Steve Hawken looks at the construction of a deep straw compost barn on his Echuca dairy farm as an investment in the future of his business.
The Deutz Fahr 9 series certainly looks the part, but are the mechanicals up to the task, or is this just a supermodel that is all smoke and mirrors?
The good news is that Series 9 takes tried and tested technology, already seen in the likes of Series7, and incorporates upgrades in specification to deal with the increased power.
Offered in models with maximum engine outputs of 295, 312 and 336hp, the 9290, 9310 and 9340 models use a six cylinder, 7.8 litre Deutz TTCD engine which is supplied to the Australasian markets in a guise, which removes the need for SCR and DPF after-treatment systems.
Two stage turbo-charging and an inter-cooling package sees the unit deliver 90% torque at only 1000 rpm, and go on to produce maximum output at a constant level between 1200 and 1600 rpm.
The continuously variable transmission takes the shape of the ZF Terramatic unit which offers four automatically selected ranges subject to speed and load, and three driving modes dependant on the task at hand.
Standout features beside the step-less speed control from 0-50kph seems to be the claim that the design delivers around 80% mechanical proportion during field work between 8-15kph, which moves to 90% in typical transport situations.
A 60kph option is available combined with HD external disc brakes on the front axle
At the rear of the tractor the 3pt linkage is quoted as having 12 tonnes lift capacity, and combines with a closed centre, load sensing hydraulic system which delivers 160 litres per minute to up to 7 set of remotes (4 std).
Up front the linkage system is said to have a capacity of five tonnes and offers two PTO speeds, while the rear has three options so all situations should be easily catered for.
The MaxVision 2 cabin has a newly incorporated Panoramic windscreen for outstanding visibility, and uses the generation 4 i-Monitor to the driver’s right for control of the likes of engine, transmission and hydraulics as well as system cameras and ISOBUS functions.
The touch screen system also incorporates a neat feature in its ability to allow the operator to dedicate any of the buttons on the right hand armrest for favourite functions.
With driver comfort in mind a must for long productive days an air seat combines with a pneumatically suspended cabin which is also isolated from the engine to deliver noise levels of only 69 decibels.
Up front a DANA front axle improves comfort further by offering 90mm of suspension travel and also features external dry disc brakes for impressive stopping power, and combines with electronically engaged 4WD, and automated diff-lock systems to keep things going in difficult conditions.
Back to the tractor’s rear, AU spec units include an ISOBUS plug for connection to system-ready implements, and a seven pin plug for implement control and GPS (30cm) as standard, with an option to upgrade to RTK accuracy.
“Our intention is to offer the 9 series via the tailor-made Deutz Custom Build programme, which allows purchasers to configure the tractor to their specific requirements, and we believe they will prove to be very popular with contractors for PTO and haulage operations,” Deutz Fahr product manager, PFG Australia, Anthony Darvenizia said.