The 200-250hp bracket is a crowded market to enter, but Deutz-Fahr has made very few compromises with its new 7 series tractors. James Rickard puts the flagship Agrotron 7250 TTV through its paces in some challenging conditions.
Our test Agrotron 7250 TTV sits at the top of Deutz’s new three-model 7 series. The smallest (7210) is a Stage 3b-compliant direct replacement for the old TTV 630, while the two largest models are completely new machines, taking Deutz-Fahr into a new market.
It is powered by a six-cylinder, 6.1-litre Deutz engine, producing a rated power of 238hp and a maximum, either above 20kph or when carrying out pto work, of 263hp. Selective catalytic reduction and AdBlue take care of cleaning up emissions.
Our machine was fitted with a ‘heavy duty’ S-Matic 240 continuously variable transmission (CVT), courtesy of ZF, designed to cope with heavy loads and can achieve 50kph at 1,900rpm.
Alternatively, the standard 50kph version can reach top speed at 1,690rpm, as can a 60kph variant, which is fitted with outboard, front disc brakes.
However, as the watery mud squirted out from between the Deutz’s cleats, we soon concluded this particular test session was going to be interesting.
Undeterred though, and with suitable ballast and tyre pressures, we tasked the Agrotron with a Kverneland CLC three-leg, flat-lift sub-soiler, working to about 250-300mm (10-12in) deep in relatively heavy land.
In ideal conditions, this implement would not normally be a challenge for such a tractor. However, the saturated ground and East Lancashire hills provided a formidable test of traction, which the Deutz-Fahr coped with admirably.
Love them or hate them, there is no denying its looks are striking. While from some angles it looks edgy and modern, from others it looks as though it has been chasing parked silage trailers.
With similar family styling, the 7 series gets the manufacturer’s new MaxiVision cab. And many operators will be pleased to know it has six-posts, with opening back-quarter windows, allowing in some fresh air and the ability to listen to machinery.
Ample-sized steps and wide opening doors give good access to the cab, even when the passenger seat is folded down.
Once inside, a light-coloured interior provides an airy working environment. To the left there are plenty of storage compartments, one of which is chilled.
Adjusting the steering wheel position also moves the dash, keeping it in-view at all times. It is clear and concise, and information can be easily viewed at a glance.
For a tractor of this power, it feels compact - perhaps an illusion created by the excellent visibility from the operator’s seat.
Curved glass and thin pillars, especially to the rear, give practically unobstructed panoramic views of the area being worked, helped by the bonnet and mudguards, which seem to fall away.
And should you wish to attach a loader, a transparent roof is fitted as standard. As for the interior build quality, it is right up there, with a premium feel.
All primary controls reside on the right-hand armrest, which includes a multifunctional joystick for the control of the transmission, headland management activation (Tip button), spools, linkage, shuttle and cruise speeds. Also integrated into the joystick is a scroll wheel for fine adjustment of speeds.
For monitoring performance and setting up tractor functions such as hydraulic flow and timing and headland management, a scroll wheel and hot keys can be used in conjunction with an LCD work display screen, mounted on the right-hand A-pillar.
Alternatively, as an option to enhance tractor functions and make it more productive, as ours was, the 7 series can be fitted with the iMonitor 2 touch-screen terminal. This takes care of all tractor performance monitoring and set-up, including headland management (called ComfortTip) and automatic steering. It also serves as an IsoBus controller, featuring section control for spraying, spreading and drilling.
The terminal has been developed in conjunction with TopCon to produce Deutz-Fahr’s precision farming element - Agrosky - and is by far one of the easiest and most logical terminals to fathom.
For example, a headland management sequence can either be pre-programmed or recorded. Simply select the icons on the screen, place what functions you want and where, separate them by time distance or manual engagement (which Deutz-Fahr calls Tip), and then if it is not quite right, edit them.
Sequences can be interrupted at any time without the sequence being lost, for instance if you need to lift a power harrow over an obstacle. Up to 32 functions can be incorporated into a sequence, which can be saved and recalled.
Sequences are activated by the ‘Tip’ button on the main joystick. Functions such as shuttle, cruise speeds and auto-steering can also be incorporated into the sequence, so your right thumb never has to leave the Tip button to fumble for other buttons and switches. Put simply, it is a pure joy to use.
In the event your fingers do get grubby, a scroll wheel and function keys can be used to navigate the terminal.
The position of the terminal can also be adjusted and performance data and settings can be transferred via USB port.
Transmission-wise, essentially there are three driving modes to choose from; automatic, pto and manual.
In automatic, you choose the speed and the tractor works out the optimum revs and CVT ratio to achieve that desired speed.
In pto mode, revs are kept up to maintain implement speeds, while the operator controls desired forward speed.
Manual mode lets the operator control both engine and tractor speeds independently.
In addition to the driving modes, the operator can also choose how the transmission and engine interact to give a choice of three performance options - economy, automatic or power.
Economy is transmission-led for light work to keep fuel consumption down. Power is engine- led when demanding work is required, while automatic lets the tractor decide what is best for optimum performance.
Other functions integrated into the transmission include automatic handbrake and transmission hold on hills. Shuttle aggressiveness can be adjusted via a wheel on the shuttle lever.
At the rear, the 7250 is well arranged, with good access to couplings (ours fitted with five double-acting spools) and connectors, including power beyond and IsoBus.
Any spool valve can be assigned to any spool control switch or button, making life easier.
Spool valve control can also be pre-programmed to tell the engine to rev up when oil flow is demanded, with the CVT automatically altering to maintain consistent tractor speed.
Pto speeds are electrically selectable, giving the options of 540E, 1,000 and 1,000E.
Rear mud-guard controls are conveniently positioned and feature buttons for pto, one double-acting spool valve and linkage. Adjustment to the linkage’s stabilisers and drop-links is easy, but bolt-on pto shafts are not our most favourite thing in the world.
Daily maintenance check points have been well thought out, with good access to the engine’s dipstick and sight glasses for the transmission and hydraulic oil.
Our machine with front linkage and pto costs £135,680, and orders are being taken now for next spring delivery.
With the relatively short time we had behind the wheel we were very impressed with the 7250 – a longer drive and a some more varying jobs may reveal a few more niggles, but we found it a handy tractor for its power.
At first, the controls do look like a technophobes worst nightmare. But it is all there for a reason – to make life easier and more productive.
The iMonitor 2 is so easy to use, and for a tractor of this size and its probable intended use, you would not want to do without it.
Controls are very well laid out, especially the joystick, which once you set the tractor up; you never seem to take your hand off.
If Deutz-Fahr tractors have never featured on your radar before, get them on it now. After testing this one out and its smaller brother the Agrotron K 430 in our tractor and loader test earlier on in the year, we think Deutz-Fahr is a manufacturer to watch.