Driven: TYM T1003

Power Farming Verdict





More equipment than you’d expect for the low price. The marque isn’t well-known yet in the UK but this one looked pretty well screwed together.

For anyone looking for a mid-spec tractor with a budget price, TYM’s new T1003 is a definite contender.

Unless you’re a tractor buff, you may well not have heard of TYM. The South Korean maker’s tractors have been quietly coming into the UK for more than a decade. But until recently these were sub-70hp models aimed at the groundscare market.

A change of importer last September and the arrival of a 100hp model has shifted the focus firmly towards agriculture, says the boss of TYM Tractors UK, Chris Harris. The first of the new £28,840 T1003 models arrived in the UK a month ago, he says, and has been working on farm near Claygate, Surrey.

Given South Korea’s manufacturing prowess in everything from cars to mobile phones, the new tractor promises to have western European build quality standards with a modest price tag.

This is a tractor that offers an interesting middle path between some of the bargain basement brands and the offerings from the big makers. There’s more equipment here than you might expect for the price.

The marque hasn’t been known in agriculture for very long, so long-term reliability is an unknown. However, a visual once-over suggests it’s pretty well put together and it comes with a three-year warranty.

Who is TYM?
The full name of the company is Tong Yang Moolson.
Based near Seoul, South Korea, it was established in 1960.
UK imports began in 1999 and models run from 23hp to 100hp.
It claims to be the fastest-growing tractor brand in the USA.

Nothing obscure about the engine – it’s a standard Perkins 1104 four-cylinder turbocharged unit, mechanically governed, but meeting the Tier 3 emissions regs.

It’s kept pretty well insulated from the driver’s ears and though it has a boomy period after 1500rpm, by the time you get to full pto revs it’s settled down nicely.

TYM T1003 specifications
Engine 100hp Perkins 4cyl
Transmission 32 + 32, splitter + powershuttle, 40kph max speed
Linkage lift 3.1t
Hydraulics 61 litres/min
Turning circle 4.12m
Price £28,840

TYM T1003
Plus Minus
Surprisingly well equipped Range lever very stiff to engage
Good price Tiny toolbox
Build quality Window catches flimsy

It may be a world increasingly dominated by powershifts and CVT gearboxes, but many farmers will be relieved to hear that the TYM’s transmission is as simple as they come.

Four ranges and four gears, plus a neat button-operated splitter on the side of the gearstick give 32 forward and 32 reverse gears. The long gearstick does a moderately good job of finding gears quickly and positively, but range changes require considerable effort to find the right slot easily.

Bonus points go to the powershuttle. Looking a little reminiscent of the one that used to appear in Case Maxxums, it gives quick-but-not jerky start-offs that should make loader work easy.

The TYM’s character does have a slightly nannyish side to it. For a start, it won’t let you start off in 3rd or 4th high. Also, it insists that you select the gear first before you flick the powershuttle, otherwise it will lock up and beep at you.

You also have to press the foot throttle to release the hand throttle. And the raucous truck-style reversing alarm, though well-meaning, will make you go as nutty as a fruitcake after a while.

Cab quality is often the area where countries that are relatively new to tractor tend to let themselves down. So we were expecting something a bit primitive and tacked-together.

In fact the cab turned out to be well equipped and slick, though those who like lots of LCD displays might want to fit some extra black boxes from the likes of RDS.

Space is overall pretty good, though limited behind the driver’s seat. Getting in and out on the left hand side is fine, less so on the right where the tall gear lever impedes your progress.

This is a six-pillar cab with opening side windows for those who like their air traditional (though air-con is standard). However, the window catches looked a little lightweight for long-term usage.

In front of the driver are two big dials showing engine revs and forward speed, plus smaller dials for fuel and water temperature. A big, silvery side console gathers together most other functions, including the familiar-looking Bosch electronic lift control panel, spool levers and pto button.

The chunky hand throttle is well positioned and feels good to operate. The loader joystick comes as standard with two services and a button that could operate a third.

Plus there’s a slick-looking panel for switching on diff-locks and 4wd.

The sharply-dropping bonnet means views to the front are good. Views to the side were fine and though our model hadn’t yet got its pick-up hitch, it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch to see that too.

Storage is so-so. The useful multi-compartment tray on the left-hand side is great and there’s a happy home for your bottle of water and mobile phone in front of it. However, the integral tool box behind the seat is tiny, so you might well want to adapt your own instead.

A radio/CD is standard and a passenger seat can be fitted.

Three spool valves are standard and hydraulic capacity comes in at a respectable 61 litres/min. The Bosch electronic hitch has all the main features you’d expect on this sort of unit, including a damping function to discourage mounted implements from bouncing around when you’re in transport mode.

Lift capacity is 3110kg and there are rear mudguard-mounted controls on both sides of the tractor.

You wouldn’t normally expect to find evidence of automation on a tractor in this bracket, but the T1003 has some useful time-saving features. Four wheel drive can be set to come in and out automatically according to steering angle. The same goes for the pto, which can be set to automatically stop as you lift the implement and re-engage when you lower it again.

There’s also a function called back-up which automatically lifts a mounted implement as soon as you start to reverse. Simple, but potentially time-saving.

A three-speed pto is standard, with 540, 750 and 1000rpm speeds set by shifting a floor-mounted lever down by the drivers left-hand side. The on-off button is nice and prominent on the right-hand side console.

TYM Tractors UK says it can offer standard hydraulic trailer braking or an air set-up. Two worklights front and back are standard and the standard tractor comes shod with UK-sourced 16.9 R34 Alliance tyres at the front and 13.6 R24s at the front.

Steering is pretty light and the turning circle feels tight – TYM quotes 4.12m.