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

Tractor sales moving towards recovery after Covid-19 impact

UK tractor sales in June were down 15% on the same time in 2019, according to the latest figures from the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA). A total of 932 tractors…

101-200HP

Autopowr gearbox added to JD's 6M options

John Deere’s popular four-cylinder 6M models are now available with an Autopowr stepless gearbox. However, the company says it won’t be offering the cheaper Directdrive transmission on these models as…

101-200HP

Video: John Deere 6120M Command Quad tractor on test

Last year’s unveiling of a heavily reworked 6M tractor range may have been lost in the razzmatazz of John Deere’s high-end tractor and combine launches, but these simple(ish) models could…

TRACTORS

Machinery Milestones: The £328,000 Ivel

When one of the world’s oldest tractors was put up for sale at a Cheffins auction last October, a Lincolnshire farmer ended up parting with a cool £328,600 to buy…

TRACTORS

Machinery Milestones: The world's first tractors

The history of the tractor began in the late 1880s, when petrol engines provided an alternative to steam, which had driven the power farming revolution for almost 100 years. Britain…

MARKETS AND TRENDS

Coronavirus: Tractor sales in April lowest for two decades

New tractor registrations were 50% lower in April 2020 than during the year before, according to latest figures from the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA). A total of 862 tractors over…

Tractor reviews and tests

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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

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…

Test: John Deere automatic loader

John Deere has launched a new automatic tractor loader that promises to take the headache out of tedious handling duties. Return to position How it works Verdict Gallery John Deere…

MACHINERY

Driven: New Holland T4 and T5

What's new? Engine & gears Cab Loader T5 pics The T4 Verdict Prices With more makes and models on the market than you could shake a stick at, choosing which…

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…

MACHINERY

Versatile's Quadtrac challenger on test

Versatile Engine Transmission In the field Cab Maintenance Versatile has had a chequered history. The past 20-or-so years have proved turbulent, with paintwork changing colour with chameleon-like frequency and ownership…

MACHINERY

Fendt 516 Vario on test

Power Farming Verdict: 4.6/5 Fendt tractors always seem to perform well in our in-depth tests and the 516 was no exception. It topped the scorecard for technical ability and driver…

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…

TRACTORS

Driver’s view: 1997 Case-IH Magnum 7230

After a series of pricey breakdowns with newer tractors, Leicestershire contractors Leon and Simon Smith decided to try some older, simpler horsepower. The pair’s mechanical woes came to a head…

TRACTORS

On test: Valtra N134 Versu

Valtra’s recent N-series revamp has at last dragged it into the 21st century. The cab is spacious, the engine and hydraulics are strong, and a tight turning circle makes it…

MACHINERY

Video: Claas Axion 850 test: Old model v new

  The latest Axion 800s look set to ruffle a few feathers with their new cabs, engines and tweaked transmissions. Nick Fone and Oliver Mark pitched the range-topping 850 against…

MACHINERY

Deutz-Fahr 6160.4 TTV on test

Power Farming Verdict: 4/5 Deutz-Fahr has been on a mission to update its higher horsepower tractors. They now have plenty of and radical styling, but the DLG results suggest there's…

Tractor guides

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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…

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…

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…

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

Video: New Holland T7.230 Power Command tractor on test

New Holland’s T7 might lack the glamorous cab offered by the likes of John Deere and Valtra – noise and space being its most obvious shortcomings – but there is…

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.…

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

Ultimate guide to buying a tractor 2019

Manufacturers appear to be preparing to unveil their next round of major updates at the same time as introducing engines to the European Stage 5 emissions regulations that came into…

101-200HP

Video: John Deere 6120M Command Quad tractor on test

Last year’s unveiling of a heavily reworked 6M tractor range may have been lost in the razzmatazz of John Deere’s high-end tractor and combine launches, but these simple(ish) models could…

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.…

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…

MACHINERY

Tractors on the road: Rights, wrongs, rules and regulations

When harvest is in full swing, tractors take to the roads up and down the country. It may seem unfair to farmers and contractors, but the presence of a greater…

Tractor technology

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MACHINERY

Video: Fendt demos driverless tractor

Driverless technology How it works Safety What's next? Several manufacturers are experimenting with driverless tractor technology, but it looks like Fendt will be the first to launch a viable system.…

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…

TECHNOLOGY

Kubota launches wacky driverless concept tractor

In celebration of its 130th birthday, Kubota has unveiled a driverless concept tractor that’s battery powered and uses artificial intelligence to operate autonomously. The four-track X Tractor concept was revealed…

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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MACHINERY

Tractor tuning perks and pitfalls: Is it worth the risk?

Fork out a few hundred quid on a little black tuning box and you could unleash a healthy dollop of extra power and torque from your tractor. Sounds tempting, doesn’t…

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…

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…

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…

MACHINERY

Top tips for buying a used tractor

Avoiding the pitfalls Second-hand buyer's checklist The market for second-hand machinery could barely be more competitive than it is right now. Soaring prices for new kit and a favourable exchange…

ROAD LEGAL

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…

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

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…

TRACTORS

Machinery Milestones: Wood-fuelled tractors

It might sound a bit wacky, but tractors have the potential to be powered by wood – as proven by several farming inventions over the years. The tractor fuel produced…

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 MAINTENANCE

Ultimate guide to tractor tyre management

It is essential to ensure your tractor tyres are in good working order, both for your safety and for your pocket. We look at the causes of premature tyre wear,…

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.…

Video

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MACHINERY

Video: First Drive: Deutz Fahr 7250 TTV

If first impressions are anything to go by then the 7-Series looks like it should be a real contender in an already competitive horsepower segment.The ride is comfortable and the…

101-200HP

Video: John Deere 6120M Command Quad tractor on test

Last year’s unveiling of a heavily reworked 6M tractor range may have been lost in the razzmatazz of John Deere’s high-end tractor and combine launches, but these simple(ish) models could…

VIDEO: Fendt tractor sales rocket

The explosive modernisation of eastern European agriculture has fuelled massive growth in sales for German tractor maker Fendt.    Sales of Fendt tractors have rocketed on the back of the…

MACHINERY

Video: Driven: John Deere 6190R

In avoiding the use of AdBlue exhaust treatment to limit emissions, John Deere has managed to tweak the new engine so that it is torquier and more thrifty than before.…