Know How / Tractors

Picking the right tractor is vital if work is to be done in a timely and efficient fashion, whether it’s used for feeding livestock, cultivating or hauling grain.

We provide an annual spec and price update of the entire UK tractor market, as well as regular tests, farmer reviews and tips and guidance on how to get the best from your machine, including buying the best new or used tractor for your farm.

Latest tractor articles

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…

TECHNOLOGY

McCormick fits Topcon hardware in the factory

Tractor brand McCormick and precision specialist Topcon have struck an agreement to make fitting satellite guidance systems to the red tractors a simple task.   See also: 6 budget GPS…

MARKETS AND TRENDS

Fourth month of double-digit increases in tractor sales

Farmers have shrugged off rising tractor prices driven by a weak currency and higher regulatory standards to purchase hundreds more tractors in 2018 than last year. Figures published by the…

TRACTORS

JCB building monster new cab factory

British manufacturing company JCB is investing more than £50 million in a new factory that will produce about 100,000 cabs a year for its machines.   See also: JCB 413S…

BUSINESS

Cash to be made from unwanted machinery in second-hand market

Farmers are being urged to bring more second-hand farm kit to market to take advantage of increased demand from British and overseas buyers with more money to spend. The value…

TRACTORS

Machinery Milestones: Load-carrying tractors

When tractors first arrived in the early 1890s they were used mainly for stationary work, with a belt drive powering equipment such as threshing machines, and the next step was…

Tractor reviews and tests

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MACHINERY

4 tractors, 3 years: How they performed

The test Landini 135 Case Puma 210 John Deere 6930 Fendt 718 Verdict Two years ago a Devon contracting outfit embarked on an epic tractor test to see which brand…

MACHINERY

Mid-range tractor test: NH T7.270

Power Farming Verdict: 3.9/5 The T7 finished second overall and its engine and transmission performed well at the DLG tests. The only minor disappointments were the cab and monitor. Cab…

MACHINERY

Mid-range tractor test: John Deere 6210R

Power Farming Verdict: 3.8/5 The John Deere was the only tractor on test not to use AdBlue, but it still performed well in the DLG tests. We tested a pre-production…

MACHINERY

On test: Claas Arion 650 Cmatic

When Claas pulled the wraps off its Arion back in 2012, it was the culmination of a Grand Designs-style rebuild of the brand’s mid-rangers. The five-pillar cab came from the…

MACHINERY

First impressions of Valtra’s redesigned T-series tractors

Valtra’s six-cylinder, T-series tractors have been crying out for a refresh for years... and at last they’ve got it. James Andrews travelled to Germany to see if it’s been worth…

MACHINERY

Top-end tractor test: John Deere 8360R

Power Farming Verdict: 3.9/5 In terms of economy, test results didn’t quite match those of the JD 8335R. But they certainly weren’t bad, particularly as there wasn’t a drop of…

MACHINERY

Drivers view: JCB Fastrac 3185

Driver's verdict I would certainly consider buying another Fastrac. Arguably, they are not the best cultivation tractors, but ours have worked extremely well. You get a lot of tractor for…

MACHINERY

New Holland T5.95 on test

New Holland T5.95 Price: £59,041 RANKING: 4th   Cab New Holland’s six-pillar cab is trimmed with light-blue interior panels that have a habit of picking up dirt and end up…

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…

MACHINERY

World's most powerful four-cylinder tractors on test

The appeal of a small frame and strong engine has seen most of the major tractor makers falling over to build the biggest four-cylinder tractor on the market. Oliver Mark…

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…

MACHINERY

Top-end tractor test: Case IH Magnum 340

Power Farming Verdict: 3.6/5 The Fiat engine performed well, especially under full load, and is in its element on heavy draft work. The engine-transmission automation system and mechanically efficient gearbox…

Tractor guides

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A buyer's guide to choosing a nearly-new tractor

Two years ago, the euro was trading against the pound at €1.15:£1, making for a healthy UK export trade. In just 24 months the picture has shifted drastically and today…

MACHINERY

Tips for buying a 350hp Cat Challenger C-series on a budget

Shopping for a 350hp tractor with less than £30,000 in your back pocket brings up precious few options in the UK. But if you keep your eyes peeled you might…

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.…

MACHINERY

On test: Claas Arion 650 Cmatic

When Claas pulled the wraps off its Arion back in 2012, it was the culmination of a Grand Designs-style rebuild of the brand’s mid-rangers. The five-pillar cab came from the…

TRACTORS

Buying a 150hp tractor? We look at 12 options

For sheer choice and variety, the 150hp bracket marks the tractor sector’s sweet spot, with most makers offering four- and six-cylinder alternatives and a multitude of transmission types and spec…

MACHINERY

What to look for when buying a used tractor

Intro 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Purchasing a used tractor can be a pitfall-laden process for even the most seasoned buyer, with a wide range…

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…

Buying the right tractor: part 2 - transmission

Intro What are the options? Speed Auto Shift CVT In part 1 of this feature we tackled the basics of tractor selection before evaluating power choice and the costs and…

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…

TRACTORS

Video: On test - Case IH 300hp Optum CVX

There is a growing demand from shoppers in the 300hp market for machines more versatile than the traditional tillage-grade tractor.  In response, the major manufacturers have been scrambling to fill…

TRACTORS

Video: On test - New Holland T5.120 v Fendt 312

This month’s tractor test sees the New Holland T5.120 go head-to-head with Fendt’s 312. You can find how they performed with a pair of four-furrow Ovlac ploughs by watching the…

Tractor technology

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TRACTORS

Electric tractors ‘on UK farms as early as 2020’

Electric tractors may be coming to UK farms at least 10 years sooner than anticipated, according to the NFU. A NFU paper, Electric tractors by 2020? – a review of…

Knott self-adjusting brake claims to give easier servicing

Burton-on-Trent brake manufacturer Knott-Avonride has launched what it claims is the first automatically adjusting system for auto-reverse brakes for livestock trailers. Its universal brake system differs from other systems on the market…

MACHINERY

On test: McConnel's Robopower remote control tractor

Farm machinery boffs are adamant that tractors are going to change, but exactly what they might morph into is still a bit of a mystery. Several manufacturers have already had…

Road legal

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MACHINERY

Rules reminder: Stay road legal this harvest

Whether it's harvesting grass, cereals or vegetables, extra numbers of wide machines will be heading up and down Britain’s roads. But in all the rush to get ready, don’t forget…

Tractor insights and practical advice

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How to get the best price for your old tractor

Preparing to sell a used tractor should begin pretty much as soon as the machine is bought. After all, it is not just buyers of cars, vans and other vehicles…

A buyer's guide to choosing a nearly-new tractor

Two years ago, the euro was trading against the pound at €1.15:£1, making for a healthy UK export trade. In just 24 months the picture has shifted drastically and today…

How to avoid buying a dodgy used crawler tractor

Tracked tractors are widely recognised as being the best means of putting serious horsepower to the ground. They’re expensive to buy new, yet here in the UK we still lap…

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

Tips for buying a 350hp Cat Challenger C-series on a budget

Shopping for a 350hp tractor with less than £30,000 in your back pocket brings up precious few options in the UK. But if you keep your eyes peeled you might…

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.…

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 150hp tractor? We look at 12 options

For sheer choice and variety, the 150hp bracket marks the tractor sector’s sweet spot, with most makers offering four- and six-cylinder alternatives and a multitude of transmission types and spec…

MACHINERY

What to look for when buying a used tractor

Intro 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Purchasing a used tractor can be a pitfall-laden process for even the most seasoned buyer, with a wide range…

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…

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…

MACHINERY

Tractor driving - the law for 16-year-olds

Suffolk PC Mark Bryant has reminded farmers to check which machinery items their 16-year-old workers can legally drive on the road. Holders of the category-F qualification (for agricultural tractors) are…

Video

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Pimp my tractor - bling Valtra T-series breaks cover - pictures ...

Tractor drivers who fancy showing off to their boy-racer mates will bee keen to get their hands on the latest offering from  Valtra. The Finnish tractor maker has added a bit of…

NOW IN VIDEO: New Holland's fuel cell tractor

New Holland's NH2 fuel cell tractor - the first hydrogen-powered tractor to be shown by any tractor maker - finally broke cover in Turin, Italy last Friday. Based on a…

MACHINERY

Tillage Live: Fendt 700 at work

[fwi_vidyard code="3K1udI5uCpk5mpxhq_i-2A"] Tillage Live provided the first working demo of Fendt’s newest offering – the 700-series. With its distinctive curved front screen, the new range runs from 200hp to 240hp…

VIDEO: 'Your tyres could save you a lot of fuel'

Savings in fuel use of between five and 30% can be achieved by simply selecting the right tractor tyre pressure or appropriate tyre size, according to recent on-farm trials by…