Ultimate guide to buying a tractor 2024

Fans of big tractors laying down lots of power are well catered for in Farmers Weekly‘s latest Ultimate Guide, with all-new models not only breaching the 600hp threshold but also leaping ahead to more than 900hp.

There are also additions and refinements among the higher volume everyday machines designed for farmers seeking greater efficiency, operating ease, digital tools and comfort.

Download the full 2024 tractor listings

Ultimate Guide to Tractors 2024 (PDF)

Case IH

Case IH Vestrum 130 PowerDrive

© Case IH

The departure of the Luxxum ActiveDrive 4 has been compensated by taking the Vestrum CVXDrive and substituting its stepless transmission with the ActiveDrive 8 semi-powershift.

This has created a four-model range covering 110-140hp outputs powered by four-cylinder FPT 4.5-litre engines, with a CNH drive system that gives drivers eight continuous powershift steps in each of three ranges for a 24×24 configuration.

In all other respects, including hydraulics and lift linkage specs, the Vestrum ActiveDrive 8 tractors match their CVXDrive cousins for about £5,000 less, in terms of list price.

Elsewhere, the Puma range has had a shake-up, with all long wheelbase models – Puma 185 to 260 – being upgraded to AFS Connect spec with a new digital electronics infrastructure enhancing the connectivity capabilities.

This change goes hand-in-hand with the installation of a familiar-looking but 8% larger cab with more head and leg room, 11% more glass area and a significantly quieter internal noise level.

A rare optional feature on Puma CVX tractors (as well as Maxxum CVXDrive and Optum CVXDrive models) is the “advanced trailer braking” system, which automatically applies the brakes on trailed machines in potentially unstable conditions.

The aim is to prevent a trailer, tanker or spreader “pushing” the tractor as it decelerates on a grass slope, down a hill or on a wet road using the transmission only, without applying the tractor brakes.

Case IH’s Optum range has shuffled up the power steps again with the 340hp Puma 340 becoming the new flagship. The 273hp 250 model has been dropped now that the Puma line-up goes to 280/302hp.

The US-built Steiger 4WD and Quadtrac tracked machines also move up the power range, not least with the Quadtrac 715 and its 778hp from a 15.9-litre FPT Cursor diesel, which is coupled to the PowerDrive 16-speed powershift.

Refinements to the track design, a refreshed cab structure, new lighting and distinctive new hood styling come with the newbie.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Quadtrac AFS Connect range has some power adjustments now peaking at 699hp with PowerDrive 16-speed full powershift.

And the Steiger 4WD models available in Britain are trimmed from three to a pair of 522hp and 578hp machines with the powershift or CVXDrive stepless transmissions.

All benefit from FPT 13-litre Cursor engines featuring a new fuel injection system designed to improve responsiveness to power demand, and refinements to the cooling and ventilation.

Case IH Quadtrac AFS Connect 645

© Case IH

Case IH Puma 220 AFS Connect CVXDrive

Long wheelbase Case IH Puma 220 CVXDrive © Case IH


Claas Axos 240

© Claas

After a period when some sections of the range were limited to just a handful of models, the Claas tractor line-up is back to full strength.

Two models of the Axos 200 tractor kick-off the line-up, these 92hp and 103hp machines being sourced from Carraro, while the Arion 400 with four-speed powershift Quadrishift spans 90-145/155hp once more.

The Arion 500 goes from 125-165hp with Hexashift six-speed powershift and CMatic stepless drive again, while the Arion 600 does likewise from 145-185/205hp.

Absent models also return to the Axion 800 and 900 lines but the headline grabber is the Xerion 12 series, in the UK running exclusively with four track assemblies on the rigid chassis.

Currently, there are two models with 585hp and 653hp outputs generated by a 15.6-litre MTU Mercedes-Benz engine driving through a ZF stepless transmission.

Claas Xerion 12-650

© Claas


A revised 5D line-up sees a 75hp model join the existing 95hp and 106hp machines, while the slightly larger 5 Series Keyline expands Deutz-Fahr’s utility tractor offering with power outputs of 75-106hp and a lesser-spec alternative to the existing 95-126hp versions.

Meanwhile, the 6 Series TTV line-up has been revised with, as before, a mix of four- and six-cylinder models of the same power output so that buyers can choose between nimbleness and stability with heavy implements.

The 6160.4 with 161/171hp and the 6170.4 with a straight 171hp can be had in longer wheelbase six-pot form, and the six-cylinder only 6180 joins the range with 181/192hp from its 6-litre Deutz TCD engine, slotting in beneath the existing 192hp, 216hp and 230hp machines.

Updates include an additional tonne of payload capacity (13.5t), a mix of mechanical and electric spool valves as an alternative to all one type, and further developed software for the optional 12in iMonitor terminal.

Farms with big tipping trailers will appreciate the much larger draw-out capacity of the hydraulics system; oil is now held in a large tank on the right-hand side of the tractor now that the previous twin fuel tanks have been combined into a single 350-litre moulding.

Deutz-Fahr 6180 TTV

There are upgrades for several Deutz-Fahr 6 TTV models © Deutz-Fahr


As the long-running Fendt 800 Vario series departs the Farmers Weekly tractor guide – the 700 Vario Gen7 from 203-303hp now covers their role – the 600 Vario line-up makes its first appearance.

Comprising four models from 149hp to 209hp, these tractors are new from the ground up, adopting the VarioDrive transmission pioneered on bigger models with power and torque delivered and managed separately to the front and rear axles.

They also feature the first application for Agco’s Core50 four-cylinder engine – a 5-litre design with fewer parts and greater fuel efficiency than its predecessors.

Each of the four models has up to 15hp more output available to compensate when functions such as the air conditioning and cooling fan are operating, in addition to more common triggers such as transport, hydraulics and both stationary and mobile pto applications.

Fendt 600 Vario

Fendt 600 Vario sports separate drive to front and rear axles © Fendt

John Deere

The latest revamp for the John Deere 5M tractors lifts the spec further with the addition of the PowrQuad Plus and new Powr8 transmissions as an alternative to the PowrReverser unit.

While the latter is a simple 16×16 design to which a HiLo two-speed powershift option can be added, the PowrQuad offers a 16×16 configuration with four-speed powershift and the Powr8 a 32×16 set-up with eight powershift steps.

Both units can be had with creep gears, run at reduced revs when a chosen cruising speed has been reached on the road, and bring increased rear lift capacity to handle larger implements.

Following the initial introduction of Deere’s unique electric stepless transmission – eAutoPowr EVT – for the 443/458hp 8R 410 and its twin- and quad-track derivatives, the drive system is also now available in the 407/420hp 8R 370 and equivalent 8RT and 8RX machines.

At the top end of the range, meanwhile, the new 9RX four-track tractors with e21 PowerShift transmission sets a new power peak with up to 913hp available with the 9RX 830.

That is when the power management system on the 18-litre Deere JD18X engine is triggered by high oil demand from a hydraulics system with up to three pumps capable of delivering 636-litre/min output.

Regular draft work output is 83hp less, at 830hp, while the other two models put 710/781hp and 770/847hp at the driver’s disposal.

These XXL machines run on a 4.62m wheelbase – 495mm longer than current 9RX models – and weigh in at 33.5t before any ballast or additional equipment.

Yet on the extended track frames with three rather than two idlers and 762mm Camso traction belts they still squeeze within 3m overall width.

John Deere 9RX 830 with 2730 Combination Ripper

Deere 9RX 830 comfortably tops the power league with up to 913hp © John Deere

John Deere 5130M

5M Series tractors have new transmission options © John Deere


Stepping into new territory with more powerful tractors, the Kioti HX 02 series comprises two models with 3.8-litre Daedong engines of 130hp and 140hp.

These are coupled to a 32×32-speed creep transmission with eight continuously shifted steps, while the 74-litre/min, 4.4t lift hydraulics match the performance of the existing 101/111hp and 117/127hp models.


A three-speed powershift version of the latest Argo Tractors transmission contrasts with earlier designs in being active in reverse as well as forwards.

That means the Landini 5 Series 95-114hp tractors can have this more versatile setup with a 36×12 configuration, with or without creep ratios, and auto powershift with field and road modes.


With Severn Farm Machinery now importing, a couple of Lovol tractors built in China make it into this year’s Ultimate Guide, namely the 50hp M504C and 75hp M75C, both equipped with a 12×12 transmission.

Lovol M504 50hp 4wd cab

Lovol M504 is smallest of the Chinese tractors listed for the first time © Lovol

Massey Ferguson

The new flagship 9 S Dyna-VT tractor makes its debut in the guide as a replacement for the 8700 S line-up.

Fresh styling and the large square-cut cab first seen on the 205/225hp to 305hp 8 S tractors is shared with the six newcomers, which also have an 18cm gap between the engine enclosure and cab to minimise noise and vibration.

Inevitably, they also take a step up the power scale with outputs starting at 285/315hp for the 9S.285 and peaking at a straight 425hp for the 9S.425 flagship.

A revamped version of the 8.4-litre Agco Power engine has no exhaust gas recirculation and a single turbo for greater simplicity.

Digital features have also been upgraded, with guidance and wireless Cloud connection installed as standard, and headland turn guidance and control operation, isobus Tractor Implement Management, and central tyre inflation management introduced as new options.

The hydraulics package has been uprated with up to 340-litre/min (or 400-litre/min at 1,850rpm) output, and maximum operating weight is up by half a tonne at 18.5t.


Massey Ferguson’s flagship 8 S line has latest MF cab and style © Massey Ferguson


McCormick X5 120 power harrow

More refined P3-Drive transmission is a McCormick X5 Series option © McCormick

A newcomer for the McCormick stable, the X5 with new P3-Drive transmission option, provides a more modern alternative to the marque’s long-standing semi-powershift units with two or three speed steps, the latter available in forwards only.

In contrast, the P3-Drive unit not only has three powershift steps in either direction for a 36×12 configuration but also an auto function with field and road modes for hand- and foot-free shifting.

Three power outputs are available – 95hp, 102hp and 114hp – with a choice of 62-litre or 82-litre/min gear pump hydraulics supplemented by a 32-litre/min unit dedicated to steering, ancillary clutches and the like, with a choice of all-manual or a mix of manual and electric spool valves.

New Holland

Just one change to the New Holland listing as the marque celebrates 60 years of Basildon factory production – the 340hp T7.340 joining the T7 HD line-up.

Like its 288hp and 313hp siblings, the newcomer gets its power and torque from the familiar FPT NEF 6.7-litre engine and which is channelled through CNH’s Auto Command stepless transmission.


A 75hp addition to the 95hp and 106hp Same Dorado line and a lower-spec, lower priced Explorer are the changes here.

The Explorer Natural has the same power outputs but in a more substantial package with almost a tonne more lift linkage capacity at the back but no front linkage or pto option – that is reserved for the higher-spec Explorer.


Flexible hydraulics package is a feature of Valtra’s latest ‘S’ tractor © Valtra

With its latest-generation S Series flagship tractor, Valtra has taken the opportunity to not only upgrade its power, hydraulics and digital features but also to build the tractor in Finland instead of France and install its own cab.

The latter brings the Skyview full width roof window option and new suspension choices, and there is a complete LED lighting array, which can be set-up individually or in groups and also controlled using a remote key fob or smart phone app.

A simpler Agco Power 8.4-litre engine (there is no EGR and only one turbo now) pumps typically 5% more power and 9% more torque at lower revs than before, all channelled through a two-range (field and road) stepless transmission also from the Agco stable.

Buyers get a choice of a 200-litre/min Eco hydraulics package with full flow achieved at 1,600 engine rpm or a twin pump set-up, each delivering up to 200-litre/min with separate circuits – one including a high-flow 170-litre/min circuit with larger bore pipes, and the other including a power beyond connection.

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