Deutz-Fahr has filled the 280hp hole at the top of its tractor line-up with a sole 8-series model that packs a brand-new CVT transmission and an enviable power-to-weight ratio.
The high-spec 8280 TTV slots between the maker’s 7- and 9-series machines and enters a competitive sector, where it will be up against the likes of Fendt’s popular 828, the New Holland T7.280 HD and John Deere’s 6250R.
The standout difference from its Deutz stablemates is a new stepless gearbox that has been fine-tuned in-house, albeit with bought-in components, which marks a move away from ZF’s ageing S-Matic and Terramatic CVTs (used in the 7s and 9s, respectively).
On the surface, there appears to be little change because the software and controls remain the same as the rest of the Deutz range.
However, under the skin, it offers a more sophisticated combination of hydrostatic and mechanical drives to form a so-called “compound” transmission that apparently offers the best of both worlds – slick hydro acceleration and predominantly mechanical power transfer at higher revs.
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The hardware features a stepped planetary gear with four clutches – two for the pair of forward ranges, one for reverse and one to lock things static – and a brace of hydrostatic units that provide the infinitely variable speeds.
At low engine revs the drive is mainly hydrostatic, offering smooth and quick early acceleration to 40kph in just 7sec.
Though this makes the driveline slightly less efficient than the mechanically biased setup of the old ZF S-Matic, it has significantly improved smoothness, says Deutz.
The second range spins freely at the same speed as the first, so when the tractor automatically closes one clutch and opens the other, there’s no clunking as the sliding couplers engage and the change is apparently imperceptible.
The point at which this shift happens is determined largely by engine speed – typically at around 1,600rpm and 14-24kph.
This means that particularly high engine speeds, such as in heavy draft fieldwork, cause the range change to happen earlier, increasing the proportion of mechanical drive. The mechanical contribution continues to rise as engine revs increase, hitting about 50% at 8kph and 90% at the 60kph top speed.
Where does it fit in?
The 8280 TTV slips in above the two-model 7-series, which includes the 226hp 7230 and 246hp 7250. Both tractors run the same 6.1-litre, six-cylinder Deutz engine.
At the top of the tree sits the heavier 9-series TTV, which also contains two models – the 295hp 9290 and 336hp 9340. These are powered by a 7.8-litre, six-pot engine and offer more rear lift than the new 8280.
Power is provided by the same 6.1-litre, six-cylinder Deutz block as used in the two-model 7-series, tuned to a maximum output of 287hp.
However, to get the required power and meet Stage 5 emissions standards, the company has had to fit a second turbocharger. This system means the engine runs pretty hot, burning off more exhaust nasties and, in doing so, reduces AdBlue consumption to less than 3%.
The change requires more cooling capacity, so while the standard cooling package deals with the engine and air conditioning, the second one regulates the temperature of the extra turbo, as well as the hydraulic and transmission oils.
Other minor changes include an extension to the service intervals – up to 1,000 hours for the engine oil and 1,500 hours for the hydraulics – and a bigger 500-litre fuel tank.
Base spec models without a front linkage and on standard tyres weigh 9.5t, making the tractor almost 1,500kg lighter than the smallest 9-series.
This, says Deutz, should suit haulage, particularly considering it has a maximum gross weight of 16t, even at its 60kph top speed – something that several of the competition can’t match.
The cheapest version comes with a 120-litre/min Bosch hydraulic pump, but most buyers are expected to opt for the 160- or 210-litre/min version. This can feed up to five rear and two front electrically controlled proportional spools.
It will also lift 11,100kg on the linkage (5,450kg at the front), which is more than a tonne improvement on the 7-series.
Deutz chooses to run separate hydraulic and transmission oil circuits, which reduces the likelihood of expensive damage should the brakes break up. It also fits dry disc brakes on the front axle to handle high transport speeds.
Added to that, it has the option of three-stage suspension on the Dana front axle, which offers an anti-dive system to improve stability when braking hard at high speeds. This can be deactivated for heavy draft jobs.
Tyre options extend to 900s and the company offers an aftermarket central tyre inflation system provided by PTG, which can be displayed through the in-cab iMonitor3 touchscreen.
The Maxivision cab, first launched in 2014 and used on the two smaller ranges, remains largely unchanged. Minor tweaks include a quieter air-conditioning system with extra vents and a bigger gap between it and the bonnet to reduce the transfer of heat, vibration and noise.
However, Deutz has added a bit more on the tech front. In particular, the company now offers telematics through its fleet management system, allowing remote viewing of the tractor’s vital stats.
This includes hour counts to plan services, fault codes and alarms – all useful for dealers – and fuel levels, job progress and machine location for farm managers.
The 8in or 12in iMonitor3 touchscreen is Isobus-ready and can be used to run the firm’s guidance system using a new GNSS SR20 receiver. It offers an auto-turn headland function and TIM (tractor implement management), where the implement dictates some elements of tractor performance, such as forward speed.
An XTend setup also means the monitor can be displayed on a tablet or smartphone.
The first 8280 TTV tractors will be arriving in the UK next month. The list price is well over £200,000, but a realistic on-farm price is roughly £159,000.
Deutz-Fahr 8280 TTV specs
- Engine 6.1-litre twin-turbo Deutz six-cylinder
- Rated power 268hp
- Max power 287hp@1,900rpm
- Max torque 1,226Nm@1,500rpm
- Transmission SDF T7780 stepless
- Top speed 60kph@1,830rpm
- Hydraulics 120 litre/min (160- and 210-litre/min options)
- Spools up to two front, five rear
- Rear lift 11,100kg
- Weight 9.5t
- Wheelbase 2,918mm
- Max permissible weight 16,000kg
- On-farm price £159,000