Case Puma 240 CVT review

Case IH has added to the hype surrounding the upcoming launch of its all new Optum series, with the simultaneous release of the revised Puma Tier 4B Series.

Available in both Powershift and Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) options, the new Puma offering comes in two different frame sizes as before, but with power increasing into the 150 to 240 rated engine horsepower range. Mark Fouhy test drives the latest Puma offering.

An American big cat, Pumas are known by several different names including cougar, panther and mountain lion. In some areas these big wild cats are becoming rarer. However the Austrian-built Case IH Puma range is experiencing anything but a decline. In fact it is thriving.

The St Valentine plant is the European home for Case IH, producing 28 tractor models from 99-240Hp, including the Puma range which starts at 150hp up to 240hp. Now onto its third generation, the Puma has quite a following among contractors and larger farmers, although it still has a few years to go to achieve legendary status like the Magnum.

The test

After a quick cup of tea with Darren Miers and the boys from Grain and Food (Ag contractors based near Hamilton), we headed to a local dairy farm with some slurry to spread with the high spec 1250 muck spreader on demo from Giltrap Agri Zone in Cambridge, along with the top-of-the-range Puma 240 CVT.

The Puma range is being brought in in classic and ultimate models, giving the options of as many or few bells and whistles as you prefer. With torrential rain and icy wind, we managed to get onto the paddocks in less than ideal conditions. The big Puma was actually lighter on the paddock than I was expecting. The weight of high spec 12T muck spreader behind was no issue.


With competition fierce between tractor brands, each has to keep up or be left behind. The new Puma model boasts six new engine design patents. These improvements offer around 15hp (unboosted) over the previous model, while decreasing the nitrous oxide emissions levels to be compliant with tier 4 final requirements.

To achieve this they haven’t needed to add an expensive diesel particulate filter or exhaust gas recirculation system. A 48-litre AdBlue tank mounted next to the diesel tank and treatment system is the main requirement, along with a host of refinements within the engine. Engine noise in the comfortable high spec cab is not noticeably loud by any standard.

Automatic productivity management (APM) further helps maximise efficiency in fuel consumption by reducing revs in relation to engine load while maintaining forward speed via the CVT transmission.

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The 240 Puma is only available in CVT. The CVT system has received an update to make it more responsive and to operate more like your automatic car, interpreting the operator input and changing speed/power output accordingly depending on accelerator input.

The other feature that I really like on this transmission is the active hold system that allows you to stop the tractor on a hill, without using brakes, and allows you to pull away again without using either brake or clutch pedals. This is easier on the tractor and operator; great for round baling duties or operating big trailers and muck spreaders.

Another feature of this transmission is the eco mode, useful in transport situations where it will cut right back to around 1600rpm once it has reached its top speed 40-50km/hr depending on front axle fitted. This is another of the fuel saving features of the transmission on the new Puma range.


The Case IH design and technical teams have kept with the 12-month/600-hour interval engine and 1200-hour transmission oil changes like most agricultural tractors they are producing. This is right up there in terms of what the rest of the industry is offering and helps keep the overall cost of ownership of a new Puma down.

More importantly it means less downtime at busy times when the weather is good and you need to get through the work. Daily servicing is pretty straightforward. The oil dipstick/filler on the same side as the fuel tank is easily checked without raising the bonnet. The one-piece bonnet is easily lifted, requiring a tool to release the safety.


One of the most noticeable new features of the Puma range is the updated cab design. Addition of new LED lights on each of the four corners takes the total lighting package up to 28,800 lumens and should give a 360-degree range of lighting options to suit whatever task is at hand during darkness.

The rear fenders have also been updated; PTO and linkage controls are still built in, and the main change is to the shape which allows 710 tyres to be fitted and keep the mud at bay without fender extensions. As standard, the Puma 240 is fitted with Michelin 650/65 R42 rear and 540/65 R30 front tyres. Inside the cab the Ultimate series Puma, like the test tractor, receives a leather operator and training seat. The other cosmetic upgrade is the air conditioning unit. Case IH has gone to a one-piece front window, further enhancing visibility for the operator.

For rear view they have added two-piece mirrors, like the big trucks use, which are great for viewing different fields of vision without altering the mirror. Controls are mounted on the multi-controller arm with information displayed down the front right pillar and in the AFS 700 touchscreen monitor.

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Comfort and operation

As an operator you wouldn’t complain with the space, comfort and visibility offered by the Puma cabs. Quality of finish is high and the leather seat is a nice finish. Case IH uses the same operation and control systems from the Maxxum CVT tractors right up to the biggest Steiger wheeled and Quadtrac machines, which immediately make them familiar to a number of operators and the standard use of colours – PTO function, yellow; drive, orange; FWD, blue.

Being a longer wheelbase machine, comfort levels are excellent as you would expect with a premium seat package cab suspension and front suspension which is an option. For a machine of this size I would expect it to be fitted almost as standard with the workload expected of a tractor of this size.


The 170L/min hydraulic pump of the Puma CVT tractors provides impressive lift capacity of 10,463Kg at the rear linkage. The (up to) nine electronic remotes (five rear and four mid-mount) should be ample for most situations. Not so visible but very useful all the same are the updates within the hydraulic system. You can select which remote you want on which lever within the AFS Pro 700 touchscreen, and you can easily further fine tune flow rates to suit different applications.

Used with the Headland Management system, the operator can concentrate on where they are going with other functions taken care of by tractor automation. Another new feature I’m sure Puma drivers will appreciate is being able to move straight through the hydraulic remotes from locked in to out, without having to pause in between.


Electro hydraulic PTO with soft start function saves damage to implements like round balers. Used in conjunction with headland management, you can set start/stop times at certain point when raising/lowering implements to prevent damage to drive shafts and implements.

The verdict

This is most time I have spent in a Puma tractor in last couple of years. The improvements and changes made to design and function have immediate benefits to those owning and operating these latest models from the Puma range. With the evolution of these third generation Pumas, I can’t see these machines featuring on the endangered species list any time soon.

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