A modular design to meet multiple market requirements is the design mantra behind Massey Ferguson’s new utility tractor. James Rickard finds out more about the new Global Series.
Not content with re-developing current models in its line-up to meet market demands, Massey Ferguson (MF) has created a new range of 60-130hp utility tractors from the ground up.
Designed to meet a huge variety of needs in multiple markets, the new Global Series is more than just a range gap filler, it says, and complements many models in the MF range, offering a lower specification alternative.
The target market for this power bracket accounts for about 200,000 tractors per year, and MF is eying up one-quarter of that. If it succeeds, this will make the Global Series the largest volume product for the manufacturer.
And it is not just global because of the number of target markets, but the places it will be manufactured. This includes China, India and South America, and eventually Turkey - essentially local production for the high volume markets.
Richard Markwell, Massey Ferguson Vice President and Managing Director Europe/Africa/Middle East (EAME), says: “This is the largest manufacturing and new product development project in the history of Agco and signals the biggest extension to our tractor line-up for many years.”
To enable the tractor adapt to vast differences in market demands, Massey Ferguson has come up with a modular design.
Mr Markwell says: “We did consider adapting existing and older products, as other manufacturers do for this type of tractor, but this was deemed not to be a viable option, particularly when it comes to adapting it to every market, so a clean sheet of paper was necessary.”
It is this modular design which is key. For example, for markets with strict emission regulations, such as Western Europe and America, three- and four-cylinder Agco Power engines will be used, which use exhaust gas recirculation and a diesel oxidation catalyst to clean up emissions.
Other countries, such as Africa and China, will get a four-cylinder Simpson engine - a Perkins motor built under license.
Such is the difference in market requirements, the tractor design will have to cope with emissions regulations from nothing up to Stage 4.
Similarly, transmissions, final drives and cab options can all be mixed and matched depending on region and customer choice.
Transmission choice includes eight or 12 speeds in two ranges, with or without synchromesh, and both get a synchromesh shuttle.
Gears are straight cut using a sliding collar design. Unlike helical gears, they do not require thrust bearings to support the side loads, which makes them more durable and easier to service, says the manufacturer. Both tractors employ a rear axle based on the 5600 series design.
Gears are engaged via levers - one either side of the driver’s seat. The left one takes care of the high and low ranges, while the right one shifts through the four or six gears. The shuttle lever is situated on the left side of the dash.
Front axle options include two- and four-wheel drive, with four- wheel drive models engaged electro-hydraulically on the move.
For the hydraulics, the series employs an open centre system using a gear pump to supply the main services, including rear linkage and spools valves, while another pump provides lower pressure for the auxiliary hydraulic circuits such as steering and 4WD, differential lock and pto engagement.
A combination of electric linkage control with lever operation provides linkage control. There are two levers - one controls position and rate of drop, which is proportional to the speed you move the lever, and one controls draft settings.
The three-point linkage on the initial models offers a maximum lift capacity of 3,000kg via two external rams. A sensing pin in the top link provides signals for draft sensing.
For operator comfort, a choice of footstep, semi-platform, full platform, ROPS, sun canopy or cab can be specified.
An analogue instrument panel provides information on engine speed, fuel level and temperature including status lights for 4WD, pto and differential lock. A digital display shows pto speed, engine hours and forward speed.
Following the family style, the single-piece bonnet conceals air cleaner and filter, as well as the silencer and battery.
Models will be released over the next three years, starting with Africa and other countries with aligned emissions regulations such as China and India. Africa has already placed an order for more than 1,000 units.
Two ranges will eventually be available, the 2700 and 4700 series. Initial models to be launched for Africa will be the 80hp 4708 and 90hp 4709.
First public showing will be the Italian machinery show - EIMA, with prices to be confirmed.