Video: Furse four tractor test: Case Puma 210

There isn’t really anything we dislike about this tractor. It has a very strong back end and is an exceptional tillage tractor. It does everything you ask it to do and more.

Fed up with arguing which tractor was best, Devon contracting duo Luke and Lloyd Furse decided to settle the score with a head-to-head tractor title fight.

 

At the start of 2011, the father-and-son team each picked two contenders for the three-year grilling, during which they would monitor fuel use, driver comfort, reliability and power.

Luke opted for the heavyweight Case IH Puma 210 and a wildcard Landini Land Power 135. While son Lloyd recruited the techie Fendt 718 Vario and popular John Deere 6930 Premium.

One year on, the four machines have racked up a staggering 9,300 hours of varied work between them, from trailer work and hedge trimming to sub-soiling and slurry pumping.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be taking a look at each machine’s performance during its first 12 months service. In round one we take a look at the Case Puma 210 Multicontroller.

Likes

  • Heavy back end
  • Ability to put power to the ground
  • Smooth cab suspension
  • User-friendly transmission
  • Heavy bar axles

Gripes

  • Toolbox too small
  • Transmission reliability

     

Planting with a 3m Amazone combination drill, ploughing with a five furrow reversible and working down with a 6m power harrow accounted for the bulk of the Puma’s autumn workload.

Power was never a problem and the hefty back end meant it was ideally suited to tillage work, says Luke. The relatively simple powershift transmission has been popular among the drivers and it is excellent at putting its 210hp to the ground. “You can really work this tractor and the power it puts down is awesome.”

Driver comfort has been another of the Puma’s strong points and after 2,700 hours at the seat driver Mike Greenaway has no complaints. “There is loads of room in the cab and the powershift transmission is fantastic to use. Before I had two John Deere 6930s and I wouldn’t go back.”

The Puma’s cab suspension is also particularly smooth, he notes.

Luke and Lloyd were so impressed with the Puma that they invested in another almost identical machine. The new Puma 215 was ordered in the same spec, but came with the Tier 4 interim Ad blue power plant, which is noticeably thriftier with fuel, says Luke.

The 215 arrived on farm in September 2011 and clocked up 800 hours by the end of January 2012.

In its first year‘s service the Puma had five dealer visits, all for fairly minor niggles. “It had one hydraulic pipe go and a few other minor bits and bobs,” says Luke.

But after 2,700 hours, as it edged into its second season, the high range pack in the powershift box gave up the ghost. It bought the machine to a standstill, but the dealer backup was fantastic, he says.

“I phoned the dealer at 5pm and the fitter was straight there. They delivered a 140 the next morning and by 8pm the following evening we were told we would have a 230 the next day. This arrived, we used it for two days and then the 210 came back fixed.”

The Case came with a three-year warranty, which will cover it for the duration of its time on the farm, he says.

“Our new policy is to have all of our front line tractors covered by a warranty. We pay manufacturers a lot of money for these tractors and it is not good enough if they will only stand by them for a year.”

Dealer backup

At the start of the trial all dealers were told that tractor faults, level of service, fuel use and overall driver opinion would be recorded. This was not intended to influence their behavior, but was bound to have had an effect, says Luke.

“We had good service from our dealers before the trial, but it’s fair to say it has been faultless the past year.”

The Puma 210 clocked up 2700 hours in first 12 months on the following jobs:

  • Lime spreading with 10t spreader
  • Umbilical slurry spreading
  • Drilling with a 3m Amazone disc coulter drill and front tyre press straight on to furrows
  • Ploughing with a five-furrow
  • Mowing with 30ft triple mowers
  • Subsoiling
  • Fertiliser spreading
  • Sand spreading
  • 6m Power harrow
  • 30ft triple mowers
  • Buckrake
  • Silage trailer
  • Big square baler
  • Rear discharge muck spreader
  • Slurry tanker

This is how the four contenders measure up:

In the red corner: Case Puma 210

  • Power: 210-223hp
  • Spec: Multicontroller, 50k, air brakes, front PTO, mid mounted valve, AFS 300 screen, ACI guide ready. Front tyres 540/65/R30, rear 650/55/R42.
  • Basic price: £96,199
  • On the clock: 2,700 hours

In the green (and red) corner: Fendt 718 Vario

  • Power: 180hp
  • Spec: 50kph, front PTO, air brakes, front tyres 540/65/R30, rear 650/65/R42
  • Basic price: £133,341
  • On the clock: 2,800 hours

In the blue corner: Landini Land Power 135

  • Power: 133hp. Spec: 40kph, Front tyres 480/65/R28, rear 600/65/R38. Basic price: £49,617
  • On the clock: 1,700 hours

In the green (and yellow) corner: John Deere 6930 Premium

  • Power: 180hp. Spec: 40kph AutoQuad Front PTO, front tyres 540/65/R28, rear 650/65/R38
  • Basic price: £81,822
  • On the clock: 2,700 hours