Whether farming fifty acres or five hundred, no-one working the land can do without a tractor. So it’s little wonder that Colin Boocock, who runs beef cattle and sheep on 94 acres at Moorsholm near Saltburn, North Yorkshire, regards his new tractor as a very significant investment.
North Yorks farmer Colin Boocock with his new McCormick tractor – one of the first X60 models to go out on farm.
“We’ve always run two tractors before but now we’re down to one – so it’s got to be reliable, as well as versatile,” he says. “I’ve also turned away from the red tractor make we’ve run here for years; so everything’s new!”
Three factors led Mr Boocock to the McCormick X60.20 that now handles all field and yard tasks at Freeborough Farm – value; cab comfort; and the back-up promised by Rob Stevenson at Stokesley-based McCormick dealership, Agriplus.
“Other tractors I looked at were more expensive and also a bit cramped compared with the X60’s cab,” he says. “When you’re getting on and off a tractor all the time feeding stock it needs to be easy; and that’s certainly the case with this tractor.
“There’s a wide door opening and an incredible amount of space inside,” Mr Boocock adds. “The big windows make it easy to see all round the tractor and the push-back pick-up hitch, which is standard, means you only have to look round to hook up to a trailer.”
At 92hp, Colin Boocock’s X60.20 is the least powerful of four models in a range that has replaced the long-running CX series. Next up is the X60.30, which has the same 101hp output as the most powerful CX model, while the X60.40 gets 110hp from its four-cylinder Perkins engine.
The X60.50 at the top of the range has a modest step up to 112hp for draft work but up to 121hp for pto and transport duties thanks to the ‘power boost’ feature of its electronic fuel injection.
“My tractor has plenty of power for the work it will do and the Perkins engine provides some continuity from my previous tractor, where it performed quietly and reliably,” says Mr Boocock. “My 92hp version has plenty of torque, it pulls really well, and it’s nice to know everything is engineered to handle a lot more power.”
The X60 design certainly has a tougher build than the CX, with a heavier duty transmission and front axle – which incorporates a locking differential and disc brakes for the first time – and increased rear linkage lift capacity with draft control now sensing through the lower linkage arms.
“It’s not too heavy but there is a fair bit of weight in the tractor, especially around the back-end,” Colin Boocock notes. “That’s great for stability when it’s working with a loader.”
The McCormick LiftMaster is a good match for the machine, he reckons. A joystick on the console makes it easy to control and Boom Ride suspension irons out any jolts over rough ground or on the road.
Also making life easier and more comfortable are the smooth-shifting power shuttle, the three powershift speeds for the forward gears – making 36 speeds in all – and the simple electronic controls for the rear lift linkage.
“The layout of the cab is just right – even down to the button on the gear lever that saves using the clutch pedal to change gear,” Mr Boocock says. “I was concerned whether the new tractor would be as easy to drive as the MF it replaced, but it’s a whole lot better.”
That’s a welcome discovery on a tractor that will be used pretty much year-round to meet the feeding and mucking out demands of a 20-cow suckler herd and 100 ewes, as well as for ploughing, power harrowing, grass mowing and tedding, and pasture maintenance.
“It’s a lovely tractor, a real pleasure; and one that just gets better the more I use it,” says Colin Boocock.
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