Tractor information tends to be dominated by the relentless push in direction of packing an ever higher variety of horses underneath the bonnet, with smaller tractors relegated to the position of yard scrapers or property keepers.

Nonetheless, there are purposes the place enormous energy and large torque is just not required, but the fashionable trappings of cab consolation and technological competence are very a lot appreciated.

Clutchless shifts enhance productiveness

Massey Ferguson has just lately delivered one among its smaller machines to the John Innes Analysis Institute at Norwich within the UK, a buyer which required a small however nicely outfitted tractor for plot-drilling duties.

The tractor chosen is a Massey Ferguson 4708 M which is the smallest tractor of the trio within the 4700M vary, and it’ll assist sow 12,000 experimental plots of wheat and oilseed rape over 20ha, alongside two Claas Arions.

4708M tractor
The Massey Ferguson 4708M can also be out there in platform solely configuration

The 4708M produces 82hp from its three-cylinder, 3.3L AGCO Energy engine.

This drives the most recent Dyna 2 gearbox which permits clutch-less shifting of the 24 gears in each ahead and reverse through a gearstick-mounted thumb button.

This set-up permits fast gear adjustments and not using a break in energy supply and is tremendously favoured by the operators for a number of the sowing might be as sluggish as 2.5km/h and the ability to flick up and down by way of the gears helps with total accuracy.

MF 4708M narrowed down

One other main attraction for the institute was the power to specify a narrower wheel centre of 155cm, 10cm lower than the usual 165cm.

This permits plots to be sown nearer collectively and though it won’t seem like a lot of a distinction, some fields can have 100 plots and it quickly provides up, permitting extra plots to be squeezed in.

The beneficiant specification of the tractor additionally included linkage top controls on the mudguards, important for establishing the drill because it avoids the necessity to clamber out and in of the cab, saving a great deal of time over season.

MF 4708M
L-r: Darryl Playford, website manger of the Dorothea de Winton discipline station, with operators Rebecca Lee and Chris Allen

The plan is to maintain the tractor on the fleet for a 10-year interval earlier than promoting it on. Narrower tyres might also be fitted sooner or later to scale back the area between plots even additional.

The John Innes Centre was established in 1910 and describes itself as an unbiased, worldwide centre of excellence in plant science, genetics and microbiology, masking quite a lot of crop sorts.