Originally developed at Case IH’s Racine plant, Wisconsin, USA in 1987, the company’s Magnum range has been revamped a number of times. More than 100,000 machines are out there working.
According the firm, the latest revision is more than a simple tweak to bring the tractor into line with Tier III emissions regulations.
Although first launched at Agritechnica in Germany 2005, the first working units have only recently made it to UK shores.
Styling-wise it looks more appealing than older models, primarily as the bonnet is more rounded and the wheels look as though they fit, not like the out-of-proportion knobbly rubber of older models.
Up in the cab
Case claims to have the largest-volume cab on the market and it’s a claim that would be hard to challenge.
Sitting in the driver’s seat the amount of space around you is substantial, yet despite the huge cab the firm has managed to keep all the relevant controls close to hand.
The adjustable steering column and the seat-integrated arm-rest mean that you can set a comfortable driving position and the perch itself – dubbed a “positive response seat” – does an excellent job of damping out the bumps.
To keep visibility clear the firm uses an A-pillar – rather than dash – display.
Cab access is limited to one door – the right-hand side is one large window.
The rear window opens barely enough to squeeze a spanner through, which is a shame, especially for those who enjoy having the rear hatch open when turning the soil.
In typical Magnum style, the hand throttle doubles up as the gear shift lever.
A rocker switch on the side shifts through the 19 forward and four reverse gears.
This set-up proves useful when turning on the headlands; dropping down a few gears and easing the throttle back is done in one swift move.
In addition the spool-valve controls are located in exactly the right spot; performing an operation such as the task at hand – working a set of discs – the first spool’s lip-lever is ideally located to drop the implement in and out of work.
|Engine 6-cyl Cummins 9-litre common-rail|
Rated power 309hp
Transmission 19F x 4R powershift, 50kph
Linkage lift 10.2t
Turning circle 9.2m
Under the hood of the Magnum 310 is a Cummins-supplied 9-litre engine kicking out 309hp (ISO rated), which means that it should be a confident pulling machine.
Case also claims that the Magnum reaches rated power at the lowest engine rpm on the market – 2000rpm.
Selecting forward and setting off across the field, the discs are lowered into work as we prepare to test the machine’s pulling power.
Taking the unit to 10th gear, the machine pulls strongly, working at 10kph (6.2mph).
Knocking it up another notch has little detrimental effect.
It is only when we hit 12th gear that the power plant starts to grumble and taking it to 13th eventually kills the engine.
Impressive stuff – the machine is not afraid of hard graft and tugs like a train; the torque the big motor generates is exceptional.
To ease operator workload Case has fitted an automated headland management system.
This is bound to come into its own for pto and three-point linkage work, but its benefit isn’t really found coupled up to a trailed implement.
However the engine speed management function and timing of the spool-valves are very handy.
The engine speed management system allows the driver to select preset revs and in this case we’ve gone for 1850rpm – the point at which the unit develops its maximum power.
The Magnum retains its wheel-slip limiting system that operates in conjunction with the lift arms.
If slippage exceeds a preset threshold the machine momentarily – and only slightly – lifts the implement.
One of the Magnum’s strongest points has to be its manoeuvrability; the 55-degree steering lock really makes headland turns a doddle.
* Streeing lock
* Cab visibility
* Pulling power
* Large Fuel Tank
* Rear window opening
* Front weights restrict radiator access
* Gear changes marginally slow
Case is keen to press home the benefits of a full-powershift transmission and make the point that this set-up suffers less power loss than a stepless CVT box.
And to be fair, in the field you really get the feeling that a large percentage of the ponies under the hood are getting to the ground.
But the downside of the powershift box is that getting up to speed on the road can take a bit of effort and some frantic button pushing.
It is a pleasant tractor to drive; the controls are not over-complicated and even the headland management system is easy to use.
Service points are all easily accessed and the firm has given a great deal of thought to operator comfort.
The transmission has the potential to turn roadwork into an interesting experience and makes the big Case best suited to fieldwork.
It’s just a pity that the firm has done away with the Magnum’s trademark red leather armchair, a factor that may annoy enthusiasts.
|Max Power||345 hp||360 hp||330 hp||315 hp||337 hp|
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