Review: Deutz-Fahr Warrior 8280

By: Dan Reymer, Photography by: Dan Reymer


The new Deutz-Fahr Warrior 8280 ticks several boxes at one. It's big enough for heavy work but agile enough to be versatile in any contractor's fleet.

The new Deutz-Fahr Warrior 8280 has come with a lot of hype and buzz, in part due to The 1000 Hour Project, which sees the brand-new tractor put to work around Taranaki (for 1000 hours in case you hadn’t guessed). This real-time working demo offers those in the market for a new tractor the chance to see the Warrior at work and check out how it performs at a variety of tasks, from maize harvesting to cultivation. We decided to get in on the action and suss out the Warrior 8280 for ourselves.

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Outstanding Deutz-Fahr Warrior styling

Our test drive took place at Waimumu at the Southern Field Days site, with Power Farming Invercargill bringing along a Deutz-Fahr Warrior 8280 for us to spend some time with.

Featuring an all-new transmission and several design improvements, this highly spec’d model is packed with features to impress even the most seasoned operators.

The Deutz-Fahr Warrior is being marketed as a top-end or contractor spec machine; there’s obviously a lot more to this offering than its stylish black paint job.

Being an 8280, the all-new series features a new transmission that will eventually work its way through all model ranges. From spending some time with the Warrior, there’s no doubt that this transmission is one of the key drawcards.

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This 8000 series tractor fills the gap between the 7000 and 9000 series. This machine size is becoming increasingly popular in New Zealand, as it supplies the high horsepower that’s required while being packed into a user-friendly frame.

The size is big enough for heavy draft work and pulling purposes but agile enough to comfortably swing a set of triple mowers around some tight paddocks.

Specs

The Deutz-Fahr Warrior 8280 has the bones underneath its glamourous skin to get down and do the job, with a few surprises that set it apart from competing tractors. Deutz-AG is a large engine producing company and uses the latest technology and componentry in the engine under the 8280’s bonnet.

The engine is a 6.1-litre, two-staged turbocharged six-cylinder engine. It would be marketed as a Tier 5 in some overseas countries, but for New Zealand and Australian markets, the DPF and SCR have been removed, meaning no AdBlue or any of the issues often associated with it.

New Zealand customers still benefit from the latest technology, software, and updates from the factory. Sticking with the engine, the service intervals have been extended out to an impressive 1000-hour intervals.

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Bonnet opens clear of the cooling package

The nominal engine speed is 2100rpm and the full power of 287hp is achieved at 1780rpm limiting engine wear. The engine on the 8280 has a high-performance air to water intercooler that works in conjunction with the twin turbos, allowing the engine to take in a larger mass of air with more oxygen, resulting in more efficient fuel combustion and improved performance.

A 210 litre per minute hydraulic pump is fitted on the Warrior tractor we tested. This has 90 litres of oil at its disposal to pump to a maximum of five remotes at the rear and three at the front, including the front hitch.

Hydraulic side stabilisers are an option for those who want the extra flexibilities that come with them. Lift capacity is 11,100kg on the rear linkage and 5450kg on the front. These lift capacities are well suited to this size tractor and the tasks that it will be undertaking.

A newly developed transmission is the centre of the 8280’s drivability and functionality. With a separate hydraulic oil tank, the trans is bathed in its own clean oil, as contamination is unlikely. This new transmission has a clutch for both forward and reverse travel along with two range clutches for the first and second range. Two hydraulic units are either used as a hydraulic pump or a hydraulic motor depending on ground speed. This allows an exceptionally smooth operation experience and results in no need to change between high and low, as it’s done automatically. This reduces the time on cartage jobs, as stopping to change the gear is avoided. Also, there’s less wear and load on the machine, as it’s always in the right range for its speed. Forward to reverse shuttling was great and the ability to hold the reverse button to engage the transmission/engine brake was a feature I really liked, as it gives more operator control.

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Black paint job, chrome exhaust shroud, and Warrior lettering make it stand out from the crowd

Tech

The technological advances in the agriculture industry are rapidly changing and show no signs of slowing down. Manufacturers must be at the forefront of these new products and keep up with the increasing demand for accuracy, productivity, field management, and product placement.

Having the GPS system integrated into the tractor, new upgraded systems allow greater accuracy, as more satellites can be used. This improves the overall efficiency and productivity an operator can achieve in a day, saving fuel along with getting to the next job sooner.

Telematics allows dealers to connect remotely to the machine to help rapidly diagnose issues, as well as enabling farm managers to see where the machine is and access basic usage data with ease. ISOBUS functions are impressive on this tractor, allowing 10 functions to be customised on the handpiece, with a further six on the hydraulic joystick. As part of the ISOBUS package, the Warrior allows bi-directional communication between implement and tractor called a TIM certification. This, in turn, allows the implement to control integral tractor functions such as speed, hydraulics, hitch, and PTO. The iMonitor display takes care of all these functions in a familiar layout to ISOBUS universal terminals.

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Well-laid-out armrest with all functions within reach

Operator comfort

Any machine can look good on paper, but it’s not until you get in the machine that its true colours will shine out. The Warrior makes its presence known with wide aluminium steps leading up to the cab. These give plenty of grip, having minimal places for dirt and mud to build up.

The front pillar of the cab does interrupt the access into the cab and would make it difficult for larger operators. Once inside, the Grammar leather seat is a welcoming feature. Having a heater and air-con built-in, it’s suited to all weather conditions adding to operator comfort.

Deutz tractors are known for their colour-coding in the cab, and that’s continued into this model. The colours orange, blue, yellow, and green correspond to direction/speed, hydraulics, PTO, and linkage, respectively. This makes it easy to distinguish at a quick glance what each button is associated with. Being a higher spec machine, the iMonitor screen is fitted with an array of functions. Boasting a 12-inch colour touchscreen, space for information is not an issue. Like anything, if you’re new to it, it takes a moment to work out, but after a brief time in the seat, it does start to explain itself with tractor functions placing themselves down the right-hand side and telematics, GPS, autosteer, and machine monitoring navigation buttons down the left.

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No need to change range pulling up hills, as it’s done automatically

The Max-Com joystick packs multiple functions into the design, all within easy reach of the operator’s thumb. A button on the rear lines up with the index finger well. This button provides the safety function to put the tractor into gear, plus, in combination with a push forward on the handpiece, it changes through the pre-set 5, 10, 20, and 50kmph max speed settings. A scroller located beside it can fine-tune this max speed. Maintaining a constant speed is achieved through the two cruise control settings, with the foot pedal allowing to increase in speed without cancelling the cruise control setting which slots in well for fieldwork.

Although there’s a direction selection on the Max-Com joystick, the left-hand selector overrides it and, therefore, cannot be used at the same time, which can get frustrating in some operations. The rest of the tractor functions are placed on the joystick and armrest in thoughtful positions. The research and development team who put this armrest together did a magnificent job, as everything is basically where the operator would want it.

The linkage controls find themselves at the top of the joystick, with separate controls for front and rear linkage, thus eliminating confusion. The front linkage also has the option to be assigned to a spool lever or the hydraulic joystick if variable-rate lift and lower was needed, like buckraking, for example. Two hydraulic variable rate spools are found at the bottom of the controller, further allowing more precision and control over implements. Although the screen shows the oil flow value going the opposite way you push the spool, after some time in the seat, you would get used to it. A minimum and maximum engine rpm can be set on the armrest and the tractor will work between these values. This allows greater control and minimises stress and fatigue on implements and the operator.

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Pulling the Fliegl trailer filled with maize

Switches and buttons are laid out strategically throughout the cab. A battery isolator is on the left-hand side of the dash and the exhaust brake is found between the clutch and brake pedals. If you’re used to other brands, you would go for this as a steering wheel adjustment pedal, but it suits well as an exhaust brake, as it keeps the floor clear. To the right-hand side, near the rear is a linkage override switch. This is surprisingly handy to raise and lower the rear lower link arms while hitching on or off. You’re not there worrying about how far or fast the linkage will move from the main controls, as it operates in a similar fashion to the external buttons. Aiding in after-dark cab exiting, two LED strips under the steering column light up the footwell. Sticking with the LEDs on the Warrior, a light built into the bottom side of the mirror mount lights up the steps which I thought was a great touch.

Styling and servicing

There’s a certain amount of pride associated with the Warrior series. Being a high-spec machine, climate control air conditioning, leather seat, and any extras you can think of are all included. Sporting the beautifully finished black paint job, it stands out from the crowd and for good reason. The sleek styling is finished off with a chrome exhaust shroud and a full set of LED lights pouring out more than 50,000 lumens to light up all your surroundings after dark. A rear camera minimises operator stress on long days. The 1000-hour engine oil service intervals accompanied by 2000-hour transmission intervals ensure you can get through the peak of the season and worry about the service when time permits.

All the daily checks are performed from ground level with clear and easy-to-see gauges showing hydraulic oil level and transmission level. The radiators swing open to clear out foreign matter, and if you have an air hose, a central air fitting is located under the steps, so blowing them out daily will be an easy task. And while you’re at it, a quick blowout of the cab is easily achieved.

A nice point was the positive battery terminal on the side giving quick and easy access for jump-starting/charging. No panels need to be unscrewed or moved to get to it, minimising breakages and loss of parts. The front axle brakes are different to most brands, being external disc brakes. These supply the braking performance where it’s needed and doesn’t unnecessarily load up other components.

Summary

As Deutz-Fahr is one of the few brands of tractor I haven’t spent a great amount of time in over the years, I was pretty keen to see how it performed in terms of useability and comfort, and I was impressed to be honest. It certainly performed well, and the comfort of the armrest was a standout. The technology available is extremely customisable to suit operator needs, with hydraulic spools and multiple ISOBUS
set-up options.

Combined with the new transmission, Tier 3 engine, and long service intervals, the 8280 will perform well – no matter the task – in a smooth, operator-friendly action, all while being a cost-effective investment. Being MTR (mother tractor regulation) compliant is also a big plus, as all the latest safety features and lights are on the machine.

Front disc brakes are not particularly common, but performed well in operation, plus, they increase safety and minimise loading other components. The Deutz-Fahr Warrior 8280 certainly looks the part, and it turns out that it performs the part, too.

Deutz-Fahr Warrior 8280 Specifications 

Engine 6.1L twin-turbo engine
Power Deutz Tier 3 287hp, 1126Nm max torque
Transmission TTV variable speed transmission
Top speed 60km/h
Braking 4-wheel braking with front dry disc brakes, hydraulic trailer brakes
Wheelbase 2918mm
Length 5100mm
Total height 3300mm
Total weight 10,200kg

Pros

  • New transmission is extremely nice to operate
  • Great armrest layout
  • LED lights
  • One of the best ISOBUS set-ups on the market
  • Tier 3, so no AdBlue
  • 1000-hour engine service intervals
  • Dual speed front PTO
  • Dry front disc brakes
  • Clear oil check levels
  • Easy access to battery terminals
  • Complies with MTR (Mother tractor regulations)
  • Separate trans and hydraulic oil

Cons

  • No bar axle option
  • Cab tapers in a lot at the top
  • No cup holders on right-hand side
  • Dash could be clearer

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