MASSEY FERGUSON has launched its new flagship tractor range – the 8400 series. Four models, ranging from 215hp to 290hp, have Sisu engines and a stepless (CVT) transmission.

The new range features familiar Massey Ferguson controls; a shuttle-lever to the left of the dash provides forward and reverse changes and can also be used to adjust the speed of travel.

Four operating modes – including transport, economy and pto – are available and can be set to allow the driver to use the pedal to alter transmission ratio and engine speed.

Altering the threshold level for transmission changes in relation to engine speed drop is via a dial to the operator’s left-hand side. For pto work this is set to minimum to decrease forward speed while maintaining the correct pto speed.

Armrest-mounted controls are used to set oil-flow to electro-hydraulic spool-valves. Functions can be memorised through a new Datatronic III terminal and control system. Sequences can be programmed automatically by performing the functions or can be set manually from the control display.

In terms of performance, torque back-up levels of up to 35% are claimed for the 215hp 8450 model, which, says Massey Ferguson, helps operators to maintain travel speed without adjusting transmission ratio.

It is interesting to note that Massey is now sourcing main manufacturing components from Agco-owned sister companies – Sisu engines form part of Finnish tractor manufacturer Valtra and the stepless transmission used is a version of Fendt’s Vario gearbox.

Recognising the importance of customer brand loyalty, Agco management is keen to point out that product differentiation will be maintained within its portfolio.

Although Fendt tractors use the same transmission mechanicals and Valtra models share Sisu engines with the MF 8400-series, the company is determined that is where the cross-over will stop. Products within the group will be more than clones with different colour-schemes, says Agco.