Case IH MXU115

Eighteen months ago, Terry Stevenson test drove a MXU100 – now he checks out the six-cylinder model, the MXU115

Darryl Pellow owns a 162ha dairy farm near Ngaruawahia, and let me loose on his 1850-hour Case IH MXU115, originally supplied by Huntly’s Roger Gill Motors.

Pellow has owned his MXU115 around two years, which joined his two other Case Internationals, a 84hp 4230 and a 1973 42hp 444 model. Replacing an old 2WD ROPS Iseki 7000, his MXU115 does all the hard work, such as hay, silage, and fertiliser spreading, while the others are kept for the smaller jobs.

He wanted another cab tractor and needed more horsepower, but one of the reasons Pellow bought the MXU115 was because it had the best kiddies seat of all the tractors he looked at. For the simple reason that he can strap his son into the seat and take him out onto the farm. The only area it struggles in is a wet paddock when towing his new eight-tonne SAM Combo Spreader.

When it comes down to it, most farmers want the extra horsepower so they can tow their feedout and fertiliser wagons, run the power harrows or to power the baler, etc without loading up the engine. But the trade-off with that extra power comes additional weight, meaning the tractor has to be built for greater stability, which means the wheelbase has to be bigger.

Yet they also want a tractor that they can easily get through a gate and into the paddock. It wasn’t a problem a few years ago when the standard sized tractor everyone bought was a bit smaller, but now more and more farmers are choosing greater horsepower and dealing with less manoverability. This is exactly the case with Pellow – and many other farmers I’ve spoken to over the last few years.

Fortunately, the MXU115 has hinged front guards that allow the front wheels to continue turning into a steeper, 55-degree steering lock, which still gives this 2652mm wheelbase Case IH a reasonable turning circle for a tractor of this size.

I think the cabs on these models are the best in the business. Their four post cabs are well finished and, in a word, refined. They offer superb visibility in any direction through very large, single panel windows, have large mirrors (including a good sized interior mirror), are roomy and all the controls are quickly recognised and easy to get to.

I really like the “Cummins” engine, particularly this one. The 6.728-litre European Engine Alliance-developed six-cylinder diesel engine features two-valves per cylinder fed by an individual Bosh injection system with an intercooled turbocharger to boost power. The EEA is a joint venture engine from a combination of Case IH, New Holland and Cummins, now marketed as CNH. Our MXU115 powerplant is rated at 116hp with 520Nm (at 1400rpm) of torque.

Giving it a workout on a medium gradient slope, it held its revs just about at any rpm level I chose to use. This definitely acts and feels like a six-cylinder engine. The one time it did drop its revs was from 1000 and only then lost 200rpm. After that it kept hauling up the hill. I tackled a slightly steeper incline at 1500rpm in an even higher gear to find out what it didn’t like. But to be fair it pulled itself up without issue in 12th of the 16 gears, so I did it again in 13th gear! Even though I could feel it was trying, the engine wasn’t even thinking of dropping its revs so half way up the hill I slipped it into 14th using the powershift. Only then did it struggle, but all the same its revs stabilised at 1200rpm and just kept delivering the goods. Case IH advertise an additional 26hp available for PTO operations, thanks to their electronically controlled power management system. There is a lot to be said about an engine manufacturer with decades of engine building experience!
Pellow uses his MXU115 mostly at 1500rpm, where he says it is also the most economical. High fuel costs are another thing to consider. Pellow says he gets better economy from his 115hp MXU115 than his 10-year-old 4230! Running his MXU115 for three days between refills.

The brakes worked very well and offered good feel through the pedal on this not-new MXU115, hauling the tractor to repeated downhill stops without a problem, although not nearly as good as a Formula 1 car. Motorsport fans may have noticed Case IH decals on Michael Schumacher’s winning Ferrari during July’s US Grand Prix.

Pellow sums it up, “It’s comfortable, and just cruises through the work. I really like the economy too. With the 4230, everything has to rev and work hard, whereas with this, it’s only puttering. Since I’ve had it, nothing I’ve had on the back will really make it work, except when I come to the hills with my SAM spreader!”

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By Terry Stevenson


Cylinders: 4/ Turbocharged, intercooled
Bore/stroke (mm/mm): 104/132
Capacity (cm): 4485
Rated power (kW/hp (cv): 85/116
Max. power (kW/hp (cv): 85/116
Rated engine speed (rpm): 2200
Max. torque (Nm): 520 @ 1400
Torque rise (%): 41
Fuel tank capacity (litres): 220

Type: Semi Powershift/Powershuttle
Number of speeds/with creeper (FxR): 16×16 / 32×32

Four-wheel Drive and Steering
Sheering angle (degrees): 55
Turning radius (m): 4.36

Power Take Off
Speeds (rpm): 540/540E / 1000
PTO speed/engine speed (rpm): 540 @ 1969

Hydraulic System
System pressure (bar): 210
Max. lift capacity (kg) : 7864
Max. number of remote valves: 4 + 2 mid mount
Front hitch lift capacity (kg): 3445

Minimum weight (kg): 4910

Overall length (mm): 4532
Overall width (mm): 1913
Overall height (mm): 2920
Ground clearance under drawbar (mm): 478
Wheel base standard/suspended (mm): 2652/2661

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