On test: Massey Ferguson 7720 Dyna VT

Massey-Ferguson-7720-DynaVT-exterior-rating

Dig down and MF’s 7720 Dyna VT is a decent tractor. The Finnish-built Sisu engine was one of the best on test and the buttery-smooth CVT transmission is exactly the same as the one fitted in the much more expensive Fendt. But the French-built tractor was let down by its muddled controls and its temperamental Datatronic screen.

Cab

With Valtra at last getting its long-overdue revamp, it falls to Massey to have the most dated cabin in the Agco line-up. But even though the six-pillar frame design has been around since the mid-1990s, it is still a decent place to spend the day.

Vital stats

  • Engine 6.6-litre six-cylinder Agco/Sisu
  • Max power 193hp
  • Transmission Two-range CVT
  • Hydraulics 200 litres/min at two valves
  • Max lift 9.9t
  • Entry-level list price £113,787
  • Price as tested £138,655

Visibility is good all round – despite the chunky B-pillars. The interior finish is of reasonable quality and it was the quietest on test.

We also rate most of MF’s main controls, including the optional joystick and the left-hand shuttle lever that now gets a park switch.

However, things start going south when you try to play around with the settings. Here you’ll find functions confusingly split between the fiddly dash display and the clunky Datatronic box hanging off the right-hand pillar.

Not only is this a pig to navigate, it has more than its fair share of electronic gremlins – at one point we had to get a Massey engineer out to reload the software. It’s a shame, as we really rate the simpler Dyna-6 tractors without Datatronic.

We also think the brake and clutch pedals are too close together.

Massey-Ferguson-7720-DynaVT-interior

Engine

Likes

  • Efficient and smooth transmission
  • Highest hydraulic power
  • Four pto speeds
  • Highest lifting capacity

Gripes

  • Datatronic control screen
  • Confusing set-up menus
  • Hidden linkage lock
  • Pedals too close together

The Massey might have been fitted with Agco’s smaller 6.6-litre Sisu-built engine, but it generally outperformed the bigger one slotted into the Valtra.

Both with and without boost engaged it delivered the highest max power on test and also had a pretty healthy rated power figure of 172hp.

Fuel consumption was also fairly good and it generated some of the best results in the average and specific fuel consumption tests.

However, it did drop a bit below average in the specific consumption test when it was working at its hardest.

The Sisu block also gave the joint-lowest constant power percentage of 31% – 10% lower than the New Holland.

Moving to the cab, there are a number of options for setting up cruise controls in lever and pedal mode as well as linking them to engine revs. However, to get to grips with it all you will need to bury your head in the manual.

Transmission

The Dyna VT is fitted with the same two-range CVT gearbox as the Fendt and, unsurprisingly, it was one of the tractor’s strong points.

As well as being one of the smoothest on test, it was efficient at getting power to the ground and, mechanically at least, every bit as good as the pricier German version.

However, the Massey couldn’t match the Fendt when it came to the bit the driver uses. Where the Fendt has everything clearly labelled and organised in one screen, the Massey has a jumble of menus and confusing controls, some of which carry out different functions, depending which mode you’re in.

In our maximum draft power test the Massey gearbox managed to get 165hp to the wheels, putting it in second place, behind the Valtra.

Massey-Ferguson-7720-DynaVT-controls

Linkage and hydraulics

The Beauvais-built tractor wiped the floor when it came to hydraulic and lifting prowess.

Its maximum oil flow at two spools was 200 litres/min, putting it comfortably at the top of the pile and it also had the joint-highest hydraulic power, tied with the Fendt.

However, the menus in the Datatronic screen for adjusting flow rate, were nowhere near as clear as they were on its German cousin.

The Massey’s hefty rear linkage also topped the lifting test, managing to get more than 9.9t off the ground. However, it had the shortest linkage travel on test, which meant it wouldn’t lift the plough high enough.


UK verdict

If it were not for the Massey’s confusing control layout and slightly flaky electronics, it would have clambered significantly higher up the rankings.

Its version of Agco’s own Sisu engine was a particularly strong performer, pumping out plenty of usable power without burning too much diesel. And the Fendt-derived transmission was buttery smooth, if a little less user-friendly than its German cousin.

Added to that, it had plenty of rear-lifting muscle and a decent hydraulic output.

However, the bits the driver had to interact with let the side down somewhat and the list price was a good bit higher than the Valtra and both of the CNH machines.

So would we buy one? Well, if we were looking for a high-spec tractor, no – we would dig deeper and plump for the Fendt.

But if we wanted a slightly simpler tillage set-up without a screen, we’d be sorely tempted and would probably be willing to put up with a few of its foibles.

We’d also consider the Dyna-6 semi-powershift version, which is cheaper and will give most farmers everything they need.

Download the PDF of tractor specifications

The scores

Build quality stars
Cab/ergonomics 3 stars
Engine Four stars
Gearbox Four-and-a-half stars
Rear linkage Four stars
Hydraulics four stars
Pto Four stars
4wd/diff four stars
Handling stars
Driving comfort four stars

Final score

3.7