Five big, beefy tractors

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With big tractors currently in demand, we put together our top five high-powered tractor reviews from 2016.

In a recent column for Farms and Farm Machinery magazine, Tractor and Machinery Association president Gary Northover wrote that the outlook for larger-engined and higher-powered tractors is currently very positive, with sales up by around 10 per cent on an annual basis.

"With big-ticket tractors above 200hp experiencing boom conditions … the large end is certainly bringing some joy to the bigger players," he wrote.

So, with that trend in mind, here are five 200hp+ tractors we reviewed in 2016.


1.  JCB Fastrac 4220 (220hp)

jcb fastrac 4220

When we put Tom Dickson behind the wheel of one of these highly-regarded machines he told us it proved JCB’s expertise for creating comfort.

The 220hp AGCO Power engine and CVT transmission give it plenty of pulling power too.

Tom reckons it’d make light work of most farm jobs after he tested out its towing capability.

"If you’re wondering how it would perform in a cropping enterprise I can tell you that it didn’t falter when I hitched it up and put it to work pulling a 35-foot (10.6m) Simplicity bar on 9-inch spacings with a 9-tonne Simplicity cart on behind," he says.

Read the full JCB Fastrac 4220 review and watch the review video.


2. Massey Ferguson 7724 (235hp or 260hp)

massey ferguson 7724

Jaiden Drought’s 7724 test this year showed Massey Fergus is still on track when it comes to providing its customers with options.

"The 7600 series tractors had the three spec levels. However for the new 7700 series, all options for the Exclusive spec are available as an option under the ‘Efficient’ spec," he says.

Jaiden also says the 6.4-litre AGCO engine provides plenty of grunt with a little extra help on some models.

"The main thing to report on the 7700 range in the engine department is the inclusion of EPM (boost) on the Dyna – VT models."

Read the full Massey Ferguson 7724 review.


3. Claas Axion 830 (255hp)

Claas Axion 830

After dumping the Deere power system (DPS) for the new Fiat powertrain (FPT), the Claas Axion 830 can produce a very useful 255hp from the 6.7-litre six-banger.

"Unlike other FPT engines on the market, which rely on high boosted power to reach their maximum output, the new Axion has the power all the time – that’s sure to sit well with a large number of potential buyers," Jaiden Drought says.

Jaiden took the Axion 830 for a test drive this year, and noted that the weight distribution is almost 50-50, adding to the quality feel and comfort a big Claas affords.

"The cab scores almost top marks in my book, although the GPS monitor is separate to the CEBIS screen, which isn’t a major issue," he adds.

Read the full Claas Axion 830 review.


4. Case IH Optum CVT 300 (270hp or 300hp)

Case IH Optum CVT 300

This year, Brent Lilley was able to find out how the recently released Optum CVT 300 fares and let us in on the details.

"Despite the appearance of a very high nose on the tractor, once the stylish single-piece bonnet is opened, the engine is actually mounted quite low."

The engine in question is the Fiat 6.7-litre, much like the one in the Axion. The difference is that it puts out up to 313hp in the Optum.

"Interestingly, any power boost has been done away with, preferring to have the horsepower on tap at all times," Brent says.

Read the full Case IH Optum CVT 300 review.


5. Steiger Panther CM-325 (325hp)

steiger panther cm325

"The year is 1985. Our prime minister is the colourful and often controversial Labor leader Bob Hawke, Essendon wins the VFL premiership by defeating Hawthorn (26.14.170-14.8.92), the first Formula One Australian Grand Prix takes place on the streets of Adelaide — and who could forget Mad Max 3, Beyond Thunder Dome, the Australian post-apocalyptic action adventure film?"

Our resident ’80s historian Tom Dickson found a tractor we thought would be best saved ‘til last – a huge 1985 Steiger Panther CM-325.

With 325 horses to get it moving, even a few decades haven’t gotten between this beast and its work.

It’s still operating, in fact, with its 14.6-litre, six-cylinder turbo diesel puling it around a property in South-West Victoria.

"It’s a comforting thought knowing you have a massive Caterpillar 3406 engine under the bonnet," Tom reckons.

"History says they don’t require a whole lot of attention so long as you keep up regular servicing, and spare parts are easily sourced."

Watch the Steiger Panther CM-325 review and read the full article.


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