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4cyl or 6cyl Tractor

  • 29-07-2022 3:34pm
    Registered Users Posts: 18

    Well lads, As the title suggests were currently stuck in which option to go with. So

    Giving a little bit of a run down of what we need the tractor to do.

    Our current 4cyl Massey covers small jobs such as a bit of wrapping, moving a few bales ,log splitting etc. Just general yard stuff honestly.

    Now, we are currently looking to upgrade our tractor from a 95hp 2wd to a 4wd tractor to do the same tasks with the bonus of a front loader. After having a browse for whats currently available I couldn't help but notice that 4cyl tractors seemed to be more expensive than 6cyl tractors (Within rough size of each other), And not just Massey Tractors Either. Was looking at a few NewHolland tractors and they seem to be following the same path.

    Now we arent full time or anything like that. We simply have beef cattle & a few sheep. We do all work our selves, Making Silage to spreading slurry. Aswell as doing a small bit of contracting also, hence the need for 3 tractors.

    Now for bigger jobs we do have two 6cyl tractors, but for a 3rd tractor when factoring in price is a 4cyl tractor really worth the extra money it might cost to get a decent one? Is the fuel saving really that massive?

    Please let us know your thoughts and suggestions.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,055 ✭✭✭Grueller

    My own knowledge is very limited but I have driven both NH T6 4 cylinder and 6 cylinder versions. On similar work the 6 cylinder is fairly thirsty by comparison to the 4 cylinder.

    I have a 4 cylinder T6.125s myself. 118hp no boost. It is light on juice but I do no contracting and my heavy work is hauling bales and my own slurry, so really my experience is limited. Reggie on here has a T6.145, 118hp with a boost to 145. He has a 3m power harrow and does slurry work with iirc a 2250 tank with a dribble bar so may be more qualified to tell you exact consumption.

    Best of luck with your decision.

  • Registered Users Posts: 453 ✭✭Silverdream

    Are you buying brand new? If yes then the new 4 cylinder Tractors especially those from John Deere but also Kubuta are putting out more HP on 4 cylinders than the 6 cylinder Tractors from previous years but on only a fraction of the fuel consumption. I think fuel consumption is a real issue now and for the future. I know new is a huge investment but it's a 30 year plus investment so over that length it isn't so costly.

    I traded in our old Massey a few years back and got a new Claas Tractor on 2% finance. These finance deals are not about now but if we get another recession then you'll see them reappear

  • Registered Users Posts: 18 Darren456

    As much as we would love a new tractor we couldnt justify it. Our current 6cyl machines are 02 & 99. Always do all our own servicing ect. If tractors need to be split to put in a new clutch no fancy electrics or dealer callouts to clear codes needed. As I said before we arent full time. only a few weeks of the year really to be honest. So financing a machine thats going to sit in the shed for most of the year just isint feasible.

    I do agree how ever, with these current fuel costs Its definitely something to consider. My only thought was if your asking for two much from a 4cyl engine surely it would be fairly drinking juice where a 6cyl will just ease through the work.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,719 ✭✭✭GrasstoMilk

    Had an arion 630 on our 2600g major a few times this year, grand tractor, definitely needed for that size tanker but got a demo of a mf 6715s for 2 days to draw slurry after 1st cut

    same HP but 4 cyl, only 1km slower on the hills

    hoping to change up to one by spring

  • Registered Users Posts: 623 ✭✭✭farmertipp

    my 2pence worth. a 6 cylinder engine is more versatile, I would say more reliable in the long run and made for heavy work. I have a 4 cylinder r series jd . fine machine but lacking if using 2500 tank with shoe if you are going uphill and want it out light

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  • Registered Users Posts: 18 Darren456

    I did hear that FarmerPhil lad on YouTube saying something about the savings to be made running a Kobota 4cyl on a baler. Something like a few Thousand € saved over 1000 hours. Kinda mad when you put it into perspective.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,395 ✭✭✭hopeso

    Something else to consider is the physical size of both tractors. Do you work in yards or other areas where a 4 cylinder might be handy?

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,204 ✭✭✭FintanMcluskey

    The 4cyl simply don't have the torque of the equivalent HP 6cyl due to 2 power strokes missing from each power cycle of the crank.

    The fuel savings a 4cyl has over a 6cyl are really only seen when not actually working that hard. When the 4cyl actually has hard work to do the 6cyl is then just as easy on fuel

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,204 ✭✭✭FintanMcluskey

    That was misleading. He was comparing the 170hp Kubota baling in the economy 540E shaft to a 220hp Massey baling in the standard shaft.

    Every cent that would be saved on diesel in 1000 hours would needed to repair the economy PTO gears, they are not designed for high torque applications by their design.

    In any case once the Kubota went power harrowing (in the standard 540 PTO) it used more diesel than the big Massey.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,872 ✭✭✭emaherx

    +1 on this consideration especially if OP has 6 cylinder tractors already.

    Currently have my 390T split in yard and I'm borrowing a NH T6.140 from the FIL/BIL to finish stacking bale's in hayshed. The NH is only 4 cylinder too but considerably longer and wider than my tractor and is a bit awkward in my yard which is tight on space, a 6 cylinder would be a proper pain though. There is also less visibility of loader with longer bonnet to consider.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 6,811 ✭✭✭kevthegaff

    Fintan has a good point bigger tractor bigger built. Less wear on bigger axles pto etc

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,872 ✭✭✭emaherx

    But the OP already has 2 6 cylinder tractors for heavy work. Hard to see the justification of 3 6 cylinder tractors on a part time farm. As it is I'm finding it hard to see justification for 2 6 cylinder tractors and a 100+HP 4 cylinder machine. Maybe the OP should get a loader for one of the existing 6 cylinder machines if the current 4 cylinder is too light.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,895 ✭✭✭funkey_monkey

    You'll know yourself about the yards and sheds you be working in. Could you work in them with one of your 6cyl with a front loader on it? Would it be much more awkward than with your Massey? What about height issues? A lot to be said for a smallish machine on 34's at the back - especially if you are contracting in and around different farms.

    How many hours a year will you be putting onto them roughly? If you're not doing big hours then the fuel usage argument isn't as big of a concern.

    Your priority should be getting the cleanest low hours tractor you can - regardless of the number of cylinders. If I was in your position I'd be looking primarily for a 4cyl for the flexibility of something different, but not ruling out a 6cyl.

    What age of a machine are you looking at? Are you restricting yourself to certain brands?

    How do you work at silage - presuming it is round baling? In which case your best setup would be 6cyl mowing and then moving to drawing bales. 6cyl baling and the 4cyl wrapping. Therefore, as said above loader on one of the 6cyl might be better option.

    TBH - none of us can advise much as we don't really know how your setup works.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,317 ✭✭✭stanflt

    I’ve a 6cyl case maxxum 125 and a 4cyl case maxxum 145

    the 125 would **** all over the new 145 and is less thirsty on fuel And doesn’t take add blue

    the worse thing is the new maxxum has the new gearbox that’s supposed to be most fuel efficient on the dlg tests- I’d go for 6cyl if I ever change again