How to pick a used Case 5150 Maxxum
What are the main factors to consider when buying
a second-hand tractor? Here we take a look at
a Case 5150 Maxxum with David Gregory of Farol
providing the buying tips. Andy Moore reports
WITH three versions built over seven years, the Case Maxxum range now provides a wide selection of used tractors for producers in the market for buying a second-hand machine.
Heading a four-model range from 90hp to 135hp, the 5150 is considered to have been Cases most popular selling Maxxum model – at home equally on small hill farms to larger arable units.
"The first Maxxums were deemed to be a major step forward in technology when they replaced the 956 and 1056 models in 1990," says David Gregory of Case dealer, Farol, based near Thame, Oxon. "The tractors four-speed powershift and powershuttle transmission was considered to be ahead of its time in terms of operation and performance."
Also offering a futuristic development, says Mr Gregory, was the tractors Pressure Flow Compensat-ing (PFC) hydraulic system which was and still is popular amongst vegetable and cereal growers.
But despite this advanced technology, early models still needed some improvement, says Mr Gregory. "Maxxums built between 1990 and 1994 had no neutral position on the powershuttle lever. This was a disadvantage in operations such as loader work because the range lever had to be put in neutral, requiring clutch operation."
Case cured this snag when it introduced the Maxxum Plus models in 1994. These models were fitted with a powershuttle lever with neutral position as standard.
Three years later in 1997, Case gave the entire Maxxum range a facelift with the introduction of the Pro models, a series which formed the foundations of the current MX range.
The most significant changes on the 5150 Pro model was the increase in engine output – from 125hp to 132hp – together with a larger fuel tank which was increased from 170 litres to 220 litres.
"The 170 litre fuel tank had insufficient capacity for heavy PTO work during an eight hour working day," says Mr Gregory. "The 220 litre tank enables the higher horsepower engine to work over a longer day."
To help harness this power hike, the 5150 was treated to a wider set of rear tyres with the 18.4/38 boots chopped in for 20.8/38 versions.
Revamps across the entire Pro range included raising the cab roof and tilting up the cab filters to improve rear visibility.
Pro models also had powershift control moved from the slide lever to a thumb-operated button on the main range lever.
So, with such a selection of Maxxum models available, which are the best buys when going for a second-hand 5150?
"Those who are looking for a low cost, value for money tractor should consider post Plus models made between 1995 and 1997," advises Mr Gregory. "In addition to having less hours on the clock, tractors of this age are likely to have overcome some of the teething problems associated with earlier models."
Nevertheless, he claims there are still a handful of pre-Plus models available for buyers looking for a cheap and cheerful, bargain basement tractor.
For this second-hand guide, we focus on a 1996 P-reg 5150 Plus – a tractor in above average condition with 2300 hours on the clock and tyres which are 60% good.
In terms of retail price, Mr Gregory says the tractor may command about £17,950 after a basic service, valet and about £150 spent on it in the workshop.
Inevitably, retail prices will fluctuate according to the overall condition of the tractor. So what are the tricks of the trade to help pick a good tractor?
Whether viewing a 5150 at a farm sale, auction or even dealer, always start with the basics – bodywork, oil leaks, cab condition and tyres – followed by a hands-on test drive.
"If the buyer is to part with good money, it is imperative to check the tractors history by contacting the Equifax Hire Purhase Index (HPI) service," says Mr Gregory. "The service is run in conjunction with the DVLA and informs the buyer of any outstanding unpaid finance on the tractor, any number/serial plate transfers, whether it has been written off and number of former owners."
A summary check on tractors can be obtained by calling 01772-422422 or a more in-depth report is available on HPIs website at www.hpi.co.uk. *
CASE 5150 MAXXUMPLUS
Engine 135hp 6-cyl Cummins.
Transmission 16×12 powershift.
Rear lift capacity 4525kg.
Fuel tank 220 litres.
What a 5150 plus is worth
Year Hours Guide price (£)
1994 3000-4000 14-15,000
1995 3000-3500 15-17,000
1996 2000-3000 17-18,500
1997 1500-2500 18-21,000
Above: Pre-Pro models are equipped with a lever operated powershift which was updated to a more convenient thumb switch positioned on the main range lever. Right: Make sure the tractor comes with a neutral position on the powershuttle lever. Early pre-Plus Maxxums did not have this facility.
Any play here? Adjust the steering column into the vertical position and with a firm grip of the steering wheel rattle the column back and forth to check for movement. Excessive play may mean the column needs re-bushing.
With the front axle jacked up and resting on an axle stand rock the front wheels to check the bearings; also turn the axle on full lock and check for any oil leaks around the hubs and U-joints.
Dont forget the basics… Give the tractors brakes a good workout at speed on the road (if possible) and in the yard to check they work in independently; Dont be fooled by lack of scuff marks on the pedals – they are made from hard wearing plastic.