Archive Article: 1997/10/31

31 October 1997



Seven tractors in the 200hp bracket are given severe stick

by teams from the UK, Holland and Germany.

Andrew Pearce reports from fields south of Frankfurt

BIG tractors always fascinate their owners, appeal to prospective buyers and send a shiver through shameless machinery freaks. Although 200hp prime movers are a minority sport in the UK at present – between 150 and 200 were sold last year – the upward drift in horsepower suggests that it wont be too long before Something Large looms on more farms. So take a long swig on a cool beer, sit back and see what happens as we pit seven of the best against each other…

&#42 The Contenders

The line-up covers a representative mix of tractors sold in Germany, Holland and the UK. Heres what we had:

Case 7220 Magnum Pro:197hp, 8950kg, £65,700

Claas Challenger 35: 209hp, 11,755kg, £96,250

Deutz Agrotron 200: 193hp, 7530kg, £tba

Fendt Favorit 920 Vario: 197hp, 8370kg, £tba

John Deere 8200: 208hp, 9795kg, £77,624

Massey Ferguson 8160: 200hp, 8055kg, £74,000

New Holland G190: 190hp, 9075kg, £72,680

The Challenger and Deere are top of the claimed power heap and the heaviest of the bunch – the Claas by a big margin. Massey apart, all feature some form of full powershift. And all deliver a good slice of technology. On that score Fendt stirred things up by entering its Vario-gearbox 920 – a model not on sale at the Sept test time.

&#42 What happened

Each tractors vital statistics were probed at the DLGs Gross Umstadt facility, with power, torque, hydraulic outputs and so on checked to OECD standards. Journalists then spent a week driving the tractors. Work was split into four sections:

&#8226 Ploughing with a semi-mounted 7 furrow MF 725. Target depth 220mm (8.6in).

&#8226 Cultivating with a 5m Lemken unit carrying two rows of ducksfoot tines, a row of discs and a crumbler roller. Target depth 100mm (4in).

&#8226 Combination press/ drilling, using a Rabe front press, 4m Amazone power harrow, tyre packer and Amazone seeder. Outfit weight 3940kg empty. Target seeding depth 25mm (1in) for green mulch crop.

&#8226 Roadwork, pulling a tandem axle Schuitemaker self-loading forage wagon ballasted to 16t gross. Loop driven included country lanes, 2.5km hill, main roads and villages. Tyre pressures same as for fieldwork at 1.6bar (23psi) front and rear, no front weight.

&#42 The Testers

DLG staff handled all technical measurements. Practical work fell to writers from farmers weekly, German magazine Top Agrar, Dutch magazine Boerderij, and two independents. At the end of the week all seven put their heads together to draw conclusions and produce the final results (see last page). This table averages team scores over a host of areas.

&#42 Driving the test

Tractor results are given alphabetically. Every page divides into three areas: Written comment, likes and dislikes, and DLG data.

While browsing, its important to bear the following in mind. Written comment is strictly pooled opinion and necessarily focuses on highs and lows. Where an area of a tractor is not mentioned, that area is neither good nor bad.

On the other hand, performance values in the text and data panels come from DLG measurements, unless otherwise stated. Each slider panel lists eight areas:

&#8226 Pto hp at rated speed

&#8226 Maximum pto hp

&#8226 Overpower (%). In an engine where maximum power is delivered below rated speed, this shows the increase in power as rpm are pulled back by load.

&#8226 Specific fuel consumption. For this report averaged from values at maximum power and five part-load points. Differences between tractors are more important than absolute values.

&#8226 Torque rise (%). Increase between torque at rated speed and maximum.

&#8226 Constant power band (%). Shows % engine speed drop before power dips below that at rated speed.

&#8226 Rear linkage lift. Averaged from values with lift arms in OECD lower position, horizontal and at top of travel.

&#8226 Cab noise. Sound pressure at the drivers ear, under load with windows closed, noisiest gear.


Tractors were sourced in Germany. All are sold in the UK under the same model number, but detail specification may vary. Thus results and conclusions apply only to the tractors as tested.

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