Mahindra 5010 HST tractor
Smaller tractors are the go right now, and the Mahindra 5010 HST’s dimensions make it ideal for space-limited applications such as vineyards, orchards, amenity areas and lifestyle blocks.
Starting our walkaround at the all-important engine, we find a Korean-built Daedong four-cylinder, 2.4-litre diesel, which is rated at 49hp and meets Tier 3 emissions standards.
It’s a relatively compact engine, with good access and easily found service points. The radiator at the front is also easily cleaned through the use of removable mesh screens.
A decent-sized 60-litre fuel tank fitted under the cab will keep the machine on the move for many hours between fills. Service intervals are relatively short, though, with engine oil required every 100 hours and transmission every 500 hours.
In operation the engine was perky and responsive. It never seemed to struggle when digging into a pile of gravel, although it would have been interesting to see its performance on a PTO implement.
The HST lettering that follows the model number on this tractor denotes that it has a hydrostatic transmission, which is great for loader work.
There are forward and reverse pedals where you would normally find the accelerator, and the split-pedal independent brakes are found on the left-hand side, although this is hardly needed except for applying the integrated park lock.
This is a nice, simple system, but for me – breaking the habits of driving regular tractors for so long – it was just a little tricky to begin with. The moment you take your foot off the direction
of travel pedal on a hydrostatic transmission, you come to an immediate stop, and when digging with the bucket the pedal under your right foot is not an accelerator.
However, once I got my head around this, I really started to enjoy the simplicity and manoeuvrability that this transmission offered. Within the transmission there are three ranges (or steps) which can be selected with a lever on the left of the driver’s seat. In ‘high’, the transmission’s full range is available from zero up to the maximum speed of 30km/h.
The lower ranges give the operator far more control and power. This was evident on the test day, and once I found the low range the tractor was almost unstoppable as I dug into a pile of gravel.
A ‘cruise’ button is a helpful inclusion too. This allows the tractor’s forward speed to be set and adjusted up and down without having to keep your foot on the forward pedal.
There is also a hydrostatic sensitivity control which allows the transmission’s aggressiveness to be altered to suit individual driving style. Four-wheel drive is easy to engage, and drive to the front wheels is delivered though bevel gear hubs which give an impressively tight turning circle.
It’s good to see diff lock too, which will prove itself the first time you find yourself in a sticky situation.
HYDRAULICS & PTO
For a compact tractor, the hydraulic system is reasonably good. The pump provides for 36 litres per minute of flow, which results in fast cycle times and lift capacities for the loader and rear linkage.
On top of this, there is a further 19 litres per minute available for the power steering circuit.
At the rear there is a single set of remote valves which I’m sure will be adequate for most tasks, although I’m told there is the possibility to fit another set. The rear linkage uses CAT 1 fixed ball ends and simple screw adjusters on the stabiliser arms.
The rear lift capacity of 1500kg should be more than ample for any sized implement suitable for a tractor of this size. It’s also good to see a holder for the top link when it’s not in use, although it did seem to work itself free a couple of times, which was a slight niggle.
The power shaft at the rear broadens the uses of the tractor and gives a single 540 output.
On the front, as part of the package, is a Mahindra ML 504 loader which fits and works well with the tractor.
As far as loaders go, this has to be right up there with the best on offer even from larger tractors. Mechanical self-levelling maintains the angle of the bucket as the loader is raised and lowered, which is great to see, as is a guide rod to indicate when the bucket is level to the ground.
The Euro hitch on the front makes it compatible with most implements on the market and, although not fitted to this tractor, I’m told a third service is a possibility.
Stands are incorporated into the design and the loader is easily removed with a single pin on either side when not required. Lift capacity of the loader is over a tonne, which I don’t doubt for a second, but I would suggest you’d need at
least as much weight as you’re planning on lifting on the rear linkage.
During my test, the tractor did have a healthy sized bucket and, when it was full, it made for some exciting times with the back wheels off the ground at certain times.
Controls are simple and well laid out; note the hydro, the forward reverse pedals on the right, and split brakes on the left.
IN THE CABIN
These days we are spoilt with the cabs on modern tractors. But if you’re going to be using a tractor for long hours, you might as well be in a comfortable environment; something Mahindra has paid attention to.
While it may look compact from the outside, sitting in the driver’s seat the cab feels light and roomy. Access is good with reasonably wide doors and a tilting steering wheel.
Although it is a six-post cab, very little visibility is lost as the pillars are slim and the design allows curved glass on the rear corners, which also helps with visibility.
The controls are well laid out: linkage and hydraulic control are along the right-hand side of the seat, the gear range lever is on the left, and almost all other controls are on the dashboard ahead, which also features gauges for temperature, fuel and RPM.
THE BOTTOM LINE
While the Mahindra 5010 HST is going to be somewhat on the small side for practical farm work, this isn’t the machine’s core target audience.
The cab is well built and feels much larger than it actually is. When you’re sitting in the operator’s seat, everything is so well laid out; I’m sure most operators would be able to jump in and go. The Mahindra loader on the front rounds out the package nicely and incorporates features you’d find on a much larger loader. This makes it a very versatile setup, which lends it to many uses.
“Once I found the low range, the tractor was almost unstoppable as I dug into a pile of gravel”
1: The Daedong four-cylinder, 2.4-litre
2: The Mahindra ML 504 loader on the
front is very well built
3: Access to the cab is easy with a
single step and relatively large door 4: The rear CAT 1 linkage on the Mahindra 5010 HST has a lift capacity of 1500kg
Controls are simple and well laid out. Note the hydro, the forward reverse pedals on the right and split brakes on the left