Deutz Agrotron M615 tractor

Power Farming Canterbury’s new Deutz M615 demonstrator has been doing the rounds of contractors and farmers this season, baling, harvesting and autumn cultivation

  • Renowned for fuel economy and reliability
  • Strong motor that punches above its weight
  • Excellent visibility and operator comfort
  • Easy access for servicing
  • Excellent suspension system gives smooth ride

At 145hp, the 615 is a popular-sized tractor that suits applications in contracting, cropping and larger livestock operations. With a loader and duals fitted it would suit larger dairy farms and stations, while with a front PTO linkage kit it would be an ideal mowing tractor or for driving a baler.

The test tractor has the Profi-line specification so comes with the ‘PowerComS’ lever, which contains controls for powershift, remotes and three-point linkage; it is used to set up to 16 functions in sequence and operate the headland management system.

It almost drives itself

The easy-to-operate headland management system almost has the tractor driving itself.

With a cultivator usually on a John Deere 7700 with more horsepower and weight, the slightly smaller Deutz pulled it to the ploughing depth in eighth gear at 1600-1700rpm, doing 6.7-6.9km/h.

With the draft and sensing on the three-point linkage set correctly and the revs up slightly to 1700, the Deutz was easily holding eighth gear with speed up to 7.2km/h.

The 7700 would normally run at about 2000rpm to achieve the same work rate and would use a lot more fuel. However, the 7700 is an old tractor compared with the Deutz’s latest common rail motor.
Engine and power

The M615 has Deutz’s 6.0-litre six-cylinder 24-valve common rail engine, which appears to be very strong.

The high-pressure Deutz common rail system features two injector pumps. Unlike most injector pumps, they are lubricated by the engine oil pump rather than relying on diesel fuel for lubrication. This allows the motor to run on 100-percent biodiesel, which probably also makes it ideal for our third-world diesel that a lot of common rail systems are struggling with.

A seven-litre-per-hour difference, which the Deutz recently achieved against a competitor, adds up to a lot of fuel – over 1000 hours, or a $10,500 annual saving.

A huge improvement on the latest model is the redesigned exhaust, which removes the muffler from underneath the bonnet to the vertical stack and no longer attaches it to the A-pillar of the cab. Deutz has clearly placed huge emphasis on improving the operator’s environment.


The six-range, four-powershift transmission in the 165 gains speed matching in this model – 50km/h road speed and an auto powershift feature.

The range lever now has a clutch button in addition to the usual powershift, and the gate has been turned about 45 degrees to make shifting easier. But I still prefer the previous model’s floor-mounted range lever, as the shorter console-mounted range lever seems to have a longer throw from gear to gear, making selecting the second range difficult as it’s back towards the PowerComS control.

The PTO is worth mentioning: in addition to the usual 540/540E and1000 rpm speeds, the M615 also has a 1000E speed for easy-to-drive gear, meaning the engine can be run at 1600 revs.

Inside the cab

While the cab looks the same as the earlier model it has a few differences – the most noticeable being how quiet it is.

Visibility is excellent in all directions, as is access via the wide steps and doors. Once seated, all the controls are well placed.

Lights have been fixed so that the shortsighted headlights and blind spots to either side when turning on the headlands are gone.


The M615 test tractor has a good lifting capacity, a sensing system that evens out the bumps from linkage-mounted gear on the road, four double-acting remotes, plenty of flow, and importantly a 40-litre draw-off capacity for tipping trailers and the like.

Remotes are controlled on the PowerComS control or joystick with flow controls and timers on the armrest.


The M615 is fitted with a hydropneumatic front axle suspension and air cab suspension, which give an excellent ride.

The front cab mounts have been changed on this model and give greater sideways movement. Combined with the air bags, most bumps are absorbed.


Access to the engine is by lifting the rear-hinged bonnet on gas struts, which provides easy access for cleaning the radiator and coolers. These are on a forward opening cassette, so loaders do not hinder access.

Daily checks are easily carried out with a sight glass-type level indicator for the transmission. The engine oil dipstick on the left also doubles as the filler, meaning you can top up without lifting the bonnet. Engine oil changes have been extended to 500 hours.

The verdict

Like the older 165, the M615 is a tractor that can punch well above its weight.

See a range of Deutz tractors for sale.


Engine Deutz Turbo
Cylinders 6
Gross HP 145
Transmission Powershift 24F+ 24R
Drive Train 4WD
Protection Cabin
Tyre Specification F: 540/65R24 – 600/65R38


Photography: Ian Harwood

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