Tractor test

Claas Axion 850 Hexashift

Upping its game

The Axion 800 family may have recently grown to include new smaller models, but this month’s tractor test focuses on the flagship of the range — the 184kW/250hp Axion 850. Time to see, then, what this Stage IV engine tractor is like to live with

Practical test

Krone Swadro TC 880 Plus twin-rotor rake

Ground Control to Major Tom

Not everyone has need of, or the space to use, a massive rake. Krone’s new twin-rotor Swadro TC 880 Plus can pull in plenty of crop and comes with Jet Effect. Time will tell how fast it takes off

Driving impression

New Holland Roll Belt 180 Active Sweep round baler

Keeping things stuffed

Unlike New Holland’s Super Feed and Crop Cutter balers, which pull the crop underneath, Active Sweep uses fingers on its rotor to pass material over the top and place it directly into the chamber. In doing so it’s reckoned to be kinder on brittle or delicate crops

Claas Scorpion 7055 telehandler

Heavyweight workout

In an effort to keep up with the likes of JCB and Manitou and their heavyweight load-shifters, Claas has added serious beef to its top-end Scorpion models. They can now lift 5.5t — over a tonne more than their predecessors

Massey Ferguson 4700 tractor

A global tractor goes local

Massey Ferguson has invested more than €270 million in the development of its simple, small-frame 4700 tractor range. Being built at factories across the globe, it’s reckoned to be the tractor for every market. We’ve driven it, and here are our thoughts

Lemken Vega 12 trailed sprayer

A new spraying star

Lemken has long been a company for picking unusual names and, true to form, opted to go with a star theme for its sprayer range. Latest addition is Vega, a star 25 light years away from earth and measuring twice the size of the sun. Astronomy lesson over, the machine in question is a new generation of trailed sprayer that will be made available later this year after being unveiled at the previous

Kubota RTV-X900 UTV

Kub with extra Xing?

Although it was never the fastest, most comfortable nor the most able over rough ground, the Kubota RTV-900 nonetheless had enough good points to make it easy to recommend for ag UTV operation. With a new transmission, all-round independent suspension and better ground clearance, the latest RTV-X900 looks to have addressed its predecessor’s shortcomings. So, is this new model an ideal ag UTV buy?

Livestock equipment

Northern Ireland agricultural college ‘futurises’ its dairy unit

Here to teach

When the decision was taken to totally reconstruct an ageing dairy unit at Greenmount College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE), near Antrim, a £2.5m project was given the green light to create a completely new set-up

Used machinery

John Deere 6R tractors

Three Deere ranges in one — so homework is required

Tractor manufacturers do, at times, make understanding their ranges a challenge. So although the John Deere 6R puts clear green water between itself and the firm’s lower spec 6M series, there are actually three ‘wheelbase’ models in both lines. Then add in some options… Umm… Homework time


From the workshop

Simple solutions to perennial problems

Giving Rapid drill pre-emergence markers some spring and adding tailor-made wear plates to a diet feeder are just two of the workshop wonders found within this month’s Simple Solutions. As usual, your compiler is Mike Donovan

Machine management

One-customer contracting in Norfolk

Keeping all your potatoes in one basket

Most contractors tend to expand their range of services and, in doing so, increase their number of customers. Jeremy Leadley, of Cromer-based TAS Valley Contracting, focuses solely on potato growing for one key customer. Risky policy? Maybe. But then there are several factors that work in TAS Valley’s favour

Around the world

Don’t be a stick in the mud/Knowledge is power in Australia/Expo reflects strength in machinery market/Making choices gets tougher


Bednar Farm Machinery

Eyes to the West

UK farmers and contractors now have another cultivator manufacturer to consider. Czech Republic-based Bednar is looking to gain a foothold in the UK market by appointing Knight Farm Machinery as its importer and distributor


Hydraulics explained: Part III Oil control — pressure

It’s oil about control

For Part III in this series we turn to the business of limiting and directing the flow of oil around a circuit. As before, a guiding hand comes from John Liposits, technical trainer at John Deere’s Langar, Notts HQ


Great Wall Steed vs SsangYong Korando Sports double-cab pick-ups

Korando jumps the Wall

Cheap transport has to be poor transport, right? Not necessarily, as we discover in this month’s double-cab pick-up test… Blue ‘Wall’ plays a white ‘Yong’

Under the hammer

Ritchie Brothers collective sale

German collective provides impressive results

There was plenty of enthusiastic bidding at the recent Ritchie Brothers collective, which took place in Meppen, Germany. A number of UK buyers made the trip… and made a purchase



UK contractor charges

This is the National Association of Agricultural Contractors’ ( charge guide, based on info supplied by its members last spring. The figures are only a guide and assume a red diesel price of 70p/litre. Prices will vary according to UK region, size of job, type of equipment used etc