Five players stay in the > 300 hp tractors scenario
In these two pandemic years, the market has been driven above all by the new series of high-horsepower tractors with an unladen weight of 10 to 11 tonnes, a wheelbase of 3 metres and a power rating of over 300 hp. This is a tractor category that is rapidly emerging, but where few brands are yet in play. If we ignore the 300hp models that are already in the higher weight categories, i.e. the Claas Axion 900, Deutz-Fahr 9 Series, Fendt 900 Vario and Valtra S Series, only five are currently competing in this market segment. Given that Case IH and New Holland operate as two separate companies, but their products are almost identical in terms of construction, the competition remains Case IH with the Optum 300, John Deere with the 7R 290, Massey Ferguson with the 8S 305, McCormick with the X8.631 and New Holland with the T7.315 HD.
The free market tractor and the other ones
The McCormick X8.631 is powered by the FPT 6-cylinder N67, 310hp at 1900 rpm and 1282 Nm at 1400 rpm, which they have renamed Beta Power. As far as tractors are concerned, they couldn’t be more different. All brands have updated their chassis designs to enhance and distinguish their image, and in doing so they have taken contrasting paths.
There are also marked differences between OEMs in terms of engines. The two CNH group tractors rely on the FPT Nef N67 (the same engine block of Mc Cormick), Massey Ferguson on the AGCO Power 74 HD and John Deere on the PowerTech PVS 6090. Maximum power ranges from 305 hp on the 8S to 313 hp on the Optum and T7 and 319 hp on the 7R, which also has a boost to reach 332 hp for transport and PTO work. Thanks to its larger 9-litre capacity, the PowerTech also has the highest maximum torque. Equipped with a VGT, the PVS 60690 reduces NOx with the combined action of the EGR with the ATS that includes SCR, DOC and DPF. Much more compact, the 6.7-litre NEF N67 is the one with the highest power density and also a leaner emissions reduction system, with no EGR and no DPF, here replaced by a simple CUC, i.e. a cleaning catalyst. A variable geometry turbocharger and common rail ensure responsive performance.
As we mentioned, on the McCormick, the NEF has the same torque figure and a claimed maximum output of 310 hp. This is the same torque as the 7.4-litre Finnish engine powering the Massey Ferguson 8S, which has been balanced to deliver 305 hp of maximum power, a figure that, given its size, can be achieved without any particular stress and with maximum reliability. In the Stage V version, the valves are hydraulically regulated and, in addition to DOC and SCR, there is a simple particulate catalyst.