Top Tractor Shoot Out: Deutz Fahr M600 Summit

It was almost a case of David versus Goliath, with the plucky Deutz-Fahr M600 Summit taking on some sizeable opposition at the Top Tractor Shoot Out 2015.

The smallest tractor in the competition, the Deutz Fahr M600 Summit nevertheless made a mighty impression. It was also the lowest priced tractor by far, coming in at just shy of $108,000.

Given that we hooked these tractors up to gear designed for 150hp+ tractors, it was a serious test for the Deutz-Fahr – and it did not disappoint, putting up an excellent fight in the value for money competition.

Top Tractor awards 2015

  • Highest lift capacity
  • Lowest priced tractor
  • Best loader suitability


Being one of the largest engine manufacturers in the world, it’s only natural that the power plant under the bonnet comes from Deutz-Fahr’s own stable – the six-litre, six-cylinder engine tuned to put out a max of 132hp.

One of only two tractors in our line-up with a Tier 3 engine – a simple, reliable and well proven engine technology without the need for EGR or AdBlue components. It is no coincidence that the two Tier 3 tractors were also the most competitively priced.

Interestingly the Deutz-Fahr engine is also approved for use with 100 percent bio fuel, without any upgrades or input.


Access to the engine is simple once the low sweeping bonnet is open – although due to European regulations a key (any key) is required to open it, which I find somewhat of a hindrance. Thankfully the engine oil can be checked without opening the bonnet.

A suggested 500 hour servicing interval for engine oil and filters should keep maintenance costs and down time low. Around the back end, hydraulic oil is easily checked via a sight glass and a service interval of 1000 hours for hydraulic oil and filters is also good news.


While Deutz-Fahr has stuck with a highly reliable and well regarded ZF transmission that offers peace of mind, it doesn’t offer much too much that is cutting edge. The main gear shifter offers six ranges and is located to the right of the operator.

As it uses mechanical linkages, it can be somewhat clunky. Thankfully the four power shift gears in each range can be easily operated with push buttons, either on the gear shift or on a toggle switch on the arm rest. This gives a 24×24 transmission.

In operation the transmission is relatively straight forward to use.

Fahr M600_7


Although the six-pillar cab on the Deutz-Fahr was one of the smallest in our line-up of tractors, it definitely doesn’t lack visibility for the operator, nor was comfort hindered. Two point cab suspension provided a smooth ride over the cultivated ground.

The low sweeping bonnet and the fact the exhaust and air intake are hidden behind the forward cab pillar ensure good visibility out the front.


Once in the cab, most of the controls are spread out on the right hand arm rest and console. What strikes most people first is the vivid rainbow of colours used to code different controls. This is not new for existing Deutz-Fahr owners, but the orange for transmission, yellow for PTO, green for linkage and blue for hydraulics is definitely handy for someone unfamiliar with the layout.

Any of the four PTO speeds can be selected using two levers on the console, while the PTO is engaged with a button conveniently place on the arm rest. Once again, as a safety feature, the button needs to be pushed twice to prevent accidental engagement.


Around the back end, it was impressive to see four remotes as standard – as opposed to the three fitted on many other tractors. All remotes also feature an adjustable flow rate tap on top. Controls in the cab use a cross gate joystick style lever. This is used to control two remotes, along with single levers for the other two remotes.

Hydraulic fluid is shared with the transmission which keeps servicing costs down. The main hydraulic pumps put out a respectable 120L/min which will be more than enough for most applications. A standout point for the Deutz-Fahr is a separate 42L/min steering pump, which leaves the full flow of the main pump available for the linkage and hydraulics.


The Deutz Fahr M600 Summit had the highest rated lift capacity of all tractors tested on the day, at a whopping 9.2 tonne – nearly twice the weight of the machine itself. The linkage itself was a fairly straight forward affair with hook ends on the lower arms and the top link. A top link holder which uses the winding/locking lever and a simple clip setup was easy to use, along with buttons to operate the linkage on the mudguards on both sides.

Controls to operate the three point linkage inside the cab do get a little complicated, supposedly for safety. Read more about this in the latest issue of Farm Trader.

Fahr M600_10

Performance on the day

I’m sure it doesn’t need pointing out to most that the three metre Alpego Super Cracker and five metre Falc power harrow were far larger implements than you would usually put on a 130hp tractor. With a small plot of ground, these machines did offer a good challenge for the tractors and everyone agreed that the Deutz-Fahr was definitely punching well above its weight.

The Alpego Super Cracker was good test of pulling power and the M600 put in a solid effort. The biggest problem was keeping the nose on the ground once the Alpego Cracker was dug right in, even with over 500 kg of weight on the front. However, this is something which could be easily fixed with further weights on the front.

The verdict

Everyone was in some way impressed with what the Deutz-Fahr M600 Summit had to offer. While there were others with more power and higher specs, this tractor will be sure to tick all the boxes for many, particularly for loader work with its excellent visibility.


  • Highest lift capacity at a massive 9.2T
  • Lowest priced tractor
  • Excellent all round visibility
  • Single fuel source engine
  • Four remotes, trailer brakes and power beyond as standard
  • Well proven components with Carraro Front axle and ZF transmission as well as Deutz’s own power plant under the hood


  • Linkage was frustrating to get going for people unfamiliar with the system
  • In 5-6 gear on the stick shift was a reach for the driver

Read the full review in issue #217 of Farm Trader magazine. Subscribe here.

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