Driven: Four budget tractors

Power Farming Verdict

Case IH JX 70


Star

Star

Star

Star

Star

Comfortable tractor with good visibility but cab access and ergonomics not the best.


Zetor Proxima 85


Star

Star

Star

Star

Star

A quiet tractor with a good ride, but pto set-up is complicated.


Farmtrac 675


Star

Star

Star

Star

Star

Smooth transmission plus good access to the spacious cab but the cab is noisy and lacking in ergonomics.


Kioti FX751


Star

Star

Star

Star

Star

Modern, well-built cab and sophisticated electronics but cab space is limited and the clutch was overly aggressive.




Not everyone wants CVT, powershift or an electronically-governed engine. Some still yearn for a simple, mechanical tractor which they can take a spanner to if something goes wrong. And this is where these tractors come in.


Maybe you’re looking for a main tractor, or perhaps something to drive the feeder wagon; if so one of these four is bound to tickle your fancy.


Most western tractor makers have small, budget models in their product ranges, but you’re often still talking around the £35,000 (retail price) mark.


These tractors also have to compete against second-hand machines, too. For £30,000, you could find a more highly-specified tractor with a couple of thousand hours on the clock. So service, manufacturer back-up and spec all have to come into consideration.


Don’t get us wrong – these tractors are far from spartan. All have at least the basic of creature comforts, and all come with optional air-con.


The four tested? The Case JX 70 and Czech-made Zetor Proxima 85 are well-known brands. The Polish Farmtrac 675 DT and Korean Kioti FX751 are somewhat less so.


All have mechanical 12/12 transmissions (with the exception of the Kioti, which has a 24/24 powershift), load-sensing hydraulics, draft control and in some cases more sophisticated features like on-board compressors.


Why did we choose these four? There are others makes available in the EU, like Branson, Armatrac, Pronar, Belarus, YTO and Tym, (the last three available in the UK) but for a variety of reasons these four were the ones we were able to get our hands on for this test.


Scoring system: All scores are out of five.

































































































Scores
Case IH Farmtrac Kioti Zetor Weighting
Build quality 4 2 4 3 1.5
Cab 3.5 3 3.5 4 3
Noise 3 2.5 3 3.5 2
Engine 3 2 3 4 3
Transmission 3 3 3.5 3 3
Ride quality 3 3.5 2.5 4 2.5
Linkage 4 3 2.5 3 1.5
Hydraulics 3.5 3 3.5 4 1
PTO 3 2.5 4.5 3 1
4WD/Diff lock 4 2.5 3 3 0.5
Maintenance 3.5 3 2.5 3.5 1
Final weighted score 3.2 2.75 3.24 3.55


















Read our reports on all four pocket rockets
Case IH JX 70 Farmtrac 675 Kioti FX751 Zetor Proxima 85
£24,359 £21,040 26,263 21,536


The test was carried out by an international team, headed up by Dutch magazine Boerderij. Also involved were France Agricole and German title Top Agrar. It took place at the research facility of the University of Wageningen near Lelystad in Holland.


The four tractors were tested carrying out typical tasks for this size of tractor – pulling a 3m cultivator, mowing, tedding and raking as well as towing a trailer on the road.


Engine performance and fuel usage were tested using a Maha dynamometer. Hydraulics were measured at a local dealership, LMB Nieuwstad, and measurements like weights, turning circles, sound and braking were all taken by the test team.