Lit­tle bat­tler

Mahin­dra 5010 HST trac­tor

Farms & Farm Machinery - - Contents - Words and pho­tos by Brent Lil­ley

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.

TRANS­MIS­SION

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.

LOADER

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

diesel en­gine

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

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