Dyna Might Massey Ferguson 7724 tractor
The Massey Ferguson 7724 tractor with a redesigned front-axle suspension and improved Dyna-VT transmission gets put through its paces by our NZ-based tester Jaiden Drought
Admittedly, there are not huge fundamental changes to the Massey 7700 series from the 7600 in terms of the way the tractors look. However, there are some main points worth mentioning.
There’s a redesigned front-axle suspension; dot matrix (main tractor adjustment on the dash) has been made much easier to navigate around; it boasts a Stage IV Final engine; and there are three transmission options – Dyna-4 (7714 only), Dyna-6 (7715/7726) or the Dyna-VT (CVT/7715/7724). Dyna-VT now benefits from the ‘boost’ previously only available in the Dyna-6 models.
On top of this are three spec levels: Essential, Efficient and Exclusive. They will be brought into Australia under the Essential and Efficient specs.
This is the entry-level spec, although it does still come with a majority of the comforts of the larger models, but is more aimed at the farmer market. You can still opt for the integrated loader joystick (not armrest mounted), which has the forward reverse shuttle and gearshift on the joystick, as well as loader and third and fourth service controls.
Up to four mechanical spool levers can be specced and come with 110L/min CCLS pump. Transmission is still able to be operated from the four different locations as the larger model, providing the loader joystick is specced.
Efficient is the medium-spec package and is what our test
7724 tractor was equipped with. You can have either the Dyna-6 or Dyna-VT transmissions, a Command Control armrest with the integrated joystick which controls two of the spools electronically, and the choice of up to two more mechanical or electronic spool valves.
On a machine of this size, where loaders are not going to be the norm, the armrest-mounted joystick is generally used for front linkage control (if fitted), which is ideal for mowing or silage stack work as hydraulic controls, shuttle and transmission controls are all on the one lever. The slim dash is clearer than in the 7600 series.
The 7600 series tractors had the three spec levels. However, for the new 7700 series, all options for the Exclusive spec are available as an option under the Efficient spec.
This is the top-of-the-range option for either Dyna-6 or
Dyna VT tractors, where you have two joysticks; one for the transmission, which also has engine, PTO and headland management controls; and then a separate joystick for hydraulic and transmission control.
The key difference is the Datatronic 4 screen. Like most tractor monitors, this gives a snapshot of machine performance with the ability to change, assign and memorise
specific functions. This is considerably easier and more user friendly than navigating your way around the dot matrix.
The 6.4-litre AGCO power (up to 7720) and the 7.4-litre AGCO power (7722-7726) engines use high-pressure common rail with DOC and SCR after-treatment to meet the Final Tier 4 regulations. The main thing to report on the 7700 range in the engine department is the inclusion of EPM (boost) on the Dyna-VT models.
I always thought it was a little backwards that the Dyna-6 tractors had it but the VT missed out, when it is common perception that a CVT transmission will suck plenty of power.
Now the full 25hp is there when it is most needed, while the EPM monitors the load on the transmission and PTO according to forward speed, transmission and PTO load.
The Dyna-6 is a well-proven, user-friendly transmission which gives 24 speeds with six speeds in four ranges. There are two modes in the transmission: speed matching and auto drive (there is not a mechanical change between modes).
Speed matching is field mode, where it automatically changes the six gears in that range, but you then have to push an additional button to do a range change. Transport (or auto drive mode) operates like a full powershift and changes straight up from first gear in the first range right through the sixth gear in the fourth range. All you have to do is set the engine rev parameters for when it changes and off you go. Other key features are:
• 40 or 50km/h transport speeds, eco feature on 40km also available
• Cruise control speeds (C1/C2)
• Brake pedal to neutral feature
• Reverse shuttle aggressiveness adjustment, separate adjustment for forward and reverse
• Aggressiveness adjustment for powershift ratios
There are a number of nifty different transmission settings, although this does take some homework.
All the automation can be turned off, however, and driven like any other normal semi-powershift transmission, which allows the best of both worlds.
IN THE CAB
I don’t mind what is now considered the ‘old’ six-pillar design, and it rarely hampers visibility. In the seat, you’re sitting high over the top of the bonnet, which is great. But seeing the drawbar, even for someone over six-foot tall, was a battle.
A great idea is the one-piece polycarbonate windscreen, which protects against flying stones. As one-piece windscreens get larger, so do the bills to fix them.
The slim dash is clearer than in the 7600 series, and with fuel and Adblue consumption – or engine and transmission temperature, is definitely easier.
Massey has also improved the dot matrix screen. It is slightly larger and, although it isn’t the easiest to use compared to others on the market, it does give useful
information on tractor performance and individual adjustments for engine hydraulics, etc.
The transmission can be used from four different locations in the cab: the left hand shuttle; the armrest ‘T’ stick; the spool joystick; or the foot pedal when in auto mode.
There are also two places to change direction – either the conventional left-hand shuttle or on the joystick by placing your foot on the clutch, pushing the button on the joystick until the direction light shows up on the dash, and off you go.
There is also a de-clutch button on the back of the joystick so you can feather the uptake if need be. The only gripe here is that you can’t shuttle on the left, and then next time on the joystick you have to choose one and stick to it.
Comfort was good with the new Quadlink front suspension upgrade, which includes two large rams rather than the rocker design on the 7600 models. There are two types of cab suspension available depending on your personal preference. If I was to be critical, I think the fourth step on the Massey is tucked too directly under the third and can be a little awkward.
Our test machine had the 150L/min CCLS pump (110 and 190L/min available) controlled from four electric rear spools, although between two and five rear are available. The fingertip spools are really easy to use. However, for float, the little tab on the top must be pushed in, which doesn’t excite me much.
The valve management system allows adjustment for high flow requirements, and another addition is the pressure release levers on the rear, which I am a big fan of. There are two types of cab suspension available depending on your personal preference.
LINKAGE AND PTO
With standard four-speed PTO with 540/1000 and eco in both modes, the upgraded rear linkage now gives nearly 10 tonnes of lift capacity. The whole back end is very well built and doesn’t clutter, allowing for easy hitching.
I didn’t like the top link holder on the 7600 series, and it turns out it hasn’t been changed. The main niggle was it was at a bad height to hit your head on during hitching.
The swivelling drawbar is mounted between two huge chunks of metal that will handle the most demanding drawbar tasks. The only complaint here is limited visibility from the cab.
Daily checks and all interval servicing are carried out on the lefthand side of the machine, with 500-hour engine and 1500-hour transmission service intervals for our sometimes dodgy fuel.
Included is one additional water separator, one pre-filter and one main fuel filter down to five micron. Engine oil can be checked without lifting the one-piece bonnet.
There are twin alternators and double batteries and an automatic isolator so, after the machine has been turned off for 30 seconds, it disconnects the battery.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Personally, I think the Massey Ferguson 7724 is a great-looking tractor. The big feet on the 7724 definitely make its presence felt, build quality is very good, and the new front suspension makes for a comfortable ride.
The 7700 series does appear to be slightly more user friendly in the manner you can access this customisation, particularly in the dot matrix – although some may still require some bedtime reading to really get the hang of it.
I really like the 7.4-litre engine as the deep rumble from turning it on means you automatically know there are plenty of ponies under the hood – good ponies.
The Massey Ferguson 7700 series looks similar to the 7600, but there are plenty of upgrades under the hood
1: All controls are neatly arranged 2: Little has changed from the
3: The dot matrix is much easier to use on the 7700 than the 7600 series tractors
4: The standard armrest for the Efficient spec tractors with integrated joystick
5: The heavy-duty rear end on the Massey will cope with even the most demanding jobs
The revamped front-axle suspension on the 7700 series