TRANSMISSION

Facilities 50kph top speed. Engine/transmission control now integrated by switchable TMS system. Basic (joystick) or pedal driving as required. Separate road/field speed ranges.

Controls Joystick with enable button, cruise control and direction shuttle functions. Separate tab switch by steering column for direction shuttle. Pedal/basic mode selector in armrest, together with slider to vary response in pedal mode. Separate selector on joystick varies response in basic mode. Engine load control and two cruise memory settings accessed only through the Varioterminal.

UNDERSTANDABILITY

First level Depends on mode left by last driver. If left in stick mode, find activation switch behind joystick then drive like stepless powershift. If left in pedal mode, just select travel direction and push drive pedal to move off.

Second level Deep diving is complicated. Must know about (and invoke) TMS to unleash powerful engine/transmission integration, and find mode button (hidden behind joystick) to transfer driving control to the floor pedal. Have to locate engine load control among Varioterminal screens and engage individual cruise memories from console pushpads. Must also remember that left joystick flick changes shuttle direction, right flick engages selected cruise memory.

GOOD NEWS

Transmission remembers last mode used when engine switched off. Good for experienced driver, less so for novice

Very handy, obvious slider in armrest gives very wide response control; useful in low-speed fieldwork or traffic

Varioterminal display visually much clearer than Massey’s tiny dash panels

Transmission is geared for 65kph though speed limited to 50kph. So eco mode can allow very generous rpm drop in transport, automatically adjusting (where load allows) to give 50kph at 1550rpm

Management’s extensive control of engine revs also lets revs drop right back as load lifts in fieldwork, so headland turns can be very calm

Can programme different forward and reverse speeds

Can increase engine braking by pulling back joystick without dropping out of pedal mode

Can switch between pedal and stick modes on the move

Can switch from road to field range at low speed

BAD NEWS

Joystick still ugly, uncomfortable to hold

Varioterminal takes several seconds to fire up after engine starts

Must remember to change ranges between field and road for best efficiency. No obvious wrong-range clue as with conventional gearbox

Vital button for TMS system too inconspicuous

Many turns of Varioterminal knob needed to change engine load control setting – too slow

Tab switch on steering column stalk far less satisfactory than a conventional shuttle lever

Mode switch hidden behind joystick

Hunts slightly for speed under load in full eco mode

No safety interlock in seat, so in pedal driving mode can accidentally move tractor when leaving by offside door

SPRAYING/SPREADING SIMULATION

Fix pto revs in Varioterminal, then control forward speed independently on the joystick or through cruise control.

FORAGING/BALING SIMULATION

As above, with the option of switching to pedal mode for forward speed control if both hands busy elsewhere.