And now the FM6
Honda plays around a lot with transmissions, but there’s good reason.
The FA6 gives the auto/ manual option, but a variant – the FM6, has a wholly manual transmission. Apart from the difference in transmissions, the machines are identical. But the manual is slightly cheaper. The FM6 comes in at $13,700 and the FA6 at $14,200.
But who buys a manual instead of an auto? Mostly operators who intend to keep the machines for a long time and work them hard. Dairy farmers are the hardest on machinery, Craig Hartley says, “because they work 24/7 in a very acidic environment, and often in awful weather”.
Dairy farmers and their hard core colleagues often prefer manual machines like the FM6 because they’re less complicated than the hydrostatic model – no speed sensors, no electric shift motors, fewer switchblock controls on the handlebars, and so on – so they’re less prone to mechanical failure, however small.