A myriad of new tractors has hit the market this year – so what are the options available for UK growers looking for something new? CPM explores the latest launches.

These new developments are the result of our strategy to be more connected to our customers.

By Charlotte Cunningham

Whether you’re looking for a high-powered workhorse, or perhaps something more compact and sleeker, the options are endless when it comes to tractors and tractor technology.

This year in particular has seen a plethora of manufacturers step up their offerings, giving growers complete flexibility when it comes to their model of choice.

Below CPM picks out some of the most notable launches over the past 12 months.

New Holland

New in blue is the flagship T7 Heavy Duty (HD) tractor, launched by New Holland earlier this year.

“We asked our customers what they expected from their future tractor and developed the new generation T7 HD based on their demands,” says Sean Lennon, New Holland agriculture vice president Europe. “We designed the brand-new Horizon Ultra cab to give them the best working experience with all the space, comfort, quality finish they asked for, and the quietest cab on the market.

“On top of this, the next-generation PLM Intelligence will make it easier to access our intelligent farming solutions, which deliver substantial added value in terms of better decision making and accurate execution, boosting efficiency and profitability.”

Interestingly, just 2% of parts are carry-overs from the previous model, according to the firm.

As mentioned, differences are largely seen in the cab, with New Holland claiming it sets a new record as the quietest in the industry with noise levels of just 66 dBA.

The CentreView display placed in the centre of the steering wheel – which is claimed to be an industry first – provides a clear line of sight.

“It marks the shift from traditional farming practices to agriculture 4.0., where Precision and Interconnected Farming assists farmers to plan all operations in advance, manage in real time the behaviour and performance of each machine, and achieve maximum precision and efficiency,” adds Sean. “These new developments are the result of New Holland’s strategy to be more and more connected to our customers.”

Massey Ferguson

Massey Ferguson announced three new additions to its fleet during its ‘Born to Farm’ event earlier this month.

Starting at the compact end of the scale, is the new MF 6S. The five-part four-cylinder series ranges from 135hp to 180hp – all equipped with Massey’s Engine Power Management (EPM) which provides between 15hp-20hp extra pony power, meaning the top-end MF 6S.180 can reach up to 200hp.

Like their predecessors, the new MF 6S Series delivers the power and torque of a larger six-cylinder, but with all the benefits of a smaller tractor, says Massey’s Thierry Lhotte. “With the MF 6S Series we are now providing a complete package specifically designed to bring the comfort, control and connectivity, first introduced on the MF 8S, to this sector.”

All main tractor functions are run from a single new Multipad, an ISOBUS-compatible controller which includes a new linkage control rocker switch, cruise settings, driving mode pre-sets and MF Guide activation. It also houses a micro joystick to control two electric spool valves.

Adding to the mid-range options on the market, the MF 7S introduces four new models ranging from 155hp up to 190hp.

For perspective buyers, a choice of transmissions, cab comfort, automation and control technology is available.

The model designations denote the maximum power of the tractors: the MF 7S.155, MF 7S.165, MF 7S.180 and MF 7S.190. All also deliver up to an extra 30hp with Engine Power Management (EPM) – depending on model.

“With a 2.88m wheelbase and six-cylinder, 6.6 litre engine, the new tractors form the perfect bridge between the new four-cylinder 135hp-180hp MF 6S Series and the larger MF 8S Series, powered by 7.4 litre engines,” adds Thierry.

A neat feature is the Super Creeper option which provides precise control with speeds down to 70m/hr at 1400rpm – ideal for those working in specialist crops.

And for those looking for a workhorse with a high pony count, the new MF 8S now boasts up to 305hp thanks to the addition of the new Dyna-VT transmission.

With the launch of the new MF 8S.285 and MF 8S.305, the MF 8S Series now includes a line-up of six models, with maximum powers from 205hp to 305hp and Engine Power Management (EPM) boosting power up to 20hp (depending on model).

“Massey Ferguson received the Tractor of the Year accolade for the MF 8S in 2020,” says Thierry. “Now, with these two more powerful tractors, we are building on that success.”

Case IH

It’s a new look for Case IH’s previous Optum CVXDrive series, which has been re-engineered to create the new Optum AFS range.

The Optum AFS Connect range, like the line-up it succeeds, contains three models, with rated power outputs of 250hp, 270hp and 300hp – all featuring the Case IH CVXDrive continuously-variable transmission.

But despite the similarities, many of the rest of the tractors’ key design points are new. At their heart is a new cab, in which a number of key areas of the interior have been completely redesigned, explains Dan Stuart, product marketing director Europe. “Many of these features are inherited from those established on the Optum AFS Connect’s larger Magnum cousins, which were upgraded to AFS Connect specification in 2019.

Inside, a prominent new feature is the all-new Multicontroller armrest, incorporating a new Multicontroller lever with configurable buttons. “Via the new, larger AFS Pro 1200 monitor at the armrest’s front, key controls on the Multicontroller and armrest can be customised to suit operator preference and the job in hand, including the function buttons and remote valve paddle switches.

“The new ISOBUS-compatible AFS Pro 1200 touchscreen monitor has a high-resolution screen that not only allows the operator to monitor all primary tractor functions, but can also show front and rear camera feeds. It’s also the key control gateway to operating and optimising the engine, the CVXDrive transmission and the tractor’s hydraulics and PTO. There are also short-cut keys and a new encoder turn-and-press dial on the new armrest, as established on the Magnum AFS Connect models.”

Via the AFS Pro 1200 terminal, users can manage the tractor’s AccuGuide automated steering system and – for the first time in this Case IH tractor class – full AFS Connect telematics capabilities, technology which is well established on Case IH Magnum, Steiger and Quadtrac AFS Connect tractors, notes Dan. “With this system of wireless two-way data transfer between the tractor and the AFS Connect online management portal, tractor owners and farm managers have complete control over farm, fleet and data management, to help minimise costs, enhance efficiency and maximise performance.”

John Deere

Earlier in the year, John Deere announced its new 9R Series tractor range, headed up by the 691 (maximum) hp flagship models 9R 640 and 9RX 640.

According to the firm, the latest 9R, 9RT and 9RX machines have not only been made stronger and more efficient, but also more intelligent – with operators and farm managers likely to benefit from increased connectivity and automation features, reckons marketing manager, Chris Wiltshire.

Looking to the nuts and bolts, all the tractors use the same new and fuel-efficient 13.6-litre John Deere engine as the X9 combines, except for the top of the range 640hp (rated) models which are still powered by a 15 litre Cummins engine.

“The six-cylinder John Deere engine, with its HPCR fuel injection system, has been developed to operate more efficiently, with noise levels reduced by up to 50%. In order to transfer the engine power to the ground, all models offer additional ballasting options that allow a gross weight of 30.4t,” says Chris.

In addition to their power, the new tractors have become smarter, he explains. “The StarFire 6000 receiver is integrated into the cab roof and is included as standard, along with the large 4600 CommandCenter display, full AEF ISOBUS compatibility and AutoTrac activation.

“John Deere also offers a full activation package for maximum automation at an additional price of just £1425. This includes Turn Automation, Section Control, Variable Rate Control, Passive Implement Guidance, In-Field Data Sharing, Machine Sync and now also new AutoPath row guidance.”

In order to reduce maintenance effort and cost, many service intervals have been extended – for example, the new fan is now serviced every 5000 hours, the same as the torsional damper, notes Chris. “Reflecting the tractors’ reliability, John Deere has doubled the standard factory warranty to two years or 2000 hours. In addition, the optional PowerGard Protection/Plus warranty extension terms are now even more cost-effective, reaching up to eight years or 8000 hours.”


JCB has updated its Fastrac 8000 series, with the latest version now equipped with a Stage V emissions engine together with a hydraulic double-acting JCB Advanced Suspension at the front as well as the rear for the first time.

In addition, the Fastrac 8290 and 8330 can now operate heavier equipment with greater stability and run on more advanced tyres, while offering the operator even greater ride comfort, claims JCB.

“The significant benefits of active hydraulic suspension for both axles, not just at the rear, is well proven on Fastrac 4000 Series tractors,” explains John Smith, managing director.

“It gives the Fastrac 8000 models a consistent and adjustable ride height and a further improvement in ride comfort, resulting in a new standard of driver experience for a tractor of this size and power, and a further increase in productivity.”


From Deutz-Fahr comes a new 5-series tractor – designed to boost versatility in the field.

There are five models in the 5-Series range with power outputs from 95hp to126hp, as well as a choice of three transmission configurations which includes hydraulic PowerShuttle with Stop&Go function to give greater flexibility, says Graham Barnwell, country manager.

The series is also kitted out with the new FARMotion 35 and 45 engines to deliver power and torque over a range of engine speeds, he adds. “The highly modular transmission contributes to the multi-role versatility of the 5-Series and its ability to tackle any task.”

Also new from the firm is the 7-series TTV. “So confident is Deutz-Fahr of the 7-Series that the engine oil replacement interval has been increased to 1000hrs, notes Graham.

In the heart of the launch, the Deutz TCD 6.1 Stage V engine now offers up to 247HP and a maximum torque of 1072Nm. The new SDF TTV Compound Transmission – equipped with the PowerZero function and Deutz’s PowerShuttle – ensures pulling performance and acceleration, while reaching 60kph at less than 1800rpm (40kph at less than 1200 engine rpm), he adds.

High performance footwear

Even when kitted out with the best technology, true in-field performance often comes down to the tyres.

New from BKT is the Agrimax Fortis radial tyre – designed for use across a wide range of operations and terrain.

Boasting proven traction and a high flotation capacity, the firm claims the benefits come via lower soil compaction and low rolling resistance – effectively resulting in reduced fuel usage and minimised environmental impact.

The product itself was tested by BKT on rocky Spanish and French terrain covered with debris to assess its resistance in tough conditions, where a normal tyre is already seriously damaged after 200 hours use. From the tests it emerged that after 500 hourswork, tyres equipped with BKT’s Special compound were in a much better condition, claims the firm.