Know How / Tractors

At the heart of every livestock farm and arable farming enterprise, our extensive coverage of agricultural tractors includes new models, ranges and technologies from leading manufacturers, user reports and group test comparisons to help you choose the best power unit for your farming business.

Latest tractor articles

MARKETS AND TRENDS

Coronavirus: New Holland tractor production resumes

New Holland tractors have begun to roll off the production line at Basildon again as the plant re-opened after a five-week closure to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Parent company…

TRACTORS

Video: John Deere four-track 8RX – an alternative to wheels?

Since its launch at Germany’s Agritechnica show in November, the web has been awash with pictures and videos of John Deere’s shiny new 8RX tracked tractor range. The hype has…

TRACTORS

Ultimate guide to buying a tractor 2020

Major updates for the Case-IH Magnum, Fendt 900 Vario, John Deere 6 and 8 families, and New Holland T5 and T8 lines are among the changes for this year’s Ultimate…

TRACTORS

Taking your tractor test – all you need to know

The Driving Standards Agency (DSA) tractor test gives budding farmers the chance to drive machines on the road at the age of 16, but it shouldn't be taken lightly. The…

TRACTORS

Kubota unveils beefed-up M6002 tractor range

Kubota has beefed-up its 120-140hp tractor line-up with a three-model M6002 range that offers more lifting power and a smarter cab. The M6122, the M6132 and the M6142 deliver outputs…

TRACTORS

Machinery Milestones: Steam-powered tractors

Britain once led the world in developing agricultural steam power, with stationary engines arriving on farms in the 1790s, followed later by portable and traction engines as well as cable-operated…

Tractor reviews and tests

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MACHINERY

First Drive – Massey Ferguson 7618

You can make the 7618 as complicated (or not) as you like. We’d probably opt for the changeable ratios of the Dyna-6 box.   Modern powershifts are clever enough so…

TRACTORS

Contractor rates his 500hp artic-steer John Deere 9620

American farmers have a deep affection for the meaty roar and unrestrained pulling power of a 20t articulated tractor, but the prairie monsters have never quite made themselves at home…

MACHINERY

How to pick a good used 150hp tractor

Tractors around the 150hp mark are now some of the most sought after second-hand buys and finding a good one is no easy task. Nick Fone takes a look at…

MACHINERY

McCormick's first CVT tractor on test

McCormick has launched its first ever CVT (continuously variable transmission) tractor, which it hopes will mark the beginning of a new era for the brand. The company has forged its…

MACHINERY

Video: Furse four tractor test: Fendt 718 Vario

The Fendt 718 is expensive, but it's a top-quality contractor's tractor, has excellent fuel consumption and has been the most reliable machine on test. The cab is a bit on…

MACHINERY

On test: 9-series takes Deutz tractors over 300hp

Deutz-Fahr is a tractor builder on a mission. It has followed up the launch of its 6- and 7-series CVTs with another tractor range that pushes the company’s boundaries well…

401+HP

Video: Fendt's 943 MT twin-track crawler on test

Agco has breathed new life into its flailing twin-track fleet with a major rebranding and upgrading exercise for the long-in-the-tooth Challenger tractors. And the firm’s prairie monster range needed some…

MACHINERY

Claas Arion 550 on test

Power Farming Verdict: 4/5 Claas’ Arion turned out to be a pretty good all-rounder. The cab was comfortable and well thought out, and the gearbox performed well in tests. We…

TRACTORS

On test: John Deere's quick-fit EZ Ballast weight system

Adding ballast to a cultivation tractor is a time-honoured method of delivering maximum grip and making the most of the ponies it has to offer. Traditionally this has come in…

TRACTORS

On test: John Deere 6120R AutoPowr

Deere’s 6R-series has been around for a few years now, but regular updates have kept the tractors fresh along the way. This latest version comes with a screen and control…

MACHINERY

Video: JCB 8310 – a good all-rounder?

With the new engine and semi-mid-mounted cab, the 8310 is a good all-rounder. It may not be a completely jump-on-and-go machine, but you’ll only have to be shown once. Summary…

MACHINERY

Video: Valtra T234 tractor on test with a Sumo Trio cultivator

Valtra has always been the quirky alternative in the Agco tractor line-up. While Challenger takes care of the tracklayer market, Fendt does the premium end of things and Massey appeals…

Tractor guides

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MACHINERY

Video: Head-to-head: Zetor Major v Farmtrac 685

  The Zetor Major has returned to the UK after a six-year sabbatical. Nick Fone and Oliver Mark pit the seasoned Czech stalwart against a new name from the Eastern…

TRACTORS

The inspection service helping buyers spot dodgy tractors

Most farmers would back themselves to spot a dodgy tractor a mile off, but a burgeoning agricultural business is offering an impartial inspection service that goes a bit further than…

TECHNOLOGY

Video: Auto-tractor to revolutionise Canadian field work

The lead in the race for a driver-free, super-efficient arable farming utopia has been taken up by SeedMaster – a little known name in the world of autonomous agriculture but…

Driver's view: New Holland TS135A

If you’re looking to bag yourself a second-hand bargain, the New Holland TS135A might not seem the most obvious choice. Yet this compact high-specification tractor has plenty to offer farmers…

TRACTORS

Machinery Milestones: How safety and comfort reformed tractors

Driver safety and comfort are among the top essentials for today’s tractors, but they remained near the bottom of the priority list during the first 100 years or so of…

TRACTORS

Buying a tractor? How to make sense of engine statistics

Hands up who knows the difference between a tractor’s rated and maximum power? Or what the perfect torque curve should look like? How about torque rise? Or six-point fuel tests?…

MACHINERY

Second-hand loader tractor buyer's guide

Finding a good second-hand loader tractor can be a tricky task. But with some expert advice, Nick Fone sniffs out some sound performers. Finding a good 'un Case IH John…

MACHINERY

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…

Buying the right tractor: part 2 - transmission

In part 1 of this feature we tackled the basics of tractor selection before evaluating power choice and the costs and benefits of ‘power boost’ options. In this section, we…

TRACTORS

Buying the right tractor: part 1 - power

Buying a new tractor is potentially one of the most complex decisions a farmer makes; there are so many models, sizes and features – let alone prices – to consider.…

Tractor tyres v tracks: which is best?

Low ground pressure, unbeatable traction and greater productivity potential. That sums up the attraction of high horsepower tracked tractors to arable farmers who run them for cultivation and drilling in…

Big power outputs lift 4wd performance

A neat hydraulic suspension installation for the front axle is designed to help avoid “power hop” with the most powerful three tractors in John Deere’s latest big four-wheel drive range.…

Tractor technology

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TECHNOLOGY

Video: Auto-tractor to revolutionise Canadian field work

The lead in the race for a driver-free, super-efficient arable farming utopia has been taken up by SeedMaster – a little known name in the world of autonomous agriculture but…

TRACTORS

Yanmar launches small autonomous tractors

Japanese maker Yanmar has finished the development of its fully autonomous tractor, working together with Hokkaido University. The so-called Robot Tractor is available now and can work alone or as…

TRACTORS

Agritechnica 2019: Steyr shows zero emissions hybrid tractor

Steyr is no stranger to out-of-the-ordinary tractor launches, and the Austrian firm maintained its reputation with a wacky diesel-electric hybrid concept unveiled at the show. Having made headlines a decade…

Road legal

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Older tractors have more accidents, says Cema

Most serious tractor accidents on public roads across Europe involve older tractors, says European ag-machinery organisation Cema. See also: Do's and don'ts of driving a tractor on the road The…

Tractor insights and practical advice

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TRACTORS

The inspection service helping buyers spot dodgy tractors

Most farmers would back themselves to spot a dodgy tractor a mile off, but a burgeoning agricultural business is offering an impartial inspection service that goes a bit further than…

TRACTORS

Farm machinery giants: The Fendt success story

Village blacksmiths started many of the big-name companies in the farm machinery industry, but the family who founded Fendt buck that trend. Sylvester Fendt began his clock-making business in the…

TECHNOLOGY

Video: Auto-tractor to revolutionise Canadian field work

The lead in the race for a driver-free, super-efficient arable farming utopia has been taken up by SeedMaster – a little known name in the world of autonomous agriculture but…

101-200HP

Top tips for getting the best from a John Deere 6930 Premium

In the second-hand, mid-horsepower tractor market, John Deere’s 6930 Premium is arguably one of the most sought after. Built in Mannheim between 2007 and 2012, this lightweight, powerful tractor offers…

TRACTORS

Machinery Milestones: How safety and comfort reformed tractors

Driver safety and comfort are among the top essentials for today’s tractors, but they remained near the bottom of the priority list during the first 100 years or so of…

MACHINERY

Should you invest in a headland turning system?

They save time, increase productivity and reduce driver fatigue, so should you invest in a headland turning system? Why invest? John Deere Claas Case study: William Strawson Headland turning systems…

401+HP

New Holland slots a CVT box in T9 tractors

In a 500+hp market only worth about 40 units/year, New Holland has upped its game to grab a few more sales by building the world’s largest wheeled CVT driven tractor,…

TRACTORS

Buying a tractor? How to make sense of engine statistics

Hands up who knows the difference between a tractor’s rated and maximum power? Or what the perfect torque curve should look like? How about torque rise? Or six-point fuel tests?…

TRACTORS

Is a future of methane-powered tractors viable?

If you remember New Holland’s first attempt at a methane tractor back in 2013, you’ll probably recall being hugely sceptical and quite underwhelmed by what was a T6 tractor with…

MACHINERY

In-cab tyre inflation cuts costs and compaction

If there is one thing that we can all be sure of in 2016, it is that soil compaction will be an increasing worry for farmers. However, machines continue to…

MACHINERY

Solving your starter motor woes

Introduction Step-by-step Voltage drop testing Voltage drop – what’s it about? The opening part of this series laid out how the starter motor works, set the thing in the context of…

MACHINERY

Video: Deere demos driverless tractor technology

  John Deere showed off some of its latest precision farming tech during a press trip last week to the American Midwest. James Andrews reports. Watch the video and read…

Video

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TRACTORS

Video: Massey Ferguson 7718S Dyna 6 tractor on test

Massey Ferguson’s six-cylinder tractor line-up is now a little long in the tooth. On the one hand, that means the Agco Power engine and Dyna 6 transmission are both solid…

MACHINERY

Video: Head-to-head: Zetor Major v Farmtrac 685

  The Zetor Major has returned to the UK after a six-year sabbatical. Nick Fone and Oliver Mark pit the seasoned Czech stalwart against a new name from the Eastern…

TECHNOLOGY

Video: Auto-tractor to revolutionise Canadian field work

The lead in the race for a driver-free, super-efficient arable farming utopia has been taken up by SeedMaster – a little known name in the world of autonomous agriculture but…

TRACTORS

Video: On test - John Deere 6250R v 7250R

The 250hp tractor market is bulging at the seams, so picking the model that provides the best balance of power, chassis size, transmission and fuel consumption requires careful consideration. In…