New Holland was always going to have a job on its hands replacing the TM range, particularly the TM165, which proved good for filling the increasingly popular higher-power/lower-weight niche.
And, it seems, the T6000series, which was launched last year,has stepped up to the mark. The flagship of the range, the T6080, has become the weapon of choice for those seeking a mid-size tractor capable of big-boys’ tasks.
That’s what Marlborough, Wiltshire, farmer James Alan, whose T6080 has done 620 hours,believes. “We’ve had a TM165 for years and I wanted an equivalent when I replacedthe John Deere 6910.”
Having previously been Deere operators, Mr Alan was pleased with the TM165, which is responsible for the bulk of drilling with an adapted Accord tine and FlexiCoil-type arrangement, and was keen to put the newer model through its paces. “Sat next to the TM, it’s prettier, slighter and more refined. It’s like a man in short trousers,” he says.
Manor Farm consists of 400ha (1000acres) of heavy clay ranging up to green sand. It’s half organic and half conventional with a mixture of grassland and arable.
“The 6080does all the spraying with a 2500-litre Hardi Sprayer and a large proportion of the main cultivations tasks, which makes use of the active suspension,” he explains.
The farm had 540-65/28s put on the front and 650-65/38s on the back. “Our land is prone to compaction, which makes the size and weight a bonus.”
Primary cultivations are predominantly plough-based with a five-furrow reversible Dowdeswell, but a Sumo Trio (bought last year and fairly redundant until the spring) is used for secondary cultivations and for oilseed rape ground preparation. “Considering it has less standard horsepower, it’s surprising it pulls the Sumo a gear higher than the TM165.”
The headland management system is straightforward to set, he adds. “All you need to do is flick the rocker on the right-hand console to the Record position. Before reaching the headland, engage the turnaround symbol on the gear lever to start recording, complete the sequence and flick the switch again. Simple.”
With the 40kph eco transmission (there’s a 50kph option as well), users can chose a 19F x 6R semi-powershift or full powershift. Mr Alan opted for the full, which he finds smooth but reasonably noisy on the road. The power boost kicks in when the tractor makes its change up to 19th gear, at which point power is transferred directly from the flywheel along the PTO shaft, boosting hpto 178hp.
Thanks to the four-pillar design, the 6080 loses the opening side windows, but gains a roof hatch. “I would have preferred windows but you can’t have everything.”
This British-engineeredtractor gains a few additional specs over its predecessor, too. It’s quieter (thanks to a new cab layout), has a smaller, common-rail 6.75-litre engine (the old one was a 7.5-litre, mechanically driven), and gains 300hours on the previous service interval – resulting in intervals of 600 hours.
“The T6080 is light, punchy and ideal for a mixed farm, capable of doing anything from tining to subsoiling,” concludes Mr Alan.