Tractor test

Zetor Forterra HD

HD viewing

Electric spools and cab/front-axle suspension may not be features you’d expect to find on a Zetor, a brand that has a reputation for minimal sophistication. But here we are with the Forterra HD, which jumps up the spec table to put it on a technology par with many of its 150hp mainstream rivals

Practical test

Kuhn GA 8731 centre-delivery rake

Rake me up before you go-go

High crop raking output at a reasonable cost is the claim for Kuhn’s mass-market GA 8731 twin-rotor model. A relative newcomer to the French firm’s line-up, we ran this centre-delivery rake through both grass and straw over an extended period in 2015

Driving impression

New Holland T6.180 methane-powered tractor

More tea vicar?

Trials on a Somerset farming operation suggest that, with a little more development, methane could be a viable proposition for powering tractors. It seems, then, that New Holland is on the right track

Hi-Spec Autocut RH980C mower

Take a load off

Hi-Spec is not a name you’d normally associate with grassland kit, but the Irish firm is looking to expand its equipment range. Preparing the way for other products in the pipeline is the Autocut semi-mounted butterfly mower, the machine we focus on here

Pöttinger Impress 185 V Pro round baler

Suitably impressed

Pöttinger’s first round baler conceals a number of intriguing features beneath its distinctive red and white side panels. Still some way off going on full sale, we were able to roll up some straw with one of the Austrian firm’s early prototypes

New Holland FR 780 Forage Cruiser self-propelled forager

Monster muncher

Over the past nine months New Holland’s FR 780 Forage Cruiser has been getting stuck into crops. We tuck the 775hp chopper into maize to see how the FPT Cursor 16 motor and the rest of the updates perform

Suitably impressed

Pöttinger Impress 185 V Pro round baler

Pöttinger’s first round baler conceals a number of intriguing features beneath its distinctive red and white side panels. Still some way off going on full sale, we were able to roll up some straw with one of the Austrian firm’s early prototypes

Livestock equipment

Robotic milking solution in the field

Portable Astronauts solve milking logistics problem

Having encountered several difficulties in moving his dairy herd from parlour to pasture, German farmer Markus Legge built two portable milking units in his fields in 2009, and, now, seven years later he is halfway through the intended payback period. So, was this huge project the answer to his problems? Any regrets? Possibly … but none that you’d really notice

Used machinery

JCB Fastrac 8000 series

Looking for an old Yeller

When JCB launched the 250hp Fastrac 8250 back in 2005, the new model hit the headlines for more reasons than its adoption of a CVT. Here was a Fastrac that sought to offer as much in-field performance as pace in transport. So, with an all-new 8000 series due at the end of 2016, is now a good time to consider investing in an existing 8000 model as a used buy?


Blocked grease points

Grease point is not taking grease

A grease nipple or greasing point that won’t take grease can be very difficult to fix. Before you resort to dismantling the offending non-greasing item, there’s plenty you can try first

Machine management

Bowser back-up for the sprayer

Pit stop spraying

Boom fold times and roading back to a central filling area all eat into productive spraying hours. Reason enough, then, to consider running a bowser so the sprayer spends more time doing what it was built to do. We seek the views of two bowser converts

Around the world

Big show, big tractors! / Sowing and spreading / Kubota acquires Great Plains Manufacturing / Take the sweat out of sheeting the clamp


Tracks to spread harvester weight

Spread the load

Tests with a novel Danish-made rubber-track system show it is capable of reducing the ground pressure below the wheels of a combine harvester’s front axle to around 1kg/cm2. Good news, as that’s reckoned to be the magic number for minimising compaction

Claas Jaguar MCC Shredlage cracker

Big bits, little bits

If you haven’t previously heard of ‘shredlage’, prepare to be educated. Used in making maize silage, shredlage is reckoned to combine the advantages of intensive crop processing while retaining sufficient fibre content to maintain rumen health. Here is Claas’s take on the technology


PneuTrac from Mitas and Galileo Wheel

Round and rolling

Some sceptics were convinced Mitas had come up with a cunning marketing plan when it showcased the PneuTrac tyre at Agritechnica 2013. Running on flats? Really? Yet this innovative project is still very much in motion, as we find out


Audi Q7 vs Volvo XC90

Heavy traffic

Two big 4x4s with permanent all-wheel drive and seven seats roll in for this month’s comparison. Is one of them for you?

Under the hammer

Empsons Farm sale

Healthy prices for ageing kit

Following the business restructuring of Boor Bros, a good selection of arable and specialist kit came up for sale in July. Some strong prices showed the upturn on the used machinery market is not just a case of dealers talking up the trade, and bidding didn’t need much encouragement, reports Brown & Co



UK contractor charges

This is the National Association of Agricultural Contractors’ ( charge guide, based on info supplied by its members this spring. The figures are only a guide and assume a red diesel price of 40p/litre. Prices will vary according to UK region, size of job, type of equipment used etc