The team at Mahindra in Howick, KwaZulu-Natal is very enthusiastic about the Mahindra tractors that are now coming onto the South African market. To promote the brand, Toby Brown lent a demonstration model 6500 4WD to local farmer Clinton Stead, who farms at Thorneville. Joe Spencer reports.
The Mahindra 6500 4WD, rated at 48kW, is a relatively small tractor by today’s standards, but it proved to have adequate power and excellent traction. Over the course of a week, farmer Clinton Stead and his driver used it for a variety of tests including ploughing, discing, mowing, grading and earthmoving. It was also hitched to a post-driver and used to set poles for tomatoes. Its performance with a heavy three-furrow disc plough, in very heavy conditions, was quite spectacular and it had no problem handling a 16 x 24 trailed disc harrow at optimum speed. The tractor has a high-level specification with a two-speed (540rpm and 1 000rpm) PTO, two auxiliary remote hydraulic valves, wheel and nose weights and a swinging drawbar. The eight forward and reverse gear synchromesh transmission had the right gears for field work and a forward-reverse synchro shuttle lever on the dash, combined with power steering, proved invaluable when operating the front-end loader. Clinton says the Mahindra offers excellent value for money. Contact Toby Brown on 082 432 3707 or e-mail [email protected], or Call Karel Munnik at 012 661 3161 or e-mail [email protected].
In 1945 Mahindra & Mahindra was contracted to assemble the famous Willys Jeep in India. They expanded into light commercial vehicles and, in 1963, began producing agricultural tractors. The company has now grown to be the third biggest tractor manufacturer in the world with annual sales of more than 85 000 units. The brand has been the market leader in India since 1983. Mahindra tractors are now sold worldwide and have been particularly successful in the US. According to a study conducted by a leading US market research organisation, 97% of Mahindra customers were satisfied with the overall performance of their tractors and 94% said they’d definitely recommend Mahindra to a friend.
The Mahindra front-end loader: an invaluable implement
The demo tractor was equipped with one of the add-on implements from the Mahindra range – the ML265 front-end loader. This drive-in unit can be fitted and removed in minutes. It comes complete with a “joystick”- type control lever providing one-handed operation of the lift and lower, crowd and tip functions. The valve is connected directly into the tractor’s hydraulic circuit, which avoids the usual maze of pipe work and leaves both auxiliary valves free for other functions. Maximum lift height is 3,28m and lift capacity at full height is 1 430kg at the pivot pins. The loader was fitted with a 0,6m3 bucket.
Modern, functional controls
The Mahindra tractor’s gear-lever arrangement is straightforward, with a lever for the forward-reverse shuttle sensibly situated under the steering wheel. All the other controls come easily to hand and the independent PTO speed selection lever, with its own lever-operated clutch, incorporates a safety-start function. Specifications: Engine: Mahindra NE465, 3,53x, four-stroke, direct injection, water-cooled four-cylinder diesel. Transmission: forward-reverse synchro-shuttle with full synchromesh and eight forward and reverse gears. Hydraulic system: open-centre, fully live hydraulics with position and draft control. Category 1 and 2 linkage with telescopic check chains, lift capacity 1 800kg. Two standard auxiliary valves are fitted. Power steering: hydrostatic, turning radius 3,6m. Brakes: wet disc. Total operating mass: 2 850kg