Massey Ferguson delivers style and substance
While the world has been otherwise engaged, Massey Ferguson has been quietly preparing its latest highperformance tractor range which was announced recently without the usual fanfare we have come to associate with the revelation of major changes.
Utilising the tried and trusted Agco Power 7.4litre engine with revamped electronics, the machines are, to a great extent, a cleansheet design.
The cab is the most obvious new item, while lurking beneath it are two gearbox options that Massey Ferguson are keen to promote as representing the very latest in non-CVT transmission technology.
Badged as the 8S series, they replace the top four machines of the old 7S series with power ratings of 205, 225, 245 and 265hp from the six-cylinder engines.
Thankfully these outputs are included in the naming of the models, with the smaller machine being known as the MF 8S.205 and so on.
The new cab has been in gestation for almost three years and represents a fresh approach to providing a practical working environment for the operator.
There are just four pillars supporting the roof, reducing the clutter interfering with the driver’s field of view, especially the forward vision to which particular attention has been paid.
The bonnet is wasp-like,
while the front console has been shrunk to minimalist proportions with a smaller steering wheel installed in a bid provide an almost cinema-like experience to the pilot.
As a result, many of the functions and indicators once placed in front of the driver have been relocated to the right-hand side of the cab with new MF-specific displays being mounted where the company’s tracking of eye movements has suggested is the optimal position.
The compactness of the control elements on the armrest is also something MF is proud of, but this may not always be the best idea when seeking the right button to push on a bumpy field. Time will tell on the popularity of that feature.
Despite all the attention to the operator’s comfort, the major function of a tractor remains the pulling of implements, and this is something MF claim the new transmissions are particularly efficient at.
The new Dyna 8 box is an evolution of the Dyna 7 with two separate development teams working on the gear sequencing and gear selection.
The Dyna E Power gearbox as the company names its dual clutch transmission
can change both gears and ranges to provide a transition between ratios without torque interruption, smoothing out progress and generally making the most economical use of the engine’s output according to the company.
Overall Massey Ferguson appear to have put great effort into these new machines, which they feel are progressive and modern.
Cabs and gearboxes aside it has also attempted to reinforce a distinctive style which clearly sets the brand apart from the Fendt and Valtra stablemates, a welcome move in a world of increasing homogeneity.
The Dyna E Power gearbox can change both gears and ranges to provide a transition between ratios without torque interruption, and smoothing out progress
The new Massey Ferguson 8S series pulling a butterfly mower; below: a view from the remodelled cab