Punters at last month's FTMTA show were lucky enough to get a sneak preview of Massey Ferguson's 7700-series tractors, but the new range got its official launch at the SIMA Show in Paris. The 7700-series tractors replace the outgoing 7600 range and the main change is under the bonnet.
Power is provided by either a 6.6-litre or 7.4-litre Sisu engine which churn out between 185hp and 255hp depending on which of the five models you pick.
Those figures include boost, which kicks in when the PTO is running or it's travelling at higher speeds on the road. The engines also meet Tier 4 final emissions.
Make no mistake, this is a top end tractor series (the 170hp 7719 is the smallest in the range). There are two transmission options available whichever model you pick - the Dyna-6 with four ranges and six power shifts, and the stepless Dyna-VT.
Other updates include the option of three more spool valves, a bigger screen in the dashboard and up-graded front suspension. Engine Power Management (EPM), which provides up to 25hp extra power, is standard on all models taking maximum power to 280hp on the flagship MF 7726 model.
"The MF 7700 Series continues Massey Ferguson's drive to develop dependable, straightforward, low maintenance tractors that provide efficiencies across all farming operations," said Campbell Scott, director of sales engineering and MF brand development.
"These new tractors benefit from the excellent pedigree established by the MF 7600 Series that won numerous accolades across Europe. It has also established a proven track record and gained strong respect from customers," he added.
Massey Ferguson claims to have further refined this winning design and added new features that boost comfort and control, leading to greater performance and productivity to reduce overall ownership costs.
In 2008, Massey Ferguson was the first tractor manufacturer to introduce selective catalytic reduction (SCR), recognised as the most straightforward, reliable and economic method of achieving increasingly strict emission regulations.
The MF 7700 series tractors continue to be powered by six cylinder, Agco Power 6.6 litre and 7.4 litre engines, equipped with the latest SCR technology that remains maintenance free.
Larger catalysers remove more pollutants, but remain contained neatly within the same-sized enclosure, retaining the good forward visibility.
Engine power management (EPM) provides an extra 25hp to improve efficiency and performance on the road and in the field.
This is standard on all models from the 140hp, MF 7714 to the new flagship 255hp, MF 7726 - including those equipped with DynaVT transmission.
The engines feature a new control unit with higher fuel injection pressure, an electronically-controlled waste- gate turbocharger and a new throttle valve.
The MF 7700 neries offers a wide choice of transmissions that are well matched to the engines and transmit more power to the wheels for maximum output.
The easy to use Dyna-VT transmission is available across the range from the MF 7715 upwards.
Dyna-VT provides stepless speed changes and allows operators to select any combination of engine speed and forward speed to optimise output and the work quality. Engine revs can be set for the precise combination of power and torque required for the best work quality, resulting in better fuel economy and lower noise.
While offering the ultimate in sophisticated transmission operation, MF claims the Dyna-VT retains the brand's straightforward, intuitive controls. This includes the familiar power-control lever on the left of dashboard, under the steering wheel, which is a feature on all the tractors, regardless of transmission.
The well proven Dyna-6 transmission provides clutch -less operation of six speeds in four ranges, thus providing a total of 24 forward and 24 reverse speeds. Economy is further improved by the eco version of the Dyna-6 transmission for the MF 7719 to MF 7726 models, which provides 40km/hr achieved at a low 1,500 engine rpm.
The highly efficient Dyna-4 transmission is standard on the MF 7714 and an option on the MF 7715 tractors. This offers 16 forward and 16 reverse speeds with four power shift speeds in four ranges and allows road speeds of 40km/hr to be reached at an economical 1,880rpm. Electro-hydraulic control also provides clutch-less range changes.
'AutoDrive' is a performance enhancing option on Dyna-4 and Dyna-6 that automatically changes the six steps in fieldwork, as well as the ranges when in transport.
Operators can set the engine speed at which AutoDrive will automatically change gear and with the new Auto setting the transmission will also automatically select the most appropriate gear.
All models with Dyna-VT transmissions are equipped with a four-speed PTO system providing 540, 540E, 1,000 and 1,000E speeds.
A brake-activated neutral feature is standard on all the transmissions, simultaneously operating the clutch as the brake is pressed - easing the load on the operator, while increasing efficiency and convenience, particularly in loader operations.
A new load-sensing, closed-centre pump delivers 190 litres/min on the new Dyna-VT 7700 series tractors, while the MF 7719 to MF 7726 Dyna-6 models provide 110 litres/min as standard with the option of 150 litres/min.
All load-sensing models have decompression levers on the spool valves for easy coupler connection and removal. Up to five rear spool valves can be specified. When a front linkage is specified additional valves are fitted - one for the front linkage and one or two for front couplers.
MF has designed and built a new front axle suspension system specifically for the 7700 series to boost operator comfort and increase dependability.
Completely maintenance free, the suspension employs double-acting rams, which provide 30pc more travel than previous designs.
The rams are attached directly to the axle and the front axle support. This straightforward set-up, without any complex linkages, combines comfort with reliable operation. At the same time it also increases manoeuvrability.
Up front there are also new mono blocks providing either 900kg or 1,500kg of ballast. These compact blocks minimise the overall tractor length and also offer the facility to fit further wafer weights.
Inside the cab, operators will find a new clear dashboard, which is similar to that used on the bigger MF 8700 series.
A new colour display provides better visibility during the day and at night, making it easier to use the information screen. In familiar Massey Ferguson easy-to-use style, the controls fall easily to hand. All Efficient and Exclusive models are equipped with the command control armrest, which operates a range of frequently used functions. The Essential versions have a longer console that houses the controls.
The multi-function joystick, which is an option on all models, provides press button shuttle control, as well as operating the hydraulic spools and/or a loader. It can also be used to change forward speeds and direction.
To ease turning on the headland the 'Speedsteer' feature reduces the number of steering wheel revolutions needed to turn the wheels from lock-to-lock.
Overall, the MF 7700 series seems to be packed with a lot of small details that add up to making big differences for operators.
For example it's possible to set the flashing beacon to come on automatically when the tractor is on the road - so drivers don't cause a risk to other users or their driving licence.
And at the end of a long day operators don't want to scrabble around in the dark - so the lights stay for long enough to illuminate their way to the door.
When the tractor is finally parked up for the night owners can protect their investment with the option of a unique key for simple, cost effective crime prevention.