Promising more gears, functionality and convenience, we try out Massey Ferguson’s latest addition to its Global tractor series, which can now be specified with a semi-powershift transmission.
Eagle-eyed readers may recall this is not the first time we have test driven Massey Ferguson’s 5711 Global Series tractor, so why are we at it again?
In our previous test of the tractor, it was up against four equivalent 110hp competitors in a five-way group comparison test, of which it came out very well.
However, at the time the tractor was only available with a basic, but very good 12 by 12 synchromesh transmission.
And although we liked the gearbox a lot, we felt a few more ratios and a bit more functionality would not go a miss, even on a relatively basic tractor like the Global.
And so too did the market it seems, with enough demand to spur Massey Ferguson into introducing a new gearbox option.
While we suggested the addition of a ‘splitter’ might be the answer, MF went one better and has since introduced a 16 by 16-speed, semi-powershift transmission.
So, to a relatively low-spec tractor like the Global Series is it a welcome addition, or is it over the top?
To find out, we got our hands on a 5711 fitted with loader, and set about some spring mucking out duties.
COMPRISING four ranges with four powershifts in each range, MF users will be no stranger to the firm’s Dyna-4, 16-speed semi-powershift transmission.
It has been around since Jesus was in short pants and has featured on many MF models over the years, including its 54/6400 and 56/6600 machines.
A version is still used on its latest hi-spec 5700S, 6700S and 7700S models, complementing the firm’s Dyna-6 and Dyna-VT transmissions. As a result, it is a tried and tested gearbox, one which MF was confident would work in the 5700 Global.
However, it is effectively only available on four middle, 5700 Global models spanning 85 to 110hp. This does provide a bit of overlap with the 47 to 95hp 4700 Global range, which MF wants to retain as true, ‘simple’ tractors, but it means the larger 120/130hp 6700 Global range does not get the new gearbox.
In this power bracket, MF says if you want a higher-spec tractor, then this is where the 5700S range fits in.
Externally, there is nothing to distinguish between a 5700 Global fitted with a synchromesh and one equipped with the powershift, with both ’boxes taking up exactly the same space.
AS on previous models, Dyna-4 control comes from the firm’s T-lever, which MF has neatly incorporated into the right-hand console.
This can be used to simply flick up and down the four powershifts, and with the press of an integrated de-clutch button it also enables range changes to be made.
Unlike the de-clutch button incorporated into the main gearstick of the synchro Global Series, thankfully you cannot hit this one with your knee.
Accompanying this is MF’s Power Control lever, located to the left of the steering column. More than just a shuttle allowing clutch-less direction changes, it enables you to make gear changes, simply by nudging it forwards and backwards, and you can hold the tractor in neutral by pulling the lever towards you.
Particularly for loader work, it means your right hand never has to come off the loader joystick.
In addition, gear selections via the left-hand lever also works in the same direction as travel. This means when reverse is selected, a further nudge backwards will result in an upwards gear change, and vice versa.
On the whole, gear changes are slick enough. You do not get that lightning refined change you might
associate with larger powershift tractors, but it is impressive for a tractor of this size.
DYNA-4 also brings with it several other features, including two automatic modes. Via a threeway rocker switch, Auto-Power, Auto-Eco, or off can be selected.
As the labelling suggests, when turned off, the transmission is fully manual. In Auto-Power mode, the tractor provides its maximum power before gears are automatically upshifted at 2,100rpm. Likewise, it will be quick to change down should the revs start to drop.
Conversely, when full power is not required, Auto-Eco can be used, which sees upshifts done at a more conservative, but still torquey, 1,500rpm. In this mode, too, the engine is allowed to die a lot further back before a downshift is made, hanging on to gears longer.
When in either of the auto-modes, automatic shifting is limited to within a range – range changes still have to be made manually.
Auto-shifting perhaps is not a feature you may use a lot with a loader, preferring the predictable nature of manual control, but for longer runs around the yard, Eco-Power can prove useful.
On the road is the main place where you would use it. In our case with a muck spreader, Eco was ideal for the empty runs, while full power suited a full load.
While it may not be as complex as its bigger brothers, which allow range changes and extensive adjustment of gear change points, it is a neat feature and offers quick adaption to the job.
LIKE all MFs equipped with a powershift, and many other makes on the market, the Dyna-4 Global allows you to set a start-up gear, i.e. the gear which the tractor will default to every time it is started and/or put into gear from neutral.
It is a simple procedure to carry out which does not need a trip through the dash to achieve – just a combined movement of the T lever and Power Control lever.
You can also set a difference in gears between forwards and reverse. You may want to be one gear lower when reversing, but for a lot of loader work you often want to go a gear faster when reversing, which is achievable with this tractor.
If this ability to tailor the tractor could be taken further, it would be great to have the facility to independently set one start up gear for the Auto-Power transmission mode and one for Eco-Power.
For example, if carrying out trailer work, it would be useful to simply click it into power mode and have a low gear prepared to go, and when the trailer is empty, knock it into eco-mode where a higher start up gear will be ready.
This would have been perfect for our muck spreading duties. As it is, for jobs like this with varying loads, you need to keep the start-up gear low to cope with higher loads.
Another handy option is brake to neutral, which is good for loader work as it will automatically pull the clutch in when the brakes are pressed, effectively allowing you to drive the tractor like a telehandler.
AS we found with our previous test of the 5711 Global, what you see in the cab is what you get. It is brilliantly simple and logically laid out.
The most complicated thing is the dash, which to be fair is relatively clear to navigate via a pad of blister buttons.
As well as the ability to view performance information such as area meter and fuel use, various transmission settings can also be adjusted, tailoring the tractor to how you like it or to the job at hand.
For instance, you can alter shuttle aggression (done via a knob on the synchro Global), but rather than just being able to carry out a ‘blanket’ adjustment for both forwards and reverse, with the Dyna-4 Global you can independently set forward engagement aggression and reverse aggression.
In addition, powershift aggression can also be tweaked to suit. Like the synchro Global MF, the Dyna-4 version also features an engine rev memory function, simply set by getting up to the desired revs and pressing and holding a button.
For pto work which requires the revs to be set at a set speed, rather than use the hand throttle, just recall the set revs by hitting the button. This was perfect for muck spreading duties, which required the pto to be put in and out of gear at the end of every run.
FOR jobs around the yard and basic field work, sitting in one of the 12 gears offered up by the synchro version of the 5711 Global was not a problem.
However, particularly for field pto work, often with the synchro gearbox, you were either about half a gear too fast or half a gear too slow. Its limited functionality also meant a very manual approach to transmission operation was needed.
Dyna-4 only brings with it four more gears, but their spacing and convenience of shifting makes it more adaptable to jobs.
While the field is where you will find the most benefits of the new ‘box, in the yard it brings an equal amount of convenience.
Because you can easily shift up and down the box, it is surprising how much you will do it, even when mucking out a building.
By keeping the revs down and the gears up, you will naturally save fuel and wear and tear.
Couple this with MF’s 100l/min twin-flow hydraulic system, and you will rarely need to have the tractor revving above 1,200rpm for loader work.
In the field and on the road is where Dyna-4 comes into its own, allowing gear changes to be made with little break in drive.
For pto work, this allows you to better adapt forward speed to the job.
AS Massey Ferguson’s 5700S Series has evolved into a hi-specification tractor, a void formed between it and the 5700 Global Series.
The 5700 Dyna-4 Global fills that void, offering the option of a powershift transmission in a price sensitive market.
With the Dyna-4 Global, you get a beautifully simple tractor, with a transmission which offers extra gears, convenience and functionality.
It also complements other larger MF tractors well, with a common approach to control and set-up.