Born to perform
Massey Ferguson 7720 Dyna-VT tractor
While the Massey Ferguson 7700 series is a relatively new model, it is largely just a continuation of the popular 7600 series with a few tweaks.
The range stretches from 140hp to 255hp with two different spec levels – essential and efficient – and three different transmission options – Dyna-4, Dyna-6, and Dyna-VT. I’d say that covers all the bases. For this test I had the 7720 Dyna-VT in the efficient spec.
Under the bonnet is what used to be a SISU engine. This was recently renamed an AGCO Power engine. It is a 6-cylinder, 6.6-litre turbocharged common rail engine rated at 200hp with an intelligent EPM (engine power management) that delivers an additional 25hp when demanded.
As we have noticed in the past and again this year, these engines always perform well on the dyno and the readings are close to their stated horsepower.
This time, the 7720 delivered an impressive 199hp to the PTO shaft or 211hp once it was discovered how to turn the boost on when the tractor wasn’t moving.
The torque curve is equally impressive. Relatively flat, it shows plenty lugging power across the engine rpm range.
European Tier 4 final emissions standards have been met by simply using SCR (selective catalytic reduction), which in layman’s terms is AdBlue sprayed into the exhaust. This is a great, simple solution that doesn’t require replacement down the track or downtime with burn cycles.
The one downside that could be argued will be higher AdBlue usage levels than other machines with multiple levels of emission controls.
The diesel tank has an impressive 430-litre capacity along with a 40-litre AdBlue tank.
A reliable Dyna VT continuously variable transmission (CVT) is used in the Massey Ferguson 7720.
This is essentially exactly the same as those found in the other premium brand tractors sold by AGCO except it is priced cheaper, which sounds like a win to me.
In operation, it is extremely smooth and effective at delivering the power to the ground under load. The field and road mode ranges limit forward speed to optimise torque and control, depending what the tractor is being used for.
While there is a lot of functionality built into this transmission — where most aspects such as the aggressiveness or the relationship between forward/reverse speeds can be adjusted — my opinion is that these adjustments are not very intuitive and will require some serious studying of the manual to get the full benefits.
On the positive side, though, it is straightforward to get in the tractor and get moving.
The movement is easily controlled by the foot pedal or joystick on the right-hand armrest.
The joystick is simply pushed forward or backwards to control the tractor’s speed, and it is great to see that there are buttons on top of both joysticks to change direction as well as a lefthand shuttle lever.
For a 200hp tractor, the engine is still slung nice and low to the ground. This not only increases stability but also makes servicing and daily checks remarkably easy to perform from ground level.
The oil can be checked without opening the bonnet, and another great idea is a third extra fuel filter to ensure that any contaminates which might be in the fuel are removed before getting to the engine.
Its final destination was Mt Riddick station in the Northern Territory, where it was put to work pulling stock crates through the never-never.
The Massey Ferguson 7720 is also one of the few tractors to use separate transmission and hydraulic oils.
This has the benefit of ruling out any cross contamination to the transmission when hitching up implements with oil in them, which is a great feature.
Service intervals sit at 250 hours for the engine, 1000 for the hydraulic oil, and a massive 2000 for the transmission oil.
A two-year or 2000-hour warranty provides peace of mind for new owners.
I found it interesting that the cooling packs are fixed in place and don’t open out like many other tractors. Supposedly, this is because Massey Ferguson believes hinge points create weak spots and unnecessary wear, which I guess does make sense.
The radiators are still arranged so they are easy enough to clean. Diesel and AdBlue tank fillers are where you would expect to find them – logically beside the left-hand steps to the cab and are colour-coded to help prevent confusion.
Massey Ferguson has stuck with its distinctive six-pillar design cab. Although there are extra pillars that get in the way for visibility, many feel that the curved rear-side windows make up for anything that is lost. It’s the same story for the doors. Anything lost in terms of accessibility compared to large singlepiece doors on other tractors is made up for in how easy they are to open and close.
Once in the cab and on the air seat, the environment feels light and open. Visibility out the front is good thanks to a sloping bonnet and a tapered chassis. Although the passenger’s seat feels more like a perch than a seat, we all know they are there for training purposes only.
Mechanical cab suspension offers up a smoother ride, as does the redesigned front-axle suspension with more than 100mm of travel to soak up the bumps. This uses two hefty hydraulics set out at an angle from the chassis to the axle, giving good stability under load.
The dash tilts forward with the steering wheel and is clear and well laid out. It now uses a colour display, including information such as tractor performance, work rates, fuel consumption, and operating temperatures.
The controls are quite spread out around the cab, which somewhat detracts from the functionality. First up on the armrest, the main joystick controls movement of the tractor.
Among other things, it has buttons for the rear linkage, one programmable remote valve, and two cruise control set speeds.
Also on the armrest is a hand throttle and pre-set engine rpm buttons, along with a second joystick that offers great control for the front linkage or if a loader is fitted.
It is good to see buttons to control the direction of travel. Controls for the remaining remotes are found on the right-hand console and are a mix of levers for the mechanical remotes and fingertip toggles for the electric ones.
The rear PTO on this tractor has four speeds, which is more than many other machines.
Speeds are selected via buttons found at the top of the cab’s
‘B’ pillar, while the PTO on/off is found on the right-hand console. Almost all other controls are laid out down the ‘B’, which puts them in easy reach but slightly out of your eye line when driving. The ignition key is also found on this pillar.
The Datatronic 4 display monitor uses a 7-inch colour screen to display in-depth info, form work rates to how the tractor is set up, and allows greater control of various functions.
It can also be used to set up headland management sequences, allow for a single-camera input, and is fully ISOBUS compatible,
allowing implement management screens to be displayed.
While this monitor is adequate, in comparison to most other tractors it is quite small, lacked functionality, and can be a little difficult to navigate through the displayed info.
A closed-circuit load-sensing hydraulic system uses a variable displacement swash plate pump, which is rated to put out 110 litres of oil per minute. Impressively, independent tests managed to get a maximum of 102L/min out of a single spool, which is more than adequate for most tasks.
Carrying seven sets of hydraulic remote valves made up of four at the rear and three at the front, including one to operate the front linkage, provides plenty of options. Of the four rear remotes, two are electronic and two mechanical.
The Massey also still has mechanical remotes. Release levers on the rear couplers are great to see and make uncoupling hoses easy.
In the cab, controls for the hydraulics are a little mixed and confusing. There is a cross-gate joystick on the armrest for two remotes, some push buttons on the top of the main joystick to control a further set, and three fingertip buttons on the righthand console.
Control can be can be swapped and Massey has provided limited ability to assign remotes to different controls through the monitor. The two mechanical spools use levers found on the right-hand console.
Flow rates can be adjusted on the Datatronic screen. Loadsensing power beyond valves and a hydraulic trailer brake at the rear were good to see.
Simple and effective linkage controls are important and they are fairly straightforward in the Massey. There are up and down buttons on top of the main joystick as well as a scroll wheel down the side of the armrest for fine control of the height.
As you would expect, there are controls for max height, raise/ drop rate, draft etc., which can all be easily adjusted. I don’t like the fact that the linkage must first be unlocked before it will move even when using the external controls, but I know everyone will say it’s for safety.
The rear lift capacity is stated at 9900kg at the Cat 3 hook ends, which made hitching the tractor to a Sumo Trio straightforward. Stabilisers were also easily adjusted.
External buttons to control the rear linkage are on both rear mudguards, as well as a PTO stop button – great to see and helpful when hitching implements.
The front linkage has a respectable lift capacity of 4000kg, which will prove more than ample for most tasks.
Interestingly, this is one of the few tractors with a front linkage but no front PTO, which does limit usefulness, but a front PTO is definitely an option.
Put through its paces out in the field on a 3.5m Sumo Trio, the Massey performed exceptionally well. The 6.6-litre engine poked out plenty of power across a wide rpm range. The transmission
is good at getting this power to the ground with minimal losses and keeping the tractor moving forward at a reasonable speed even under tough conditions.
Hitched up to a Herron trailer (with a gross weight of more than 21 tonnes), the tractor once again proved itself and was more than comfortable getting smoothly up to speed. It felt well balanced with this weight behind it and there were no problems stopping with the help of the hydraulic trailer brakes.
As mentioned earlier, dyno results were impressively close to the stated max engine rpm, setting the Massey apart as one of the few tractors where you actually get the horsepower that you have paid for. Fuel usage on the dyno sat at 38.9L/h which, when worked out on a horsepower basis, was an impressive 0.195 litres per horsepower per hour.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Overall, there are some pleasing results for the Massey
Ferguson 7720. The AGCO power engine did exceptionally well on the dyno and was close to its stated horsepower, giving real value for money when it comes to power. These results were in line with our findings in the field, where it got the power to the ground and pulled exceptionally well.
The build quality is exceptional throughout and the suspension setup offered a smooth, well-balanced ride. The hydraulic system also performed well and the tractor had a higher number of remotes than most. While others are more functional in terms of cab layout, the decision lies with how much functionality is required and sometimes good economic reliable horsepower is hard to beat.
1. The Massey Ferguson 7720 Dyno-VT with a Sumo
Trio cultivator attached
2. Controls and Datatronic monitor in the 7720’s cab
3. A well-laid-out dash incorporates dials and a digital
display to show the tractor’s vital stats
4. The rear linkage has a lift capacity of 9.6 tonnes and
there were four remotes at the rear of the tractor 2
5. There was plenty of hydraulic flow to tip the Herron trailer, with 102L/min out of a single remote
6. The Massey weighs in at more than 8