Whatever happened to .... the McCormick ZTX?
The answer to that question and others, is inside the April issue of the magazine. What we can reveal here is that 11 ZTXs were retailed in the UK, and with 600 acres of mainly spring-drilled arable crops, Leicestershire farmer Steve Hill owns what is believed to be one of just two working ZTX280's (260/280hp), and a 54-plated example with 4,103 hours on its clock when we saw it.
Still on its original Michelin 710/70R42 rear and 600/70R28 front boots, it was purchased as a 250-hour ex-demo machine sometime 2005 to replace a Case IH Magnum 7230. Used with a 6m power harrow and six-furrow Kverneland vari-width reversible plough, the 280's main task is to pull a power-hungry 3m Kverneland Stubble-Finisher - something we are informed the Magnum struggled to do.
"Kverneland was not lying when they told us it needed 100hp/m," says main driver Ollie Hill. "The ZTX pulls it at an engine speed of 1500rpm in good conditions but when the going is tough you know you it is behind." The farm's main tractor, a 2009 McCormick XTX165, does most of the drilling, fertiliser spreading, baling and mowing. Plus, they also have a 2003-made Valtra T130.
"For its size the ZTX is very manoeuvrable and has a tighter turning circle than the Valtra," adds Ollie. But for a few electrical sensor and switch issues, which did not cost a lot of money but were difficult to solve, there have been no major issues with the ZTX. "It is a solidly-built, reliable and cheap workhorse that we should be able to use for many years to come."
Wednesday, 21 March 2018
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