LONG TERM TEST: The original TM420 was a hefty bit of kit. Capable? Yes. Speedy? Not so much. To overcome this lack of oomph, JCB piled on the power and, in 2021, unveiled the TM420S, which impressed us when we had a drive in our August issue driving impression. So, what’s it like to live with? We tracked down a model that has rucked up over 3,500 hours, from pit work to feeding out.

The TM420S was much more than just turning up the power wick on the four-cylinder Dieselmax to pump out 173hp. The company’s engineering team shoehorned in the bigger 4.8-litre unit, which was mated to a brand new transmission with torque lock-up, making it a much more appealing option for clamp climbing. Our host farm is no stranger to the JCB TM having operated a 420 previously, which amassed over 6,000 hours during the three years it was on farm. With 1,600 head to cater for, dependability is right at the top of the list, and, even though the old model had a number of exhaust emission equipment issues, it was largely judged as a solid performer.

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