Finding a second-hand loader tractor in tip-top condition can be a needle-in-a-haystack job, which is why it might pay to think outside the box. Oliver Mark checks out two alternative candidates from Cumbrian dealer Tunstall Tractors.
David Tunstall has been selling new and used tractors at Tunstall Tractors since 1983 and specialises in quirky brands. Based near Kirkby Stephen, Cumbria, Mr Tunstall has built up a reputation for dealing in quality machinery from the likes of Hurlimann and Steyr.
The brands still have a pretty strong following in the UK, despite not being backed up by the marketing clout of Same Deutz-Fahr and Case New Holland respectively.
We picked out two decent-looking and reasonably priced models from his well-stocked yard.
- Year: 2004
- Hours: 2,715
- Engine: 4-litre SLH
- Power: 109hp rated, 114hp max
- Transmission: 45×45 three ranges, five mechanical gears, three powershift steps. Lockable front diff
- Brakes: oil-immersed brakes front and back
- Hydraulics: 60-litres/min. Four spools standard
- Rear lift: 5.2t (4.5t without assistor rams)
- Pto: four speeds standard
- Weight: 4.2t
- Price: £25,000 with loader
- Price new: £40,000
Things to look out for
Check the usual list of loader tractor trouble spots – forward/reverse synchros can be subject to abuse from uncaring owners and oil leaks can be a telltale sign of problems underneath. Track leaks to the source to assess the problem.
The steering silencer is another regular troublemaker on older Hurlimanns. Again, look out for any oil leaks – a replacement will be about £120. XT models can also suffer from pto brake problems and any fault might rack up a £500-800 bill.
Make sure you check for signs of regular servicing. Service costs for the XT are pretty low – a major 1,000-hour check-up will cost about £750, while a minor one will be closer to £250.
About Hurlimann’s XT range
Swiss manufacturer Hurlimann is part of the Same Deutz-Fahr empire.
Its three-model XT range ran between 2004 and 2009 and includes the four-pot 95 model, six-cylinder 105 and range-topping 110. The latter is powered by a serviceable four-cylinder TDI from SLH.
The lively engine, coupled to a bombproof three-speed powershift, has gained a solid reputation. Most models were specced with a ground speed pto from new – a big appeal for anyone doing their share of lime spreading – and Hurlimanns have traditionally been popular for tillage tasks, too.
Our candidate is an early XT model – a 54-plate with a flat roof, swing-back pick-up hitch and single-acting steering rams. Double-acting rams were standard on later versions and made life far easier for loader work.
The example tractor has also been treated to a handful of optional extras including a power shuttle, electric spools, cab suspension and air-con. Newer models were available with a Dromone push-back pick-up hitch, too.
Tunstall on Hurlimann: Hurlimann tractors are still popular in the UK as well, even though SDF is very reluctant to push them. They are renowned as a dependable workhorse, which is why we’re still selling so many to British farmers.
- Year: 2004
- Hours: 4,825
- Engine: 4.4-litre turbocharged Sisu
- Power: 86hp
- Transmission: 16Fx8R with splitter
- Brakes: Oil-immersed discs rear
- Hydraulics: two spools (three available as an option), 50-litres/min
- Rear lift: 4.9t
- Pto: four-speed standard – 430/540/750/1,000
- Weight: 3,920kg
- Tyres: 24/34
- Price: £22,000
Things to look out for
Second-hand Steyrs can suffer from the usual loader tractor gremlins. A lack of lubrication in the front axle is one to look out for – it’s a £300 problem if caught in time but can run into the thousands if not.
The M-series was fitted with an adjustable clutch, so it’s worth checking to see whether it has been tightened up in its lifetime. A simple adjustment might avoid wearing it out and the rigmarole of replacement.
The hydraulic pump can also be troublesome on later Sisu-engined models – give it the once over before you buy.
About Steyr’s 9000-series
Steyr was purchased by Case IH in 1996 and later became part of CNH when the companies merged with New Holland.
Steyr’s 9000-series was launched way back in 1994 and ran until 2013 with the odd facelift in between. The tractors are hugely desirable on the Continent, which guarantees a strong export market for anyone looking to sell.
All four models – the 9078, 9083, 9086 and 9094 – were powered by MWM engines up until ???? when the engine provider was switched to Finnish favourite Sisu. Without lifting the hood the telltale difference between the two is the exhaust, which moved from the middle of the bonnet on older models to hugging a cab pillar on the newer ones.
Those later tractors were badged as the MT-series but, aside from a new powershuttle and a few other low-key additions, not much has changed over the years. Interestingly, the gearbox and backend is the same as that used in the Turkish-built Armatrac.
Steyr’s biggest selling point is the cab. Spacious and well-made, the Austrian-built cabs were assembled in Steyr’s factory in Graz, which is also responsible for producing the £100,000 Mercedes G-Wagon.
Tunstall on Steyr: The past couple of years have seen a renewed interest in Steyr tractors and it looks like the brand is on the rise again. In many European markets they’re held in the same esteem as Fendt, so you know your money can get you a quality machine.
Started by David Tunstall in 1983 as a business refurbishing Leyland and Marshall tractors on his 60ha beef and sheep farm. Expanded in 1989 when it began a long-term relationship with Austrian tractor maker Steyr by selling its tractors rebadged as Marshalls.
Stopped selling Steyr tractors after the merger with Case IH in 1996 and began importing Hurlimann tractors from Europe instead. Sales peaked at 50 new tractors a year, and the dealership also took on the Same franchise.
Reintroduced Steyr tractors in 2002 after Case New Holland stopped importing them and has sold them ever since.
Added Czech influence with the introduction of Zetor tractors to the dealership in 2006 as a result of customer demand. The Zetor brand also helped forge stronger foreign trade links thanks to the big demand for the red-liveried tractors from central and eastern Europe.