will sit alongside the slightly bigger MF 5713 SL tractor. This 130hp four-cylinder, 4.4-litre option also has a turbocharger with electronic waste gate and AdBlue injection.
A lift capacity of 5.2 tons, front axle suspension and the option of AutoGuide are other key features. Priced from €60,000 plus VAT.
Kubota M5001 - €55,000 plus VAT
It’s a first opportunity to see Kubota’s new 95hp to 113hp M5001 Series, powered by a four .75 cylinder tier 4 V3800 Kubota engine and introduced to replace the company’s previous M8540 and M9960 models.
The M5001 features the 40 .75 ECO transmission with three .75 range gearbox and six manual shifts and a high/low splitter for a total of 36 forward speeds to 40kph. It can be fitted with the LA1854 loader and has a downward sloping bonnet for optimum visibility.
The loader is equipped with a quick coupling system for implements and hydraulic hoses, making it easier to change buckets and disassemble the loader.
Prices start from €55,000 plus VAT.
Fendt 500 - €140,000 plus VAT
Fendt’s updated 500 series takes centre stage when it comes to the 100-150hp market. Powered by a 4.04 .75 litre Deutz engine, which now meets Stage IV emissions regulations, the 125hp to 165hp four cylinder range uses electronically .75 controlled exhaust gas recirculation and map .75 controlled AdBlue injection to reduce AdBlue consumption.
ProfiPlus versions of the 500 series get a high -spec guidance system that can be tailored to local signal availability, and the touch screen terminal has been made more robust. Besides complying with the latest legal emissions, Fendt says it has designed the 500 series for more efficiency and equipped it with more optional features adopted from its higher-horsepower tractors.
These include the new VarioGuide guidance system, the full glass front terminal, the 1000E PTO option, LED work lights, optional immobiliser and a flange or stub axle.
Prices for the 500 series start from €140,000 plus VAT.
Claas Arion 400 - €85,000 including VAT
The main addition to the Claas tractor range this year is an ‘arable spec’ version of the 90hp to 140hp Arion 400 range.
There’s good news for dairy and livestock farmers in that the Arion can now be specified with features previously only available on higher powered six.75 cylinder tractors.
This means features such as the 6x6 Hexashift transmission which includes a full automatic option, headland management control and telematics are now within reach for a new branch of customers.
Also now available on the Arion 400 is cab suspension based on the system used on larger Arions and comprising silent rubber blocs at the front and suspension units at the back, plus an anti .75 - sway bar.
The Arion 400 features dynamic steering, with three modes allowing the steering to be adapted to individual tasks. Priced from €85,000 including VAT.
Case IH Luxom - €60,000 plus VAT
The new Luxxum 100, 110 and 120 models will garner plenty of attention. Rated power outputs are 99hp, 107hp and 117hp, provided by 3.4litre four cylinder engines from FPT Industrial.
Key new in cab features are the Multicontroller joystick, which operates gear and direction selection, linkage and spool valves, and the Multicontroller armrest, which incorporates a split throttle for max/min engine speed settings, plus hydraulic and transmission controls.
A new 32F/32R automatic power shift transmission provides 40kph travel at 1730rpm and features adjustable power shuttle response and speed selection, plus auto field and road modes.
The front axle suspension provides the ability to raise/lower the tractor’s front end via a console-mounted switch to boost traction in the field and improve stability and comfort on the road.
Standard, Multicontroller or CVX models are available in the new Maxxum Tier IV series, with 4.5litre four-cylinder engines from 116-145hp.
Staying with Case IH, for those willing to go bigger there is also a 6.7-litre six cylinder 145hp (179hp boosted) version of the Standard or MC Maxxum 150. Case IH claims headland management improves programming while, on the Maxxum CVX, compatible implements can be Isobus operated through Case IH’s AFS terminal. Prices start at around €60,000 plus VAT.