REVIEW: Massey Ferguson 8737 Tractor

By: Tom Dickson, Photography by: Guy Allen

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Envious farmers looked on in awe and excited kids pressed their noses against car windows as Tom Dickson trundled past driving the new Massey Ferguson 8737 tractor on a quest to test it out in Horsham

The Massey Ferguson 8737 is an imposing machine and with dual wheels attached is best described as massive. It took all of our concentration to make sure we didn’t run over the odd street sign or wipe out the guard rail on a narrow bridge.

Cruising around the streets of Horsham certainly drew plenty of interest from keen onlookers but none more so than when we pulled up beside one of the pumps of a local service station to fuel up.

Just goes to prove size really does matter and you can’t beat the colour because everyone knows red vehicles always go better, don’t they?

The 8700 series tractors are not really replacing any earlier Massey tractors, rather offering a much higher specced tractor for those who demand the latest in technology and have the extra money spend.

Find out more about the Massey Ferguson 8700 series tractors

You could say the 8700 tractors complement the 8600 series. It’s the latest and greatest and is priced at a bit over $300,000 retail.

 

Contents

Enigne

Transmission

Cab and comfort

Controls

Hydraulics

Performance

Verdict

Specifications

 

 

Massey Ferguson 8737 Engine

Massey Ferguson 8737 _engine Air Filters _0469

It’s the newest most powerful engine Massey Ferguson has ever put into one of its conventionally designed, rigid chassis, tractors.

This 6 cylinder, 8.4-litre Agco Power engine produces 370hp (272.13kW) at 1,950rpm. This is a genuine measure of its power output and should be the figure used when making comparisons with other makes.

There is a figure of 400hp (294.2kW) being thrown around but this is only achieved with engine power management (EPM) and only comes into play while travelling at higher speeds. Maybe this is an attractive statistic if a lot of your work involves shuffling between jobs or properties on the road.

When I flipped the lid to get a look at the engine the first thing I notice is the prominently mounted air cleaner system sitting out front. It’s extremely easy to open up and pull out the filter for cleaning.

Another positive is the placement of the engine oil dipstick and filler. It’s easy to get at both just by turning the front wheels to the right on full lock and the bonnet doesn’t have to be lifted.

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Massey Ferguson 8737 Transmission

All the 8700 series tractors run the same continuously variable transmission (CVT) known as the Dyna-VT.

It’s a stepless CVT, has two speed ranges and can be driven with the foot throttle, the arm rest lever or the power control lever on the command control armrest. By a simple push of a button on the armrest I quickly alternate between foot pedal control and power control lever operation.

While driving around town and in amongst sheds and obstacles I find I have much more instant control of my speed using the foot pedal throttle but once we had the discs attached and started work, the power control lever is the way to go and cruise control makes life even easier.

The first speed range is suited to paddock duties and allows for speed anywhere between 0 and 28km/h. The second option increases available speed from 0 up to 50km/h, but this is where some anomalies are exposed in what is and what is not meant to be. I will explain my finding on this in a minute.

The transmission oil check point is a traditional type dip stick and doubles as the filler point. It’s located at the rear and is easy to get at.

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Massey Ferguson 8737 Cab and Comfort

Massey Ferguson 8737 Cab _0488

I like the way the steps into the cabin are configured in a way that makes them easy to climb.

 However, getting in and out of the cabin reveals what I think is a bit of a negative relating to the inside door latch. It seems old fashioned and a bit clunky to use. I just think for a tractor of this class and size, a more modern and easy to operate system could be incorporated.

The air suspension seat is not new to the modern tractor but you can guarantee comfort by setting the air pressure to suit your weight, the perfect position can be achieved by sliding, tilting and pivoting features as well.

Having all the control functions incorporated into the armrest gives me the sense that I am in total control.

Huge glass doors and windows give really good vision and the fact that there are only four relatively narrow cabin pillars minimises any obstruction in my side and forward sight line.

The view out the back and down to the drawbar is great too. Excellent vision out the front is further enhanced by a carefully sculptured bonnet. Not only does it mean I can see easily around the front and sides but it allows the wheels to angle at a much tighter lock.

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Massey Ferguson 8737 Controls

Massey Ferguson 8737 Controls 0491

As well as giving a speed readout, the Datatronic 4 CCD console, or GPS screen provides all the information on tractor performance and functions. I am finding it very intuitive and easy to operate.

A transmission controller is built into the tractor to relieve the operator from repetitive unnecessary actions. It automatically disengages four-wheel drive and diff lock when travelling more than 14km/h and diff lock when a linkage implement is raised or the brake pedals are pressed.

It also automatically engages the 4WD when the brake pedals are pushed, if the diff lock is engaged or the handbrake is applied.

All the other functions I use while discing the paddock work an absolute treat. I really enjoy the fact that I never once have to move my right arm from the armrest to complete each action.

I lower the discs into the ground by pushing forward on the joystick spool valve control lever that’s mounted on the arm rest. The joystick operates the first two sets of hydraulic valves.

On the side of this lever are two buttons that can be assigned various functions. On this occasion we set up the auto steer activation to one, so as I am lowering the discs I push the button and the auto steer feature takes over steering the tractor; all of this without lifting a finger.

To hand over complete control to the 8737 I push the C1 button, cruise control, and the tractor accelerates to 8km/h. All that’s left to do is sit back and enjoy the ride.

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Massey Ferguson 8737 Hydraulics

Massey Ferguson 8737 Linkage 0230

The hydraulics on all the tractors in the 8700 series has a maximum oil flow of 205 litres per minute. There are five sets of remotes on the rear and at the expense of the three-point linkage (TPL), can be increased to six.

The 8737 also has a maximum of two sets of remote valves at the front. Buttons mounted on both the rear and front fenders allow external operation of the linkage arms. There is also a decompression lever to make coupling and uncoupling easy to complete.

For convenience the first two banks of remotes are operated by a joystick on the armrest and can of course be assigned to the headland management system to further assist with repetitious actions. It’s fair to say at 370 horsepower, the 8737 is predominantly built for pulling using its Category 4 tow hitch.

On the other hand if it’s a heavy duty TPL implement tractor you’re after the 8737 has a maximum lifting capacity of 12,000kg at the rear. Just imagine the size of the linkage fertiliser spreader you could operate with that. The lower links come in either Category 3 or 4 and Category 3 quick hitch is optional.

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Massey Ferguson 8737 Performance

Massey Ferguson 8737 0314

The brochure says the MF 8737 has a road speed of up to 50km/h but the funny thing is on the drive out to the property where we are going to do the test, we can only get it up to about 43km/h. No one seems to be able to come up with an explanation. The same thing occurs in the paddock.

I hook up 20-foot (6.1m) offset discs and set the two cruise controls. The first, I set to 8km/h, to get used to operating to various functions, and the second to 10km/h, for when I get more confident.

The cruise control speeds can easily be set and adjusted on the go by moving the cruise speed dials on the armrest.

The odd thing is though, when I’m supposed to be travelling at the preset 10km/h speed, the speedo on the dash shows just a fraction over nine, and the speed reading on the Datatronic 4 CCD console matches the speedo at 9.2km/h.

This may be a simple calibration issue, but we are working in an industry that now demands absolute accuracy so it needs to be addressed.

If I am looking for a key feature of the 8737 it would have to be its fuel efficiency. When the Agco Power engine is combined with the Dyna-VT it guarantees the unit works in the most efficient and cost effective manner.

As an example while pulling the 20ft (6.1m) offset discs in relatively tough going the instant fuel usage readout shows about 22.2 litres/hour at 8km/h and around 28 litres/hour at 10km/h.

Obviously fuel usage will increase as you start to make the tractor work harder on larger implements.

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The Verdict

Finally I want to make special mention of the Michelin radial tyres the 8737 is set up with. We are running about 10 pounds but tyres as low as 6 pounds can be run without the risk of screwing them off the rims.

The beauty of these tyres is that as air pressure decreases the width of the tyre stays the same, but the length of rubber making contact with the ground increases. The two fold benefit is more traction with less compaction. The effect is similar to using rubber tracks.

Overall I find the Massey Ferguson 8737 extremely easy to operate and the intuitive layout of the functions and computer screen means I am quite capable of confidently operating the tractor in a working environment.

Massey Ferguson 8737 Hits:

  • Fuel efficiency
  • Tyre package
  • Access steps
  • Use of cabin space
  • Serviceability
  • Vision
  • Basically easy to operate

Massey Ferguson 8737 Misses:

  • Anomalies with speed
  • Internal door latch

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Massey Ferguson 8737 Specifications

ENGINE: Agco power, 6 cylinders, 8.4 litres capacity, 370hp

TRANSMISSION: DYNA-VT, stepless CVT, two speed ranges, 50km/h

HYDRAULICS: Closed centre load sensing, 205 litres per minute

LINKAGE: Category 3 or 4, 12,000kg max. lift

PTO: Electro-hydraulic engaged, 3-speed 540 Eco/1,000/1,000 Eco

FUEL TANK: 630 litres

WEIGHT: 10,888kg, 18,000kg with ballast

More Massey Ferguson MF8737 specification.

 

For the full test report, pick up a copy of NewFarmMachinery magazine issue 15 when it hits newsstands on November 3.

Find Massey Ferguson tractors for sale.

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Massey Ferguson 8737 fuel stop 0197 A quick fuel stop on the way to work. Massey Ferguson 8737 fuel stop 0197
Massey Ferguson 8737 on farm 0199 Out on the farm the massive 8737 towers over everything else on the farm. Massey Ferguson 8737 on farm 0199
Massey Ferguson 8737 0216 The little Massey has come a long way in the last 40 years. Massey Ferguson 8737 0216
Massey Ferguson 8737 engine air filters 0469 The front mounted engine air filters are easily accessed and cleaned. Massey Ferguson 8737 engine air filters 0469
Massey Ferguson 8737 linkage 0230 Five sets of remotes complement the powerful rear end. Massey Ferguson 8737 linkage 0230
Massey Ferguson 8737 steps cabin 0226 Carefully designed step provide easy entry and exit. Massey Ferguson 8737 steps cabin 0226
Massey Ferguson 8737 Quadlink suspension 0222 QuadLink front suspension provides a smooth ride. Massey Ferguson 8737 Quadlink suspension 0222
Massey Ferguson 8737oil filler and dipstick 0225 The oil filler and dipstick is easily identified and accessed. Massey Ferguson 8737oil filler and dipstick 0225
Massey Ferguson 8737 cab 0488 The spacious cab is designed to maximise driver comfort and control. Massey Ferguson 8737 cab 0488
Massey Ferguson 8737 controls 0491 All key functions are grouped together in the Control Command Centre armrest. Massey Ferguson 8737 controls 0491
Massey Ferguson 8737 dashboard 0504 The new slim dashboard design provides quick, clear easy analysis of operating data. Massey Ferguson 8737 dashboard 0504
Massey Ferguson 8737 datatronic console 0507 The Datatronic 4 CCD console is standard on all models. Massey Ferguson 8737 datatronic console 0507
Massey Ferguson 8737 external function buttons 0232 External function buttons are mounted both front and rear. Massey Ferguson 8737 external function buttons 0232
Massey Ferguson 8737 power control lever 0240 The power control lever shuttles between forward neutral and reverse and includes a park lock mechanism. Massey Ferguson 8737 power control lever 0240
Massey Ferguson 8737 cultivator discs 0254 The 20ft set of discs offer little resistance to the giant Massey. Massey Ferguson 8737 cultivator discs 0254
Massey Ferguson 8737 0314 Massey Ferguson 8737 0314
Massey Ferguson 8737 Michelin tyres 0480 Michelin radials tyres fitted allround can safely operate at pressures down to six pounds per square inch. Massey Ferguson 8737 Michelin tyres 0480

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