Deutz-Fahr Agrotron K420 review | Top Tractor Shootout 2014 - Winner of Best Loader Visibility

By: Mark Fouhy, Photography by: Mark Fouhy

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3454 Deutz Fahr Agrotron K420 with loader With fixed rims, years of loader work with the Trima should not worry the Deutz. 3454 Deutz Fahr Agrotron K420 with loader
3458 Deutz Fahr Agrotron K420 bonnet servicing One piece bonnet means it’s easy to lift and check for bird nests, as well as performing daily servicing requirements. 3458 Deutz Fahr Agrotron K420 bonnet servicing
3467 Deutz Fahr Agrotron K420 twin hydraulic reservoirs The twin hydraulic reservoirs of the Deutz certainly impressed the judges. 3467 Deutz Fahr Agrotron K420 twin hydraulic reservoirs
4860 Deutz Fahr Agrotron K420 loader controls Well-placed loader controls are important in any tractor/loader combination. 4860 Deutz Fahr Agrotron K420 loader controls
4871 Deutz Fahr Agrotron K420 steering A functional display, adjustable steering positions, and a flat operator platform with an air ride seat provide a comfortable working environment. 4871 Deutz Fahr Agrotron K420 steering
4874 Deutz Fahr Agrotron K420 colour coding control Colour-coding, well laid out and easy to operate main functions are a strong feature of the Deutz. 4874 Deutz Fahr Agrotron K420 colour coding control
4880 Deutz Fahr Agrotron K420 seat Quality trainer/passenger seat complete with seatbelt. 4880 Deutz Fahr Agrotron K420 seat
1991 Deutz Fahr Agrotron K420 with power harrow A good range of working speeds provides plenty of selection in different working conditions. 1991 Deutz Fahr Agrotron K420 with power harrow
2011 Deutz Fahr Agrotron K420 loader work The Agrotron and Tima loader: a good combination at work in the sandpit. 2011 Deutz Fahr Agrotron K420 loader work

We couldn't get our hands on Deutz-Fahr’s newest 5 series tractor for the Top Tractor Shoot Out but the compact Agrotron K420 did a fine job impressing the judges. Mark Fouhy reports.

Full list of Top Tractor Shoot Out 2014 reviews

To give us judges an insight into the Deutz-Fahr 112hp (84.6kW) K420 Agrotron, Power Farming sent along two of its top salesmen,Alistair Horrocks and Steve Gorman — both tractor sales managers for Same Deutz-Fahr in New Zealand’s North and South Island respectively. 

 

CONTENTS

Build quality

Engine and Transmission

Cab and controls

Linkage and Hydraulics

Performance

Serviceability

Verdict and Awards

Specificatiions

 

 

DEUTZ-FAHR AGROTRON K420 BUILD QUALITY

3454-Deutz -Fahr -Agrotron -K420-with -loader

Not only is the build quality of a sound standard, but it is clever, especially for loader work with the glass sunroof, sloping bonnet, and fixed front wheel rims, which won’t crack even after years of loader work.

The back end of the tractor is solid and well thought out. The top link holder was well designed, along with easily-adjustable stabiliser arms and a small oil collector for each set of two remotes to help keep it clean.

Speaking of keeping things clean, the heavy duty front and rear fenders and the clever galvanised steps will help keep the corrosive muck at bay.

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DEUTZ-FAHR AGROTRON K420 ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION

The Summit K420 Agrotron is fitted with a Deutz 4 cylinder, 4-litre turbocharged, intercooled engine producing 112hp (84.6kW). This is a Tier 3 engine which does not require AdBlue.

This model of Deutz engine is capable of running on 100 per cent bio-diesel, which is not always widely available however, it may be in the future.

The air filter is designed with a dust ejector system to keep the air getting to the engine as clean as possible. Through doing this it has allowed Deutz to offer larger service intervals — 500-hour engine oil changes and 1,000-hour transmission oil and filter changes, keeping the overall cost of ownership down.

The 24x24 speed transmission comprises two ranges (field and road) with four gears on the main stick with three powershifts in each gear.

The range change (between field and road mode) requires the tractor to be stationary however, the electro-hydraulically ‘comfort clutch’ is operated with a button on the main gearstick and allows gear changes to be made without using the clutch, giving 12 gears on the move without having to stop.

Given the Agrotron K420 is not a new model, we’re pretty certain Deutz-Fahr will come up trumps with the release of the new Deutz-Fahr 5 Series (check out next month’s NewFarmMachinery, where we take one out for a test run).

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DEUTZ-FAHR AGROTRON K420 CAB AND CONTROLS

4860-Deutz -Fahr -Agrotron -K420-loader -controls

The curved flowing lines of the cab and glass provide the operator with excellent visibility from the driving position, which is very helpful especially when operating a loader.

Mechanical suspension comes standard on the Summit Spec Agrotron, along with an air-ride seat, plus a tilt- and reach-adjusted steering wheel provides a comfortable working environment for the operator — even over the hard, dry paddocks we experienced at the Top Tractor event.

Deutz-Fahr has the same colour code throughout its line-up of tractors, with orange indicating movement (such as gears, clutch, and accelerator), green indicating rear linkage controls, blue indicating hydraulic remotes, and yellow for PTO functions.

This is a great idea, as most operators can quickly familiarise themselves, or a new operator, with this machine.

One thing all judges agreed was disappointing within the cab was the placement of the hand throttle down to the right of the seat.

The double press PTO control was another feature that caused some frustration for judges less familiar with the Deutz. I’m sure it is there as a safety device, but could perhaps be improved.    

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DEUTZ-FAHR AGROTRON K420 LINKAGE AND HYDRAULICS

The Deutz-Fahr provided plenty of lift with twin rear-lift rams giving a total of up to 6.2 tonnes of lift.

We did not test this anywhere near capacity, but it easily raised and lowered the Alpego power harrow into the ground to be worked with no problems at all. Both the rear mudguards have controls to raise and lower the linkage arms.

Another good feature of the Deutz is the rocker switch located inside the back right-hand corner of the cab, which will lift or lower the arms slowly while connecting implements.   

The K420 Series Agrotron comes standard with three rear remote valves. On this range they are all mechanical, which is a far simpler system than electronic remotes. All three can be single- or double-acting with lift and float functions.

We only tested these functions with the 8-tonne Fleming trailer, which it handled with ease.

The flow rate for the remotes is under the mechanical linkage and was a little awkward to get at to adjust.

A feature that all the judges really liked though was the separate oil reservoirs for transmission and hydraulic components, meaning oil from implements cannot get into the transmission where it could potentially cause harm.

The downside of the system is the higher overall oil requirement, although this is offset somewhat by extended service intervals and the significantly reduced risk of transmission damage.

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DEUTZ-FAHR AGROTRON K420 PERFORMANCE

1991-Deutz -Fahr -Agrotron -K420-with -power -harrow

When handling the power harrow in field ratio the Deutz had a good range of gears available for the job, given the hard-baked ground we had for testing, changing through the three powershifts of each gear under load was no trouble.

Features of the Deutz to make the power harrowing job easier included the ASM system, which manages four-wheel drive diff-lock functions to maintain traction; programmable engine revs, at the push of a button, for setting tractor at 540rpm for PTO work; and linkage auto PTO function to make life easy for the operator at headland turns.

The Agrotron handled loading work very well, with excellent visibility forward and rear, thanks to its sloping tapered bonnet and rounded rear mudguards.

Also, the exhaust tucked neatly behind the right-hand pillar of the cab doesn’t impede forward vision. Finally, a clear glass roof hatch makes working at height, stacking bales for example, easier.

Being the smallest tractor in stature on the day, it had an impressive turning circle and would be a great machine for loading wagons and feeding on the feed pad.

Being smaller in height makes it ideal for barn feeding, or avoiding damage from low hanging branches. The Trima loader fitted to the Deutz-Fahr we tested had boom suspension and third service as standard, but no quick-coupler.

 It did however have self-levelling — the only loader supplied to do so. Also, more importantly, the controls (joystick) were sensibly located and worked well.

On the downside, it did have the smallest bucket on the day, although this is easily fixed.

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DEUTZ-FAHR AGROTRON K420 SERVICEABILITY

As mentioned at the beginning, the Agrotron’s serviceability is of a very high standard with oil filters, dipsticks, and sight gauges all well placed, easy to see, and easy to fill when needed.

Cab and engine air filters are easily removed and replaced after cleaning. As mentioned in the engine and transmission sections, the oil filters have lengthy service intervals.

One of this tractor’s best features is the Deutz radiator fold-out system, which allows you to get between all the radiators for cleaning without wasting time, as it folds up and forward. And with a loader fitted, you don’t have to start the tractor to complete the job.

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THE VERDICT

Overall the Deutz-Fahr Agrotron K420 is packed full of features to make daily chores easier. Fuel economy, ease of servicing, and long service intervals all help keep on-going costs down.

This tractor is price competitive — neither at the top end nor the bottom end of the range — and comparable with other machines tested at this year’s Top Tractor Shoot Out.

The Deutz-Fahr’s stand-out feature was its ability to work well with a front end loader, thanks to its ease of use, visibility, compact size, and manoeuvrability. In saying that, it’s packed with great engine, PTO, and linkage management functions, making it equally adept at ploughing or on other work in the field.

Top Tractor Shoot Out 2014 Awards Won:

 

Best Loader Visibility

 

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DEUTZ-FAHR AGROTRON K420 SPECIFICATIONS

Make/model: Deutz-Fahr Agrotron K420

Engine: Deutz Tier 3, 4 cylinder 4,038cc

Max. power: 112hp (84.6kW) @ 2,300rpm

Transmission: 8-speed range / 3-speed powershift (40km/hr)

Suspension: Mechanical cab

Max. lift on linkage: 6,220kg

Hydraulic remotes: Rear: three remote valves, double acting with float

Hydraulic capacity: 75 litres per minute, steering pump 26 litres per minute

PTO: 4-speed 540 / 540E / 1,000 / 1,000E

Dimensions: 4,139mm L x 2,630mm H

Wheelbase: 2,419mm

Fuel tank capacity: 180 litres

Price as tested (incl loader): $101,990

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For the full test report, get a copy of NewFarmMachinery magazine issue 11, on-sale July 14. Subscribe to the magazine to never miss an issue.

 

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