Review: McCormick X7 tractor

By: Harrison Hunkin & Jaiden Drought, Photography by: Harrison Hunkin & Jaiden Drought

Presented by

McCormick tractors around the world tend to attract a cult following. So, Harrison Hunkin and Jaiden Drought thought they'd test our the latest McCormick X7

The McCormick X7 tractor towing an implement behind
The McCormick X7 tractor range is the brand's flagship range of tractors here in Australia

McCormick has to be the journeyman of the tractor world. Its origins start in America, most famously under Case IH ownership, where it played second fiddle for decades. Then, the brand had a pretty big following in Europe, especially in the UK where it was built.

Case IH eventually broke up with McCormick for New Holland. Now, the company is owned and manufactured by Argo Tractors in Italy – manufactured up the road from the likes of Ferrari, Lamborghini and Maserati. Quite the journey isn’t it?

The famous brand has certainly done some miles over the years. A few more wouldn’t hurt either, as we put a McCormick X7.660 through its paces on a farm outside of Toowoomba, west of Brisbane.

ENGINE

The McCormick X7 tractor range is the brand's flagship range of tractors here in Australia, we haven’t received the X8s just yet. Our test vehicle was the 165 horsepower (123kW), six-cylinder X7.660.

The six-cylinder is a 6.7L Iveco engine, which should give comfort to customers who know the powerplant is from a reputable brand. For the really tough stuff, the engine will boost out to a max 181hp (135kW), which should be ample.

There are five models in the X7 range to cater to many power needs ranging from 150hp (112kW) to the range-topping X7.690 which pushes out a max 225hp (168kW).

It may interest a few farmers out there to read that all X7 Efficient series come with tier 3 emission standard spec’d engines. For those that struggle with the latest emission requirements, you’ll be happy as the X7 doesn’t use AdBlue.

After warming the little red Italian tractor, we set it to work by running a lovely looking Brookfield D60 chainbar at the rear, which to its credit handled it quite well given the conditions. The field was as hard as a rock.

The six-cylinder is a 6.7L Iveco engine
The six-cylinder is a 6.7L Iveco engine

TRANSMISSION

McCormick has opted for a high-quality ZF transmission. Like all things Italian this has been given a succinct name – P.6 Drive – brilliant. In the crux of its six powershifts through five ranges for the mathematicians out there, giving a total of 30 gears.

Gears are shifted via a push button on the console-mounted hand rest, which although was not armrest mounted in this machine, does fall easily to hand. Other hand rest features include direction change, a de-clutch button and the smart Auto Power Shift (APS) which essentially uses software to link engine + ground speed + load to equal the best gear – jeepers we will all have a degree in calculus after this article!

The McCormick X7 interior and control arm
The P6 drive transmission is a step up from the previous PS drive which had four powershifts and six ranges

The P.6 Drive also has a dial which basically goes from power around to eco so you can best suit the fuel consumption/power to the job at hand.

In terms of working ability in the field, changing up and down gears is simply done by pushing the up/down buttons, a range change means pushing the button and the enable button on the back of the controller, all can be done without using the clutch.

The P6 drive transmission we think is a step up from the previous PS drive which had four powershifts and six ranges.

The McCormick’s transmission did perform well during our test once we burnt some paint off the exhaust and warmed the oil. We sat in range 3 all day, using the four powershifts and to be honest the size of the machine on the back dwarfed the tractor so the plucky X7 must have been doing something right.

LINKAGE PTO HYDRAULICS

Four-speed PTO, 540/540E/1000/1000E comes standard with the X7, electronic engagement, while speed selection and eco modes are done manually.

Colour-coded mechanical spool levers corresponds to coloured caps on the valves with plenty of punch from the CCLS pump with 123L/min of flow.

The linkage is easy to use with a large dial and lift height and draft controls neatly clustered, while no need for a complex activation procedure, which is breath of fresh air.

The linkage is easy to use with a large dial and lift height and draft controls neatly clustered
The linkage is easy to use with a large dial and lift height and draft controls neatly clustered

OPERATOR ENVIRONMENT

The four-pillar cab was bright and well laid out. Controls fell to hand and the tilting steering column allowed both of us to feel comfortable while we bedded in for a day’s cultivation.

Additionally, the driving position and view out of the cab was a particular highlight.

The seat was plush fabric, we got to listen to some classical tunes on the wireless and the aircon was on point. The McCormick delivered on all fronts.

CONCLUSION

While this might be considered a basic spec machine from a ‘lessor’ tractor brand, when it comes to styling, they know what they’re doing.

But why should you question the X7 at all? Component-wise the McCormick certainly delivers the goods, it’s got Bosch hydraulics, FPT (IVECO) engine, ZF trans and Carraro front axles whilst sitting on Michelin tyres – it’s all good stuff.

We’d be curious to hear from some McCormick X7 owners to know what they think.

But, the world has changed quickly in a short space of time. Just a month ago we were testing the latest McCormick X7 tractor, then fast forward four weeks and the factory that produces these tractors has suspended production due to the coronavirus that’s ravaging Italy where they’re manufactured.

The McCormick X7 front on in a paddock in Queensland
Component-wise the McCormick X7 certainly delivers the goods

McCormick X7 Specs:

Engine - 6-cylinder 6.7L Tier 3 Iveco engine

Max Power - 181hp (135kW)

Max torque – 738Nm

Fuel tank capacity – 320L

Transmission - 50km/h (40km/h on Efficient model) ZF 30+15 powershift 

Max Lift capacity - 9,300kg

Max Hydraulic output – 123L/min

Remotes – 2/4-6

PTO – Four-speed

Weight (without weights, empty tank) - 7010

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