WITH a cropping enterprise covering 2450 hectares (6000ac), Binnu farmer Damian Harris doesn't have to buy into big seeding rigs.
And therefore, he doesn't need a high horsepower 4WD tractor.
But what he needed last year was a good-sized tractor with a bit more grunt than the one he had.
In the end, he opted for a New Holland T8430, with a power rating of 226kW (307hp) complete with plenty of "fruit".
"It gets used for a range of jobs right throughout the year," he said. "That's what I wanted so I had a great deal of flexibility for light and heavy work."
While he has bought himself an extra 50kW (70hp), surprisingly his fuel bill hasn't risen.
"Fuel useage is about the same as the old tractor which is really great given the extra grunt I'm getting," Damian said.
"I've used it for spreading, chasing, seeding and spading work clocking up about 900 hours since I bought it last year in March.
"It really has some good features which makes it easy to handle though I don't think the designers of most tractors have got it right putting the seat over the back axle.
"You can talk about the great front-wheel suspension but it's still a bit hard having the seat on the back axle, even with the air suspension.
"I think suspension over the back end is needed."
New Holland has placed a Tier Three-compliant 8.3L engine in its T8000 series models with power ratings ranging from 130kW (175 PTO hp) to 190kW (255hp).
This has provided plenty of drawbar and lugging power to pull through heavy tillage, discing and ripping jobs while an eight working speed range is provided from 4.9km/h to 12.9km/h, with a consistent 14 per cent speed change between gears.
There are also two transmission options designed to provide farmers with flexible options for a wide range of farming operations, which was another feature that appealed to Damian.
The 23x6 powershift with creeper, is designed with five slower forward and two reverse speeds for working in vegetable, potato or other specialty crops. The operator can engage and disengage the creeper gears at the end of the rows without stopping.
The 19x4 powershift, which Damian opted for, has a special gear that increases fuel economy during transport.
All transmissions are enhanced with the convenience of push-button automatic transmissions in road and paddock modes.