Two examples of the most powerful tractor in the McCormick X7 Series were in action at this year’s ScotGrass event, alongside a mid-range high-tech X6.4 fitted with stepless VT-Drive transmission.

“It was the perfect opportunity for the flagship McCormick X7 Series tractors to be seen working at ScotGrass for the first time because obvious applications for the tractor include working a triple mower or large forage wagon,” said Adrian Winnett, managing director of Argo Tractors operations in the UK and Ireland.

“We’re were also pleased to be co-operating with Martin Holden of SIP because it underscored our focus on tractors as the core area of expertise for the Argo Group, which leaves McCormick tractor dealers free to choose whichever grass and other implement franchises best suit them and their customers.”

The latest-generation McCormick X7 Series tractors have revised engine power outputs with ‘boost’ now available on all models for pto-driven implements and road transport. The line-up starts at 141hp (boosting to 150hp) with the four-cylinder X7.440 introduced this year and tops out with the 205/225hp six-cylinder X7.690, which is a more powerful addition to the range.

All have the new P6-Drive transmission with six powershift steps and five ranges providing increased speed control flexibility, plus the added security of exhaust pressure braking to ease the load on service brakes, especially travelling with a heavy trailer, tanker or spreader.

The tractors working at ScotGrass had the full-feature Premium specification, which includes a 12in terminal and electric spool valve switches on the armrest console, and the simpler Efficient spec’ for operators who want the same powertrain but are content with fewer electronic features.

A VT-Drive transmission in the McCormick X6.440 at ScotGrass made it one of the few 140hp tractors available with a stepless drive system – the sort of technology normally seen on larger, more powerful machines.

It had 130hp for draft work, rising to 140hp for pto-driven implements and transport applications, and comes with a four-speed rear pto with ‘power’ and ‘economy’ gearing.

Hydraulic power comes from the 110-litre/min piston pump dedicated to the rear linkage and remote services, which can have mechanical valves, a combination of mechanical and electric or five all-electric valves set up through a touch screen terminal.

Just new to the market from McCormick is also a new generation of its X5 Series, with more transmission options for a wider choice of gear configurations. It also has new reduced-revs 40kph and pto speeds to help with fuel economy and a power-boosted braking system for improved.

“The X5 Series is at the core of our ‘livestock tractor’ line-up and offers a lively and versatile power unit with a broad choice of specifications to suit different applications and preferences,” said Mr Winnett.

The newcomers replace the Perkins-powered first-generation X5 design with three new models powered by a 3.6-litre Deutz four-cylinder engine tuned for max outputs of 99hp (X5.35), 107hp (X5.45) and 113hp (X5.55). This has simpler emissions control hardware in the form of a diesel oxidation catalyst (DOC), which unlike a diesel particulates filter (DPF) requires no fuel-burn cleansing, maintenance or operator intervention. It also has a new viscous drive option for the engine cooling fan, which runs only when necessary to maintain a steady coolant temperature and therefore contributes to the tractor’s fuel economy.

An expanded selection of transmissions include a dry clutch synchro shuttle or wet clutch power shuttle, a gear splitter or three-speed powershift, and from 12 to 36 forward speeds, with a creep gearbox option available across the board.

The synchro shuttle 12x12 transmission with manual rear linkage control will suit anyone wanting a simple, reliable ‘mechanical’ tractor for yard work on a livestock farm, added Mr Winnett.

There’s the option of upgrading to the power shuttle with adjustable drive take-up, which also brings electro-hydraulic control of the pto. Alternatively, there is the new 24x24 transmission with a splitter operated by a button on the gear selector for easy up- and down-shifts. This can be had with the synchro shuttle or power shuttle, as well as a creep ‘box with another eight speeds in both directions.

The new Eco Forty feature reduces the engine revs once a 40kph cruising speed has been reached, to save fuel and give the operator a quieter drive on lengthy transport runs, while a new four-speed pto option is another fuel-saving feature, this time for field work, as it provides both 540rpm and 1000rpm shaft speeds at ‘economy’ as well as ‘power’ settings.

Hydraulic resources comprise a 62-litre/min gear pump (complemented by a 32-litre/min pump dedicated to steering and ancillary clutches), supplying the three double-acting spool valves fitted as standard. Other standard equipment includes interchangeable ball and claw ends for the 4500kg rear linkage lift arms, and a push-back telescopic pick-up hitch; electronic control of the rear hitch is available in place of the mechanical system.

In-cab equipment includes an air suspension seat, tilt/telescopic steering wheel and air conditioning, which has air intake filters located in the rear pillars where they are easily accessible while keeping the roof panel relatively slim for the lowest practicable overall height.

The new tractors are available with a McCormick hydraulic loader for materials handling work, equipped with self-levelling and soft-ride suspension for the smoothest possible operation.