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Tractor workwear gets put through its paces in on-farm test

Insights

Which tractor manufacturer produces the best overalls? To find out, James Rickard pulls no punches as he puts several pairs through the mill.

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What to wear on the farm? It is not usually a massive decision-making process, but usually depends on the weather, the job and what clothes are to hand. As long as it is warm or waterproof, it will do the job.

 

Invariably, as with many farmers and workers, overalls will feature somewhere in the ensemble.

 

Often these will be a generic pair from the local farm supplies shop or a branded pair which came free with a recent tractor purchase.

 

But, given the choice, which make of these branded overalls are worth parting cash for, and are they up to the job?

 

To find out which manufacturer is putting its name to the best pair, we tested seven pairs of overalls to see if the material matches the metal. For fairness, so we could compare them, each manufacturer was supplied with the same chest and height sizes.

 

As with machinery, workwear can differ from brand to brand. To see if they were up to the rigours of agriculture, we put the overalls through their paces on a busy Lancashire dairy farm.

 

Throughout the course of test, each pair was subject to crawling under tractors, livestock handling, metal fabrication, tractor driving and more.

 

This provided us with an opportunity to test them for fit, manoeuvrability and protection.

Below are the tests.

Overalls test: Claas by H.T. Hughes

Overalls test: Claas by H.T. Hughes

Getting them on - 4/10

Almost had to give up, they were that tight. Help may be required to peel you out of this pair.


General fit
- 4/10

Once in, due to lack of space, male wearers may find certain parts of their anatomy taking up residence behind their ears.


Quality of material
- 7/10

Pretty good - could have done with more of it.

 

Quality of finish - 8/10

Very well put together.

 

Pocket space, size, location and usefulness – 9/10

Of all the overalls we tested, these were one of the best. Plenty of choice, various sizes and neatly placed.

 

Manoeuvrability - 5/10

Limited. Reaching up can induce a shrieking noise and watering eyes.

 

Protection, warmth and safety - 8/10

Very snug, and a storm flap over the main zip provides extra protection.

 

Fastenings - 10/10 

No shortage. Nothing is getting in or out which is not meant to. Also includes ankle adjustment.

 

Value for money - 6/10

Best price - £33.10 from Claas’ official merchandise store. Not worth rushing out to buy.

 

Style - 7/10

Will not stick out like a sore thumb in this pair.

 

Total score - 68/100

Some good features, but only if you can get in them.

Overalls test: New Holland

Overalls test: New Holland

Getting them on - 8/10

Not a problem.


General fit - 9/10

Very comfy and light, with room for a couple of more layers underneath.


Quality of material - 6/10

A little bit flimsy. Would make a good summer pair.


Quality of finish - 8/10

Well stitched together. Printed logos look cheap and having the service number on the front does not inspire confidence.


Pocket space, size, location and usefulness - 6/10

Quite basic layout. Just enough to carry everything you need.


Manoeuvrability - 8/10

Very good, even when crawling under a tractor.


Protection, warmth and safety - 7/10

Susceptible to welding and grinding sparks. No cuffs or ankle adjustment. High visibility strip makes stand out in the dark. Main pockets have a tendency to catch.


Fastenings - 6/10

They do the job. We’re not keen on the hip pocket zips, which can rip tractor seats.


Value for money - 7/10

Best price - £41.95 on eBay. Just about worth the price.


Style - 7/10

The dark blue is quite subtle, but the bright canary yellow shoulders do stand out.


Total score - 72/100

Above average pair with a good fit.

Overalls test: Massey Ferguson

Overalls test: Massey Ferguson

Getting them on - 8/10

Very long and easy to put on.

 

General fit - 6/10

Not brilliant. Looks like the tailor has used the male sign on a toilet door as a template.

 

Quality of material - 6/10

Quite a cheap feel to them. Very shiny.

 

Quality of finish - 6/10

Ok, not much to stitch together.

 

Pocket space, size, location and usefulness - 2/10

What pockets? There is a useless one on the arm and one on the leg. Two trouser pockets provide the main storage areas.

 

Manoeuvrability - 8/10

There is certainly space to play. A bit too baggy in some places.

 

Protection, warmth and safety - 7/10

Adequate. Features velcro sleeve adjustment.

 

Fastenings - 7/10

We like the zips on the trouser pockets for keeping debris out.

 

Value for money - 4/10

Best price - £56 from MF official merchandise. Too expensive for what they are.

 

Style - 8/10

We like the racing suit style.

 

Total score - 62/100

If you are tall and you do not carry much, this pair of overalls is for you.

Overalls test: John Deere by Dickies

Overalls test: John Deere by Dickies

Getting them on - 6/10

Ok,but requires a bit of bending.

 

General fit - 6/10

A snug fit, which does not leave much room for extra layers underneath when it gets chilly. Also, when bouncing on a tractor seat, they do grate a bit on your nether regions.

 

Quality of material - 7/10

Above average.

 

Quality of finish - 7/10

Well made.

 

Pocket space, size, location and usefulness - 6/10

A little bit small and not too many of them, but still useful.

 

Manoeuvrability - 7/10

Fine for most activities. When stretching, they do tighten up, particularly around the crotch and shoulder areas.

 

Protection, warmth and safety - 7/10

A bit draughty.Features double layered knees

 

Fastenings - 6/10

A little bit lacking,especially on the main zip, which has a storm flap, but with only two poppers.

 

Value for money - 6/10

Best price - £41.49 on ebay. A little bit over priced for an average pair.

 

Style - 8/10

Ok if green is your colour. You definitely know which brand they are.

 

Total score - 66/100

A middle of the road pair. Generally a good pair of overalls.

Overalls test: Fendt by Works

Overalls test: Fendt by Works

Getting them on - 7/10

A little bit tight over the shoulders.

 

General fit - 7/10

Everything where it should be, with no excess material to catch on things.

 

Quality of material - 8/10

Very good. Durable, without being too hot or heavy.

 

Quality of finish - 8/10

Well put together.

 

Pocket space, size, location and usefulness - 6/10

On the whole, good, but the breast pocket has an extra pocket stitched on the outside of it which sticks out, catches debris and weighs down the overalls.

 

Manoeuvrability - 7/10

Adequate.

 

Protection, warmth and safety - 9/10

Main strength. It features a storm flap, double thickness knees and high visibility bits so you can be easily seen around the yard.

 

Fastenings - 8/10

Good combination of zip and velcro.

 

Value for money - 7/10

Best price - £42.97 from a dealer. Quite dear, but ok for price.

 

Style - 8/10

Not bad. Features trendy black and green flashes.

 

Total score - 75/100

Worth considering.

Overalls test: Case IH by Ostscher

Overalls test: Case IH by Ostscher

Getting them on - 8/10

Nice and easy. No contortionism required.

 

General fit - 9/10

Nothing too tight or loose.

 

Quality of material - 8/10

Very thick, durable material used, but not too heavy or hot.

 

Quality of finish - 8/10

Very tidy and well stitched together.

 

Pocket space, size,location and usefulness - 8/10

Plenty of pockets of various sizes and a good layout. Poppers on trouser pockets prevent them from sticking out and catching. Velcro flaps on top pockets stops ingress of straw and keeps the mobile safe.

 

Manoeuvrability - 8/10

Lots of space to move, without being baggy.

 

Protection, warmth and safety - 9/10

Not a problem resisting welding or angle grinder sparks. Wrist poppers prevent dangling sleeves and armpit holes provide ventilation.

 

Fastenings - 8/10

A good mix of poppers, velcro and zips. Main body zip could do with a storm flap over it, with poppers just in case the main zip breaks, as they often do on overalls.

 

Value for money - 8/10

Best price - £36.50 from a dealer. Good value.

 

Style - 7/10

A pleasant, simple style. You won’t exactly be the talk of the auction in this predominantly grey pair.

 

Total score - 81/100

Worth a buy.

Overalls test: Valtra by Dimex

Overalls test: Valtra by Dimex

Getting them on - 8/10

Easy enough.

 

General fit - 10/10

Like a second skin.

 

Quality of material - 8/10

Light, but will stand plenty of punishment.

 

Quality of finish - 9/10

Very well put together.

 

Pocket space, size, location and usefulness - 9/10

Just about spot on. Good positioning and various sizes.

 

Manoeuvrability - 9/10

Hardly any restrictions.

 

Protection, warmth and safety - 7/10

Could benefit from a storm flap.

 

Fastenings - 8/10

Has good trouser pocket protection and leg zips enable them to be pulled on over boots.

 

Value for money - 9/10

Best price - £41 from dealer. Practically a steal.

 

Style - 7/10

Very cool black and red with high visibility flashes. You could almost pull in them.

 

Total score - 86/100

Nearly perfect.

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