Cover Story: Massey Ferguson 8732 S DYNA VT

By: Brent Lilley, Photography by: Justin Bennett


Although the Massey Ferguson 8700 series has been around for some time now, the four models from 300hp to 370hp are the first in the range to be redesigned and receive the ‘S’

As farmers and contractors chase higher works rates and efficiencies, in recent years, there has been significant growth in the availability of 300-plus horsepower tractors.

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Here in New Zealand and around the world, manufacturers have taken notice, rapidly updating and offering new models with increasing amounts of technology packed in to capture a share of this market. 

With the prospect of testing out a newly released Massey Ferguson 8732 S, I headed to Taupo. As part of an AGCO high-horsepower day, a line-up of large Massey Ferguson tractors was on-site, along with a range of implements from Origin Agroup to put the tractors through their paces.

Although the Massey Ferguson 8700 series has been around for some time now, the four models from 300hp to 370hp are the first in the range to be redesigned and receive the ‘S’ distinction.

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Sleek lines on the 8732 S

The exterior features a restyled bonnet and an impressively light package with up to 18 LED lights. While these are the most obvious external changes, it’s packed with a whole lot more new changes inside.

With the tractor hooked up to a 4.5-metre Gascon chisel plough, I was keen to hop in and see how the big Massey performed.

Engine

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A closer look at the Tier 2 AGCO Power engine

Under the bonnet, power comes from a reliable six-cylinder 8.4-litre AGCO Power engine, putting out a max 320hp with an impressive 1600Nm of torque. As you’d expect, this provides great lugging power.

Usually, you’re bombarded with information on emissions controls, but not in this instance. The Massey Ferguson 8732 S boasts a simple Tier 2 common rail engine, with no worries about AdBlue or particulate filters, which I’m sure will be appealing to many users.

It’s said to be designed for efficiency and has claims of low fuel usage, again likely appealing to many. Power-to-weight ratios come in to play on this size tractor, and 320hp at only just over 10 tonnes unladen is fairly impressive, as is the ability to ballast the tractor up to 18 tonnes if required.

As with other Massey Ferguson tractors, the engine is mounted low (comparative to its size of course). This is not only great for the centre of gravity but also gives easy access when it comes to servicing with everything easily reached from ground level.

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Big gear means high efficiency

A redesigned cooling package up front uses fixed mounted radiators for longevity. Due to well-thought-out design and positioning, they are still easy to access and clean, as is the air filter, which is also mounted low down for access.

Diesel tank capacity sits at a respectable 690 litres to keep you running for long days between fills. Engine oil can be easily checked without opening the bonnet and there is a sight glass for the transmission. Servicing intervals sit at a mid-range 400 hours for the engine and 1500 hours for the transmission.

Transmission

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Massey Ferguson power shuttle

The DYNA VT transmission found in the Massey Ferguson 8732 S is well proven and reliable. It’s essentially the same transmission as in the other premium brand tractor sold by AGCO (Fendt), which has an excellent reputation.

The reality is that you get it in the Massey at a significantly cheaper price. In operation, it’s smooth and effective at delivering power to the ground under the load of the chisel plough on the back.

Operation is refreshingly straightforward. It was easy to get in and get moving, as the movement of the tractor can be easily controlled via the foot pedal or the multi-pad joystick on the right armrest. This is simply pushed forward or backwards to control speed and it’s great to see buttons on top of the joysticks to change direction, as well as a left-hand shuttle lever.     

Top speed is up to 50 km/hour in road mode. A field mode limits forward speed to optimise torque and control, depending on what the tractor is being used for, to maximise the work rate and minimise fuel consumption.

There’s also a lot of functionality built into this transmission, where most aspects such as the aggressiveness or the relationship between forward/reverse speeds can be adjusted.

Hydraulics and PTO

The rear linkage offers a hefty 12-tonne lift capacity, which should be more than adequate for pretty much any job. As expected, there are controls on both rear mudguards for the PTO and linkage, as well as one remote valve. This is ideal if you’re hitching up an implement with a hydraulic top link or jack.

Up to six remotes can be fitted to the rear as an option, and there’s a substantial 205 litres/min of hydraulic flow available for implements.

The flow rates and function of the remotes are easily customised on the new screen in the cab. Although the remotes are numbered and can essentially be assigned to any of the controls, I feel some colour-coding would help.

The optional front linkage that was fitted has an impressive five-tonne lift capacity and is plumbed from a mid-mount valve, along with the two sets of remotes available at the front. Hydraulic trailer brakes are standard as are power beyond couplings.

As you would expect on a tractor this size, there’s a choice of four speeds on the rear PTO. Controls are easily found on the cab and an auto function can be set up to automatically engage or disengage the PTO with forward speed or linkage height triggers.

At the front, a single-speed PTO is standard, although, several other manufacturers are now offering a two-speed front PTO with this size tractor.

Cab

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The large rear window gives great visibility

In my opinion, probably the biggest change to the Massey Ferguson cab in a long time is the move to a four-pillar cab, and it’s been done while keeping the signature round rear corners.

These are now incorporated into the huge curved rear window, which offers amazing visibility. As the rear pillars are slightly further forward than other brands, you get a large left-hand door for easy access, which is slightly less cumbersome to close than other models. Double wide-angle mirrors (electrically adjustable) on each side of the cab also add to the impressive visibility for the driver.

Inside, the premium air seat is well positioned for operation and visibility. Upholstery and trim is in Massey’s signature light cream colour, which can show its age quite quickly in my opinion. Interestingly, the new right-side armrest is a dark grey, which is a lot more functional and pleasing on the eye. The cab sits on a four-point mechanical active suspension.

This is adjustable and works well to smooth out any bumps. Up the front, the QuadLink front suspension also helps provide a smooth ride, improved traction, and excellent ground clearance and is built into the heavy-duty front axle.

Controls

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Intuitive layout for convenient operation

To the right of the seat is what is now dubbed the Command Control Armrest. This places the most frequently used controls at the operator’s fingertips, including all hydraulic controls, engine rpm and pre-sets, some PTO and linkage controls, and transmission controls.

The multi-pad joystick at the front of the armrest is primarily used to control the momentum of the tractor. Conveniently, the pad on top is also home to buttons for PTO, linkage controls, a single remote valve, speed presents, forward/reverse and a headland management button – all easily managed with the press of a thumb.

It’s great to see a second small joystick up the front and it can be assigned to any remote valves, as it can be used for the front linkage if a loader is fitted or to control implements at the rear.

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 A view of the new Datatronic 5 touchscreen

In the past, I might have been critical of the Datatronic 4 screen found in Massey tractors for some time, as I personally never found it particularly easy to use. However, in a change that I presume will eventually be rolled out across the whole Massey range, the 8732 S boasts the all-new Datatronic 5 screen, which is a huge leap forward.

The Datatronic 5 is a nine-inch colour touch screen that is clear, well laid out, and intuitive to use. It’s customisable to a degree, so operators can decide what info is displayed and where. It gives full control over the hydraulics, engine management, and the transmission.

The only thing I found disappointing is that some controls, for example, the PTO speed selection and linkage settings, have not been added to the screen, with buttons still found on the rear right-hand pillar. It is, however, ISOBUS compatible so implement controls can be displayed along with two camera inputs and is GPS-ready, which gives it an impressive range of functionality.

Verdict

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New aggressive styling

There is a lot to like about the big Massey Ferguson 8732 S. The uncomplicated Tier 2 common rail engine delivering more than 300hp is sure to appeal to many, as will the proven reliable DYNA VT transmission.

Personally, the key two highlights are the redesigned cab incorporating the massive curved rear window offering impressive visibility and the all-new Datatronic 5 screen, which, in my opinion, makes the tractor a whole lot more user-friendly.

Most impressive of all though is the price – and for those with some serious work to put in front of it, it’s is well worth a look.

Massey Ferguson 8732 S DYNA VT specifications

Engine  6-cylinder Tier 2 Agco Power engine
Max power 320hp 
Max torque  1600Nm 
Fuel tank capacity  690L 
Service intervals  Engine 400 hrs 
Transmission  DYNA VT stepless variable 
Rear linkage capacity  12,000kg 
Front linkage capacity  5000kg 
Max hydraulic output  205L/min 
Remote valves  6 rear/2 front 
PTO rear  540/540E 1000/1000E 
PTO front  1000 
Wheelbase  3100mm 
Length  5562mm
Height  3515mm 
Weight unladen  10,800kg 
Weight laden (max)  18,000kg 

Pluses

  • Tier 2 Common rail engine
  • Reliable well prove AGCO DYNA VT variable transmission
  • 12-tonne rear linkage lift capacity
  • Impressive visibility out of the redesigned cab
  • Four-point mechanical suspension
  • All new Datatronic 5 screen

Minuses

  • Not all functions have made it to the new Datatronic screen

See more tractors for sale in NZ

Watch the Massey Ferguson 8732 S DYNA VT in action

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